Back when I started with my Port Technician career, things were simple. You were promoted (and demoted) based on merit and experience. I rose through the ranks like a comet. Life was good.
Then the bureaucracy kicked in. The Intergalactic Standard of Work Act required minimum number of days spent in each career rank, which really was just a blatant way to keep us motivated workers from receiving fair daily wages (including bonds!), all under the pretense of quality assurance.
A few days ago, it was my big day. After 128 days as a Hull Integrity Specialist, my promotion to Shipwright was a mere formality. I had been designing and building ships on a daily bases for the last 40 or more days, so nobody could even think of denying me this promotion.
On this fine day, I came into the Port's employment office, and saw Jeff Markov. A hate this guy, a bureaucrat to his very core. He is the employment manager there, but since that's too mundane a title, they invented a fancier title just for him: Vice President of Corporate Human Resource Management or some similar bullshit.
Speaking of bullshit, I wasn't promoted right away. There is another rule that says you can only be promoted after successfully completing a task based on a Standard Operating Procedure. So I drew my slate, and designed a ship. I took special delight in adding some hidden smuggler's compartment, right under Jeff's uncomprehending eyes.
My colleague Clara quickly cross-checked my work and nodded. By the twinkle in her eyes I'm sure she noticed the compartments, but she's a veteran who values people over regulation. She got the joke, and didn't make any fuss.
Then came the long winded speech I was dreading:
let me be the first one to offer my congratulations to your very well-deserved promotion. You may know call yourself a shipwright, an esteemed title only few hold these days.
By the Intergalactic Standard of Work Act, this automatically grants you the title constructeur de navette spatiale under the Gaule Protectorate.
You are also extended our and all other station's unilateral continued employment and re-employment guarantee, though of course we hope you stay with us for a long and productive time...
He trailed off there, hoping for a chuckle from the audience. But they were in on my plan as well, and kept their faces straight.
I cleared my throat, and said two words:
While Jeff was searching for words to say, I snatched the certificate of promotion from his hands, and walked out. Straight to the employment office I went, where I signed up for my Special Operations career.
I love the port, so of course I'm coming back every now and then, chat up with my colleagues, and design and fix a few ships. But I don't feel I've learned very much in the last 30 days or so at the Port, whereas other careers have lots of opportunity for growth.