Hot on the heels of my last post about the FIVE (surprisingly) best things about working for the CIA, I wanted to be fair and share the FIVE (not so surprisingly) worst things about working for the CIA.
Here We Go (Again):
1.) Diversity: I was considered the diversity in my Clandestine Service Training Class (spy school) at the Farm. I’m a Jewish girl from the Midwest, kind of a stretch by any/most/all standards to consider me “major diversity.”
2.) Sexism & Discrimination: CIA’s old school ways continue to negatively impact female officers’ ability to rise within the ranks. Recently, a qualified top female officer was passed over for the job as the Director of the CIA’s Clandestine Service. More challenging is the pervasive “Mad Men” attitude towards female employees, allowing for rampant sexual harassment and discrimination.
3.) Parking: If you think finding a parking space at the mall during the holidays is tough, try finding a parking space at CIA Headquarters any weekday morning. Securing a prime parking space is a competitive sport for Agency employees, who are desperate to avoid parking in the nether regions of the CIA grounds.
4.) Fashion: Is it too much to ask for the CIA to ban sweater sets and pearls, the Agency uniform for mid-level female management? It wasn’t so much the clothes that bothered me; it was what the clothes represented. Middle management saw younger employees as a threat, daring to bend the antiquated Agency rules (even fashion rules) by donning denim in this historically buttoned-up conservative organization.
5.) Management: Clearly management has been a problem and will continue to be one of the biggest problems the CIA will face for years to come. The CIA hemorrhages quality talent because management doesn’t know how to adequately manage, support and incentive employees. Los Angeles Times Ken Dilanian’s story explains these issues better than I can.
6.) Sbarro: I feel the need to ding any establishment that has a Sbarro restaurant in their building. Enough said.