Christopher Columbus GS 11

Monday - 10/12/2009, 4:00am EDT

Today we honor Christopher Columbus. Hence the term Columbus Day.

Most federal government offices are closed (or running on skeleton crews), so are banks. Many nonfederal operations are not only open today, but in the retail, restaurant, and service worlds, holidays are anything but a holiday for the staff.

For a long time Columbus was hailed as the discoverer of America. But now there are claims-in some cases evidence-that the Norse, the Welsh, the Irish, and the Chinese got here first.

Often overlooked is the fact that whoever "discovered" the New World was met by several million Native Americans. They had been here for 15,000 to 20,000 years. And they walked.

Until recently the folks who spotted the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria landing were called Indians because that was one of the fleet's targets. Do you suppose anybody on shore looked at the life-boats and said, in their own language, "there goes the neighborhood?"

It's interesting to speculate if Columbus could do it again, operating under current rules. First he (as an Italian) would have to get into the Spanish military or civil service. Probably the latter. So what about his KSAs? His citizenship? His background check? If he passed muster, what would he have come in as, the equivalent of what, like a GS 11, step 4 maybe?

Oh, and don't forget, he didn't have a visa.

Got any thoughts on how Columbus would have done it if he had to follow federal rules and procedures? If so, let me know.

If you are off today, have a good time. If you're working-which many are-thanks and welcome to the club.


Listen to this week's Your Turn: Explaining the changes to the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

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by Phil Vogel
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