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Internal Revenue Service

As a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and as one of the world's most efficient tax administrators, the IRS role is to help the large majority of compliant taxpayers with the tax law, while ensuring that the minority who are unwilling to comply pay their fair share. (Source: www.irs.gov)

This forum will allow you to share and ask job-related questions about this bureau. This is NOT the place to ask tax questions.

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nixrep  
#1 Posted : Friday, September 23, 2011 6:45:23 AM(UTC)
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Hello all
I am being considered for the contact rep position in Memphis,  TN.  I was just wondering if there were some curent or former employees at this location who could give ensight.  Anything about the office,  city or any inptu you  may have would be appreciated.  Thank you for any information you can provide.
B2  
#2 Posted : Friday, September 23, 2011 7:49:01 AM(UTC)
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The Memphis campus is impressive.  I found management to be expectedly strict, while at the same time sincerely vested in our/campus/taxpayers success and very supportive.  I am a one year contact rep, which in experience terms there makes me a new born.  I have worked extensively in the corporate world and found my first year there as a federal employee a very positive one.   Campus is practically on TN/MS border.  Some that are new to the area find it closer to live in South Haven or Olive Branch, MS - worth the research.

 
Good Luck!
JBCIII  
#3 Posted : Friday, September 23, 2011 9:32:49 AM(UTC)
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I thoroughly enjoyed both the position and the location, although it was too short between start and furlough... Hopefully we will be called back, not too long...

It is in fact quite a campus; enormous in size and scope. Google the address 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN to get an overhead view of the diamond array.

I got a pedometer and found that walking from my car to the training room, to the cafeteria for lunch, and back to my car could run from 3/4 to 1 1/2 miles, depending on my route! I liked the exercise, though.

All my colleagues were a pleasure to work with, I loved my 'personal space' which we were able to decorate after a fashion, and had a fairly popular candy jar at my desk for sharing with friends. Technology was surprisingly good as well - considering the amount of data to sort through - it was quite efficient.

The position is not unlike any other call center position, with some math and tax stuff - I couldn't read a 1040 when I started, and now I enjoy doing soLOL

I am a transplant from the New England area, to Memphis - I have lived up and down the eastern seaboard, but TN was as "Deep South" as I got. I personally like it very much - friendly Southern people, GREAT food (!) and a good sense of space and elbow room. I live in a complex that feels separated from civilization, but can get pretty much anything I would ever need in less than 15 min of driving. It is a major city, with the good and bad associated - like any other.

Some love it, some not so much - both the job and the location - I have my opinions as noted, and B2's advice about considering looking over the line in Mississippi is good - several friends love "the OB" and some things are actually cheaper in that state.

Where are you coming from? We might be able to compare / contrast from having been there or knowing someone from there...

YMMV as always, of course, so as noted above: do the research and keep us posted!

nixrep  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 26, 2011 4:15:08 AM(UTC)
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Hello
 

Thank you
for all of the great information and well wishes. I definitely plan on taking
it all into consideration. I had not even thought about the living in MS part and
you right that is definitely worth looking into. If you don't mind me asking
how long were you all in work status (with training and not). Do you all have any
idea of how long the furlough will be? Also is it hard to get permanent there?
Either way I am definitely excited. I am trying not to be too excited though. I
definitely hope to be with you all in this upcoming year. I would be relocating from St. Louis, MO. Not too far away


Smile
B2  
#5 Posted : Monday, September 26, 2011 6:50:34 AM(UTC)
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I was in work status for 4 1/2 months, furloughed June 3rd and still on furlough.  The short 4 1/2 months was due mainly to the type of paperwork my group processed.  We will be additionally trained this season and hopefully our season will be longer.  At least that was the plan.  Other groups in these forums that were trained on different type of paperwork had longer seasons - 8-9 months.   Take the announcement at face value -  your season could be 4-6 months or longer.  As far as being permanent, I have read on these forums it has taken anywhere from 2-5 years - I do not know Memphis average.    All being said, I believe that the future hangs on budget negotiations.   IRS and President Obama want to increase IRS budget to increase revenue vs. Congress wanting to decrease budget.  According to our Union's website if IRS budget is decreased 4,000 jobs would be cut.   Something to think about and plan accordingly. 
joecala  
#6 Posted : Monday, September 26, 2011 7:00:59 AM(UTC)
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When it comes to returning to work, and hoping for a longer season for 2012 I am expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.

Aquarius2489  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:50:32 AM(UTC)
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Hello,

I am also being considered for the Contact Rep position. The information you all have provided has been helpful :). This is a wonderful opportunity to get my foot in the door. I will relocate from DC if afforded the opportunity. Does anyone here live in Memphis? Or is everyone living outside of Memphis?


ironman0786  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:55:39 AM(UTC)
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Is it really affordable to move to another state/city for a 6 month job? Is this really a foot in the door type of job, I should be able to move up? Anyone here moved up, and how fast can that happen? I would like to do one 6 month tour and then move up as soon as possible, I don't want to wait 6 months and be a contact rep again. Is that possible?

B2  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:23:20 AM(UTC)
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Aquarius2489 wrote:
Hello,

I am also being considered for the Contact Rep position. The information you all have provided has been helpful :). This is a wonderful opportunity to get my foot in the door. I will relocate from DC if afforded the opportunity. Does anyone here live in Memphis? Or is everyone living outside of Memphis?
I am Memphis born and raised and live in Memphis.  My impression is that a lot of folks at IRS are as well. B22011-09-27 10:30:46
Aquarius2489  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:44:31 AM(UTC)
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B2 wrote:
Aquarius2489 wrote:
Hello,

I am also being considered for the Contact Rep position. The information you all have provided has been helpful :). This is a wonderful opportunity to get my foot in the door. I will relocate from DC if afforded the opportunity. Does anyone here live in Memphis? Or is everyone living outside of Memphis?
I am Memphis born and raised and live in Memphis.  My impression is that a lot of folks at IRS are as well.


Oh Ok. Where are the best places to live? (on the TN side) Just out of curiosity...
spence  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:55:04 AM(UTC)
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I think you're right to be wary about relocating, maqureshi.  It's worth it to relocate if you wouldn't be leaving a decent job behind to do it.  I myself relocated in 2008 for my 4-6 month seasonal tax examiner job with the IRS in Texas; I had been able to find no good work in California for months after finishing a degree, just odd temp jobs, so I came out to Texas when the IRS hired me.  I've never regretted moving. 
 
But if you would leave a decent job or good job prospects, I would advise against relocating.  You have no guarantee of even having that IRS job until your start date.  Sometimes they will cancel a job at the last minute (it happened to me after I already moved and they fortunately had another one to offer me!).  
 
Between seasons, you may or may not be eligible for unemployment during the offseason, depending on what wages you had during the base period.  It's probably safest financially to try to get a second job for the offseason, and I don't know what the economy is like in Memphis as to whether that would be doable or not.
 
It's possible to move up within the IRS, and a seasonal job with a career-conditional appointment is a foot in the door.  But it's not a quick process.  You generally need to be getting mostly 4's and 5's on your performance evaluation (out of 5) to be hired internally, and that is almost never going to happen your first year.  Think several years, not months, to get that next IRS job.  My friend just got a year-round tax examiner job after having been seasonal for a little over 3 years (4 complete seasons), and he had mostly 5's on his eval.  That's not easy to do.  Not only does your work have to be exceptional, you also need to volunteer for special projects, be a back-up lead, things like that, to get a 5.
 
Other federal jobs that don't base decisions on performance evaluations, are easier to at least get referred and interviewed for off of a status list.  So if you are flexible about location and agency, the "foot in the door" at the IRS may lead to something else a little quicker.  But still, I wouldn't count on anything coming of this quickly in the current budgetary environment.  I've been interviewed 4 times by another agency but have not gotten a job yet from any of those.
 
The IRS can be a great employer, but only if you go into working for it with the right expectations.  In addition to what I mentioned already about expecting to be seasonal for several years (though there are always exceptions of course -- some people on this board were hired as tax compliance officers off of an external list after having been seasonal tax examiners for less than a year, and being in the IRS already may have helped the selection officer view them more favorably, who knows), I've seen enough other comments along these lines to know that some of these other things are not just applicable to the seasonal tax examiner job that I've had:  Training can be kind of disorganized, communication to employees from higher up is not always clear or timely, and there are procedures that may not make sense to you without knowing the bigger picture. 
 
But I still love my seasonal tax examiner job because I feel I'm making a difference and I feel I am in a fair, supportive environment!  I'm still happy where I am, and happy to work for the IRS, while trying to get another IRS or other federal job.
 
Aquarius, this is not meant to discourage you.  Good luck, I hope you get this job, and it may very well be worth it to move for you!  Just want to make sure you are aware of the pros and cons before making a decision to relocate.
 
maqureshi0786 wrote:

Is it really affordable to move to another state/city for a 6 month job? Is this really a foot in the door type of job, I should be able to move up? Anyone here moved up, and how fast can that happen? I would like to do one 6 month tour and then move up as soon as possible, I don't want to wait 6 months and be a contact rep again. Is that possible?

spence2011-09-27 13:33:54
Aquarius2489  
#12 Posted : Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:35:39 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for the insight Spense

ironman0786  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:10:55 PM(UTC)
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ironman07862011-10-19 11:54:26
travis  
#14 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2011 12:09:35 AM(UTC)
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If this is some kind of medical issue, you might be able to take FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act).
You will not have any annual leave available when you first start working for the IRS.  You probably will begin to accumulate leave at the rate of 4 hours per pay period.  You would also get sick leave.
I would avoid taking time off, except for illness, in the first couple of months.
ironman0786  
#15 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2011 12:38:47 AM(UTC)
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ironman07862011-10-19 11:53:22
travis  
#16 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2011 1:04:30 AM(UTC)
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FMLA might work.  How about taking the 4:30 to 1:00am *****, if that is available?  Could you work in your medical appointment during the day and then show up for work at 4:30? 
joecala  
#17 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2011 1:13:04 AM(UTC)
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Maqureshi0786,

I would most certainly let them know ahead of time to see accommodation that can make for you. I too would suggest the 4:30 - 1 ***** if you can. Having been through training less than a year ago I suggest not missing any training. It is very intensive and it difficult to make up the material you missed. Plus working 4:30 - 1, you would get night differential!

Joe

ironman0786  
#18 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2011 4:12:16 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for the helpful comments


ironman07862011-10-19 11:56:36
coalie  
#19 Posted : Sunday, October 02, 2011 12:57:49 PM(UTC)
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In your first year I can tell you already.. they will not be making too many accommodations.  Any leave taken in the first year is frowned upon even if it is scheduled and medically necessary. 
coalie  
#20 Posted : Sunday, October 02, 2011 1:32:47 PM(UTC)
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And, FYI.. FMLA is not available in your first year.  I know a few who worked until right before furlough and the were on leave letters.. The ones that say we will monitor your improvement and if not corrected in 30 days may decide to terminate employment.  Well they had serious medical issues and right before furlough they were given that letter that is basically be terminated or resign.  I don't know how it would work if you are hired with disability recognized up front.  That circumstance may very well be different.

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