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   Working for the USPTO
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   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 347080 times)
guest
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #420 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 8:50pm »
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on Jul 20th, 2006, 4:08pm, GuestV wrote:
Hand in my honest opinion, the PTA is a complete waste of time/resources; it's been 4 weeks now, and they've barely taught us anything..., so get ready for some extreme relaxing).

 
The start of the PTA might not be 'strenous', but it's worth noting that this is allowing for many examiners to bond faster with more people (unlike the old system) and may very well lead to more examiners staying long-term.  So even as the examiners don't get live cases for around three months, I wouldn't specifically say it's a waste of resources for the USPTO, they'll probably still come out on top as compared to previous efforts.
 
(Also, keep in mind that the USPTO is treating as everyone adults.  If an examiner forgoes independent time (time for MPEP work, fiddling with search tool personalized settings, questions, etc) where he is not explicitly monitored, it's his choice.  Just like college.)
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GuestV
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #421 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 10:28pm »
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Excuse me... this is largely a rant, and from what I can tell, most people don't have any problems with the PTA. Also, we do hand in weekly evaluations to management (which we are told all are read), so don't think my breath is only going to waste here.
 
I do understand that the lecture/classroom experience is meant to create and develop a bond between everyone, but it's just not my preferred method for learning the job. My main problem with the PTA is that, unlike college, 90% of my day is already set for me. Meaning... if there are scheduled lectures from 8:00-11:00, I MUST attend those lectures. I can't skip out on them and do my own independent work. And because all the lectures basically involve a trainer/spe reading a powerpoint presentation which we already have copies of, I consider it not only an ineffective teaching method, but also hours that could have been better spent. In all seriousness, there has not yet been a topic/lecture that I couldn't just spend 10 minutes reading to myself and been ready for the next topic (as for examining, we have really only talked about 101 so far). Instead, we all have to sit through someone reading to us as we read along. Additionally, the schedule is not so organized... for the third time since training began, we had an "Introduction to the Patent System" this week. Maybe not in the same words, but the content is the same. Most presenters have no idea what the other presenters have talked about, and there is much overlap between lectures. My opinion on teaching is that if the student does not understand a topic the first time around, it's up to him/her to ask the questions instead of having the teachers drilling all of us over and over again.
 
Another issue I have is the selection of lectures. We rarely have more than one "substantive" lecture each day. Maybe one class on Classification, then a lecture on Time Management. Three of the least productive things we've had this week were Time Management, Financial Planning, and a 2-hour SPE panel. Time management and financial planning? Why is a mandatory hour spent on each of these? The PTO wants to help us develop rich fulfilling careers? I think in these matters, one has to be willing to seek help for themselves. Why not set up some materials or classes for us to attend at some other time? Why conduct these classes while you're paying us a full salary for training? Then we had a 2-hour long SPE panel Q&A session. Other than seeing some of the people we may be working with, I did not see the point of this. People asked questions about things such as: "What do you look for in good examiners? Which statutes should we pay more attention to? etc etc." My question is: what does it matter what parts of the mpep we should pay less attention to? What does it matter what our BD is, what our promotion requirements are? Why don't we just work to the best of our best abilities and learn as much as we can? How can we ask questions about a job we haven't even set foot in yet? 2 hours -- gone. Paid, but gone.
 
Again, I am just finishing month 1. I know that when we finally do get cases to work on, we'll be able to work at a more individual pace, but as for now, it's just too slow for my liking. If you ask me, they're treating us like children.
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guest
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #422 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 11:13pm »
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how were people generally dressed?
on Jul 20th, 2006, 10:28pm, GuestV wrote:
Excuse me... this is largely a rant, and from what I can tell, most people don't have any problems with the PTA. Also, we do hand in weekly evaluations to management (which we are told all are read), so don't think my breath is only going to waste here.
 
I do understand that the lecture/classroom experience is meant to create and develop a bond between everyone, but it's just not my preferred method for learning the job. My main problem with the PTA is that, unlike college, 90% of my day is already set for me. Meaning... if there are scheduled lectures from 8:00-11:00, I MUST attend those lectures. I can't skip out on them and do my own independent work. And because all the lectures basically involve a trainer/spe reading a powerpoint presentation which we already have copies of, I consider it not only an ineffective teaching method, but also hours that could have been better spent. In all seriousness, there has not yet been a topic/lecture that I couldn't just spend 10 minutes reading to myself and been ready for the next topic (as for examining, we have really only talked about 101 so far). Instead, we all have to sit through someone reading to us as we read along. Additionally, the schedule is not so organized... for the third time since training began, we had an "Introduction to the Patent System" this week. Maybe not in the same words, but the content is the same. Most presenters have no idea what the other presenters have talked about, and there is much overlap between lectures. My opinion on teaching is that if the student does not understand a topic the first time around, it's up to him/her to ask the questions instead of having the teachers drilling all of us over and over again.
 
Another issue I have is the selection of lectures. We rarely have more than one "substantive" lecture each day. Maybe one class on Classification, then a lecture on Time Management. Three of the least productive things we've had this week were Time Management, Financial Planning, and a 2-hour SPE panel. Time management and financial planning? Why is a mandatory hour spent on each of these? The PTO wants to help us develop rich fulfilling careers? I think in these matters, one has to be willing to seek help for themselves. Why not set up some materials or classes for us to attend at some other time? Why conduct these classes while you're paying us a full salary for training? Then we had a 2-hour long SPE panel Q&A session. Other than seeing some of the people we may be working with, I did not see the point of this. People asked questions about things such as: "What do you look for in good examiners? Which statutes should we pay more attention to? etc etc." My question is: what does it matter what parts of the mpep we should pay less attention to? What does it matter what our BD is, what our promotion requirements are? Why don't we just work to the best of our best abilities and learn as much as we can? How can we ask questions about a job we haven't even set foot in yet? 2 hours -- gone. Paid, but gone.
 
Again, I am just finishing month 1. I know that when we finally do get cases to work on, we'll be able to work at a more individual pace, but as for now, it's just too slow for my liking. If you ask me, they're treating us like children.

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guest
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #423 on: Jul 21st, 2006, 7:51am »
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GuestV: when you say it is boring and a waste of time, you are absolutely right. When guest said that it isn't a waste of resources he is either: 1) clueless or 2) management towing the line. I've been around long enough to know. Just get your sleep while you can - the real work begins in the TC. Good luck.
 
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guesty
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #424 on: Jul 24th, 2006, 11:37am »
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Does anyone know what hours the gym is open?
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