Another trend that arose was the portrayal of job roles organized around thematic interpretations. The thematic interpretations identified the tasks for an office and how to approach them within the larger set of programs and statutory obligations for the bureau. Within UMTA respondents presented concerns for “doing the job,” the interpretations of which reflected explicit job assignments or perceptions of their part of the programmatic trust,. For example, respondents made numerous comments on the obligation of the planning offices to develop applications for mass transit grants, emphasizing that the planning offices were obligated to develop project applications so that they received grants. One careerist described a prevailing emphasis on getting money to local transit managers rather than on ensuring that a thorough analysis of the application had been made:

I don’t know that any of the new starts [of transit projects] through the mid-’70s actually had alternatives analysis done before they received commitments. It was done for some afterwards. It was really old-fashioned grantsmanship. You made a phone call. You lobbied. Not alternatives analysis. It was the best of grant-making. You got the money to the transit manager.... (Iw T-17)