A few words from a federal old-timer

Friday - 12/27/2013, 2:00am EST

Senior Correspondent Mike Causey is on vacation. This is the second guest column in a series of five written by Federal Report readers.

Once again, I would like to thank Mike Causey for allowing me to write for him while he is gone.

We've all been back to work now for a few months, after being furloughed for 16 days during the October shutdown.

I just want to know if people are feeling like me. Yes, it was nice to get paid for those days, but for me there is still more to this story.

I don't know if every federal employee experienced this but, for the first three days back from furlough I was inundated with emails from upper management and even the President, informing me of "how important I am" and how my job is important to the country. I even received a call from my manager, who told me I was important. (If you believe that, I'll buy you a shovel).

I don't want to seem cynical but, I just don't buy it. If we (feds) are so important, why haven't we had a budget for over three years or even a raise? We are looking at a 1 percent raise this January, which is great. Something is better than nothing, right? But before you get too excited, stop and think a minute……

OK, we are still under sequester, how are these raises going to be paid for? Are there furlough days ahead? Maybe your agency will consider RIFS, or maybe even buyouts. A couple of furlough days and there goes your 2014 1 percent raise.

If you've been around almost 26 years, like me, all these things matter and I'm sure matter to most. I will admit I am leaving federal service in 2014 and seem bitter, but after nearly 26 years I feel violated. I'm just tired of being punched in the stomach these last four years. With work piling up due to a hiring freeze and smaller budgets, working for the evil IRS and worrying about what is left of my retirement, all these issues will wear you down eventually, if you work for the government long enough.

I am leaving because I want to enjoy my retirement. I have seen too many good people die within a year of retiring from federal service. I believe we were and some still are proud of our jobs, but politicians have sucked out the pride of many a good federal employee. I'm not asking for any sympathy, just hoping a few words from an "old timer" will help those who will still be working. (I just hope somebody listens)

So when it's my time to say good-bye, I will quote the famous Rowan & Martin's Laugh In and say "Good night, Dick" and hope the rest of you that remain employed feds do not ever receive the "Fickle Finger of Fate — Tony K.


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

The middle of nowhere (at least in the U.S.) is central Idaho, according to an analysis based on proximity to major roads and airports.

(Source: Vizual Statistix)


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