Furloughs or Working Holidays

Tuesday - 10/12/2010, 4:00am EDT

For purposes of discussion, here's the deal. Would you rather work on a holiday or be furloughed without pay? This column has been years in the making.

Here's the background:

When they were very young my four children devised a torture game to keep me on my toes. They would offer me two or three choices. All of these, by the way, are originals from their fiendish little minds and, before you asked, all have grown up to be relatively normal and productive citizens.

Typically my choices were things like this. Would I rather:

    A) Be eaten by starving wolves.

    B)Torn apart by vultures with really bad breath.

    C) Slide down a giant razor blade and plunge into a tub of alcohol.

And I had to pick.

There was, of course, no good answer. Which was the point. But they insisted I check out how I wanted to check out. When I finally gave in (and vultures really creep me out) they would howl in disgust. And then berate me for making such a horrible choice?

I never won.

Thirty years later, revenge is mine. And you---whichever way it goes---will be the biggest loser. Here's the deal:

During the lame duck session of Congress attempts may be made to require that federal workers be furloughed at least 10 nonconsecutive days. Without pay.

Backers say it would save money and send a message to the taxpayers, the unemployed and private sector types who have gone through furloughs, that you feel their pain.

But here's another thought. There are 10 federal holidays each year. Holidays cost money in the sense that people get paid for not working. Many private sector workers don't get time off---on holidays like Columbus Day or Veterans Day. Some don't get any holidays. But most feds are off on most holidays. So, would you rather:

    A) Be furloughed for 10 days next year without pay?, or.

    B )Come to work on each of the holidays. You would be paid, but would have to work that day?

    C) Be eaten by vultures?

While you are deciding, here's a list of 2011 federal holidays http://www.opm.gov/operating_status_schedules/fedhol/2011.asp

You gotta pick A, B or C.

Gross.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Make my day!!!

Use It Or Lose It Question

Chris of the Interior Department must have anticipated the above column. He sent this e-mail Friday.

"Question: Because many feds (or their bosses) think they are too important to take their annual leave throughout the year they are faced with quite a chunk of use-or-lose annual leave in December before it disappears in January, what happens to that leave if we are furloughed ? We have been paid for furlough time in the past, but lost leave wasn't an issue. Should feds burn/share their leave before the continuing resolution runs out?"

Good question. Anybody got an answer?

To reach me: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com


Nearly Useless Factoid
by Vyomika Jairam

Columbus sailed the ocean blue and reached the Caribbean islands 518 years ago today. Canada separately, on the second Monday every October, has a day off for Thanksgiving, thereby denying themselves a potential two days off for Thanksgiving and Columbus Day.


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