3:44 am, April 21, 2014

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  • What Are We to Think?
    melekali
    This is being done by people who are not stupid, but that apparently only care for themselves, not the nation as a whole or those they represent. This can be seen in the fact that these draconian actions do not affect them or their families. Washington seems to have completely lost touch with the citizen. Maybe the aim is not to weaken or destroy our nation, but that is its effect.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • F-Day Blues
    FederalEmployee
    As I sat at home last Friday due to another agency shut-down day, I was angry, but not surprised, when the news anchor reported that the POTUS has decided to send weapons and provide training to Syria. Then there was a report on the POTUS' impending $30 million trip to Africa (his wife and children will also be going). My agency has scheduled 5 F-Days because the POTUS and all of congress refused to allocate enough money to pay our salaries....but we seem to have enough money to arm rebels in another country's civil war - not to mention a country filled with people who despise us - and we seem to have enough money to send the first family on a foreign jaunt. My God - my agency was recently excoriated because two years ago notebooks and tote bags were given at a manager's training conference. I have always worked very hard because I cared about doing my best. I am slowly joining the ranks of the uncaring. Between the F-Days, congressional Fed-bashing, horribly incompetent executive management (that's for another email) pay freezes, pay cuts, hiring freezes, being forced to do more and more with less (my agency has once again shifted from quality to quantity), no annual performance award, my performance level is slipping. When I got my paycheck last week, I paid my rent and two other bills - and there was not much left. I help to support a disabled family member - but I could not sent this relative a check as I normally do every time I get paid - because my paycheck was smaller. I am getting tired. Leaving for another job is not an option as I am within a few years of retirement....which cannot come soon enough. I have also started buying more mega millions and power ball lottery tickets each week. Haven't won yet...
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Stay out of the lottery.
    Moderate
    Statistically, you must lose. Keep your money and do the best you can. I assume you are CSRS and will get a good pension. If I am wrong, well what can I say?
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • People are leaving faster every year
    marxwj
    My office has about 1,000 full time federal positions. We have about 100 perpetual vacancies. Basically as fast as we can hire people more leave. We lost another couple dozen at the end of last year. The second surge is generally around this time of year and we are losing a couple dozen more to retirement in late June early July. We have been under a hiring freeze since mid January. We lose people steadily throughout the year to better paying private sector jobs and to other agencies (though the latter has dropped off slightly). We now have 150 to 200 vacancies command wide, with little hope the hiring freeze will be lifted before next year (calendar not fiscal). The only people holding off retirement are only doing it to get credit for sick leave toward retirement next January and then they are gone. I expect next years retirement wave to be much larger than normal, especially since my cynical nature is saying our pay freeze will continue for at least a fourth year. We are a service provider for facility maintenance and construction, and the only reason we are still keeping up is our customers have no money to pay us, so our workload has also dropped. The contractors we hire are starting to lay off workers because we are not passing on near as much work as we usually do. We are expecting construction projects to be cut from next years budget, at the same time they are cutting the maintenance budget in half. This all leads to increased costs later on. Buildings will start to get in critical condition. Since sequestration is a 10 year project, things will get pretty bad before it is done, and it will cost far too much to even attempt to catch up on what should have been done today. Instead of maintaining our buildings, we will be replacing them years sooner than we should, at considerable expense to us all.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Tired of outsourcing and corruption, so retired while benefits still there
    Honest Broker
    After all the Fed bashing, 15 years of outsourcing, threats on retirement benefits, and corruption, I had enough after 32 years so put in the retirement paperwork. My office was supposed to do engineering and technology research, but it had grown into just an organization to funnel taxpayer money to the Military Industrial Complex. The Tech Director was a SES appointed position, so the politicians used that leverage to push all the funds to the RIGHT companies. Contractors would meet with supervisors behind closed doors, and then a few months later the lead supervisor would end up working for the contractor and person responsible for getting the company on contract would be promoted. The Govt engineers and scientists came from major colleges and universities with high marks, so they equated to the contractor's people or better but they spend much of their time performing business duties like checking spending and schedules. Some would resign and work for the contractors, so they could get back to their degree field while others stayed in the Govt resigned to losing their technical skills and just be satisfied with becoming business men and marketeers for the contractor. I would have stayed if we still did engineering, but the same problems still exist with no end in sight so seemed like a futile gesture. I dread to see what the future holds, so glad I was able to get out with some decent benefits.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • 32 Years of Fed Bashing?
    contrarian
    Seems like anybody who can retire right now has won the lottery. 1) They're CSRS, unless they screwed up and switched 2) They never lost awards, 3) Sequester only affected the last year of their career, 4) Those who stay will be the ones really shafted, 5) DC area had massive grade inflation and lots of travel perks. Sorry, if you've got 32 years, I'm not feeling sorry for you, but I'll say congratulations you earned your retirement.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Did not benefit from CSRS, retired on FERS
    Honest Broker
    I left with a paid off house, keep up my old used vehicles, and $600K plus TSP, so tried to optimize the FERS system. You need to save and avoid the temptation for spending every dime of your paycheck. For example, if you eat out for lunch every day then you average spending $15-$20 per meal plus gas. Say you eat out 46 weeks per year or 230 days, then you just blew $3,726 at $15 per meal or $4,968 at $20 per meal. On the other hand, if you put your lunch money in the TSP for 32 years and it averages 8%, then you have $500K to $667K for your retirement. You could pay yourself the interest at $40K to $53K per year. CSRS employees pay in more than double, so FERS may actually work out better for those in for 30 plus years. Unfortunately the politicians have already changed the formula for the new employees, so all you can do is roll with the punches. Would it not be fun if we could punch back?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Hi Linda
    Moderate
    I am lucky. I have a good, realistic, people oriented boss. He should have been promoted a long time ago, but that is not what management wants. Management wants managers who like to lower evaluations or fail veteran workers who know more than the rookie managers. And yes, I see the people leaving. My class has about 4 people left. I am leaving this year. The others are leaving this year or next year. Since we are CSRS, it just does not pay to stay. I am thankful that my manager lets me work the technical adjustments, which have decent potential, but take time to do. However, I do not know how long that will last as higher management might be going after time on case without regard for the baloney they are having us do. Oh well, I wish you luck. Try to keep your head up. If you have a good manager, it will help.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }