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Old 11-08-2011, 10:41 AM   #41
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What a great post!!!! I am a teacher and work very hard at my job . I took unpaid time off to raise my two children but worked as a substitute all those years. I returned 1/2 time 15 years ago and worked full time for part time pay. That's what you do as a teacher. As my part time status increased to full time over the years I emersed myself in my career, got my masters and loved every minute of it. I was working with dedicated, creative people and I thrived on it. Working 70-80 hour weeks, my personal life was taking a beating, my retired husband grew more and more into himself as the kids grew up and one day driving to work I realized that any joy in my life was work related. I had no joy in my home life anymore. What a sad commentary. Went part time (not my choice at first) but it has allowed me to stay at a career I love and my husband and I have a life. Today is my day off, I work every other day. I wastemy mornings on the computer, take my granddog for a walk at noon and spend the afternoon with my husband. Tomorrow I work with some of the most amazing teenagers at a subject I am passionate about. I think my job will end at the end of this year due to cost cutting (kind of outsourcing) and I will lose my every other day status. I could go mornings but I have a 1 hour commute each way. When I was younger I did the commute because I had to. In May I will have to do some hard thinking. I wish my husband was more happy in his retirement but I'm glad he is lonely enough to still want to be with me.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:42 AM   #42
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I think there may be a huge gap between the type of government workers on this site, and the lower level workers that the public tends to come into contact with, for example at the local SS office. Not only do many of them seem in the dark about what they are doing, they move very slowly while they are doing it. Of course the public with whom they are forced to interact are even worse, so maybe the slowdown and no-nothing attitude are mainly to protect them from the flotsam and jetsam streaming into their workplace.

And, the antediluvian IT systems are frightening.

Ha
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:17 AM   #43
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My final job was a per diem job working at an Outpatient Surgery Center . It was the most flexible job I ever had . I did work ten & twelve hour days with lots of physical activity . I could have stayed a few more years but my heart wasn't in it any more and after forty years I was ready to retire .When I was younger I worked in Operating Rooms of large hospitals. Those jobs are filled with stress . Imagine working ten hours getting home and being called back to spend the whole night assisting in a large trauma case and then working the next day . It was exciting when I was under fifty after that it was just torture.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:24 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I work directly for a nonspecific federal, state, or local government, government agency, or political subdivision. I do work for the government directly as a direct government employee. I just don't care to get into specifics or details of the terms of my employment, but I am not a consultant or contractor if that is what you are hinting at. The terms of my employment (and all of my small group) is different than what most would consider traditional government employment but it is a full time permanent w-2 job as a direct government employee.

As such, my eyes are open.
s/he's DARPA, seconded to the NSA. Nobody else has $$. Gotta be a spook.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:16 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by spirit View Post
What a great post!!!! I am a teacher and work very hard at my job . I took unpaid time off to raise my two children but worked as a substitute all those years. I returned 1/2 time 15 years ago and worked full time for part time pay. That's what you do as a teacher. As my part time status increased to full time over the years I emersed myself in my career, got my masters and loved every minute of it. I was working with dedicated, creative people and I thrived on it. Working 70-80 hour weeks, my personal life was taking a beating, my retired husband grew more and more into himself as the kids grew up and one day driving to work I realized that any joy in my life was work related. I had no joy in my home life anymore. What a sad commentary. Went part time (not my choice at first) but it has allowed me to stay at a career I love and my husband and I have a life. Today is my day off, I work every other day. I wastemy mornings on the computer, take my granddog for a walk at noon and spend the afternoon with my husband. Tomorrow I work with some of the most amazing teenagers at a subject I am passionate about. I think my job will end at the end of this year due to cost cutting (kind of outsourcing) and I will lose my every other day status. I could go mornings but I have a 1 hour commute each way. When I was younger I did the commute because I had to. In May I will have to do some hard thinking. I wish my husband was more happy in his retirement but I'm glad he is lonely enough to still want to be with me.
Spirit,
I hope you can find a re-connection with your husband. I hope he isn't as dumb as he seems to be. As a member of that group, I can affirm that men are stupid. (I have no idea what women see in men.)

Take care of yourself.

Ed
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:25 PM   #46
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Early in my career I was plowing new ground and would work 80-90 hr weeks willingly because I loved it and the payoff in terms of promotions and compensation was excellent. In the later half of my career as a department head with mega corp, I was able to cut back my hours quite a bit (typically 50-60 hr/week) and it was quite sustainable until we merged (really were acquired) with another mega corp. Under that new regime, work became drudgery and I got sick and tired of having to lay off good people year over year, so I signed up for the last of their somewhat favorable buy out packages. My final three years in that environment took a lot out of me, and if I didn't leave, they probably would have carried me out on a gurney. In my present job, it does have its peaks and valleys but overall I would say it is very sustainable work. Nevertheless, I am at a point now were I've had enough with the corp bs after 35 yrs, and am looking forward to a little less stress in my life and no more commute.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:25 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
Spirit,
I hope you can find a re-connection with your husband. I hope he isn't as dumb as he seems to be. As a member of that group, I can affirm that men are stupid. (I have no idea what women see in men.)

Take care of yourself.

Ed
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:41 PM   #48
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Calm, down, Ha. Have an endorphin or something.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:35 PM   #49
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What interesting posts, it's interesting to get a peek at so many different working lives.

I suspect I am an outlier in this group as I have worked one job, in the same place, with the same handful of people my entire working life.

My DH and I had a dairy farm for 35 plus years. A shift every 12 hours, every day...if things went "perfect" a 6 hour work day would do the job as far as the cattle were concerned. However, when you are in charge of the care and feeding of a couple hundred cattle (including growing all their feed) and dealing with a MN climate, things almost never go "perfectly".

By around 50, I was getting pretty worn out from the daily grind, but it took another 6 and 1/2 years to close down our milking herd. We worked with family, so in the last 5 years, we were able to arrange a little time off to R and R, otherwise I don't think I would have made it to the end.

I am retired, as I have no real workplace skills except being a modern day milkmaid. My DH still crop farms at the age of 62, but he tells people he is retired and just "dirt farms".

In our case, part of our business was sustainable, but some big changes had to be made.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #50
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You guys are pretty special

Thanks for the love you send my way. And who says guys are insensitive Yes, my sweetie is waiting for his new snowblower to arrive (early Xmas present from me ) Check it out, electric handwarmers !!!!!!! Otherwise we would be going for a coffee and out for a walk in the fall leaves. I really have the best of both worlds and a great group of pen pals who help me solve all the worlds problems.
And I am going shopping soon while he waits for his new toy.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:17 PM   #51
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When I was doing part time consulting in 2005-2006, after being laid off by MegaCorp, I joined a Non Profit called SCORE. This stands for Service Corps Of Retired Executives, and is a national nonprofit funded by the SBA.

I used to volunteer about 8 hours a week, giving advice and consulting to aspiring business owner wannabees. Also taught courses for startup marketing, incorporation, and the like. All voluntary. Lots of weird folks among the rational ones that came to us - but's that another story altogether.

SCORE had its facility in the local building of the EDD, so we went there to do our work. I see almost daily the laziness and poor attitude of the front office staff when dealing with the poor folks who come in looking for a job or training opportunities. Often there would be 2-3 clerks, and because the place was not crowded they didn't have much to do, so they spent their time talking or doing their own thing. When the occasionally citizen walks in, they took a little time before one of them would walk over to the person and say " what do you want? "

Yes, I was upset. We volunteers had to pay our own gas and even materials we created for our classes, the government could not even provide that. And I see those clerks enjoying life every time I showed up.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:30 PM   #52
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s/he's DARPA, seconded to the NSA. Nobody else has $$. Gotta be a spook.
This is no joke. As an physicist/optical engineer 90% of the jobs available to me require a security clearance. There is very little money or jobs for physical scientists and engineers outside of homeland security, military or the defence industry. I worry about the massive imbalance in the economy and when Govt defence spending is reduced there will be a lot of highly qualified PhDs with no where to go.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:30 PM   #53
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I work directly for a nonspecific federal, state, or local government, government agency, or political subdivision. I do work for the government directly as a direct government employee. I just don't care to get into specifics or details of the terms of my employment, but I am not a consultant or contractor if that is what you are hinting at. The terms of my employment (and all of my small group) is different than what most would consider traditional government employment but it is a full time permanent w-2 job as a direct government employee.

As such, my eyes are open.
Can you at least show us a photo of your black helicopter?
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:17 PM   #54
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....when Govt defence spending is reduced there will be a lot of highly qualified PhDs with no where to go.
Better start to hunker down. DoD cuts are coming very, very soon.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:22 PM   #55
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No, mine wasn't sustainable anymore. They kept cutting heads but none of the work ever went away. The good thing was I was able to work from home, so no commute or getting dressed for work, but I rarely left my desk at home and put in a lot of hours.

I couldn't take the stress anymore, so retired at 57.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:11 PM   #56
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My last full time job was with The US Forest Service as a Battalion Chief... but over a 30 year period, I served as a Firefighter, Fire Prevention Tech, Hotshot crewperson, Helicopter rappeller/crewperson, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Engine Captain, and and finally... Battalion Chief. I also worked on Incident Management Teams as a Division Supervisor, Branch Director, and Incident Commander...I also worked in the Plans Section.

During my 30 years of fighting Fire, and going on Hurricanes, I met a lot of good, hard working people who happen to be employees with the federal, state, and Local governments. Like myself, most where "Married" to there job, and would work 16 hour days, for weeks-on-end to get the job done...

The point I wanted to make, is... there are many hard working "government" employees out there, who are willing give up their private time with their families, for the good of this country...and they are not all in the armed forces .

Not sure where some of these "other" government employees worked, but I can tell you... where I worked, it was "A days work, for a days pay."
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:19 PM   #57
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My last full time job was with The US Forest Service as a Battalion Chief... but over a 30 year period, I served as a Firefighter, Fire Prevention Tech, Hotshot crewperson, Helicopter rappeller/crewperson, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Engine Captain, and and finally... Battalion Chief. I also worked on Incident Management Teams as a Division Supervisor, Branch Director, and Incident Commander...I also worked in the Plans Section.

During my 30 years of fighting Fire, and going on Hurricanes, I met a lot of good, hard working people who happen to be employees with the federal, state, and Local governments. Like myself, most where "Married" to there job, and would work 16 hour days, for weeks-on-end to get the job done...

The point I wanted to make, is... there are many hard working "government" employees out there, who are willing give up their private time with their families, for the good of this country...and they are not all in the armed forces .

Not sure where some of these "other" government employees worked, but I can tell you... where I worked, it was "A days work, for a days pay."
I do not disagree with you that there are plenty of hard working people out there that work for gvmt... but there are also a lot who just put in their time and are out of there... I have a friend who works for the city and he tells me about a few that would have been fired a LONG time ago if in private enterprise.... but because of unions and the rules you have to go through to fire someone, it is just not done..

And then you get to the part when one of my sisters worked up in Oregon... time in job was the most important thing... not job performance.. and if someone who had a lot of time 'lost' their job, they could 'take' your job... happend to my sister... the guy had 25 years of service and my sister 10 or 12... he lost his job and 'took' my sisters... she had to take another job that paid a lot less even though she was more qualified to do the job she had... (not sure if this rule is still in place, but having it at any time was stupid)...
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:30 PM   #58
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Was you pre-retirement job sustainable? That is did it allow your to spend time on the rest of your life. Or did it consume your life?
It was in no way sustainable, enjoyable, or even bearable. Looking back at my old spreadsheet from the last year I see I worked 60-70 hours almost every week. And that wasn't just staying late or coming in early, it was working two jobs at once most of the time. Covering operations at 2 and 3 a.m., and then back in the office by 9 or 10 for a full day. Even decent days started hours earlier because on the nights I didn't work, there was a 30% chance that something happened the night before that would need a response for the politicians. You never wanted to get a call at 0630 with someone screaming, "The mayor wants to know what the hell happened out there!", without having an answer.

Dealing with prostitutes, pimps and drug dealers at night was always more preferable to dealing with their less-than-honest-about-it counterparts - politicians. They stuck me out front of a bunch of goofy crap over which I had zero control. Nobody gave me a free ticket to the Super Bowl, but after Janet Jackson shows her right titty to the world I'm the guy who has to explain why neither she, nor Justin Timberlake, spent the night in jail.

Most of the last year involved a very high profile project that I was in ostensibly in charge of (i.e. I was going to be the fall guy when it went to crap), but was not actually allowed to run it like I thought proper. I got out just before the big lawsuit that was only recently settled.

About two weeks into that job I realized I had been served a big ole #$% sandwich. Later, they decided to take away the bread, and that's when I retired.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:32 PM   #59
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This is no joke. As an physicist/optical engineer 90% of the jobs available to me require a security clearance. There is very little money or jobs for physical scientists and engineers outside of homeland security, military or the defence industry. I worry about the massive imbalance in the economy and when Govt defence spending is reduced there will be a lot of highly qualified PhDs with no where to go.
EPA is always hiring PhDs to wash test tubes and the like...
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:42 PM   #60
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The point I wanted to make, is... there are many hard working "government" employees out there, who are willing give up their private time with their families, for the good of this country...and they are not all in the armed forces .

Not sure where some of these "other" government employees worked, but I can tell you... where I worked, it was "A days work, for a days pay."
For sure. Of course, a thread that praises hard working government employees isn't going to get much response, and you'll never read about it in the paper.
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