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Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 11:11 AM   #1
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Stories from working in government

I know that a few of you do. What is going on and do you feel that you went down the wrong career path?

Do you think there is as much stability as you thought there would be when you started your career? Has the polarized political scene (on the state and federal levels) caused disruption?

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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 11:28 AM   #2
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Re: Stories from working in government

Hubby and I are both retired from gov't jobs. I left years ago and he just retired in May.

No, we did not go down the wrong career paths. We thoroughly enjoyed our jobs so we're a little biased. He chose not to pursue supervisory/administration routes while I did. It worked out best for both of us. And now that we're retired the pensions are very nice.

Since we're still good friends with lots of people who are still working there we hear what's going on presently. And it's not very good. Due to budget cuts some people are actually getting laid off. That never happened during the 26 years he worked there. (I only worked 15 years but that's a whole story in itself) And young people with less than 5 years are pursuing other ideas (jobs) which was also unheard of during the time we were there. Most everybody was a "lifer" due to the great pension at the end of the tunnel. So, no, there is definitely not the stability there once was.

I don't think I would say it's a "political" problem...more a sign of the times due to financial restraints than anything else.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: Stories from working in government

Despite recent layoffs and benefit cutbacks, working for the government is still very attractive.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddythebeagle
I know that a few of you do. What is going on and do you feel that you went down the wrong career path?

Do you think there is as much stability as you thought there would be when you started your career? Has the polarized political scene (on the state and federal levels) caused disruption?
I've been in the private sector and now have 12 years in with the Federal Government. I am an IT specialist and do the hands on technical work. I have been allowed to pursue just about any technical job that I have desired.

I learned to stay out of the politics and just stay focused on my job.

We have been having early outs offered almost every year that I have been there. There has been no threat of a RIF. Compared to private industry there is a lot of job security.

In 7.5 years I will be 56 and can retire with either a reduced pension or a deferred pension. I am leaning toward deferring the pension for four years to avoid the 30% reduction. The biggest down fall of that is that I will have to fund my own health care for the four years until I begin receiving my pension.

So to answer your question, I'm very glad I worked for private companies but I'm really glad I will be retiring from the Fed. Gov. I have always felt that I have had control over my career path and feel that I have been given a lot of flexibility in what I do.

-helen
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 12:31 PM   #5
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
Despite recent layoffs and benefit cutbacks, working for the government is still very attractive.
As someone who has recently finished school, my advice for her is to pick an area that she is genuinely interest in and major in that area. Don't try and pick a career at this point. Most people switch career tracks during college -- several switch plan many times. As long as she studies something that makes her happy -- and works hard with whatever she does -- she will be able to find a good and secure job.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 12:32 PM   #6
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Re: Stories from working in government

don't ask how, but I accidentally responded to the \wrong post. disregard
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: Stories from working in government

I thoroughly enjoyed my career at NASA. I worked on projects that benefitted the country rather than just increasing the profits of some corporation. While working in any large organization has its drawbacks, the gov't is a pretty enlightened employer, the benefits are top notch and job security is much better than in the private sector. One downside is that salaries at the management level are considerably lower than in private industry.

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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 06:09 PM   #8
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Re: Stories from working in government

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Originally Posted by grumpy
I thoroughly enjoyed my career at NASA.* I worked on projects that benefitted the country rather than just increasing the profits of some corporation.*
That is not a particularly free--market opinion.*

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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 06:26 PM   #9
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Re: Stories from working in government

I am suggesting to daughter to consider civil engineering for the government because the chance of outsourcing is low, the probability of layoff is low, and the benefits are still very good (relative to those of the private sector)
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 06:53 PM   #10
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
That is not a particularly free--market opinion.*

Ha
Its called public service.

Yakers, happy with his career in NASA (and formerly Navy) For me, and I suspect a lot of other people upon reflection, life is only interimly, not ultimately, about business.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 07:40 PM   #11
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Its called public service.*
Public service= govt employee being served, for life, by the public.*

Ha
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 10:56 PM   #12
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Public service= govt employee being served, for life, by the public.* Ha
What a warm & thoughtful sentiment. Hey, thanks a lot, Mikey.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-19-2005, 11:32 PM   #13
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Public service= govt employee being served, for life, by the public.*

Ha
This may be a little bit harsh, but I don't buy the idea of public service as a higher calling either.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-20-2005, 01:11 AM   #14
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Public service= govt employee being served, for life, by the public.
I sometimes wonder which came first; the unmotivated government worker or the inappreciative public that's being served.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-20-2005, 04:58 AM   #15
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Re: Stories from working in government

My experience is . I wouldn't even hire half the peeps I work with. Where I work it's definitely great for those who are only talented in working the system and sucking up because if you actually know something and have a life outside of work, you're considered odd and probably won't go far.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-20-2005, 07:11 AM   #16
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
I sometimes wonder which came first; the unmotivated government worker or the inappreciative public that's being served.
You sometimes have to be very thick skinned to be a government worker. Being cussed out for being a lazy bum by someone who you are trying to help wears very thin very quickly otherwise.

Oh yes this person is also positive that they are personally paying your salary and that they will get you fired tomorrow.


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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-20-2005, 07:25 AM   #17
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Re: Stories from working in government

The public does appreciate some of services offered by the government despite some questionable ones. The issue is quality of service. Consider the example of the differences between a private and a public university. A private college treats a student as a customer, but a public college treats a student as a number or some sort of object. The problem is that the government service has no competition and therefore does not see a need to improve.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-20-2005, 11:36 AM   #18
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Re: Stories from working in government

Quote:
Originally Posted by yAyA
My experience is* . I wouldn't even hire half the peeps I work with. Where I work it's definitely great for those who are only talented in working the system and sucking up because if you actually know something and have a life outside of work, you're considered odd and probably won't go far.
Hi YaYa,
Do you work in the public or private sector. It seems to me that your description of your work environment applies pretty equally to both.

I guess that goes for most of the comments in this thread. The government does not have a corner on the market for lazy and incompetent bureaucrats. Large companies are very competitive in this area. And unreasonable customers who threaten to get you fired are pervasive. I don't think they care much who the employer is.
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-20-2005, 01:12 PM   #19
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Re: Stories from working in government

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Originally Posted by azanon
I sometimes wonder which came first; the unmotivated government worker or the inappreciative public that's being served.
Well, I hope you aren't holding your breath waiting for appreciation. Since much of government consists of taking people's money to spend it on things that the person from whom it was taken would be very unlikely to spend it on himself, or if he did spend it he would spend it much more frugally, I would think that appreciation would be far down on the list of emotions felt by the involuntary donor.

None of this should be taken to mean that I wouldn't love to be on the receiving end of fedl bennies. Sometimes I think, "Ha, if you could only have stood it for another 16 years..."* But 16 years is a long time to a young man.*

Additionally I am happy for all of you here on this board who are being richly taken care of in this way. I favor the prosperity of friends, even cyber-friends. I would never have posted my comments, except in response to the "I am* a public servant, why doesn't the public give me proper gratitude? " theme of the 2 posts I responded to.

Ha
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Re: Stories from working in government
Old 11-20-2005, 02:01 PM   #20
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Re: Stories from working in government

I have one example of a consistantly bad experience working with a government employee. In my work, I used to have to deal with a particular department on a regular basis and knew the people who worked in a regional office quite well. There was one guy who worked in the office who was rude, difficult, and had his own personal idea of how things should be done. If he had worked for me he would have been fired. No question about it.

I once asked his direct supervisor why they put up with him when it was clear that even his coworkers didn't like him. She told me that it is very very difficult to remove people from federal employment for "personality" issues and because he technically did his job O.K. his job was secure.

I appreciate job security. But really, that guy was and still is a major jerk and should be canned.

I don't want to draw to many conclusions from one situation, but the whole thing bugged me big time because I regularly had to deal with this jerk.

The other thing that bugged me about this department was that it was filled with lawyers and accountants and almost no support staff. So people had to do their own typing and filing. What a waste of resources.





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