So you are a GS-Whatever; get over it

Congratulations! You landed a job with the Federal government. You are a GS-14, or a GS-12, or whatever. You may even supervise some people. You worked hard to get where you are and you are not going to let the stigma that Federal employees are the enemy get you down.

But remember this- you are not alone. There are thousands of Office Automation specialists, logistics specialists, clerks, supply officers, security officers, and other General Schedule or Wage Grade employees that make YOU possible. Treat them with respect.

That big project you are working on won’t get in front of the boss unless the “front office” staff forwards it to them. That meeting you need to schedule won’t get scheduled unless the GS-5 scheduler puts it on the bosses calendar. Those nice Uniball medium point roller ball pens you like won’t get ordered if you treat the supply czar poorly.

Just remember this and you will do fine. Be nice to everyone.

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Gregg Porter

I used to work for a colonel who had a statement in a frame hanging to the side of his desk. It read, “It’s nice to be important. It’s more important to be nice.” I made my own copy and have moved it from office to office with me ever since…

Mary Davie

This is a great reminder. I started as a GS-4; everyone is an important part of the team and contributor towards its success.

Amanda Blount

Good Stuff! I started as a Temp GS-5, and Like Mary, I know everyone is an important part of the team. It is true, If you don’t treat people with respect (from the janitor to the General) you will most likely not make it far in Government. Amazing how often the people who are mean can’t get their tech stuff to work, or can’t find the supply folks when they need something. I guess it just works out that way. — Oh yeah – In Government (at least where we are) Doughnuts help make friends! LOL


Awesome words, I started as a 1 cleaning bathrooms and offices for the Navy. Today, I am a Subject Matter Expert Accountant. But, I still love clean bathrooms and offices. In addition, I would clean a bathroom any day without complaint if it was necessary to accomplish the mission.

Cindy Lou Baker

So many times, those of us who are lower on the totem pole are overlooked. Many people don’t realize what would’nt get done if we weren’t here. Personally, I really enjoy being the one that supports the team. That’s why I love GovLoop too. It allows me to help others in so many different ways. From telling someone about an interesting group to just being silly and making someone feel good. It’s all part of GovLoops awesomeness!

Benjamin Strong

Mary, Amanda, Genio, and Cindy Lou (now that sounds like a Dr. Seuss story!),
Thank you for weighing in. I started in Gov as a GS-5 Student Temporary Employee. Oh from humble beginnings. I always make it a point to say hello to everyone. I treat people with respect and show a genuine interest in their lives. People love to talk about themselves. Just read How To Win Friends and Influence People.

Thanks for adding to my post!