Jaime Gracia

Having worked with so many agencies and so many different federal employees at all levels, I think it is clear through our shared experiences here that the stereotype is in general a fallacy, but of course needs to be tempered that not all people fit into stereotypes. I have worked with people that are clock-watchers, that actively participate in sabotage and stone-walling until exactly 8 hours in the day expired. Fortunately for me, that has been the exception. I have had the luxury of working with very dedicated, hard-working civil servants and military personnel who care deeply about mission and work intense schedules to get the job done. These personnel actually clock-watch in a different way, as their schedule tends to be intense and must be carefully monitored to meet commitments. If you have not seen it, look at the recent 60 Minutes piece on GEN Stanley McCrystal, the new commander in Afghanistan. Try keeping up with that schedule! Granted it is a bit extreme, but I think it is indicative of mission and how most government personnel care deeply about service. I think it is unfortunate that stereotypes always seem to dominate the conversation, such as government contractors are rapacious wolves trying to always rip off the government. We care just as much in mission, but that never seems to enter the conversation either. Bottom-line is that there are of course all different kinds, but can say from years of experience that it has been my proud honor to call this stereotype false.