What are You Doing on Columbus Day?

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This topic contains 110 replies, has 95 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 11 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #82635

    Steve Ressler

    Today is Columbus Day (also the day before my birthday). It is a U.S. federal holiday but it is also one of the confusing holidays as there is no traditional way to spend it.

    As such, I’m asking – What are people doing today on Columbus Day?
    -Feds – you have the day off – how are you relaxing?
    -State/Local – do you have the day off? celebrating?
    -International – I’m guessing you don’t…what’s new in your part of the world? I know Canada had Canadian Thanksgiving last week.
    -Contractors – I know you are hard at work, right?
    -Professors/Students – Is it midterms yet? How is the semester going?

  • #82855

    Steve Ressler

    I’ll go first:
    -Morning is spent catching up on GovLoop emails and sharing wisdom on GovLoop.
    -Afternoon is going to be spent on phone calls brainstorming more ways and partnerships to make GovLoop awesome.

    I’ll celebrate tomorrow on my bday…:)

  • #82853

    Larry Miller

    I am working today at the City of Port St. Lucie, Fl.
    Just as well; I hate mondays on tuesday.

  • #82851

    Linda W. Odell

    We are working – James City County VA.

  • #82849

    Suzy Christophersen

    I am working today at Boulder County, CO.

  • #82847

    Clark G. Case

    Just another Monday at work for us city government types. Even the kids are in school, although my college age son has his fall break this week. I don’t remember getting a fall break when I was in college. Just two days at Thanksgiving. . .

  • #82845

    I’m spending the day getting lost and arriving to work at the wrong cubicle . . .

  • #82843

    Ron Manderscheid


    Yes, we contractors are hard at work doing the things we do everyday: preparing and responding to H1N1; developing national health reform coverage for the uninsured; and providing technical and logistical support to the Federal agencies.

    Columbus was an explorer. Perhaps we ought to spend Columbus day exploring. Just a thought.


  • #82841

    Richard W Clark

    I work for NIH and I have the day off. I’m just relaxing today, recovering from a wonderful day yesterday at the National March for Equality in Washington.

  • #82839

    Peg Hosky

    How about 1/2 and 1/2? Working from 6 AM until…

  • #82837

    Consultant, so unfortunately I do not have the day off today…however I’m working from the window of a coffee shop – so not too bad of a location…

    Currently brainstorming ways to better automate citizen suggestions for new datasets to Data.gov…we’re channeling them all manually to the agencies right now (and it’s much too labor intensive and redundant)…

    Federal holidays are nice because the inbox stays low and give you plenty of time to catch up on small side projects you wouldn’t otherwise be able to tackle amidst a busy work day…

    PS happy early birthday old man…dont work too hard tomorrow!

  • #82835

    George Danilovics

    Somehow I knew you’d be a fellow Libra Steve!

    Pseudo local government organization (http://www.mwcog.org)

    Today is a flex-holiday for me. We can take it off. Or we can work and take another day off later in the year (most use this for the day after Thanksgiving).

    Me? I’m working until…..

  • #82833

    Sam Allgood

    One day of work at my city gov job wedged between attending my 40th HS reunion and leaving for ministry in Ireland for 2 weeks tomorrow. I have better travel arrangements for crossing the Atlantic than Christopher did, but then he didn’t have to pack extra for more than one checked back, either.

  • #82831

    Carol Ellsworth

    We are up and running today. Wish we had the day off!

  • #82829

    Greg Ruhland

    No day off for state folks, specifically at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, though I’m still leisurely “exploring” in Indianapolis as I visit a friend for the weekend:) The Megabus brings me home in two hours.

  • #82827

    Bridget Hardy

    Its a normal working day here in UK. Preparing reports for a meeting of the High Performing Property Programme Board on Wednesday as well as, at the same time, catching up with people in preparation for this afternoon’s meeting of the State of the Estate 2009 Report project team. SOFTE2009 to be published early next year. Provides data and analysis on the performance of the government estate – efficiency and sustainability.

  • #82825

    Kathy Kyle

    I work in DC and though I do technically have the day off, I am all about balance. I’m not a contractor, a fed, or a state and local public servant – but I serve those communities as I work at the intersection of business and government…so I am gonna work anyway to get a headstart on the week, run with my dog and enjoy this amazing fall weather! And maybe make some homemade soup! Hope you have a fantastic birthday, Steve. Celebrate all week!!!

  • #82823

    Mark L Tessmer

    I’m going to work, as usual. We gave up this holiday to have the day after Thanksgiving off. I think it was a good trade.

  • #82821

    Randy R. Taylor

    I’m doing some work from home this AM as there are major investments being made in improving the healthcare experiences and involvement of veterans in their VA healthcare.

    Then, i hope to install some garden lighting outside and also make some headway on a crown molding project inside.

  • #82819

    Bridget Hardy

    PS Its my birthday on Thursday btw – Libra too

  • #82817

    Elizabeth Reid

    Hard at work (overhead for a contractor), but let me tell you how enjoyable my commute was today. A: Very.

  • #82815

    Donald A. Nemchick

    I am wondering why gov’t employees, who are/should be public servants, have this day off. This Nation is in a sad set of circumstances yet we continue to settle for mediocracy and an abundance of government employees days “off.” If we truly are a “Nation at War” why don’t we begin to sacrifice at home–let us start by doing our duty that we are tasked with. I assure you that none of our brave men and women serving in Afghan/Irag have this day “off.”

    I am in my office today, working on a training program for veterans.

  • #82813

    Michael Cirrito

    Trying to convince my federal sales people that they can reach decision makers in the government on columbus day!

  • #82811

    Steve Ressler

    Very cool…have fun across the pond.

  • #82807

    Melinda Malico

    Hey, this is my FIRST post to GovLoop, because it is BLOCKED at the U.S. Department of Education.

    I am working, as I almost always do on weekends. Hoping to flag down our PerotSystems IT contractors so they can help me work remote via Citrix. Anybody out there????

    When my daughter and husband roll in from their trip to NY, I have to stop working, because they say I neglect them….

    Also going to visit Dad with Alzheimer’s in his new home, assisted living.

  • #82809

    Steve Ressler

    How awesome is the Megabus…just rode it for the first time b/w Cincy and Chicago.

  • #82805

    Rich Mariner

    I’m working.

  • #82803

    Daniel Hudson

    I am reviewing the Gov 2.0 Summit videos and presentations. The information here is priceless!

  • #82801

    Matthew W

    I’m so glad that we have this day off, Steve… I’m drinking a diet dew at 8:54 AM… no where else, but America… thank you, Christopher Columbus.

    Also, I’m about to do a Govloop preview of the best college football games for week 6, beginning with USF/Cincy on Thursday night.

  • #82799

    Nora Jeffcoat

    Yup, hard at work. No rest for us!

  • #82797

    G. Hussain Chinoy

    As a federal contractor with flex time, I’m teleworking for part of the day from a cafe not too far from the office building 🙂

    (Happy early birthday, Steve!)

  • #82795

    Thomas Hill

    I am busy catching up on my work – travel voucher, webmaster e-mails, preparing new clips, reviewing new Internet site redesign, working on performance appraisal input. I also will be catching up on work around the house

  • #82793

    Steve Radick

    Awesomely, I’m at the office in Tyson’s Corner today hard at work, focusing on two things today –

    – Taking care of some last minute logistical details before my trip to Vegas on Wednesday for BlogWorld
    – Working on some client stuff to try to get ahead while you guys are off enjoying the Fall weather so that I don’t get too far behind when I’m out at the end of the week.

    Interestingly, Tyson’s SUCKS on days like these because all of our people who are typically based on a client site have nowhere to sit today so they all come into our HQs office here, fill up the garages by 9:00 AM, and take up all of the hoteling desks too. 🙁

  • #82791

    Joe Boutte

    I’m working and catching up. Holidays like this allow us to commute faster and clean out the inbox. Hope to get a lot done today!

  • #82789

    Joe Boutte

    Which one is most valuable in your work in terms of ideas to make progress?

  • #82787

    Kathleen Immordino

    Hi Steve – tomorrow is my birthday too! Working today at the university – a change after having Columbus Day off for many years as a government employee.

  • #82785

    Linda Burkhart

    As a Local government employee, we do not have this as a Holiday. However, since it is a Holiday for some employers, it does make for a quieter day for all of us…good day to catch up, if that is ever possible:)

  • #82783

    Tim Verras

    Most city governments are working today and so are we. One of things about IT is that it doesn’t take holidays (in fact, that’s usually when the servers decide to blow up). We pretty much work around the clock to make sure the IT infrastructure at the cities stays stable and secure.

    And at any rate, I find it a bit daft to celebrate a man who “discovered” a continent that already had 20 million people on it and was already “discovered” by the Vikings and possibly the Chinese. Not to mention the unsavory indignities his folks committed once they got here…

  • #82781

    LeeAnn Petersen

    I am catching up on administrative tasks in my home office and promoting my next networking event “State Relations Networking Happy Hour” with a live performance by Bonnie Bishop at Molly Malone’s on Capitol Hill – October 22, 2009.

  • #82779

    LeeAnn Petersen

    Couldn’t agree more. I have a Native American friend who usually gets arrested on this “holiday.” Say, you aren’t involved with ARRA section 1512 reporting for the cities are you? I have a client with some pretty cool software that tracks jobs and sends quarterly reports to Recovery.gov. LeeAnn

  • #82777

    Tim Verras

    Thanks LeeAnn. We aren’t currently involved in the ARRA reporting aspect of operations. Honestly, most of the cities we deal with here in GA steered clear of the ARRA dollars because of this very reason. They’ve mostly chose to go it alone instead of figuring out how to do all of the necessary reporting and due diligence. Thanks for the tip though!

  • #82775

    Mark Hartl

    Happy early birthday! I’m actually working hard at finding a job. The economy appears too picking up so I think it may be getting easier to find something.

  • #82773

    Jeremy Nusbaum

    Working all day, helping contractors win new contracts.

  • #82771

    Kimberlee Hayward

    First Happy Birthday (early!) Second… as a contractor we’re recording some educational webinars today. Perfect way to use the time since the phones are quiet!

  • #82769

    Kimberlee Hayward

    That cracked me up!!! Thanks for the laugh.

  • #82767

    Bobbie Gutierrez

    I’m catching up on email and finishing up two research projects.
    LeeAnn, I would like more information on your State Networking Event.

  • #82765

    Tanya Hilleary

    Hmm. I’m a a connected consultant whose kids have the day off. Going to see if that iPhone gets a signal while apple picking in the foothills of Virginia’s Shenandoah mountains.

    I’m available for business calls in between tree climbing and apple collecting.

    Pie, anyone? 😉

  • #82763

    Chitra Mohla

    I am on a teleconference with the contractor.

  • #82761

    Rosie Moreno

    Hi everyone,

    I am at the Employees Retirement System of Texas in Austin, TX. I am working today at the State Agency Wellness Conference.

  • #82759

    Rosie Moreno

    Hi KU fan,

    I’m Rosie. I work for the State of Texas and am a Longhorn fan. My sister and her family are huge KU fans and live in Shawnee, KS.

  • #82757

    Janet Downey

    I’m a Fed. Today I’ll be taking care of my car, catching an afternoon movie, then dinner with a friend.

  • #82755

    Catakam Kumar

    As a partner & contractor to leading virtual and charter schools have no time to relax…education is top priority for our nation and am working hard to ensure all goes well with our services to meet the goals of the 21st century learning…Catakam

  • #82753

    Jim Hall

    Hi. Jim here from Foerstel Design. This is not a holiday for us, so we are out there working with our clients that are also open today. http://www.foerstel.com/

  • #82751

    Susan Houde-Walter

    Industry – working (hard). but Happy Birthday!

  • #82749

    Steve Reznikoff

    I am a contractor and so am only working a half a day, probably the first 12 hours.

  • #82747

    Cheryl Wahlheim

    It is cold (28 degrees), dark and foggy here in Colorado, and yes, we contractors are hard at work. Fortunately, for today anyway, I work in a cube so I don’t have to look at the crappy weather.

  • #82745


    Local, working, and wishing I had the day off. 🙂

  • #82743

    Elizabeth Hyde

    WA State Gov. – we’re all working today. Long years ago, they traded Columbus day for the day after Thanksgiving. Nice trade-off for those with families.

  • #82741

    David Yang

    Reading RFPs while making the kids clean their rooms

  • #82739

    Jeff Conner

    Considered taking it off, but didn’t because nobody else has it off.

  • #82737

    Rick Chapko

    Working in a desolate Denver office this morning, and then flying to Boise to meet up w/the Govt folks when they return to business tomorrow. Better call my sister, too, because her birthday is also tomorrow.

  • #82735

    Gabrielle Infusino

    Just another day at work in Bartlett, IL after a glorious weekend watching my son and his girlfriend run the Chicago Marathon yesterday. Happy Birthday Steve. Enjoy!

  • #82733

    Jason Hastings

    In the spirit of political correctness and protesting, I will counter-protest Native Americans for introducing tobacco and lung cancer genocide to western Europeans

    (that was a joke-chill)

  • #82731


    I was going to say that we’re hard at work here in Palo Alto, CA; no special Columbus Day celebrations for us (although I promised my sons we’d have pasta to celebrate tonight, to go with our little columbus ship on the table).

    But I like your “exploring” idea – so at least I can say I’m hard at work “exploring” text today with our social media/NLP software for new insights and information :-).

  • #82729

    Brian Salaway

    working traffic at LGA airport

  • #82727

    Adriel Hampton

    SF has the day off. Hanging with the fam seaside in Monterey, CA, and wishing Ressler an early happy birthday 🙂

  • #82723

    Scott Burns

    Spent the morning driving back from a snowy October weekend up north in Hayward, Wisconsin. Now, back in St. Paul working from home for the rest of the day. There are a couple of inches of snow here. Seems strange after the warmest September on record.

  • #82721

    Moki Bluvas

    It is supposed to POUR today! Yes I am a Fed and I am working. Why? I am a FIRE resource, and fire season is almost over, as soon as the rain starts. I have to go pull down the Fire Restriction signs so our cold, wet hunters can have a fire tonight as they wait for the deer to come down from the high points. Been a slow deer year, better bear year.


  • #82719

    Sarah Wholey

    Yes, us contractors are working away today!

  • #82717

    Amanda Blount

    Cleaning, Cleaning, and Cleaning. I am spending about 6 weeks in Huntsville between next week and Christmas, so I am doing holiday cleaning early.

  • #82715

    Ross Travis

    In the private sector it’s another work day. But, being older than dirt, I can remember when Columbus Day was a big deal. Now very few cities and counties have this as a holiday.

  • #82713

    Juan Jackson

    I work for DoD so I am off today. I spent the morning walking around Occoquan, VA this morning & will be relaxing this afternoon.

  • #82711

    Peggy J. Rowland

    Drumming up interest in an official name change to “Discoverer’s Day” for this holiday. Fosters greater inclusion, diversity and respect.

  • #82709

    Richard Fuller

    Just another business day for local government

  • #82707

    Richard Truex

    I am remembering a letter to the editor I wrote back in the 4th grade.(so yeah back in the 1965 for those that don’t want to do the math) It was published in the Weston Connecticut Journal as a matter of fact.

    It was my attempt to recognize Leif Ericson as the person who may have discovered America before Columbus (no disrespect for Christopher Columbus) . This explorer may have actually landed in the North America Continent as opposed to the Caribbean. Though we give Columbus a lot of credit…it could be shared..

    Both are unbelievably brave explorers facing tremendous challenges and circumstances. I still think we might want to change it to Explorers day and celebrate all of the great explorers….just a thought. We have many present day explorers that would qualify… Then we could all open the explorer in ourselves and look for ways to improve this world…still lots to learn…

  • #82705

    Richard Truex

    Agreed…totally….see my comment below…

  • #82703

    I’m in Hawaii – presenting a Web 2.0 workshop for the Honolulu-Pacific Federal Executive Board tomorrow and then speaking at the Association of Government Accountants (AGA)/American Society of Military Comptrollers event on Wednesday. Long flight, but hope to grab a spot on a beach this afternoon.

  • #82701

    Michela Bedard

    I am a part-time student, part-time city worker. Double duty today – I’m working and going to school.

  • #82699

    Kitty Wooley

    I’ve had this day off ever since I changed job from college administrator to federal analyst, but usually I forget it’s a holiday and go to the office anyway. Today was different: I went to the Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall to see the exhibit of Anne Truitt’s sculpture, based on an article in yesterday’s paper. Don’t be put off by the article’s title; it’s about a person’s having found a successful way to create that was not hemmed in by the schools of thought of the time. I.e., this is something that has direc t relevance for many in this community. A film, Anne Truitt: Working pairs photos of the artist in her studio with recorded audio in her voice. Several of her books, including Daybook: The Journal of an Artist, are in print if you’re interested.

  • #82697

    Freya Anderson

    Here at the State of Alaska, employees are hard at work. We do have next Monday off, though, in observance of Alaska Day, which is actually Sunday, October 18th.

    I hope our day is as lovely next Monday as it is today. Here in Juneau, we’re having glorious sunshine, albeit with a bit more wind than I would prefer.

  • #82695

    Emi Whittle

    OOh! I second the vote! Yes, it should be an exploration holiday for all! Explore…. a new public park? A new beach? A new store? A new food? A new career? A new culture? Soooo many things out there in life, and seemingly so little time…. GREAT idea!

  • #82693

    Emi Whittle

    OMG – my old stomping ground… I grew up with sunday brunches on the Wharf, summer father’s day bashes on the beach, afternoons hanging out with the squirrels and seagulls along 17 mile drive… my SOUL lives there! (My family lives in Salinas!)… I Love the aquarium – I could spend days and days there…. sigh… ENJOY!!

  • #82691

    Emi Whittle

    I am working – contractor! Kids in school, but NASA has the day off! Interesting how so many people seem to really need need need just even a day to “catch up” on stuff. Maybe we can all “explore” work-life balance today… 🙂

  • #82689

    Kirsten Eriksen


    I’m in Wellington, New Zealand, hard at work on Tuesday Morning – So it’s your birthday here already Steve! Happy Birthday.

  • #82687

    Lori Windle

    Federal employee with the day off – burning sage and spending time in quiet comtemplation of the millions of native people who suffered and died due to the actions of Columbus and his company.

  • #82685

    Ranger Craig

    On Alcatraz (part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area) our (un)Columbus Day starts early – at 5am about 800 American Indians and supporters head to the Rock for a sunrise gathering sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council. This year’s gathering was also marking the 40th anniversary of the occupation by Indians of All Tribes that saved the tribes (who in 1969 were being destroyed by the federal Termination program – as a result of their 18 month occupation Nixon established a new policy of self determination, began to return thousands of acres of land stolen with an apology, and a number of other reforms). That’s been my Columbus Day tradition for the last 17 years as a National Park Ranger on Alcatraz. A similar event happens each Thanksgiving but with thousands rather than hundreds.

  • #82683

    Victor Brown

    [Do not open until October 13.]


  • #82681

    Thomas Tong

    1) Working on my government non-profit activity!! It’s a “day off”! please check out http://www.i-love-my-country.org/dev

    2) Exploring and learning more about GovLoop

  • #82679

    Ranger Craig

    Well, I’m a federal employee and I only get three days off a year as I work at a National Park. Many of my fellow rangers around the country get no guaranteed holidays as such as their parks can’t close (as I work on an island we can actually close, it use to be we only got Christmas and New Years off, but as of last year we now get Thanksgiving). And I know of many other federal employees in other agencies who are working today.

  • #82677

    Hi Steve! I had the opportunity to enjoy my anniversary with my husband in the Keys. It was a great long weekend out of the daily duties at work and at home. It was a vacation day! Happy Birthday and enjoy your Tuesday off.
    Today, in my city professors and students had classes. Most of the contractors worked. Feds, State and Local were off. International workers maybe are off in Central and South America. In Spain and Italy for sure they had the day off.
    As HR Director the black and other diversity employees are asking me to find a way Columbus Day be a holiday for all of them because they believe it is not fair the other groups enjoy MLK off and they cannot be off on October 12th. I agree with them and it is the reason I am looking for a way to help them. Have a great day!

  • #82675

    Amedee Friestedt

    Working as usual but from home not as usual! Lovin the Loop!

  • #82673

    John Dickinson

    Helping a friend move (gotta be a friend – right?)… that’s the down-side to owning a truck!

    Actually – this is a good friend, and whereas I’d rather be doing a whole host of other things, I began thinking today as I finished up – how many times did he give me good advice, remember my birthday, call to check in and see how I’m doing, stay up till 4 AM around a camp fire and talk….he even gave me a week at his resort condo 12 years ago when I got married…can’t think of a better way to spend the day than by being a friend back

  • #82671

    Darron Passlow

    As an Australian we do not celebrate (or have a day off for) Columbus Day. We had our Labour Day holiday last week (Monday) so it seems we are in tune with Canada. Today I will be working hard on Community Engagement and Asset Management, to ensure our community has a better place in which to live.
    I wish all my American friends and colleague – Happy Holiday – enjoy!

    Darron Passlow from Moss Vale NSW Australia.

  • #82669

    Mirza J Isphani

    Yes contractors had to always work hard no matter which Government project you are on…

    I recall Columbus day to me as special as it was to Christopher Columbus.!!

    Since my first entry to JFK airport was on this same day 16 years ago.

    The journey of christopher Columbus was to explore the unexplored world.

    To me, today I am still in the same Ship of Columbus, except this ship is docked

    on the Global-Green-Land of opportunity of 21st problems which needs to be explored

    in order to offer solutions for all generations of future world.

    Happy Holiday

  • #82667

    Saritza Concepcion

    Had to work today too. Long day at school and training after school. I usually leave work at 6:00pm but today I said I will leave early and go to a Monday happy hour and celebrate Columbus Day…Well I left at 5pm and didn’t go to the happy hour…but it was a good day anyway. Hope you all had a wonderful day even if you had to work. 🙂

  • #82665

    Frances Hodgkins

    I love your thought about exploring, but in reality Columbus was a brutal human exploiter. I am a FED so I have the day off….but for what? Celebrating the finding of the New World and also celebrating the demise of the Native People of the America’s isn’t exactly what I would call a reason for a holiday…but alas and alack, we can help ourselves.

  • #82663


    I worked all day. Happy Birthday!!

  • #82661

    Laura L. Francis

    We have the day off, but no activities planned for celebration.

  • #82659

    Ann Schwaller

    I can think of a better person to celebrate…..I mean, really? Are we still celebrating this murderous person as a nation?

  • #82657

    Ann Schwaller

    No kidding! Surely there has to be a better candidate for a holiday.

  • #82655

    Ann Schwaller

    Umm, North America already had people living here, so “discovered” is an odd word to use. Columbus brave? I would bet many native peoples would disagree.

  • #82653

    Ann Schwaller

    Very good point!

  • #82651

    Perry Jefferies

    Worked to catch up my blog, update my blood center’s facebook page, since I can’t do it from work (http://www.militaryblood.dod.mil) and then went shopping with my wife for clothes to wear to the annual gala for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (http://www.iava.org). Nice to have the day!

  • #82649

    Sandra Rodriguez

    With a CT Workforce Investment Board. We had the day off! Yes – to explore like Columbus.

  • #82647


    Where I come from, Columbus Day is actually Columbus Week so today we will be launching ships down the river.

  • #82645

    Joseph R. Cannon

    Wow, I almost feel guilty seeing how many people were working–almost. I was in NY and watched the Columbus Day parade. I ‘spent’ the rest of the day shopping.

  • #82643

    Bridget Ann Serchak

    I went to Chicago on Thursday evening (my RDO is Friday), so I had four wonderful days to spend with my many friends in the Windy City.Just like Columbus, I explored new venues. I toured the Illinois & Michigan Canal and the Chicago Portage National Historic Site (both affiliated sites of the National Park Service) and served as a guest lecturer at my alma mater, the Medill School of Journalism, to the graduate program in integrated marketing communications.

  • #82641

    Judith Pacifico

    I relaxed doing what I wanted to do and not what I had to do, perfect day.

  • #82639

    Barbara Ann Smolko

    Lucky you. You’ve arrived just in time for the glorious return of our typical northwest wet, windy, and nippy fall weather. I hope you enjoy your visit and stay dry!

  • #82637

    Harry Henshaw

    Actually, Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October – the same as Columbus Day. Federal, provincial and municipal government offices as well as banks are closed for the day.

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