The Greater Los Angeles Area YGL will maintain an environment that educates, inspires & transforms federal employees into prized promotable assets & be models for organization management that will be admired & emulated by agencies.
Hello! My name is Mike, your “favorite punching bag.”
March 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm #156004
Favorite punching bag. That’s how Seung Min Kim of Politico describes the federal workforce in his article this past weekend, Federal Workers Under Siege. In summary, Seung is describing how pay and benefits of government workers continually take beatings when lawmakers look for answers to the current political and economic state of the country, their states or cities they represent. As if it is the easy, go-to solution, never mind the ripple effect such beatings have on recruitment, retention, work/life balance, government programs and services, and overall morale of a government workforce. My personal thoughts on the topic are beginning to change and I am wondering if yours are too…
When I started to notice such articles a few months ago (I Work for Uncle Sam, and I’m Proud of It), they always pumped me up, reminded me the job has a bigger meaning and I am a human being entitled to a little respect. However, the feelings only lasted a few minutes and I never acted or commented. Overall, I feel lucky to have a job I love, am satisfied with my pay and benefits, and I chose this career knowing what working for government entails.
Today, I still have the same thought, fully aware of the path I chose, of the possible impacts on my personal life and career aspirations. However, I am starting to get annoyed with attacks that paint all government workers and their programs or services with the same brush – inefficient and undeserving of such benefits or resources. Can there be improvements? Yes. But this attacks the mission of my agency, something I believe in and something that motivates me to work hard and do a good job every day. You can take my pay and benefits, I’ll figure it out, but don’t indirectly tell me what I do is not important for our country and my community.
This motivates me to get even more involved this year. Not by complaining, but by getting out into my local community and giving people a face that represents a hardworking and caring government employee. Look through the resources GovLoop has to offer and do the same. Whether you add to a discussion on GovLoop, participate in a community outreach event with your local Young Government Leaders chapter or just find like-minded people at the Next Generation of Government Training Summit this summer in DC. Help break the stereotype.
Federal workers under siege? I know a former SEAL who kicked serious butt while under siege back in 1992.
March 14, 2012 at 1:20 am #156014
Matthew Wayne GonzalesParticipant
Love the Seagal reference… But going back to your discussion Mike, I think you hit the nail on the head. What better way to demonstrate the value and meaning of government employment and our agency missions than by being a great civil servant on and off the court, metophorically speaking. I would not want to waste a single ounce of negative energy responding to those who pick at our pay, who diminish our benefits, and devalue our agencies. Leading by example, and disproving the misconceived notions about the government workforce and community is plenty good.
March 14, 2012 at 1:59 am #156012
Under Siege…bonus points!
March 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm #156010
Dorothy Ramienski AmatucciParticipant
Huzzah for the Under Siege reference! Also, I think you make a really good point. Many of the attacks on feds aren’t fair at all — but I like how you bring up the point that feds can work to try and counter these stereotypes by getting out into the community. I like this proactive suggestion!
March 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm #156008
Thanks guys! And I’ll take those bonus points.
What timing with the 20th anniversary of the movie and a year of “Feds under siege.” Maybe Seagal wants to speak at NextGen…
March 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm #156006
Seagal….spokesman for Federal Workers? Best idea I’ve heard in a long time! I think YGL-LA should reach out to him, maybe make a PSA video for youtube? 🙂
Great discussion Mike, and I love the proactive approach to changing the stereotype. I also think federal workers don’t “fight back” because they are too busy fighting wars, keeping GPS alive, keeping terrorists of our planes, helping the poor, treating the elderly, and so on and so on.
The rhetoric we hear bothers me too. Specifically, the false comparisons to private sector jobs. Even if they were true, shouldn’t the pay and benefits question be “What is deserving and provides the American Dream?” or “What does the other guy get?” Remember what we learned at age 4: “two wrongs don’t make a right?” How come so many forgot this lesson?
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