First, a little background on why we have such a bad rap:

Undoubtedly, all of the hostility directed towards government employees is deserved. The majority of people who serve their federal, state, or local town government have a sole purpose in life to piss people off. Meter maids give you parking tickets. Cops, well… cops can be pleasant if you give them a doughnut or even a donut, but most are not like Chief Wiggum and usually are present only to lecture you about doing something bad or illegal. Then, majority of politicians are government employees because they get elected to a public office they are not exactly well liked.

Secondly, it is assumed that the government employee is lazy. This is a fairly accurate assumption. While not true for each and every employee, it is correct for most. When you become employed by the government, what usually happens is you become part of a union. This is a good thing for the employee, because from this point on, he or she has job security. As long as you do not do something enormously stupid, chances are you will never be fired. Lectured, yes. A bad mark on your permanent record, maybe. Pressured to quit, certainly. But if you have stamina and balls, then you have a job for the rest of your life. As soon as you get comfy, the slack begins. Hour lunches turn into hour and a half lunches. Work starts at 9:00 AM, but if you get here 9:30 AM, you’re still on time. Go figure. And best of all, you get “wash up time” which means that at 4:50 PM every day you are excused to go “wash up”, which means you get to bail and get on the T early, as opposed to the rest of the other poor schmucks working around Government Center who get out at 5:00 PM. You would think that the government employees are leaving early as you see them running out of City Hall at this time, but in fact, the people who are leaving early are already home because they left anywhere around 4:30 PM. So counting smoking breaks (which you learn to take even if you don’t smoke), regularly scheduled 15-minute breaks, getting in late, leaving early, extended lunch, and of course social gatherings around the water cooler… the average employee may work approximately four hours, while being paid for seven. This is the epitome of being lazy.

Lastly, resentment. I do believe some people are jealous of the so called high life that the government employees take advantage of. Plenty of people try to acquire one of these positions, but usually people get promoted from within. Unless you are related to someone, or sleep with someone, your chances of getting a job here are slim to none. And no… I didn’t sleep with anyone (this time) to get my job. I took a co-op position which most any loser can acquire for a small fee. Close enough for government work is so true. Half assed is standard around here. You get a small amount of power to bully the average citizens. As they say, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This all contributes to the bitter and pompous attitude of the government employee.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I dread being a government employee. It is not the ideal work environment. We get 13 paid holidays, the internet connection is pretty fast, and you can slack consistently, but there’s no free snacks, no fooseball and there is the fear of being a government employee for the rest of your life. I want out. But I am also perplexed, because I don’t actively pursue another job. I just sit and gripe and node on the taxpayer’s buck. I think I am on my way to being a really great government employee. So if you run into me, ask me how the job search goes. In the meantime, I am a government employee. Hear me snore…. ROAR. I mean roar.

"I'm just saying that I'm not the kind of guy who disrupts things so he can shit comfortably..." -Dante Hicks, Clerks

I work in a computer lab for a large state-funded university. While this is not specifically working directly for the U.S. of A. it is nevertheless work for the state with all of its benefits and pitfalls.
On the good side, my work is easy. At the beginning and end of the semester, when there's a lot of people in the labs, I may be busy doing administration-type stuff, but for most of the semester, I sit around playing video games in my office.

Work for the state is, in my opinion, epitomized by in and out mail trays. These trays usually sit next to each other, occasionally stacked vertically, on the edge of a government worker's desk. Everything a person does comes to their In box. They count their numbers, mark their stamp, sign their signiature, or whatever else it is that they do with the incoming papers, and then put it in their Out box. Government employees are paid because they may potentially have work to do.
It's frustrating because I know I'm contributing to the overinflated, inefficient, bureaucratic nature of government. But this job is sooo swishy!

Here's a thought: I am employed by the government. The government pays me. The government gets its money from taxes. I pay taxes.
Does that mean I'm self-employed?
"Oh well..." should not be a motto. But that's how it is. What can you do?

You have to understand that there's a system. A perfect system where no one is accountable and thus nothing gets done which is problematic but also not because it's no one's fault. All shortcomings of government employees can be traced to too much bureaucracy, and the failure of legislation to increase governmental efficiency can be traced to lazy government employees. We don't know who these lazy government employees are - we never actually see them - but they make hard working public servants like us look bad and we never mention them out of fear that we may actually be them.

I wouldn't be the first to call it welfare. Not because you're lazy... exactly. Because you arrive with a fresh hope and dignity on your face and that lasts precisely as long as you can go without asking, "Shouldn't we be doing it this way?" Thereafter, you sit quietly in your cubicle, not making much noise about the fact that you have nothing of substance to do because the official definition of substance is paperwork and you'll always have enough of that. You wait to be put to good use and you aren't and then you quit caring. You become institutionalized. It's just a staring contest between you and Uncle Sam or Cousin Ted or whoever you work for. It's too much trouble for them to fire you, they hope you'll resign. It's too much trouble for you to resign, so you passive-agressively try to get fired.

Your government lives in fear of itself. Fear that it will offend itself, fear that it will embarass itself, but mostly fear that it will be fallible. Your government wants to be a team player in a gang of stoolies. And your public servants get cynical and terrified and leave or they get resigned and on their 65th birthday you buy them lunch at some generic mid-range fast food restaurant. Your government, made up of public servants, remains the same impotent beast and the pointing fingers of new recruits are chopped off at the door.

Every government employee has defiant guilt in their eyes. The system sucks, but I can't do anything about it. I'd like to, but. It's been that way since I got here. Sure, but tell that to the Secretary/Governor/President. Yeah, right. Good luck. That's the way it is. Oh well...

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