Some feds have the bawdy house blues

Remember your turbulent last year of high school or college? Or when you were getting out of the service? It suddenly hit you that you had to go out and join the civilian work world!

Recall — Mom wanted you to play piano in a house of ill repute. But no…

You, ever-the-rebel, dug in your heels. You decided you wanted to become a federal civil servant. You’d show the world. And her.

And you did!

Now, years later, do you think maybe Mother Knew Best?

Had you signed on with the palace of ill fame you probably wouldn’t be facing a possible 20 percent pay cut for the next six or seven month-plus and an extension of the more than two-year pay freeze.

The White House proposed, and Congress happily approved, the concept of sequestration. The idea was that it would be a poison pill that would force both sides to compromise on tax increases and spending cuts. So far, not so good. The unthinkable could begin as early as Friday. Politicians still have time. But not much. And even if they reach a last-minute agreement, a much more serious problem looms: The stop-gap continuing resolution — which has allowed agencies to operate without appropriations — ends in late March. If it isn’t extended, the stuff could really hit the fan.

For the past couple of years the media, fed by some think tanks, has portrayed federal workers as fire-proof, overpaid, underworked and ungrateful drones. With the pay freeze and threats like sequestration, many long-time feds are saying they’ve had it. They are thinking about retiring. Maybe trying a new line of work where their federal skills, contacts and security clearances (and built-in health insurance) would make them very attractive job candidates.

So how do you go about transitioning from Uncle Sam to the private sector?

We’ll ask John Grobe. He’s the president of Federal Career Experts and wrote the book “Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees.”

Later in the show we’ll hear from Federal News Radio’s Julia Ziegler, who has been managing our sequestration poll. Last but not least, Federal Times senior writer Stephen Losey will talk about sequestration, the CR deadline and the threats to furlough air traffic controllers and cut the work hours of FEMA first-responders.

Listen if you can (1500 AM or online), and if you have questions email them to me at or call in during the show at (202) 465-3080. The show will be archived here.


Compiled by Jack Moore

Low prices must be an aphrodisiac. No, seriously. Salon reports:

“According to an analysis of “missed connections” on Craigslist, lots of singles are experiencing love at first sight at Wal-Mart — not for the latest entertainment center on sale, but for fellow discount shoppers. It was the most popular “missed connections” location in 15 states.”


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