Looking for the perfect Holiday gift for your BFATO? (That stands for Best Friend At The Office, and is pronounced Bee-Fat-Oh).
This is something that even the GS 13 who has everything will appreciate.
What is it? How about food? Money, maybe?
If money is too impersonal, get him or her one of those prepper kits. You know, packages containing a week, month or year” supply of delicious all-you-add-is-water meals. Something to get someone through hard times, whether that’s an asteroid strike, an EMP shutdown, major flooding, or if you are a fed, enforced idleness. That’s a real possibility; a shutdown like the one in 2013.
Although some politicians deride civil servants as overpaid, under-worked bureaucrats, the fact is many government workers, like many of their private sector counterparts, live from paycheck to paycheck.
During the last shutdown (which lasted 16 days) the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund funded interest-free loans to feds who were financially underwater. Within a short time, FEEA had run out of money, having dispensed $750,000 in a matter of a few weeks.
To qualify for a loan, feds had to prove they were impacted by the shutdown, show proof of employment, show their last two pay stubs and list creditors and the amounts owed them. When approved, FEEA would write a check, not to the employee, but to the store, landlord, power company or whomever was owed. Workers could get up to $1,200. Copies of those documents should be in your shutdown prepper kit.
Workers eventually got paid for the shutdown, “eventually” being the operative word. In some cases, employees went without a paycheck for at least two weeks — and in some cases for up to a month.
FEEA is a been there done that outfit financed by individual feds through donations or pledges to the CFC. It also gets considerable six-figure corporate help from Blue Cross-Blue Shield, GEICO and Long Term Care Partners.
FEEA’s scholarship program provided full-ride college scholarships to 195 children who lost a parent (or parents) in the Oklahoma City bombing twenty years ago. One boy, now in college, was born three months after his fed father was killed. It’s also helped families damaged by the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, where most of the causalities were civilian Defense workers.
Right now, it’s collecting money for, and dispensing it to, the large active and retired federal community in South Carolina. Charleston and Columbia were hit hard. Some people wiped out.
Steve Bauer, long-time executive director of FEEA, was our guest on yesterday’s Your Turn radio show. Well worth listening, both to find out what FEEA does, what it can do for you and what — if you like — you can do for it. The show is archived so you can listen anytime by clicking here.
The catch phrase, “IDK, my BFF Jill” became popular in 2007 when it aired in a Cingular commercial, wherein a preteen girl talks to her mother in SMS slang as she gets reprimanded for her excessive texting habits.