Time to change your political filter?

Friday’s column asked if key workers and executives are leaving in protest or if they are simply retiring from a rapidly-aging government?  So we asked you a...

The day after tomorrow it’ll all be over. Most midterm election results will be known by Wednesday, probably even by late tomorrow night.

The big winners, aside from those who get the most votes, are TV stations around the nation. Many will double their normal annual income thanks to revenue from political ads. Pundits may curse dirty politics, plead for more political civility and decry hitting below the belt. But the places which  generate their paychecks know and love the value of a dirtier-the-better political campaign. When it bleeds, it leads.

Regardless of who you’ve rooted for and how things worked out — now two years from the next presidential election — this might be a good time to check our individual political filters. Closer to home, specifically at your federal office and agency, see if many of the best people are leaving, and if so, why? Are they tired enough of what they think is happening in government to give up a steady paycheck, or are they just plain and simple retiring?

Friday’s column asked if key workers and executives at the departments of the Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security and other agencies are leaving in protest or if they are simply retiring from a rapidly-aging government.  So we asked you and here’s what we got:

“I thoroughly enjoyed your Friday column. Even though I find myself becoming increasingly political I feel quite moderate when talking to friends and colleagues on both the political right and political left. Some of them, mostly men, put a political spin on everything: Movies, TV shows. You name it, they can spot the political plot. So it is natural that when it comes to things like the retirement rate in government somebody will color it political.

“It is one thing when a respected scientist, administrator or even a diplomat says he or she is resigning in protest. It makes for headlines! However those familiar with civil service rules have a right to be suspicious when the official happens to be ready, willing and eligible for an excellent monthly pension benefit after many years of service.

“Before I retired almost two years ago we used to joke that our agency looked like a senior day care center. The federal population is getting older and people are leaving — period. I am sure that people do resign in protest and if so, good for them. However, I always read the fine print. If they are actually retiring after a long career, on a handsome pension and if they move into another job I think its safe to say they retired rather than quit.”

— Harry

“As I sit here enjoying retirement I chuckled over the ‘overthinking it’ of some pundits you no doubt converse with. Of the five guys in my unit who all retired within about 12 months of one another, four of us thought the time [and the money] was right, and the fifth had a long-term medical leave that made him rethink retirement.

“In my case, I was knocking on the door of 68, running my numbers, and listening to Tammy Flanagan and Art Stein as much as possible. A bout with bacterial pneumonia pushed me to jump four to five months earlier than I had originally set as my out-the-door date. So, I can only speak for me, but that pneumonia — way worse than influenza, by the way — made me rethink preserving my health while I could enjoy it. That is my story and I am sticking with it.”

— Jim S., retired from the Agriculture Department

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Ancient Babylonians circa 4,000 BC would paint their nails before going into battle. Archaeologists found a solid gold manicure set while excavating a tomb.

Source: Nylon

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