Government shakeup: United we stand or divided we snarl?

If federal workers are like their friends and neighbors, they are probably divided over President Donald Trump’s plan to downsize the government while at the same time reorganizing and reshaping it. Been there, done that. Here we go again.

So do they think:

  • Great idea, long overdue.
  • Good idea, long overdue.
  • Taxpayers could, should and deserve to get more bang for their tax buck and it will happen if the Trump do-over is done correctly.

Or:

  • Terrible idea. It’s been done, over and over — Carter, Reagan, Clinton, etc.
  • Measure twice, cut once! Morale suffers.
  • In the end, not much change except for rattling (again) the cages of dedicated and loyal civil servants.

Or:

  • Trump? Did he win?

For the sake of argument, let’s assume everybody reading this knows who won the national popular vote and who won the even-more-important electoral college majority required by our founding fathers. And that they were two different people.

Some on the “losing” side are still in shock or mourning. Or in a fit of rage. Some on the winning side are also still in shock and wondering, now what do we do? The fact is that even though Republicans control the House, Senate and White House, they’ve gotten off to a rocky, less than one would expect, start.

Health care overhaul is on hold and even the proposed new tax plan (details to come) is troublesome to many in the GOP.

The firing of FBI Director James Comey — and the way it was done and what’s to come, maybe — was a bombshell that caused some political flip-flopping. The people who originally demanded he be fired (because they feel he may have cost former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the presidency) are now outraged that he was fired. They want a special investigation. The people who originally defended and applauded Comey’s actions before the election now say they really didn’t mean it and they are glad he’s gone .

If you are confused, it means you have been paying attention.

A post-election poll by the American Psychological Association showed that political tensions at the office have increased dramatically since the election. Even though things were tense before.

The poll, reported by The Washington Post, covered 1,300 employed adults in February and March and resulted in 21 percent reporting that things were getting worse and the the passage of time had not healed some deep political wounds. That’s up from 15 percent in August, before the election.

About 40 percent of those surveyed, the Post reported, said the politically-charged environment caused them on-the-job problems, ranging from lower productivity to poorer quality of work and some problems with coworkers because of their attitudes or actions. In short, the elephant-in-the-room is causing “stress and hurting job performance,” according to an APA spokesman.

So what’s going on in federal offices, which in theory are politically-free zones, but in fact sometimes aren’t. Especially, maybe, now. Now that a new team of political appointees (non-career SES and Schedule C employees) is coming on board, many rank-and-file, long-suffering feds are getting a feel, or vibe, from the new team.

So what’s your (confidential) take? Are people exaggerating the adverse (or happy days are here again) impact of the new Trump administration in the office and on the federal workforce ?

Love to hear from you: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com

And if you are afraid to email, check with old-timers in the office to see how snail mail works.

This is me at:

Mike Causey
Federal News Radio
3400 Idaho Ave. N.W.,
Washington DC 200116.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

There are four types of tea: black, green, oolong and white.

Source: About Tea

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