Liver, licorice and Joe Buck, chihuahuas, cilantro and Gwenyth Paltrow — or teleworking: Name your poison

There are some things, persons, places, food, sports teams etc., that people either love or hate. There is no middle ground, sometimes no rationale or reason, for how we feel about Justin Bieber, and what our gut tells us about Sen. Bernie Sanders or President Donald Trump.

Take those fans or foes who worship the Boston Red Sox or hate the New York Yankees. Think about it:  How many people actually spend time planning a dream vacation to Des Moines, Iowa? Do you like or love NPR? How about sushi?

Dig deep — there are things you flat out love/hate, maybe for good reason, maybe for reasons that escape us, maybe just because they are there? Take civil servants who are allowed to telework, please …

The Social Security Administration, one of the largest and most visible federal agencies, is both loved and hated by large numbers of Americans. It also is, or rather was one of the largest operations in the country to allow workers to telework anywhere for one day every two-week pay period. It has also done an about face on the practice of allowing staff members to regularly work from home.

For more than a decade teleworking was pushed by Congress and presidents as a way to cut down on traffic and air pollution, and to bolster continuation of government operations during national emergencies or local disasters — like any amount of snow falling on metro Washington, D.C. Congress required agencies to test teleworking and to issue annual reports on how many people were doing it, and the benefits. Some agencies got into it big time, like the Patent and Trademark Office where non-teleworkers are in the minority. Nevertheless there are still some people, some of them in very high places, who think teleworking is a mistake. They may believe workers are doing everything from babysitting to watching TV or other jobs rather than fulfilling their federal assignments. And there are some who may be attacking the program to sock it to bureaucrats, or declaw federal unions who generally support Democratic candidates.

Many federal agencies resisted teleworking at first and for a long time. To get around doing it yet still check the correct boxes on reports to Congress some agencies allowed employees to telework one day a month, per quarter or in some cases one day a year. The directors, administrations or other top officials would also make a big show of teleworking infrequently. But teleworking has been gaining favor and growing steadily over the years, especially in agencies like SSA — until now.

On Monday word spread that even bigger changes were coming in telework patterns. Employees called members of Congress and the media. SSA later announced changes are coming, mostly effective March 2. Deputy commissioners will decide who works from home and how often. Workers in the American Federation of Government Employees union could, in some cases, go from teleworking up to three days a week to two days every two weeks. Others will go from three days to two, or from two days to one. There apparently won’t be any changes, for now, for the 2,100 legals in the National Treasury Employees Union.

Some other agencies are or will be re-evaluating, as in paring down, telework programs later on. The question for many is the ongoing and coming telework rollback being done to provide better service to the public, or is it part of a campaign to punish and diminish unions?

Work from home or commute every day? Candy corn or Brussel sprouts?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

A pair of brothers from Iowa recently finished a shot-for-shot, stop motion remake of “Toy Story 3” after eight years of work. Titled “Toy Story 3 IRL” (in real life) the fan movie uses toys of the characters and received Disney’s blessing to post the entire film online.

Source: Fast Company

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THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Oct 30, 2020 Close Change YTD*
L Income 21.3998 -0.0515 1.59%
L 2025 10.2405 -0.0545 -
L 2030 34.8962 -0.2294 1.76%
L 2035 10.3057 -0.0745 -
L 2040 38.3472 -0.3026 1.73%
L 2045 10.3538 -0.0878 -
L 2050 22.3561 -0.2025 1.64%
L 2055 10.4471 -0.114 -
L 2060 10.4471 -0.1141 -
L 2065 10.4472 -0.114 -
G Fund 16.4851 0.0007 0.76%
F Fund 20.9591 -0.0148 6.75%
C Fund 48.5296 -0.5906 5.50%
S Fund 58.5073 -1.1833 3.45%
I Fund 29.2701 -0.1549 -6.83%
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* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.