Phased retirement: How’s that work?

By all reports the phased retirement that everybody thought would be a popular perk with feds is not so popular. Sort of a dog, actually.

Backers who said turning part-time workers into mentors would be a win-win for everybody. Maybe it is in the relatively few places where people are doing it, except not many are. Now what?

Why, I asked myself, don’t you — as in me — try it? What can you lose, other than money and readers? Worth a shot, right?

When I first started doing the federal column at The Washington Post, still in my 20s, I was the youngest columnist in a crowded field. All three Washington papers had one, the then two Baltimore papers each had one as did publications like the Federal Times, Bureau of National Affairs, and more. Lots of us, and for years I was the youngest — then the one with the most hair, after the lady who wrote for the Baltimore Sun. Then as time marched on I was the tallest. Once, when we had racing teams, I was even the fastest.


Now, decades later there aren’t many of us left. Now I am, uh, the longest, most experienced survivor.

So we’re gonna try it — beginning next week, my colleague Nicole Ogrysko will write the Federal Report on Monday. Tom Temin will do the column on Fridays. That leaves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for me. One time youngest, second hairiest, tallest, fastest now, uh, still the most experienced.

Hope you enjoy our new format. For that matter I hope I enjoy it, too. Maybe with a little less daily pressure it will get better, be a tad more relaxed. I especially hope you keep clicking, reading and forwarding the column to friends and colleagues. Good numbers are good.

Also I will welcome, because I will desperately need your input: Comments, questions, suggestions, tips — let me know what you want to know, or what you know that I and our readers should know.

Been fun, I think and hope the best is yet to come!

-Thanks, Mike

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

The idea of the “average Joe” or “Joe Schmo” is not unique to America or Standard American English. Several other cultures have variations of this concept, such as the German phrase “Otto Normalverbraucher (Otto normal consumer),” French’s “Monsieur Tout Le Monde (Mr. Everyone),” China’s “Zhang San, Li Si (Three Zhang, Four Li —a reference to some of the most popular Chinese surnames),” and Finnish’s “Matti Meikäläinen (Matti one of us).”

Source: MentalFloss