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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct 7, 2013
Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Public Sector Media Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$39 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: email@example.com www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $39. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. October 7, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 12 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Would I have loved to get that kind of Page 1 play on one of the nation's best, and best-known newspapers? Oh, yes! But I didn't find it and I didn't write it. But journalists, even the scooped kind, are nothing if not resourceful. We can make a mistake, be forced to make a correction or retraction, and then write about that. Three stories in one. The fact that I did not write the story doesn't mean I can't write about it. Which I am doing right now. And here's my angle to the FIRE ME story: Who are you, dear whistleblower, to chime me out of a job? If you feel unnecessary, if you think your salary is a waste, your job unnecessary, fine and dandy. But don't get me fired in the process. Maybe I love my job, and have grown accustomed to eating and having the means to pay my rent. We may all be in the same boat, but don't shoot a hole in it. If you want out, be my guest. I may even think you are right. I may think you have guts (the kind I can't afford to have) and are doing the correct thing. But please, when asking to be separated from the payroll, speak for yourself. If I want to join you, I'll bring my own whistle. But don't blow things---your whistle, my job---for the rest of us. What struck me as interesting is this: What would the reaction of other feds be? What would be the reaction of the people where I worked if one of my colleagues said we were all time-servers and clock- watchers and the world (the work world) would be better off without us? How would they react if somebody--- for whatever reason---told the bosses, the shareholders and the world that we're a waste of time and money? So maybe this one person genuinely thinks that. But what if you don't agree? Or what if you need the job? Or what if the whistleblower had an agenda? What if he were retirement-eligible, or just won the lottery, and was suddenly, maybe after many years on the payroll, now able to say the operation should be shut down and all of us fired? (No hard feelings, of course.) Over the years I have seen a number of stories about high-ranking feds who "resigned" in principle when technically they had retired. Resigned to me means you quit and go find other employment. Retired means you get a lifetime pension (which you've earned). You may in fact be leaving to go into retirement because of principle, but you are retiring in protest, not resigning. Most feds know the difference. But most people outside the government, and those in the media, don't: Resign, retire, what's the difference? Short answer: A lot. Years ago a high-ranking career civil servant called a mini-press conference and said he was resigning because the admin- istration was politicizing his agency. He was the top press person. He knew lots of people in the media, including me. So he resigned in protest. And the media loved it. But when you are a federal civil servant and you have 41 years of service, you don't resign and cut off your paycheck. You retire and get your monthly annuity which, in his case, would have been very handsome indeed. More than that, shortly after his res- ignation/retirement in protest, he joined a PR firm. The firm had one client---the political party that was in opposition to the administration whose "political actions" he was protesting. So with his new PR salary, and his fed- eral annuity, he was sitting pretty. Better than before he "resigned" on principle. He was wise (and lucky) to get 41 years of service under his belt---serving a variety of administrations---before he "suddenly" became fed up. If anybody in my organization reads this, or plans to send the bosses a fire-me letter, I have a message for you. It is bor- rowed from Samuel Goldwyn, the famous movie tycoon (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, or MGM), who had an unusual way of put- ting things. He once said: "If I could drop dead right now I'd be the happiest man alive!" As to the fire-me letter, if anybody in my outfit writes one, I would say, as Mr. Goldwyn also once did: "Gentlemen, include me out!" INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
Sep 30, 2013
Oct 14, 2013