It's really working out for those at the post office.
With looming cuts it is not as secure as it once was. How are you at networking? Many government workers have to switch jobs or move from one department or another to stay employed. Making friends will help.
City, county, state, federal- all Prozac fatties who do the bare minimum to stay employed. Lazy and spoiled, they sit and daydream about their days off. Nothing ever gets fixed or improved. The motto is: Don't Make Waves. Unhappy? Ask your doctor to increase your dosage.
My experience with civil service jobs involved deadly, unavoidable office politics.
[quote] With looming cuts it is not as secure as it once was. How are you at networking? Many government workers have to switch jobs or move from one department or another to stay employed.
That's horrible. Where as everyone in the private sector is just being fired. I could easily live with having to switch departments if it meant I still got to retire with a full pension and full medical benefits
Have you looked at the application process?
You must provide all transcripts, draft eligibility, all employment dates, a scannable resume, and then cut an paste all of your information into a box.
Only the most bland or inexperienced applicants make it to interviews.
It's good for a certain kind of person, IME someone who works to live rather than lives to work. It's not one bit creative AFAICT. I never worked for the govt. myself, but I lived in DC and have known many people who did. Most of them talk about how long they have until they retire, and not just now that they're actually within spitting distance. They've been talking about retirement since they were 29 or 35.
[quote] Unhappy? Ask your doctor to increase your dosage.
Bitter and sad, party of one, your table is ready!
I enjoy a nice cheese omelette early in the morning!
I've been working in City government for about 10 years. I actually enjoy it. What I've noticed is there have been a lot of private sector employee hires, which is slowly changing the culture for the better.
I suggest you go through the long application process and try to network with the department you're interested in. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
I was acquainted with a woman who had retired from the Foreign Service. She enjoyed many aspects of the job, particularly being paid to live in foreign countries where she had the time and money to travel and explore as much as she wanted and to learn different languages and cultures. When she felt she had learned all she wanted about a country, she would apply for another posting, usually on another continent. She said there was great competition for the most sought after postings and that it was all very political.
She said the biggest problem was that co-workers could be quite difficult and that she often didn't approve of the political games being played. As seems to be typical of government jobs, many people worked harder at not working than if they had gone ahead and done their jobs. She said she always met people like herself who enjoyed traveling so she had travel companions.
r5 speaks the truth.
Please note the following is a personal anecdote and is not intended to represent all government jobs.
I dated a man who is an engineer working for the county of Los Angeles. I asked him what he did exactly, was it streets? Buildings? What did he engineer? He hemmed and hawed but finally admitted -- nothing. He and four other engineers have, for over 5 years now, been doing nothing. There was a reorganization and their whole little unit was forgotten about. They have no direct supervision any more. They have no work assigned to them. They still collect salary and all their benefits but they literally do nothing. All five have agreed to just keep their mouths shut. They have an office which they've scheduled so that at least someone is there all the time. But they do no work there. They just sit at a desk and surf the net, answer email, text...
I didn't quite believe him, but I did visit him at his 'office' on one of his shifts. No one else was there and there was absolutely no work being done.
I have to admit, it was one of the reasons we broke up. I just couldn't get my head around the type of man who would be willing to do that day after day. It just seemed so boring to me. And yes, dishonest.
They're a little worried about what happens when one of them retires. Will the whole charade come to light? Will they be asked to give back all five years of wasted salary? But they're not worried enough to upset the apple cart just yet.
I'm a government employee and I work my ass off with no time for any social life, and thanks to the idiot Republicans we haven't had a raise in years. Hardly posh & easy.
Government workers can't get away with all the shit non-government workers do. Every fucking detail of our work is scrutinized and we all do more work than is humanly possible because we have to or we'll be fired or sent to work in the ghetto.
R16 speaks the real truth.
Every person that I know that works Government jobs works every bit as hard as private sector. The big exception to the difference between gov and private are the benefits and holiday flexibility.
Soul killing jobs that stifle all of the qualities that makes life worth living. The ideal is to suppress any and all human traits and form yourself into some sort of robotic automaton.
But then again, the corporate world, at least on the lower rungs, promotes the same sort of static ideology of "Don't Make Waves!"
The sad reality to life is that the only FUN careers (arts, design, entertainment, etc) are the ones that don't pay hardly anything and forget about job security or benefits.
My father worked as a state trooper and my mother worked as a corrections officer.
The negatives of government jobs have already been established in the thread so I won't delve into that.
The benefits are that you get to retire after 25 years, period. No having to stay on the job because you can't afford to retire. After 25 years you get a pension that is often more than your salary. That's pretty great.
Also you get full medical coverage for you and your family. You get 2 weeks paid vacation and 15 days PAID sick days and they don't harass you when you call out sick.
There are politics in the job but it's not as bad as the private sector because people's jobs are very secure and it takes too much paperwork and litigation to actually fire someone. The worse that could probably happen is that you get shuffled to another location if you're really that bad of an apple.
The only person that ever got let go from my mother's job during the entire 25 years that she worked there was someone who started taking drugs and it came up on one of the drug tests.
That's another negative that hasn't been mentioned....if you have an affinity for pot or any other drug you either have to learn how to give fake piss samples or learn to live without it.
I just got a state government job (having had one in my youth that I quit to go to college), and the pay and benefits aren't nearly as good as they were in the 80's and even the 90's. You pay a large chunk of your insurance premiums, no vacation the first year (after that you get seven days a year and one personal day), and because I work at a state college, I am required to work on "minor" holidays (such as Veteran's Day and Columbus Day) that other government employees are off to make up for the days between Xmas and NYE that the college offices are closed.
And I work like a dog, because these positions have gone unfilled forever and now I have two years of backlog to catch up on.
Almost makes me wish I'd never quit the first state job to go to college.
You'd be retired, r21!
[quote] He and four other engineers have, for over 5 years now, been doing nothing. There was a reorganization and their whole little unit was forgotten about. They have no direct supervision any more. They have no work assigned to them. They still collect salary and all their benefits but they literally do nothing. All five have agreed to just keep their mouths shut.
I'm on it!
R20, no one in my government office gets to retire after just 25 years. I've been working for the government for 36 years and won't be able to retire until I've worked at least 42 years.
OP you forgot the ability to work at home. My friend who works for the federal government just got permission to work from home 2 days a week. Yea right. She will sit on the couch in her pjs watching tv. Check email twice a day and get paid for a full day. Must be fucking nice.
I quit a govt job. I fell into a deep depression there - I constantly felt alienated from everyone who worked there - they were dishonest, stupid-cynical, and had zero curiosity about the world or anything interesting. They were all obsessed at getting more money or the next-pay grade up. Rude. Dumb. Back-stabbers. No conscience. 24/7.
A few people do work because when there are cuts, they cut at the bottom, so someone is left doing the work. Usually someone with zero power who takes shit from rude lifers who are lazy and do not give a damn. The dumbest & meanest are in charge. Felt sorry for the few humans that I saw there. Really hated it, and it made me think about people differently. Took me a while to be able to trust anyone again after that.
Would not recommend it to anyone intelligent, sensitive, or anyone that cares about right and wrong. And yes, I know that the private sector has its own problems, too - and I have experienced them (low pay, no security, no sick pay). Felt the worst working for the govt.
When people talk about their gov't jobs, it would be helpful if they specified whether it was city/state/federal.
Government jobs are the same bullshit as private sector jobs. Let's face it, hierarchial management brings out the worst in people.
My DINK neighbors often talk about how they will be millionaires when they both retire from the government.
But both bitch about their jobs. Neither one seems happy or content.
People eventually quit or are fired in the private sector. In government, they're all there, forever.
In the old days government jobs were the crappy jobs people got because they could not compete in private enterprise. Now the crappy government jobs are the 'good' jobs because government does not work for profit and didn't have to bankrupt the pension system [or it's against the law], or cut wages to post a third quarter profit.
Because private sector jobs have been pummeled to shit on top of stagnant wages for thirty years, those crappy government jobs look real good to to the private industry mooks whose jobs got much more crappy.
Don't blame the government worker because private industry outsourced, downsized, sold for profit your job and/or benefits.
As for a government job, most private industry people are not suitable for government org work. It's like a fusion of military and private work. It is a special environment and it is competitive.
I applied for a government job last October and after submitting a ten page application was invited to sit for the exam. I sat with over 800 people. For my last job I was #3 on the hire list with over 1400 applications submitted.
IF you can get a government job, do it.
A lot of people do apply for government jobs, but it is not competitive.
Having worked in government and the private sector, it is obvious that government people would not last long in the private sector.
R30 - what wages are you talking about? I have never seen a government job posted that is more than 50% of what I am making in the private sector.
R34 is talking out of 1985. Government salaries are way above private sector averages today, and D.C. is the richest city BY FAR in the country.
The private sector has been cutting their wages and pilfering their meager pensions for so long. Only the top executives really see a piece of the pie in the private business world.
At least with government jobs there is a system of checks that keeps the top brass from fucking too much with the underlings.
r34, the real jobs in government are PROMOTIONAL.
In order to be eligible to apply for them you have to be an employee ALREADY.
The public never sees them.
Take the bad 50% job just to get in the door.
I tried it. Right out of college. Thinking it was going to be one of those I can change the World jobs. It sucked. Sucked ass. It was soul killing. Office politics and games. The games involved keeping incompetent people on the job.
Shit, this is the same in the UK. Idle-itis is close on being a recognised condition where I work in local government.
[quote]The games involved keeping incompetent people on the job.
LMFAO, like THAT never happens outside of government.
[quote]OP you forgot the ability to work at home. My friend who works for the federal government just got permission to work from home 2 days a week. Yea right. She will sit on the couch in her pjs watching tv. Check email twice a day and get paid for a full day. Must be fucking nice.
I have a friend who works for IBM with a much better deal than that. Works from home 5 days a week occasionally monitoring some manager's calendars, accepting, declining and rescheduling meetings.
For a few years nobody even realized she wasn't in the office even though she was hired to work in-house and had a cube. She showed up just long enough to get a computer and access.
[quote] As seems to be typical of government jobs, many people worked harder at not working than if they had gone ahead and done their jobs.
That is the truth about a LOT of government workers. I used to work at a Veteran's Hospital. I used to see people who would see 3 forms that needed to be filled out (10 minutes work max) go into another one of our departments and totally by mistake get stuck with a project that took them an hour or two to do. And of course they were mad that they got stuck having to do more work. Had they have just done the work they were supposed to do - which is their job - instead of trying pawn it off or leave it for someone else to do they'd have been done in 10 minutes and then they could have sat around for a while.
Things like that are what made me quit. I was constantly aware that this could have been such a great job for all of us if everyone just worked (and I'm not talking about back breaking work) and got everything done in a reasonable amount of time we could have then spent the rest of the day taking it easy. Instead everyone was in a bad mood because everyone was trying to not work and push it off on everyone else. Someone always got stuck having to do everyone else's work. Those people like me ended up quitting after a year.
And of course the patients are the ones who suffered and received poor service/long waits (and the big run around)- which puts them in a bad mood and causes a lot more problems
Hi R34, I'm about to graduate as a nurse and the VA hospital where I live is having a job fair and said I should come by because I'm a veteran. What are the odds of them hiring me? I'm interested in working for them but I really don't know how difficult the process of getting in is.
I've worked at two different government jobs in the past, each for no more than a few months because they were so shitty. They were filled with miserable people, I was overworked, and contrary to what some people might think, the pay was shitty and they had me working 4 days a week instead of 5 so they could get out of paying for health insurance and I would've had to pay sky high prices out of my own pocket if I wanted them.
[quote]The benefits are that you get to retire after 25 years, period. No having to stay on the job because you can't afford to retire. After 25 years you get a pension that is often more than your salary. That's pretty great.
I work for the Federal government and most people can not retire after 25 years, especially under the newer retirement system. My pension will be calculated as (Aveage high 3 years salary) * (# years employment) * (.01) For me, after 20 years, it will be about $22,500 per year in a pension. I will get social security and I have the TSP (401k type plan) which included a 5% match over the years.
So, the key is how much the employee saved while working.
The old system didn't include social security, but had a nice pension for those who put in up to 42 years of service.
I will be retiring in May after only 20 years. My partner and I have saved a lot in retirement accounts and non-retirement accounts. We both also received an inheritance.
One of my best decisions was to take the Government job. It was nice not having to worry about being laid off.
How many of you government workers are veterans?
R42 I meant my question to go to you and not R34
In the last several years, if I am not mistaken, veterans get priority for federal jobs.
I was fairly experienced for a federal position in my area and applied...it involved visiting a lot of local governments and speaking with local officials....a lot of whom I already knew. They hired a veteran with the personality of a rock and I have never seen him out visiting public officials. They must be hiding him in the office.
I work for county government. We went from 5,000 employees to 3,500 in 10 years due to layoffs and elimination of jobs after people retired. I haven't had a raise in five years. We have had mandatory time off (a nice way to get a pay cut) for the past four. It ended this year but now everyone is taking mandatory pay cuts with no time off to make up for it. Also, pension reform and benefits reductions. They will add back cost of living raises to make up for the cuts. Still, there is a level of security for many, but not like it used to be. The private sector is suffering more, however, unless you are in a solid career with a great commpany, like in the high teck sector or other high paying field.
#49 again. Because of the reduced work force everyone has to work harder. It has an effect on morale. I've been in several departments and the manager has a real affect on the culture. I have a bad manager now, smart but terrible interpersonal skills. He fosters an atmosphere of disparagement that I must fight to rise above. I have had good managers, too. Can't wait to see the last of this guy.
I work for city government and I will say that the description of everyone being miserable is fairly accurate. Because we work for the miserable public who bitch and moan about everything!
Whoever up thread said government employees retire after 25 years and usually make more from their pension....bwwaahhhhhh! I do have a good retirement plan through state government system because I have been employed for 20 years...can retire after 27 years, full insurance for me only, but I will only make about 40% of my high 5 years salary average. They have made A LOT of changes to the state retirement system in the last 10 years, so new hired employees have to work a lot longer and get less benefits.
I work for city government as well. Back when I started we had civil service protection which provided us job security, and though the pay was decent but not great, we had good benefits package. That all went out the window when the economy tanked and our city government dismantled our civil service protections. Half our staff in my department was laid off, and those of us who remained were placed on reduced work schedules and our pension and benefits contributions increased. And to top it off, the city thought it would be a good idea to offer early retirement incentives to get people off the payroll. Well, hundreds took the offer, leaving the retirement coffers depleted. Guess who has to pay for that. We do. Every paycheck gets deducted to replenish the coffers. That's like me giving your neighbor money to go on vacation, but I take the money out of your account. How is that legal?
Fuck that shit!
I've got an office with my own fridge full of booze.
Nobody cares because everyone does.
R85. Average federal govt salary is $86k. Am I missing something?
I work for the UK civil service. We've had no pay rise for 4 years despite the increasing cost of living, and we aren't being paid a massive amount to begin with. The politics is awful; there's so much back-stabbing.
The other issue is that because it's so bureaucratic, no one will ever make a decision without creating a working group and having six meetings first. It's very frustrating because the work itself is quite enjoyable, but there is so much bullshit to overcome first.
It's lucky this is anonymous, because being in any way negative about the job is grounds for a disciplinary hearing.
Suburban Philly here.
The AVERAGE teacher salary here is 80K annually for 10 months work, and its not really 10 months when you back out Yom Kippur, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving/day after, Christmas week, King Day, Presidents Day, Spring Break week, Good Friday and Memorial Day holidays). Plus a regular pension plan (NOT a 401K) unequaled anywhere in the private sector.
Next up: the chorus of teachers telling us how awful their jobs are and how hard they work.
I don't feel like teaching today. Study Hall!
I work for the federal government and plan on retiring here. I worked in the private sector for 10 years prior to landing a federal job, and earned almost twice as much in the private sector. But, I prefer working for the government thanks to job security (though that's not looking too good right now which furloughs on the horizon!) and a better work/life balance. I accrue a lot of vacation days (20 days annual leave after 3 years of service and 13 sick days, plus 11 holidays a year) which allows me to spend time with family and to travel. I work very hard all day and am busy constantly, but I like that I won't be forced into working credit hours (what they call "over time" in the private sector, though we don't get paid for it, we earn hours to use as leave) if I don't want to. It's basically how working in the private sector was in the 1950's. I'm not allowed to work from home, but I do have a flexible work schedule where, in a two week period, I work seven 9-hour days, one 8-hour day and then have a day off, so I only work 9 days instead of 10. I absolutely love that. Some people work 10 hours a day for 4 days and then get a day off every week.
Of course every agency is different, and every unit within an agency is different.
Whenever people bitch about government employees earning what they deem to be too many perks, I always say nothing is stopping you from applying for a job yourself. We dont' get "free" healthcare, I pay $120 every two weeks for mine, and contribute 8% of my salary to my TSP (401k) in addition to paying social security. Most government employees are under FERS, not CSRS, which means our retirement package is about on par with the private sector.
It can be frustrating to move around at times, due to the fact that they HAVE to interview every internal candidate who is found qualified, even if they already know who they're going to hire, so there's a lot of getting your hopes up.
Overall I LOVE my job. It's not very exciting and certainly not glamorous, but it's very "work hard play hard" for me.