Sunday, February 03, 2013
This is a tale. One I need to tell. Because I am sick and tired of so many people having the wrong idea about what we do, and what we're worth. It's a long tale, a rant, even, but I need to get it off my chest. This is not weight-loss related and it is my own opinion, seeing it as I am from ground zero. But it does affect my over-all health and welfare, and, well, it's my blog.
I work for the Government. I catalogue library books, so I neither have, nor want access to any secret government underwear. Uh, documents. Sorry, I had a Whatís Up, Doc? moment there. (Funniest movie EVER!)
Any road, Iím going to have my say. I am so sick and tired of, well, everything, and I canít take it anymore, so, since no one reads this anyway, Iím going to vent to my heartís content!!!!
Both my husband and I work for the Department of Defense. As I said, I catalogue library books. My husband repairs vehicles. He was in the Navy, did his six, as they say, and went to school on the GI Bill getting simultaneous AA degrees in Diesel Repair and Small Engine Repair. Heís now given nearly 20 years of his life in service to his country, and Iíve given nearly nine.
No, we donít go to combat, we donít deal with state secrets, he no longer goes to sea, but we do serve our country in our small ways. Just like millions of other Civilian employees do. We are proud of the work we do, and we work hard.
Just to set the record straight :
Yep. We have access to health care, but itís not free. Between the two of us we pay about $130 dollars a month. Thatís not bad, I know, but that also gives us $500 deductibles each and $40 co-pays, so itís one of those where we pay on the back end rather than the front. Kind of a pay IF we use, as opposed to pay ahead in case we need, if you get my drift. We can choose from a number of plans, but this one has worked best for us.
Yep. We have a retirement plan. It includes something thatís called a TSP, which is basically a 401k that we need to pay into. The government matches funds to a certain point. Itís very like the plan I had when I worked at Musicland. I do not get free retirement for life, or anything like. At this point, Iíll be lucky to have any retirement at all.
Yep. We get sick time and vacation time. And we can generally use it as we need it. This is the greatest benefit we get, I think, especially with Al having to have both of his hips replaced, one colon explosion, and a failed colon re-connect. We can also receive leave time from other employees who have built up enough time that they may lose it at the end of the year. A donor program that helps tens of thousands of Federal Employees per year.
Yep. We do make good money. For us. A livable wage for once in our lives.
We do not make in excess of $100,000 each.
We do not get free health care.
We do not get a living retirement paid for us.
We do not sit around drinking coffee and gossiping all day long.
We do not Ďsuckle at the teat of the government,í taking everything and giving nothing in return.
Iím not saying that there arenít lazy and shiftless people who work for the government, because those people exist everywhere. Iím not saying that there arenít people who are paid much more than we make for less work than we do. Iím sure there are.
But this is not the case for the majority of workers. Most of us are trying to eke out a living like everyone else in this country. We go out to eat once in a while. Maybe take in a movie or go mini-golfing. My big splurges? I get the MLB packet on Directv so I can watch my Red Sox play all summer. I pay to run in races to help me keep fit and help charities. Like you. Little things.
We serve our country. We work hard and are proud of the work we do each and every day, and we are sick and tired of being used as pawns in Congressís inabillity to do their job. Yes, the budget needs work, and this Congress is paying for the inability of the last one to get their collective heads out of their collective butts and actually make a decision. But thatís their job!
And because of the inability of Congress to do the job itís supposed to do, we are, once more, facing furloughs. It looks like the DoD may go with the plan instituted by the Navy, where every Civilian employee works 32 hours per week from April through September. Thatís a loss of eight hours a week, sixteen for us and the many like us here in this small, rural area where both breadwinners are dependent on our Government jobs. Done the math yet? A loss of 64 hours pay a month. For six months.
Multiply that by the tens of thousands of Civilian employees across the country, and all of a sudden you see the slowly building economy start to collapse. I know I wonít be able to afford to go out to eat. I wonít be able to go to a movie or get my MLB package. I need to call the hospital and tell them I am cutting my payments by a third because I wonít be able to afford what Iíve been paying in an attempt to pay off Alís medical bills as quickly as possible.
And Al will have his next surgery because Ostomy supplies are expensive and never-ending, and this specialist believes he can re-connect Al and be done. But that adds another medical bill, and fewer dollars with which to pay it.
But I canít complain, can I? Iím lucky to have any job at all. Especially one where all I do all day is sit around and drink coffee and gossip.