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‘Yeeeaaah, I’m gonna need you to come in on Saturday’

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"Ahh, I'm also gonna need you to come in on Sunday too, 'kay? We, ah, lost some people this week, and, ah, we sorta need to play catchup." (from "Office Space")

It seems like every time we turn around, another federal agency is freezing hiring or making plans for a buyout. But even though staffing is taking a hit, agencies’ work isn’t going anywhere. And that’s not good news for the employees who remain.

Are tight staffing levels forcing you or your co-workers to work more overtime lately? We’d like to hear from you. E-mail me at slosey@federaltimes.com to share your story. If you only want to talk anonymously, that’s fine too. ‘Mkay? Yeaaahh…

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  1. Woot Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I would love to work overtime but my bosses refuse to pay anyone overtime even though we are up to our eyeballs in work.

    It seems like you get in more trouble working overtime than not working a complete 40 hour week.

  2. Federal & frustrated Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I am working for a federal agency in the southwest , where we used to have 3 people working and supporting one station we now have to support three stations with only 3 people. The simple math is we should really have nine but we would settle for 6 people. The interesting part of this equation is that this region for whatever reason dumps all their projects in March and expects you to award by June/September. How much can 3 people work to support the loss of 6? Overtime is there but how much can you work in a given day or Saturdays before you start making mistakes and it starts taking a toll ’s toll on your health and family.

    Please keep my name out of the article if you post and just call me federal & frustrated.

  3. Bryan Jackson Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I spent a career in the Service and the last decade in government service. I would suggest we, Government Employees, could do more. Not everyone is pulling their weight. The employee protections Federal workers enjoy are also harbors for those who are content to sit on their entitlements. On the whole, Government employees are dedicated hard working people who do the work for their country, not for themselves or for corporation’s profits.
    An underperforming person can drag down the efficiency of two others. This could be co-worker(s) who has to cover the work undone and a supervisor who must partake in the sometimes long and drawn out process leading to termination only to have the underperformer to exploit someone else in a new government position.
    Even more detrimental to the Government workers efficiency is the lack of quality leadership. Granted some organizations are better than others, so take this with a grain of salt. Poor leadership can be as bad a many underperforming workers. The effects of poor leadership can be felt from the ground floor management lacking experience to the top of the ladder with special and conflicting interest.
    Continual change is an efficiency killer as well. Every change in administration causes waves of disruption and change in the organization. Change can be good and even necessary but lack of commitment, poor management, poor communication, and poor planning and foresight can be more negative than positive.
    Changes in technology are coming faster and faster. Hardly do we get a new system in place and a workforce training, and something new comes along. It would be hard to escape the effects of this kind of change as planning for the unknown is a gamble.
    All in all the Government employees are not much different that other large organizations. They are missing the crucial pressures of easy termination and cost driven efficiencies. The costs are bearing down on Government workers to perform better but the employee protections are creating niches for underperformers to live and bread.
    As a proud government servant, I am shamed when voices are raised that lump us all together without looking at the true causes and effects. I take such strikes on the chin and keep reminding myself that I come to work to support those who took the standard from me when I left the service and the other veterans with whom I toiled arm in arm, not myself. I am thankful to have a job and more thankful the serve those who protect the ideas preserved in the constitution.