Welcome to a “Cushy Government Job!”

He was a 40-something MBA with a good 6 figure job that allowed him to work out of his home a great deal of time, giving him flexibility to attend his son’s 4 PM sports games and be home for family dinners. Then the recession hit, and he found himself unemployed. After months with only a few interviews and no job offers, he thought that since there is all this talk about government employees making more than the private sector, he would check out government jobs.

Well, he found that he would have to shoot for an entry level job below 6 figures and hope that over years he could compete successfully for promotions and just maybe someday get back into the 6 figure league. Desperate, he decided to give it a shot, applying for federal level jobs in several locations in Southern California. After months of effort, he was hired and began work in a federal office handling government contracts about an hour commute from his house.

He found out that he would have to pay for his own parking, not like his private sector job where parking was free. And that free coffee and bottled water he had become accustomed to in his private sector job? Forget it – Uncle Sam does not spend taxpayer money for such frills! After 6 months maybe there will be some telecommuting allowed, but for now it is a be in the office at 8AM and leave at 5 PM job. Tack on an hour to an hour a half commute each way and it becomes a 10-11 hour day.

At this point he views his federal job as a Godsend to bring a paycheck back into his house, though much smaller than what he had brought home from the private sector. As for that picture of government employees making more than their counterparts in the private sector – it looks like a myth to him.  He has not experienced a bomb scare yet, but his fellow workers say he can count on one being phoned into the building every now and then.  He understands that about a month ago a bullet hole pierced a 4th floor window – it is gang territory about a block away and he has been told that once winter comes to avoid that street when walking the 5 blocks to his parking spot after work.

At least there is a drinking fountain though, and July 4 is a paid holiday!

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.