Letter: Feds spend more time training than working

Regarding "Partnership for Public Service creates leadership institute for innovation," a reader writes: The last thing government employees need is more time in a classroom. Where does it end? I swear that between training, conferences, meeting and their generous vacation, federal employees are present for their actual jobs about 50 percent of the year max. They are the most "trained" body of people on the planet? Does it help or hurt, really?  This is typical of a recording on federal employee phone service: "Today is Monday, February 18th. I will be in training this week, on vacation next week, and at a conference until Wednesday, March 5th..." It gets riduculous.  And of course that recording will play until about the 23rd of March.  Here's another common experience for those of us in routine contact with a fed: "...in my absence call Bob Smith or Mary Jones..."  You call Bob and Mary. They are at the same training. And their recording suggests you call the other two.

Anonymous

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Reader comments

Thu, Mar 20, 2008 Michael Novak

Sounds like "Anonymous" has some sour grapes ... about what, I would not even hazard a guess. But I wonder if "Anonymous" would like to have an untrained Revenue Agent auditing his/her tax return ... or an untrained Air Traffic Controller guiding the plane he/she is riding in ... or an untrained Contracting Officer deciding how to spend his/her tax money. The most "trained" body of people on the planet? If true, perhaps it's because government employees need that training to effectively protect "Anonymous's" rights and to ensure "Anonymous" does not miss any of the government entitlements that he/she deserves.

Thu, Mar 13, 2008 Keith Nelson

For the most part, doing my job comes before training but there have been times when I take "personal time/leave" to get some training when my organization can't afford it. My guess is that there are other fed employees doing the same thing. We're not ALL bad!

Tue, Mar 11, 2008 Barbed Wire

Who has time for training? I don't even have a budget for travel, and every day I have more duties to take care of in the office. I don't know any Fed. IT people that travel and train like that.

Tue, Mar 11, 2008 Phillip Morgan

Training? What training? In my agency (Navair), the only training we can realistically access is the stupid online stuff, that only encourages folks to "get thru it" as quickly as possible (vice actually learning). I say, bravo to more classroom training!

Mon, Mar 10, 2008 mike miller

The reader provided such a generalization! This does not occur in every agency, certainly not mind. It's true that senior staff do travel to conferences, seminars etc. But managers on down, what training is available is on-line. If the reader believes that training, travel is in excess, then voice concerns to the appropriate parties, even the agency IG if necessary.

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