Get a Life

By Judith Welles

Blog archive

Get a Life!: Stressed out

Last week’s blog on the health effects of civil service stress led to some stressed out comments.

A commenter apparently not in civil service noted a "low sense of urgency" from federal counterparts. The person further commented that "if my organization fails, I need to find a new source of income," presumably in contrast to government work. Under a little stress?

Defending federal employees, another commenter pointed to stress from lack of control in U.S. government work and said "there is no free ride" in the federal government and hard working feds "deserve some respect."

Then another federal employee extended the commentary to the fact that highly educated federal employees are underpaid and don’t have the amenities, like gyms and cafeterias, which you find in many corporate settings. Budgetary cutbacks also mean working more with fewer staff.

The comments tell us that work is stressful and so is life. Sounds like federal employees and contractors, too, need a lot more strokes – if not from each other, than from managers and also the public they serve.

Most federal employees are not only hard working but working against greater odds all the time, with resource cutbacks and changes in management and goals every four years.

Contractors are on the job picking up the slack of staff cutbacks and helping to extend limited resources. They face constant challenges of fulfilling contract requirements in the midst of organizational issues beyond their control. Sometimes talented people doing good work are let go because a contract is not renewed. 

You think you have problems? Try saying a nice word to someone in your office – federal employee or not – so we can all feel a little better. And you can read Mike Causey’s new column in Federal Computer Week to lighten up too!

Got a better idea? Let us know. Post a comment (registration required) or send an e-mail to (subject: Blog comment) and we will post it for you.


Posted by Judith Welles on Feb 05, 2008 at 12:13 PM


  • IT Modernization
    Eisenhower Executive Office Building (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

    OMB's user guide to the MGT Act

    The Office of Management and Budget is working on a rules-of-the-road document to cover how agencies can seek and use funds under the MGT Act.

  • global network (Pushish Images/

    As others see us -- a few surprises

    A recent dinner with civil servants from Asia delivered some interesting insights, Steve Kelman writes.

  • FCW Perspectives
    cloud (Singkham/

    A smarter approach to cloud

    Advances in cloud technology are shifting the focus toward choosing the right tool for the job and crafting solutions that truly modernize systems.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.