Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

Turning the tables: What do you think of John Q. Public?

Well, we know that many members of the public harbor the opinion that feds are overpaid, and there are plenty of congressional budget hawks and special interest groups who work to bolster that perception. It’s a message that is not hard to sell in a tight economy.

While TV and the Internet help to spread both negative and positive perceptions, so do face-to-face interactions. Which may be part of the problem.

Most Americans likely interact with feds only after waiting in a line at the Post Office, listening for their name to be called at a Social Security office, or sitting in waiting room at a VA medical center. Or at the IRS. Some members of the public may not be in the best frame of mind when they come face to face with a real, live fed.

Of course, those of you on the other side of the desk or counter have to maintain your composure no matter what. One of the most compassionate people I know cares for an endless stream of aging vets at a VA clinic. But now, many years on the job have taken a toll on this person’s empathy. Now it’s no small talk and all business. This fed just wants to make it to retirement.

We pretty much know what John Q. Public thinks of you. There are endless “customer satisfaction" surveys to tell you that, especially if you are a fed with a public-facing job.

The question is: What’s your perception of the public you serve?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Aug 03, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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