The Washington Post had a piece yesterday by Jason Ullner, a fellow Foreign Service Officer, entitled: "I work for Uncle Sam, and I’m proud of it".
In it, Jason echoes the frustrations many of us have felt (and blogged about) regarding the current climate in the states of using federal employees as the whipping boys over our budget problems.
Like many federal workers, I have sacrificed: a high-paying job in the private sector; a year of my life (and the first six months of my daughter’s life) spent in Iraq; long hours; high stress; pay freezes. I’m not complaining; in fact, I quite enjoy my career and my life in the Foreign Service. Yet when I hear our politicians talking about “fixing” Washington, I often wonder to myself: whom would they like to “fix?” Is it the guy I see on the Metro every day, heading to work at the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that our food is safe? Is it the woman going into Commerce Department headquarters to support U.S. companies abroad? Or do they mean the thousands of people who support our troops overseas? How about my fellow Foreign Service officers, who put themselves in harm’s way in Baghdad, Kabul, Damascus and hundreds of other places around the world?
So to all our politicians, I implore you: Stop using the government workforce as a political football. Just stop. It demeans you, it demoralizes us, and it is counterproductive to drive away the best and brightest from working for the betterment of this country.
We don’t do our jobs for glory, or money or power. We do them — and do them well — because we take pride in our work and pride in representing the United States of America.
You can ready the entire piece here.