slackerAs a former government worker, I am very familiar with the visual image some people have of these workers.

We don’t work.

We sit with our feet up on a desk and read the newspaper.

I was more than amused, then, when I saw this article claiming furloughed workers are still working.’

The WASHINGTON POST reveals, “The silenced, non-vibrating, non-lit BlackBerrys and iPhones have become, for many government workers, a symbol of the work they yearn to do but can’t.”

Now, get this – “Some are pondering ways to cheat, losing their will to stay away and risking a $5,000 fine and a trip to federal prison!” Emphasis mine.

“Temptations are everywhere, especially through personal technology. Contractors are e-mailing government workers on their personal e-mail accounts. Web browser bookmarks on home computers offer quick paths to government intranets. One federal IT worker misses his servers badly but knows logging in remotely will leave a digital footprint and could get him in trouble. His coping mechanism: manage personal servers for his home — a form of faux work.”

Doesn’t sound like slackers to me!

I’ll bet these workaholics aren’t the norm, but it should give pause to those who can only see the old, pre-conceived images.

This is the hard part for me to understand – it is against regulations to work during a shut-down.  These workers risk being punished.  However, one worker, “. . . . will most likely use Web sites that her boss can’t track to do research for a paper, even though she would be in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits government workers from volunteering their services or working for free during a shutdown. She knows of others who plan to work, too. One CDC colleague told her that the situation was making her feel “unprideful.”

Take THAT Uncle Sam!




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