Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

Those darned open microphones

Well, you’ve heard it by now. At a recent meeting with donors, President Barack Obama spoke candidly near a live microphone that wasn’t supposed to be on. The audio feed was heard by a reporter, and the rest is history.

Obama reportedly was overheard by a CBS Radio News journalist, making the comment that it is “ generally smart and dedicated” federal workers are, but that some nonetheless “are slugs and not trying to do their job.”

In general, the comment has not caused much of a stir among members of the federal workforce, in Washington or anywhere else.

Perhaps it’s because — judging from many past comments posted by feds on this blog — a lot of federal employees hold more or less the same opinion, namely that the majority of feds are competent and conscientious, but there are always a few slackers.

And perhaps it is because, to some extent, the comments could be generalized to describe the broader U.S. workforce.


Posted by Phil Piemonte on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Thu, May 12, 2011

Truth spoken here.

Mon, May 9, 2011

That so called President is twice the president Bush turned out to be. This country needs to give up that old racism behavior. It has not inhanced our country yet and it never will.

Thu, Apr 21, 2011 Slug

You get what you pay for. Keep screwing around with retirement pensions and salaries and see what happens. The day will come when you can't get any service out the the Postal Service, IRS or Social Security because the nation simple refuses to pay its workers salaries equivalent to the commercial marketplace.

Thu, Apr 21, 2011 Jim R

Members of Congress are generally slugs and not trying to do their job (for example, failing to pass annual national budgets on time, or at all) while federal workers are smart and dedicated.

Thu, Apr 21, 2011 Rick Long Island, NY

I worked for the feds for 32 years, and the truth of the matter is, there are slugs in both the private sector and the federal workforce. Most federal employees are competent and dedicated workers, but there are a few who are there for government welfare. Removing those employees from the roles are a battle with protections provided by a system designed to protect good employees from bad supervisors. The unfortunate side of that is it also protects bad employees from good supervisors. This entire subject matter is quicksand, with good and bad points up and down the process.

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