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Sunday, June 9, 2013

What a Tired Civil Servant Thinks

I have been trying to come to terms with the madness at work that has been swirling around me for the past three weeks.  I have to admit, part of the trouble I am having is my resentment towards the powers that be for the dumb decisions that were made regarding the equipment and the scanning system that was purchased.  I am also resentful towards those same people for making these decisions on the tax payers' dime and the fact that they make about three times my salary.  It is not fair, it is not right and it is flat out wrong.

As a Catholic, I know that all things are (ultimately) in the Hands of a Loving God.  I also know that my job is to soldier on, keep the faith and keep a smile on my face.  I have done the first two without any problem but I gotta admit I am very grateful to my Mom, my sponsor, and my Dominican sister Rose for letting me vent and cry a little at the goofiness that is my life.

Part of what frustrates me is that the average person (I think) believes that all civil servants are lazy and suck off the teat of the giant state.  This is because they know only about those members of government that are much higher up the chain of command than I am and get paid way more than I do and get these amazing pensions and make incredible policy decisions and equipment purchases and then retire at age 65.

They do not know about people like me - the ones the politicians refer to as the 'backbone of America' on Memorial Day or the 4th of July.

I am up at 4:30 in the morning so I can be on the road by 5:30 to get to my job by 7:15am.  I work this job despite getting paid less and less because I wanted to be part of the government, I wanted to help people and because I am (still) proud of my country.  My day is not over at 5:00pm.  My day is over at 9 or 10 at night because this piece of the backbone of America does what all the other pieces do:  I volunteer, I look outside myself, I keep institutions the government now sneers at going in order to take care of those people who fall through the cracks.  I do that despite being called names, being shunned, being laughed at - I do it because my Faith demands that I feed the hungry and clothe the naked and visit the prisoner and care for the sick....and all I would like is that the promises made to me when I began working at my job 26 years ago be kept.

I pay into my own retirement.  Just like people in private industry, I pay for my health insurance and my retirement and I manage to salt away a bit more in special retirement accounts.  I go on vacations only when I am asked to speak somewhere.  Other than that, I work and I worship and I stay sober one day at a time...because that is what is expected of the backbone of America.

My prayers today are not for me; rather, I pray for my family and friends and those others out there who have lost their way.  I also pray that God give me the grace to keep walking towards heaven.  I am tired, people.  I am tired and I am disgusted and I have no answer other than to just keep walking.


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