This column has been updated from its original version.
There are two really rough periods in government when people are stretched to their emotional and physical limits. When they are asked to endure the unendurable. When some people abandon all hope.
The last week in August which is, unofficially, Rocky Horror Show time. That’s when summer-weary feds (and private-sector types) lose it. They cash in their dignity chips. They toss style, taste and articles of clothing to the wind. It is a time of tank tops, spandex and other mind-numbing attire. Some ignore this period, or muddle through it. Most survive. A few crack and are never the same. (As you might imagine it is much the same if you work in radio.)
Then, there is the second week of horror. It is what is probably the least productive period in government (and non-retail parts of the private sector). It started today. And it will run through, at least, Jan. 1. It is the time when your workplace becomes a miniature of the Village of the Damned.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is when offices are largely staffed only by people who are either:
essential to the health, safety or security of the nation,
avoiding visiting their in-laws, or
those forced to work because they ran out of sick or annual leave.
Federal employees learned around lunchtime Friday that they’d have today off. And, they have off tomorrow, Christmas Day, as well. How many will be in the office for the remainder of the week is questionable.
If you are off this week, enjoy yourself, buckle up and we’ll see you in the new year.
If you are working, whatever your motives or motivation, enjoy the reduced traffic — and continue reading my column. I’ll have some new stuff for you this week.
People spend an average of 10 hours during Christmas week arguing with family members about holiday-related activities, according to a three-year study by the Center for Lifestyle Management. (Courtesy of The Mine of Useless Information)
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO:
Feds given the day off on Christmas Eve Federal employees will not have to come to work on Mon., Dec. 24, 2012. The White House announced Friday in an executive order it was giving all executive branch departments and agencies the day off.
Fiscal cliff deal still up in the air House Speaker John Boehner said Friday he’s still open to negotiations with President Barack Obama, but sounded pessimistic about reaching a grand deal.
Obama nominates John Kerry as next Secretary of State “He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training,” Obama said Friday when announcing his nomination. “Few individuals know as many presidents and prime ministers or grasp our policies as firmly as John Kerry.”