So how is the new cold war — the one with real snow and record cold — impacting your day-to-day work life? Do you find yourself glued to the weather news, looking for stay-home or delayed-arrival texts as the Artic Vortex intrudes and hangs on?
Here’s what some of your colleagues are saying about the new normal:
“Last Tuesday some of us checked the hotline before leaving for work. Some drive 30 minutes to an hour to get here by 6 a.m.
“The text did not come through announcing that the building was closed until 5:50 a.m., as I was about to enter the building.
“As I was leaving, many were still driving in, unknowingly.” — Turned Around At Woodlawn
(A number of Baltimore-based feds had the same complaint. That they got the turn-around news too late.)
Here’s another timing-is-everything comment:
“It’s not the matter of if they are going to close or open late, it’s a matter of doing it correctly, giving us plenty of time so we again are not caught in this situation.
“Gas is not cheap and my bed was pretty toasty (electric mattress pad).
“This was not the first time.
“Previously, the announcement was not made until shortly after 6 a.m. that it would be a delayed opening. Terrific — now what are the employees that had arrived supposed to do?
“In that situation, when it truly was not the employees fault, we were given two hours at the back end of the day to compensate.” — SSA in Baltimore
A recently retired (to Florida) fed recalled snow days when he worked at the IRS in downtown Washington. He said:
“People unfamiliar with the situation let their political hatred of Washington color everything. They should spend a couple of winters there, especially trying to get over one of the too few bridges over the Potomac. All it takes is a couple of flat tires or two truck accidents on the beltway. That is gridlock, folks, not wimpery.” — Charles in Sarasota
Others found humor in the run up to, and the shutdowns, themselves. As one said:
“When it got really cold recently, I thought about getting a nice, warm down jacket. I went to the mall and had sticker shock at the prices. In this economy, even down is up.” — S.F.
Another grin-and-bear-it type said:
“The government issues the follow travel advisory: ANYONE TRAVELING IN BLIZZARD CONDITIONS SHOULD CARRY THE FOLLOWING:
“1) Shovel. 2) Blankets or sleeping bag. 3) Extra clothing, including hat and gloves. 4) Cell phone. 5) 24 hours worth of food. 6: De-icer. 7) Rock salt. 8 Flashlight with spare batteries. 9) Road flares or reflective triangles. 10: Full spare gas can. 11) First aid kit. 12: Jumper cables.
“So, I looked like an idiot on the bus this morning!”
Best Date(s) To Retire
With the new unused sick-leave benefit now fully in effect, lots of long-time federal workers are expected to retire this year. And some dates are better than others. What works best for you might not apply to others in your car pool. So how do you know?
Tomorrow at 10 a.m. on our Your Turn radio show, benefits expert Tammy Flanagan will talk about how to get the most pay, credit and tax breaks by picking the right-time-for you.
Listen if you can (1500 AM or online), and if you have questions email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call in during the show at (202) 465-3080. The show will be archived here.
“Cow tongue,” “squid” and “salad” are just some of the weird ice cream flavors offered by a food amusement park in Tokyo.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
TSP loans, hardship withdrawals hit 10-year high last year More Thrift Savings Plan participants withdrew money from their accounts early in 2013 than in any other year over the past decade. The board processed a total of 291,000 loans and about 138,000 hardship withdrawals last year, according to statistics presented at the board’s monthly meeting Monday. More than 14,000 of the hardship withdrawals taken last year came during the month of October, when partisan gridlock led to a 16-day government shutdown and financial uncertainty and delayed paychecks for thousands of federal employees.
OPM undecided whether to suspend, debar USIS after DoJ complaint OPM Director Katherine Archuleta called Justice’s case against U.S. Investigative Services, the government’s largest contractor for background investigations, an “egregious violation of the public trust.” In a statement to Federal News Radio, the Office of Personnel Management says it has taken steps to reform and improve the oversight of the security clearance system to prevent future “dumping” of cases.