Thanks to the big freeze of 2014, Washington, D.C., has temporarily lost bragging rights to being Wimp City USA.
Despite being tougher, more determined and having better snow and cold weather equipment, this week’s deep freeze caused schools and government offices in places that never surrender to close.
Since wimpery loves company, we in the nation’s capital salute you, and welcome you to the baby-its-cold-outside club.
Folks, students and feds from Minnesota to Boston and Chicagoland either decided to, or were ordered to stay inside Monday and Tuesday as dangerous arctic-like temperatures seeped down below the 38th parallel.
On Monday, we started hearing from half-frozen feds in outposts that normally don’t close for any reason — certainly not the 1 to 3 inches that can sometimes semi-paralyze DC. But this week they joined our ranks. Consider this Monday message from Tony in Ohio, who also wrote one of the guest columns that ran while I was away. He’s back with this:
” I am sitting at home since I got the call at 5 a.m. that our office is closed. We got blasted the last two days and blown out the driveway three times in the past 20 hours. Now ,wind and the deep freeze is supposed to hit us. I just got in from blowing out the driveway the third time — the damn plow driver likes to make it hard to get in and out of my driveway, leaving 4 foot-high and wide piles of snow right in the drive. Don’t want to lose any mufflers. My 4×4 truck can go through that, but the wife’s car cannot. Kinda thought the office would be closed, I got out last night and roads were already terrible. Thanks again for letting me write for you again, but the comments most think I’m dead on. You talked about a book, would love to collaborate with you on a book, writing about how feds are important and getting that message out to the public. Not only would be a morale booster for Feds, informational for a misled public. Thanks again! — Tony K.
If you are reading this in San Diego, Key West or the Galapagos Islands, please try not to smirk. There is such a thing as karma you know.
By the numbers: Federal retirements climb in 2013 The exodus of employees from the federal workforce was a big story this past year: More federal employees retired in 2013 than the year before, providing grist for the mill for predictions of a coming federal retirement wave. Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management’s efforts to clear a longstanding backlog of new retirement applications faced hurdles because of the steep sequestration budget cuts that hit government. Federal News Radio parsed through the data over the past year. A series of charts and graphs track the latest trends.
DHS nominee seeks ‘to hit the reset button’ in embattled IG office John Roth told a Senate committee today he aimed to turn around employee morale at Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office, which has been rocked by allegations of misconduct by the former acting head of the office. Obama nominated Roth to head the IG’s office in late November. The position has been vacant for nearly three years, and is just one of what was once a handful of high-level vacancies at the department.
Officials cite progress in labor-management forums Federal-employee unions say they’re having more of a voice in the agency decisionmaking process, thanks to a four-year-old directive from President Barack Obama calling for greater collaboration between labor groups and agency leadership.
Reduced conference spending could save government $500M each year Agencies are spending significantly less money on federal conferences, which could amount to $500 million in annual savings across the government. Increased oversight and tighter controls have led to a nearly 90 percent drop in conference spending since 2010 at four agencies, according to a report by Rep. John Mica (R- Fla.).