Federal fat-fighters at the White House got a big jolt this week when they got payroll data that showed that government salary costs jumped $388 million from February to March.It didn't fit with the image of a leaner, more efficient government that presidents, have traditionally promised us.

The problem was solved when somebody looked at a calendar. It seems that February this year had only 28 days, and only 20 working days for which civil servants were paid. For that, they got $3,874,120,000. The Washington share was $569,757,000.

In March, which had 31 days and 23 working days, the payroll costs jumped to $4,262,289,000. The corresponding increase for white collar civilians working in metropolitan Washington was $612,063,000.

Between February and March the government also added a little more than 5,000 people to the payroll, including more than 1,100 new civil servants at Washington headquarters operations. Those new employes, plus three extra days on the job, were enough to kick the civilian payroll up by nearly $400 million.

Rudolph V. Lutter Jr., a lawyer with the Federal Communications Commission, is the new president of Volunteers for the Visually Handicapped.The group helps out blind persons in metropolitan Washington, providing special services. Lutter, himself blind, earned his law degree from Harvard.

Television and the Bureaucracy: Bruce Cummings of WJLA-TV (Channel 7) news and WRC-TV's Federal File reporter Stan Bernard will talk about television coverage of the government May 31 at a Classification and Compensation Society meeting at 10 a.m. at the Library of Congress (Coolidge Auditorium).

Minority Underutilization: The House Subcommittee on Employment Opportunities says federal agencies are wasting two of their most valuable human resources - women and minority group members. Chairman Augustus Hawkins (D-Calif.) says a subshowed a 25 percent "underutilization" of minorities, and 50 percent "underutilization" rate for women workers.STDisability Discrimination: The Disabled American Veterans has filed more than 100 formal job compalaint of discrimination against federal agencies. DAV alleges that the federal office including the Civil Service Commision, VA, National Labor Relations Board and Navy have discriminated "against veteran because of thier impairments." More than half the cases, the DAV claims, involve Vietnam war vets.

Volunteer Service Credit: The White House has ordered federal agencies to allow former Community Volunteer in the ACTION agency to be appointed to civil service job without being required to take competitive tests. Those included in the new order rate are former workers in criminal Justice Volunteer program, and VET REACH volunteers.

Application must be made within one year of completing volunteer service. For persons whose volunteer service ended before March 10 of this year, the one-year period begins on that date. The Civil Service Commision has the details.

Get ready for Chritmas: Navy's Surface Centers at White Oak, Md, and Dahlgren, Va., have alerted employes that the facilities again will be closed briefly during the Christmas and New York period. The shut will last from Dec. 26 to Dec. 29. Employees who don't have annual leave to take will be furloughed.

15-cent Stamp: The new first class rate ought to be the last increase until at least 1981, according to Rep. Ed Derwinki (R-ILL).He's ranking minority member of the Post Office Civil Service Committee and an expert on postal matters.

Derwinski says the stamp-buying public will pay an extra $2 billion a year but it is better than having the money come out of general treasury revenues.

Four-Day Week: The House yesterday approved legislation that will agencies to experiment with a variety of flexible work shift, including the four-day week. The bill now go to Senate.

Under the experimental three-year program. federal worker who volunteered to work a 10 hour day would wave mandatory overtime that now must be paid for work in excess of 8 hours. It would allow them to get 3 day weekends at no additional overtime cost to government. The Carter administration supports the bill.

Federal officials says that while the four day workweek is the attention getter, most of the egency experiment in the flextime would involve stretched out work-day within the regular 5-day workweek.