Today's leadoff letter to the Monday Morning Quarterback is from a nonprofit organization worker who is amused/irritated by the who-has-it-toughest debate between federal and industry workers.

Letter number two is from a retired fed who believes pension costs must be curtailed.

The final offering is from a fed who says the time-clock mentality is alive and well in her office.

*"Concerning your on-going account of the feds vs. the 'privates' and who has it worst, salary and job-wise: a plague on both their houses. I work for a quasi-government, nonprofit organization whose workers periodically lift their heads from their labors to gaze in awe at the salaries of their counterparts in government and industry.

"This [our low pay] is due to the fact that our source of revenue is voluntary contributions and overhead must remain low. Even before our staff was cut (from 1,000-plus to 700) at national headquarters, less than 10 cents of every donated dollar went to overhead. Now, of course, the ratio is even leaner.

"So I say to the feds and the privates: Count your blessings while you count your money and your bennies." Name Withheld, Washington.

*"Please allow me equal time to express my views regarding your July 23 column in which you say 'federal retirees don't like to be lumped in the same group as retired politicians whose pensions -- while enviable -- are not particularly representative of anything.'

"As a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees I do not like being lumped with retirees who take the attitude that we have no obligation to face the reality that growth of entitlement programs must be restrained if meaningful deficit reduction is to be achieved.

"My civil service pension is even less than the $1,200 per month you cited as the average. However, like 80 percent of the retirees I also receive Social Security . . . also fully indexed to inflation. Through prudence and hard work I have accumulated other assets.

" . . . I believe the Census Bureau was absolutely correct in the recent report indicating that as a group, those citizens over 65 are better off than any other age group except those 50 to 54.

"The National Committee on Public Employee Pension Systems (PEPS) has proposed a limit on the amount of federal pension subject to cost-of-living adjustments.

" . . . I believe the thoughtful civil service retiree wants to accept his responsibility for the economic well-being of this country. In doing so, I firmly believe that we will all be better off." Olive Hunt, Public Information Officer, PEPS.

*"I work for a government agency that is totally production-oriented . . . . When I get to work I punch in, and punch a card when I go to lunch and return, and when I go home. When I work on a different assignment I punch a new card. If I take a break, I have to sign off my machine and sign on when I return. This lets my boss know how long I've been on break or a certain job.

"Not a day goes by without the mention of layoffs or firings. We are constantly reminded that failure to meet production standards could result in either of the above.

"I work a 40-hour week, at times more. I pay for parking and I pay top dollar for cafeteria food. When I give blood I get two hours off but cannot leave the building. Some private industry workers get four hours off.

"The daily harassment is equal to any benefits I get." GS employe, Washington.