Is there a federal workaholic in your office or family? Does his or her talk about 12-hour days and weekend work impress you, or depress you?

Are these perpetual-motion types an asset to the taxpayers, or are they rule-breakers masking their own insecurity and incompetence?

One reader writes to the Federal Diary to urge that federal bosses take a new look at employes who are consistently burning the midnight oil.

*This is what B.E.L., of Rockville, thinks of people who make careers out of working unpaid overtime.

B.E.L. maintains that Uncle Sam gets what he pays for when he accepts free labor:

"First . . . it is illegal! There is a principle of common law: The laborer is worthy of his hire.

"This applies whether the work is peformed on government property or at home.

"It requires falsification of time and attendance records to indicate 'normal' duty hours when, in fact, the worker started early and/or worked late.

"Workers are required to be paid in accordance with correct records of their work time . . . .

"A person not working, nor on his way to or from his work station, has no more business to be on government property than an ordinary visitor.

"If he is working, the law requires that his time be recorded and that he be paid for it.

"Further, those apple-polishing eager beavers who work unpaid overtime . . . are actually cheating their fellow workers.

"They make it appear that they can out-perform others who work the same recorded time.

"If an emergency ever arose (such as during World War II, when we all were on a six-day week, 10 hours a day) these false hotshots would not be able to keep up.

"They would already have been working at their full emergency capacity!"

*Letter No. 2 comes from "concerned civil servant" who has definite ideas as to who she works for:

"I came to government with the attitude that I am working for the citizen in the street . . . not for the politician who comes in with special initiatives which selfishly serve that particular administration . . . .

"Average citizens don't understand who is responsible for the poor management in government.

"They don't seem to be able to read through the political jargon to see who causes the government to become irresponsible.

"It certainly is not the federal employe.

"It is the political appointee with no experience or understanding of the term 'civil servant.'

"Many appointees come from the private sector and are only interested in the bottom line . . . . They do not understand that . . . civil servants are meant to provide services to all citizens.

"Average federal employes take the job seriously.

"I do, and I am tired of people putting my government down.

"In all respect to Jimmy Carter, I think he will be remembered for contributing to the downfall of the federal personnel system because of his civil service 'reforms.'

"The problem in government is, and always has been, poor management from the political appointee system.

"They are initiative-oriented and do not work on behalf of mankind, only the person that appointed them."