In today's Monday Morning Quarterback a government boss says there are too many assistant bosses. Another correspondent suggests that Uncle Sam step up his suggestion system, and another urges federal workers to flex their political muscles by monitoring how their elected leaders vote. Finally, a longtime retiree says there is life -- and money -- after government. Here goes:
*Who Needs Deputies? "As a federal manager I would like to share an idea with your readers. In my organization I am the only individual at my level who does not have a deputy. I think they are totally unnecessary for the following reasons:
"Once an individual appoints a deputy much of the incentive among division chiefs is diminished . . . . If an error is made in selecting the deputy you are probably stuck with him/her for a long time.
"In place of a permanent deputy I rotate division chiefs into my position when I am absent for travel, illness or vacation. This amounts to some 90 or more days per year.
"Thus, I am able to have each division chief 'fly' my desk for 30 days a year. This way I get a good idea of how these individuals handle a variety of assignments. They enjoy the experience. I find keen competition among the division chiefs with each striving to do the best job.
"When I leave government (shortly), I will recommend my replacement on the basis of demonstrated performance, not on the bases of hunches which is so often now done." H.S.L., Alexandria
*Suggests More Suggestions: "Your column on the budget-cutting plans made me think of the incentive awards (suggestion) program. Recently on the radio I heard a report which said that in Japan the average period for making suggestions is every two weeks, while in the USA the average employe makes a suggestion every six years.
"It is no wonder spending and the deficit are growing. I know now why the USA is called the throw-away society. Maybe the defense establishment would be in a better state of readiness if the suggestion program was revitalized." Len, Falls Church
*Pushover Feds: "As a federal employe I am astounded by the empathy most workers have to their congressmen who vote against federal workers. What we need to do is get on the phone, call our elected leaders and ask how they voted.
"The best way is to fire off a letter objecting to his/her voting record and stating you will vote them out of office.
"Then pass the word on to employes about your legislators' voting record. There are over 2.6 million government employes.
"Think of the power/influence we all would have if everyone wrote their representative.
"If federal workers won't stand up for themselves then who will? Nobody, that's who!!!" A.H., Arlington
*Life After Government: "After 37 years of federal service (starting as a 15-year-old messenger), and tired of being pushed around during the last eight years, I qualified for disability retirement at age 52. This month I began my 24th year of retirement. I have earned money every day during my retirement and been able to pay 20 years of college and graduate school bills. There is no reason for anyone to fear early retirement. There is more money to be made outside of government than you can believe!" L., Silver Spring