Today's first letter to the Monday Morning Quarterback is from a private sector employe who wishes federal workers well -- sort of -- as they enjoy this first federal holiday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Another letter writer complains that groups representing military retirees are not fighting hard enough to protect pension benefits, and another suggests that the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act may add a new set of alphabet-soup designations to the language of the federal government.
If you have an idea or comment, this is your space and your day. Let us hear from you. Write to me c/o the Monday Morning Quarterback, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.
Here is what some readers tell us:
*"I hope you can run this letter on the newest 'government' holiday (commemorating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.) for the edification of your civil service readers. The fact is that for most people, except government workers and employes in banking, today is not a paid holiday.
"This is not intended as a criticism of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, any more than it is a criticism of Christmas or Thanksgiving. However, your civil service readers should know that one of the fringe benefits they take for granted is the large number of holidays.
"Frequently when I discuss the holiday situation with friends who work for the federal government, they express shock when I tell them that much of the rest of the world is working when they are off for Veterans Day, or Columbus Day, for example.
"If they think everybody is off when they are off, I wonder who they think waits on them in restaurants, shopping malls and service stations. I am in the retail business. My husband works for a corporation and gets several fewer holidays than a government worker.
"We do not get either Veterans Day, or Columbus Day, off. Nor Inauguration Day, which I believe is a local holiday for government workers.
"This was not intended to be a 'sour grapes' letter. If government workers get more holidays than private sector employes, more power to them. However, I think that federal employes should be aware of the fact that a 'government' holiday isn't a holiday for everyone." N.M., Bethesda
*"What distresses me as a military retiree is the implicit indifference exhibited by all retiree associations to the mauling we retirees have experienced in the past five years.
"We are painfully aware that most members of Congress and the editorial writers of newspapers wish retirees would go away and just quietly die as the sole solution to our budget burdens. I am inured to this thinking and viscerally return their scabrous scorn towards us." J.C. Northern Virginia
*"Everything in this town will revolve around the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act for the next several years, right? Let me be the first to suggest a bit of new bureaucratic shorthand that should prove useful to all of us: 'GR'd' pronounced Gee Ard, as in:
" 'Whatever happened to old Tony?'
" 'Oh, he doesn't work here anymore. He was GR'd last April.'
" 'How can I get a word processor for my office?'
" 'Forget it. All new equipment has been GR'd.'
" 'What's the status of the XYZ program?'
" 'GR'd.' " T.D., Falls Church