Last week one of our Monday Morning Quarterbacks took government workers to task for failing to count their blessings: steady work, good pay and excellent retirement benefits.
The letter writer, Diane in D.C., said she's a retired fed who gives thanks every day for her pension. She said that too many feds have "gimme" attitudes.
This being a government town, one could expect her comments to draw return fire.
They did! Here's a sampling of some of the printable responses:
"I resent the letter from Diane, the self-righteous, overpensioned retiree who told me to be happy with whatever the government decides to pay me. What she mistakes as a cry of 'gimme more' is just a plea to maintain a portion of the pay and benefits she took for granted. She seems to have missed the fact that what civil service employees get today is far less in real terms than what the retiree got during her career.
"Federal pay in recent years has slipped behind private industry . . . . As a new employee I won't get the same pension Diane thanks God for each day. But I'm helping pay for the benefits she gets, which far exceed what she paid in. I'd like to hear why she thinks the work of current employees is worth so much less than when she was working.
"The stock market rise she praises may have helped her, as she could afford to make investments during her years on the gravy train. It hasn't done much for newer employees in the same grade levels who don't have extra money to invest.
"I know of many people my age who left for private industry. None have come back! When I returned to graduate school I found nobody who was looking for a government job, because industry pay is much higher.
"I'll be entering the private sector soon myself and won't be affected by the politics that determine federal pay. Perhaps then I should write my congressman to complain about 'overpaid retirees' getting rich off the taxpayers . . . . " P.K., Alexandria
"I don't know who Diane is but she is off-base telling retirees to count our blessings. Diane probably retired at a high salary and is now enjoying luxury. She probably went to college and had a good education. She is outnumbered.
"Some of us didn't get to go to college . . . . We went into government to get a halfway decent salary. When we retired, our pensions were minimal, and we are the majority. We appreciate the little we get and are thankful not to be on the poverty rolls.
"However, we would appreciate a little help when everything goes up except our pensions. She is the one who is on the gravy train and can sit back and say, 'Take it or lump it, you slobs!' Well, Diane in D.C., I wish you well and may the Good Lord bless you as he obviously has. But don't come down on those not as fortunate as you obviously are. Count your own blessings and be quiet!" A reader in Fairfax
"Diane berates employees who are not 'down on their knees grateful they have such easy jobs.' Those of her persuasion who are on the easy gravy train can show their appreciation by getting off their knees, or whatever they are on, and ask their supervisor for more work to earn their keep so their jobs aren't so easy. If they believe they're overpaid . . . they probably have a correct self-assessment. Is 'Diane' real, or an administration plant?" M.B., Falls Church