The Oct. 24 letter "We Don't Give a Flip About the Feds" described a lawyer who had chosen to devote her skills to public service as "just another yuppie worried about her career track."
The concept of "government yuppies" is the purest of oxymorons. As government lawyers, I and my colleagues are kidded about our low wages, low budgets, perceived inefficiency and "bankers hours." We get accused of being bureaucratic paper shufflers and of hiding from the "real world." People such as Christopher Lee make us wonder why we are here and, often, cause us to leave public service.
We are sick of attitudes like Lee's. We put in long hard days, for a small fraction of what our services would render in the "real world," to enforce the laws that protect him. Lee should think carefully about what life would be like without dedicated public servants. We are here, not so that we can "punch our own ticket in the private sector," but because we believe in the mission of our agency and get tremendous satisfaction from being on the right side of the law.
The "revolving door" Lee refers to is caused by poor wages, ridiculous workloads and a lack of appreciation from those we are dedicated to serve. When we are finally fed up with the threat of furloughs, when the paycheck no longer covers the bills and when we feel that the job finally takes more than it gives, then we too shall leave.
The writer is an attorney with EPA.