The Washington Post

In op-ed, federal worker says, ‘I’m fed up’

Federal Employees demonstrate outside the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago in April 2011. (Scott Olson/GETTY IMAGES)

Jason Ullner, writes that he’s “damn proud” to serve as a federal employee, and “fed up” with the criticism he hears too often from politicians in Washington and along the presidential campaign trail.

“I don’t claim to represent anyone other than myself, but I would bet that a fair number of federal employees feel as I do,” Ullner writes. “We are lawyers, doctors, PhD students, economists, writers, electricians, construction workers, security officers and technology specialists. We are not a drain on the national economy; rather, we are a primary reason why the United States remains as great as it is.”

Then, Ullner adds:

I have no doubt that some within the federal bureaucracy simply show up each day to collect a paycheck. I also have no doubt that this happens within any number of multinational corporations, small businesses and law firms. But I know for a fact that most of us do this job not because we want to make a lot of money but because, simply put, we want to serve our country.

There was a time, not long ago, when government service was seen as a higher calling. That’s the reason I decided to join the State Department in 2005 — not because I wanted job security or good health benefits, but because I wanted to devote my life to making this country stronger, to making the world a better, safer place and to have a career I was proud of. Seven years later, I still get excited to come to work every morning. I still get a thrill when I enter the State Department and see the flags of every nation with which we have diplomatic relations. And I certainly get chills each and every time I see the U.S. flag on one of our embassies. I’m fairly sure I am not the only federal employee who feels this way.

Read the full op-ed then share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Further reading:

David Sharrett’s family still wants justice for friendly fire death in Iraq

GAO: Military slow to aid whistleblowers

For more, visit PostPolitics and The Fed Page.

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters