Government work is great from a benefits standpoint and job security aspect, but you'll soon realize that it becomes incredibly degrading for your personal life.
For one thing, government work is not meritocratic. You can work hard and do a good job, but Phil, who is currently sleeping at his desk, will get the next promotion because he was there longer than you. Oh, and the supervisor feels bad for him because he's got a wife and kids and needs to make ends meet.
Also, its degrading because of the 10/90 principle. 10% of the people do 90% of the work. Everyone else just gets in the way or works against you. But you can't fire them because of the ridiculous benefits they get (the same ones you got). Also... supervisors are afraid to shed workers, because it weakens their budgetary position next year... less workers mean less money coming into your division, which means less "work", which means less reason for your division to exist.
Think that's bad? Try ordering a component you need for a program. Try ordering a part that you could normally buy at Home Depot, but because some politicians want the Government to "play fair", you need to go to an approved vendor. Or, if its something there is no vendor for, you need to go out and have at least two different companies to bid on giving you that part. The process takes 5 months because the turnaround time on your paperwork to order something takes 2 weeks because the contract specialist you sent it to was an overworked 10%er, or a lazy piece of crap 90%er. Regardless, you filled out that form wrong anyway, try again.
Even when you do things right, the bidding process is horrific. Bids don't go to the best value, but are decided upon silly factors like these:
Figures that the company who won the contract has a lousy track record, but its small one "owned" by a female minority veteran who was injured in combat. Oh, and how do they operate? You tell them what you want to order, they then buy it from home depot, upcharge it 80% for shipping and processing, and then sell it to you.
- Small business (<100 employees or something)
- Female owned business
- Minority owned business
- Veteran owned business
- Disabled owned business
After awhile, you slowly realize that the entire system is a grind... it just exists to burn away as much of the taxpayer dollar. You try your best to do your job right and work hard. To be a good steward of the taxpayer's dollar. But the System has got you. After awhile, you get tired of being furloughed because some morons in the Capital can't figure out how to pass a budget. You're tired of hiring freezes which limit your mobility from department to department. You get sick of the fact that when promotions open up, they go to the 90%ers and "Phils" in the office before you. Even though you get accolades and "COINS" from your superiors acknowledging your work, you can't get any financial reward. So they give you time-off awards... which are pointless since your benefits already give you excellent vacation time.
You eventually give up. The idealism of working to better your country or your state by serving it as an employee turns into a depression-inducing commentary on the state of current affairs. Regardless if you start out as a Democrat or Republican, you slowly but sure just hate this bureaucratic mess. You begin writing your resume, updating it, and looking for new jobs. But the money and benefits you get are too good... you have a home. Kids. And a new job means moving, which no one wants to do.
So one boring day at work, after turning on your computer, you fall asleep at your desk, while the boss is showing around a new intern. He looks idealistic and happy to have a job, and wants to make a difference and do well. You give him one look, and then you close your eyes.
Who cares if you're sleeping, it's not like they're gonna fire you anyways.
Edit: wow, didn't expect this to get this big. Also, thank you for the gold... this is a throwaway, but it's cool to see what that is like. Also, I haven't even scratched the surface on the bullshit American taxpayer dollars was wasted on...
Reddit is awesome: http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1ik0kb/working_for_the_public_sector_is_much_better_than/cb59kkv