December 26, 1997 in City

They Deserve Day Off Take It Easy Workers Need A Break, And The Public Needs A Break, Too.

By The Spokesman-Review
 

We have one message for the federal employees - and some Spokane County employees - who have this day after Christmas off. Enjoy.

Stay in your pajamas the entire day, drink coffee, nap. Or take a long walk. Or go to a movie with your kids. Or return those sweaters that didn’t fit. Or do nothing.

Whatever you decide, enjoy. You deserve it.

Federal employees in the Inland Northwest, and some Spokane County employees whose contracts are tied to federal holidays, won’t be at work today. They won’t be immunizing our children or handling the millionth complaint from that angry member of the public who is really angry at her spouse but is taking it out on Mr. or Ms. Government Employee.

This Friday-after-Christmas-off tradition began in 1952 when presidents gave it to federal employees as a sort of holiday bonus. When the tradition began 45 years ago, government jobs were considered secure and prestigious.

This stability and respect associated with government work eroded through the years and now many government employees find themselves the butt of jokes - “going postal” - or the target of those who hate government and anyone associated with it.

Yet, most government employees like their jobs and perform essential public services. Those who work closest with government employees see firsthand the hard work and passion most feel for their jobs.

Kelsey Gray, an organizational development specialist at WSU and local government consultant, says that newly elected officials usually take office with a bias against government workers. They believe the workers don’t have a commitment to their jobs and aren’t doing good work. Yet within six months, most elected officials change their minds.

Some grumble that this extra day off costs taxpayers money and creates a hassle for those hoping to conduct business on the Friday after Christmas. That’s one more argument for closing some government functions down today. We need a break from all this “busyness” infecting our culture.

Perhaps future presidents should declare the Friday after Christmas a holiday for everyone. That would mean a merrier - and much saner - Christmas season for all.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view see headline: Extra day off only invites cynicism

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides

For opposing view see headline: Extra day off only invites cynicism

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides


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