A very pricey impromptu federal holiday

Dear President Trump,

I don’t have the day off today since I’m considered an “essential” federal employee. Basically, the message at the VA has been that if employees are scheduled to see veterans today or are in direct clinical support roles they are expected to show up and do their jobs. No arbitrary cancellations will be tolerated, which really, in my opinion is as it should be. We shouldn’t get to take off and leave veterans in the lurch just because you have a whim of largesse (or whatever). On Monday I heard an interview with an FDA meat inspector who said he expected to be on the job today too, but that the middle and upper management people who aren’t out in the field would likely have the day off.

I haven’t seen any news articles about what proportion of the federal workforce is considered essential and will be at work today. The silence on this seems quite odd – does no one know or would that information undercut your propaganda about governmental excess and dysfunction? Anyway, I’m guessing that a very large chunk of us are doing government jobs that are vital to the safety, health, and well-being of the American people and we will be working today. The whole system will also likely have several clunky days after today trying to reset in the wake of the unplanned absence of thousands of “non-essential” workers.

I knew that people who are not slated to work today would get a paid holiday, but I just learned yesterday from our timekeeper that essential federal employees who work today get holiday pay, which is double their hourly wage. Did you realize this when you tossed out day-of-mourning federal holiday idea? Did you consult with anyone about how much it would cost or how disruptive it would be? What were you thinking? Were you thinking? Or was it just a way to maybe get some of the positive GHWB glow shifted over to you? You do realize, don’t you, that hardly any of the federal workers who have the day off are going to be glued to the memorial service functions all day? Were you maybe hoping that a mid-week early holiday shopping day would boost the economy and you could take credit for it? Whatever it was, this is going to be one of the most costly days for US tax payers in history and somehow I don’t think this is how GHWB would really want to be honored.

May we be safe from poorly thought out gestures.
May we be happy to humbly do our jobs.
May we be healthy and strong for the duration of you.
May you not start a war.

Tracy Simpson

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