A Lifetime of Experience with 'Government Workers'01 May 2013
I grew up in rural Oregon. One concept I was raised on and given healthy portions of, was a distrust of "government workers". Government workers were lazy, predatory, beauracratic and definitely not working for the interests of anyone I encountered in the small town I grew up in.
In contrast, during the last year of monitoring the White House Digital Strategy I've learned a lot about how government operates, the mission of a handful of the 200+ federal agencies, and opened up conversations with multiple "government workers", from a wide variety of government agencies.
One thing that stands out, is how all of them are working in a state of "public service". Many of them acknowledge the beauracratic environment, uphill battles, massive problem and challenges, and slowness to adopt new technologies and practices. But most of the 'government workers' I have talked with mentioned doing their jobs for public service during my conversations.
I just can't help think, that if more of our citizens from around the country were truly educated about how our government operates and exposed to people actually on the ground doing this work, they might see things differently and begin rolling up their sleeves and getting shit done vs. sitting back, judging and bitching.