If you’re a white collar federal worker who’s unhappy with that 1% January pay raise, welcome to the club. Many sincerely believe they deserve much, much more. And they’ll be hard-pressed to get through the next year with only a token pay adjustment. Especially those in front-line and hazardous jobs. But hold that thought. Better yet, repress it in mixed company. Especially if one of the persons in the mix, a friend, in-law, neighbor, whatever, doesn’t work for the federal government. And maybe doesn’t have a job. Maybe he, she have been unemployed since March or April. Or…
If he or she is “lucky” as in still employed, there is good chance he or she may have taken a pay cut–anywhere from 10 to 50%–in order to keep it. Many people could handle a 10% reduction, but it would hurt. But 20, 30 or 50% might involve some changes. Like how often you eat, pay the rent, etc. He/she would probably love to be working today when most feds, by White House directive, have the day off!
I personally know dozens of people whose companies–mainly in the media–have gone out of business. Some got severance, which means no unemployment benefits. Others have been drawing unemployment (until it ran out). Many can’t find any work, much less in the field–newspapers, radio, wire services, TV–where they spent their lives. They would happily join those who voluntarily took 15% pay cuts until….when things get better. Which they haven’t.
So a word to the wise. If you work for Uncle Sam, sorry about the raise. It should have been more. That said, don’t complain about it to an out-of-work friend or neighbor, or you really may have something to worry about.