Vandenberg's civil servants know how to lend a helping hand |
Commentary by Jacky Lloyd
14th Air Force requirements manager
1/18/2011 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- I heard a story last week that made me marvel, once again, at how the civilian work force here on Vandenberg takes care of each other. An employee visited the Civilian Personnel Office to donate leave for another employee who has no annual or sick leave of their own left to use.When she asked if she was alone in her donation, the person taking her paperwork motioned to a stack of similar forms yet to be processed. My friend said she was surprised. I'm not.
If you don't know; when leave is donated by a GS, IA or NSPS civilian to another it must be earned annual leave. It can't be any other category. They are donating vacation time to another person whom they might only know in passing or not at all. In some instances personnel whose workload may have doubled because of the illness are still donating.
This is a predicament with which I am familiar. When I was ill and undergoing extended treatment the same thing was done for me when I had no leave left. It kept me going financially. But it also kept me going emotionally. I know people who are willing to pay more than lip service to helping others. I can never thank them enough for helping to save my life.
I have only been a civilian employee here at Vandenberg, I don't know about other bases. I do know however that not all of the donations I received were from this base. Also there are people who have moved to other bases or positions who still keep in touch that I suspect donated as well. These are things that others outside our community don't hear about; but should.
Many people denigrate the men and women who choose public service over the private sector. I've heard it said that we're only "here for the paycheck," maybe "she couldn't cut it in a real job" or my least favorite "you're just in it for the retirement." I beg to differ. I have listed two of the myriad reasons that here on Vandenberg at least, those private sector employees can only hope to be "good enough for government work."