It’s a given that people who work for the Government, whether it be local, state or federal, are generally despised and made the butt of jokes.
It’s also a given that they don’t make as much as their counterparts in the commercial sector.
It used to be (and it has continued to be for Postal employees) almost impossible to lose a Government job, but that changed (at least for the Department of Defense) as more money was diverted over-seas to provide for the troops in the trenches and entire installations were closed. At some centers, Government jobs were put up for competition and lost to the private sector.
The health insurance benefits provided to Federal Government employees had everything in the first draft of the health reform bill, but even those benefits have been slowly been whittled away over the years while premiums, co-payments and minimum deductibles have increased.
Why would anyone with a molecule of talent work for the Federal Government under these circumstances?
I can only answer for myself, but one of the reasons was simple appreciation. The people I worked with appreciated my efforts and made sure to let me and everyone up the chain of command know it. I worked in research and development, and the funds for R&D can’t be used to give performance awards, so unlike my co-workers on non-R&D programs, my hard work and dedication was never financially rewarded, but it didn’t matter. The good will and happiness of the people I helped made the struggle to work while battling HAE absolutely worthwhile.
In fact, up to this point in my life, every effort, be it artistic or career related, I have undertaken has brought me great satisfaction and the appreciation of others.
For the first time in my life, I am feeling unappreciated.
I know other artists feel this way, too, when the pieces we have lovingly sweated over sit in our on-line shops unsold and ignored.
I wonder, “Is my taste so bad, so outré, so different from the rest of the world?”
I know my fleshy friends don’t share my taste in clothes or jewelry, but we have other interests in common that aren’t so superficial.
Am I the Banger Sister played by Goldie Hawn in a world filled with Susan Sarandons? Am I too sparkly in a world full of beige?
I realized this week, as I took a break from my shop, that I feel snippy, a wee bit bitchy, and not in the mood to make anything more for an unappreciative world. I thought I would be able to say to myself, “The only appreciation you need is from yourself; create for yourself and not for the praise of others,” but at this point I just can’t buy it.
A sparkly faerie sparkles for her own pleasure, certainly, but more so for the pleasure of others. Sparkling takes a great deal of effort, so if a faerie sparkles and nobody sees, what is the point of sparkling?