General Question

elia's avatar

Is your general impression of state government employees positive or negative?

Asked by elia (127points) February 23rd, 2011

It’s been said that people are more apt to vocalize criticism than compliments. When a news article mentions a state employee, most of the reader responses express some sort of negative opinion. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that no members of the public appreciate their worth, right?

The term, “state employee”, is sometimes used as if it were a job title all on it’s own, rather than a very large umbrella under which thousands of different jobs exist. In reality, government officials categorize state employees so that they’re on different pay scales, receive different benefits, and are subject to different rules. If possible, please provide information in your response that will enable me to identify the nature of the worker’s job. Thanks a bunch folks!!!

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15 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

About the same as private industry. Most of my interactions with government employees have been at the federal or county level, mostly positive, many times exceeding my expectations.

marinelife's avatar

I have no opinion one way or the other.

sinscriven's avatar

Most of my experiences public sector employees has been mostly positive. Hell, I’ve even been pulled over by CHP thinking I had been drunk, and we wound up having a ten minute conversation about his job and he recommended I apply.

California DMV workers however, being overstressed poor souls don’t look like they are very happy with life.

Coloma's avatar

Overall neutral, but, admittedly, being a government employee has never held any appeal for me.

I do envy the retirement bennies but, I could never do cubicle. I am waaay too free spirited and energetic to sit on my ass all day in a cubby. lol

VS's avatar

@Coloma While there are many who sit on their collective asses all day in a cubicle, this certainly does not apply to all government workers, any more than outdoor activities are restricted to only private industry. As someone who has spent the largest part of her life in various government positions including but not restricted to counselor assistant, casework manager, procurement specialist, docket clerk, administrative assistant, and production coordinator, some of that time has been on my ass and some has been on my feet. No one really thinks they are going to get rich being a state government workers, but the benefits are good, the days off with pay are nice, and the retirement is workable. Also, there is job security as long as you don’t deal drugs or show up for work drunk, and as long as the government is solvent. Short of wishing that I had gone to law school, there really isn’t much about my work history that I would change. I have made some life-long friends, always been able to pay the rent, and feed my child.

Coloma's avatar


Of course, I had a friend that worked in an environmental unit and he enjoyed a lot of diverse working conditions. Just not a career path that interested me.

I did not mean to come across in a negative manner. ;-)

mattbrowne's avatar

Mostly positive. In our free and rich countries we take so many things for granted. Without efficient public employees countries don’t function very well.

cletrans2col's avatar

Meh. I view all employees, public and private, in the same way. Some suck, some rock.

iamthemob's avatar

In all honesty, I tend to have a negative reaction when I hear the term “state employees.”

Mostly this relates to the idea that there is little accountability in terms of either termination or promotion. However, I don’t rest on this reaction in looking at state employees – it’s simply an initial reaction based on little more than cultural rumor and some personal experience.

Judi's avatar

It’s positive, but then again, both my son in laws work for the state.

perspicacious's avatar

positive as far as the employees in my own state

bkcunningham's avatar

I judge them each as humans on an individual basis. When I deal with them in a state where I live, I regard them as working for me and expect whatever it is they are doing for me to be done properly. That is the same way I deal with people in the private world; as far as people who are doing services I pay them to do.

When I was growing up and even into my 20s, I heard; and even said myself, “That’s a state job,” with the underlying meaning being that is a good job. I now that not all “state jobs” are good jobs as in pay, stability, job satisfaction or other criteria I would use to gauge a “good job.”

holli's avatar

My general and initial sentiment is negative. I know it isn’t always the case but I have had lots of negative experiences.

12Oaks's avatar

In general, negative.

mrrich724's avatar

I agree with @12Oaks DMV workers have always been nice to me. NO ONE else though. Even when I recently went to the courthouse to apply for a marriage license. The woman there could not have been more MISERABLE!

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