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The jab or your job: Will mandate trigger mass exodus?

Will the vaccine mandate provide the push for thousands of workers to retire or quit either because they don’t want the shots or are reluctant to return to the office after 12-to-18 months of working at home?

Its been just over 20 years since some experts — real and self-anointed — began predicting that the government was about to be hit by a brain drain. The fear was it would strip Uncle Sam of lots of talent and institutional memory. And block retirement channels so that it took much, much longer to complete the retirement process and get the first full annuity payments to new retirees. Well the backlog has happened but the retirement tsunami hasn’t.


But there are some feds — maybe a tiny majority, maybe more than we know — who resent being forced to get COVID-19 shots as a condition of employment. Many who work from home (and don’t want to come back, ever) say there is no need for them to get the shots Some object on medical or religious grounds. Others don’t like to be told what to do. At least in this case. The other day we asked feds how they felt about going back to the office after the so many have been teleworking for a relatively long time, with generally good results. Lots of people responded on the issue of teleworking. Would they take a pay cut to live or work in a less expensive place? Does missing rush hour each day make up for lack of interacting daily with non-Zoom colleagues?  We’ll be passing them on from time to time.

Meanwhile here’s a lengthy, thoughtful comment on the issue of mandatory vaccinations from an IRS employee. This is what he said:

We recently had an “all-hands” IT meeting with the CIO and HR Director to cover “… priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, as well as the current official guidance on the agency’s plans for a wider return to the workplace.” Since the Q&A time was limited and there was an excess of people in the Q&A queue, I didn’t get an opportunity to ask my question. So, I’m trying to get an answer via the email process that was mentioned during the call; however, it’s been a couple of weeks since the CIO all-hands meeting and I’m still waiting for answers which probably will never come. To be fair, our CIO and the HR director were very above board during the meeting and seemed very concerned for our safety and for the decisions that everyone has to make. They made the call seem very personal and not business-like.

Here’s what I sent to my management & HR teams:

First, I truly appreciate that our management team’s first priority is doing their best to keep all employees safe. Also, I believe our CIO mentioned that currently there are no changes being made to our telework status which I believe is something like “… if an employee can perform their job remotely, then there is no reason to enter an IRS facility.”

So, I have two questions:

  1. How (and why) can someone who is 100% telework, does not have a ‘customer facing’ job, is the only member of their Branch in the State (i.e. Michigan, Colorado, Florida), and, who has no need what-so-ever to enter any IRS facility, be forced to even tell their vaccination status and be forced to be vaccinated?
  2. What will be the ‘Process’ to handle those who make the private choice to not follow what is being dictated?

Mike, as I mentioned, I plan to retire — looking at 12/31/2021 as my last day. However, I may be forced to retire earlier depending upon the mandates that are in place and how the IRS might enforce them. Even if I was not planning to retire, I don’t take it kindly when someone dictates to me that I must be <fill this with most anything> — i.e. vaccinated for COVID, flu, anything; or can’t have a family gathering at Thanksgiving with more than 10 people or that I must be masked if we gather indoors; or that I have to be quarantined because I came in the vicinity of someone else who is/was sick; and so on.

My wife and I are responsible for our health and the health of our family; and we worry about our kids (and grandkids) all the time. However, it is not our place to tell our adult kids that they and the members of their families must be vaccinated. We will support our kids and their families no matter what choices they make.

In my opinion, COVID is here to stay and there will be a yearly shot just like the seasonal flu. To basically confirm this, just look at all of the info that the CDC is saying about the current booster shots. Now, if I understand everything, no one is ‘fully vaccinated’ unless they have the booster shot. It was not too long ago, that a ‘fully vaccinated’ person just needed the vaccine. So, I can see it now, next year no one will be ‘fully vaccinated’ unless they get next year’s booster shot in 2022; then 2023, then … And, anyone who is not ‘fully vaccinated’ will be an outcast; forced to leave their employment; potentially not allowed into stores unless they can prove vaccination; not allowed to travel on an airplane, bus or train; etc.

If I had not planned to retire in 2021, it is very likely that I would not stay working for the Federal government. That decision to leave government employment is totally due to the current administration’s mandates. I enjoy my job, working for the IRS, and working with the people who make up my team.

My family has been directly impacted by COVID and by all of the mandates that have been given for the past 1-2 years. Family members have lost jobs, lost their small businesses; been sick; been vaccinated or refuse to be vaccinated. The people in power positions have basically pitted family member against family member; but this is exactly what they want. Fear. A terrorist or the enemy is only as strong as the fear that they instill in others.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

The heaviest pumpkin ever recorded weighed in at 2,624 pounds and 9.6 ounces on October 9, 2016. It was grown by a Belgium man named Mathias Willemijns.

Source: Guinness World Records

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