Most people think of the federal government as a nameless faceless bureaucracy, and it often can be.
But federal employees are not the same as the buildings they work in.
Feds as a rule are very motivated to help. A few years ago a family member up North told me about someone who helped her son get his passport on time to he could make his trip overseas.
The employee went above and beyond just explaining - the person literally took him through the process.
It is routine for my staff to spend hours researching a single inquiry from the public. It's not just because it's their job. It's because they actually care, maybe too much.
Federal workers have made our family celebrations happier, and our more painful times more bearable. They have generously welcomed us into their homes, and offered advice and a professional support network that people outside mostly never get to see.
They have even helped me heat up blocks of frozen kugels on a moment's notice.
I remember serving on the annual charity drive with federal friends, and how one person spent her entire weekend prepping at work for a Monday bake sale - and took the entire family with her.
There are so many stories I could share. But that is not really the point.
Before you judge the federal worker, get to know what they really do, and talk to those who have interacted with them.
* All opinions my own. Photo by Roy Blumenthal (no relation) via Wikimedia/Flickr.