My congressmen, Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, rescued me when I was at the mercy of an uncaring federal bureaucracy. The Department of Health and Human Services federal bureaucracy proved that they cared nothing for the problems of religious minorities such as me, an observant Jew trying to balance federal employment with religious observance on days when Christians didnít need to take leave but I did.
The problem was initiated by lazy bureaucrats in the Administration for Children and Families who oversaw automated timekeeping systems that streamlined the process of denying flexibility to religious minorities.
It was then exacerbated by bureaucrats who ignored me when I pleaded to them to resolve the problem of acknowledging that my leave debt had actually been paid when the automated systems denied it.
I am normally pro-union, but I note that my union, National Treasury Employees Union, barely lifted a finger in my defense. I note also that the EEO process in DHHS was successfully stonewalled by the bureaucrats. What finally broke the ice with those stone-hearted bureaucrats was the attention of my two representatives in Congress: Cardin and Van Hollen. These caring representatives raised the issue to the bureaucrats, not once but twice, until finally those bureaucrats caved and granted my appeal for an audit of the actual record and a fixing of the automated computer systems that those bureaucrats hid behind. I believe that without the help of these caring men, my computer-based records would still be hanging over me, making it look like I had stolen leave from the federal government, which was patently false. My thanks and my votes go to these men who truly work for the little constituent.
JC Gridley, Rockville