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I worked at The National Center for Telehealth and Technology as a contractor
Work life balance is great because there is so little work, and the work you do get is bogged down by the worst kind of bureaucracy in existence to the point nothing really mattering and you are only evaluated on activity (keep the hamster wheel spinning and feed the bureaucratic beast) and never on productivity or actual results.
This place sucks out your desire to work hard and be productive because it stifles everything it means to be a good worker. You get sucked in by the lure of a great mission on paper, but a total lack of actual efforts being made to support the goals. Nearly everyone here becomes a diva thinking their way is the right way, and virtually nobody has any idea of the fact we are working for the government and thus force feeding commercial business methodology to the organization just compounds the problems. The organization is led by a bunch of psychologist, who remarkably have no understanding of the impact of poor leadership upon the staff. Not only that, but the leadership is totally inept at making a simple decision or even giving what could be confused for clear directions. The challenging part is their passive aggressive style where they smile to your face and say all the feel good things showing they are trying to improve the situation, but in fact they are clueless leaders that think being a good manager is checking off a box on a list of daily good management actions they came across in the latest fad management book. If you have no desire to actually contribute anything meaningful to this world, and have a huge capacity for mediocrity then you might actually find working here tolerable. Otherwise head the warnings and stay away. If you think this is just the rant of a disgruntled worker then why is the turnover rate around 3 times higher than other government agencies, and finding an employee who praises working here impossible?
Advice to Management
Fire every GS15 and replace them with people who are actually proven vetted leaders; actually act like a government agency; strip all psychologists from leadership roles and use them where they belong as subject matter experts reviewing psychological content; and stop thinking that the problems in this place are due to the workers, take responsibility for your own failures, realizing management fads are not a solution.