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Feds Get Another 3 hours DELAYED ARRIVAL for Thursday

by Prince Of Petworth January 27, 2016 at 9:50 pm 35 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

From OPM:

“Washington, DC Area

Applies to: Thursday, January 28, 2016
Status: Open – 3 hours Delayed Arrival – With Option for Unscheduled Leave or Unscheduled Telework

Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN under 3 hours DELAYED ARRIVAL and employees have the OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 3 hours later than they would be expected to arrive.”

  • Ryan

    This is just a joke now, right?
    Maybe someone changed the date but forgot to change the status?
    How can there seriously be another 3 hour delay?

    • Anon

      Do you teleport to work? Roads, metro and busses are all still pretty bad. Staggering arrivals when you have main roads like mass ave at a single lane and unplowed sidewalks by busses is a good call.

    • Federal Worker

      Ha that’s everyday in DC.

    • saf

      Also ice.

    • textdoc

      Snow melting today (Wednesday) followed by overnight temperatures well below freezing = ice.

    • INDC

      Yeah, this is actually just embarrassing for DC at this point.

      • jdre

        Very embarrassing. Ice, single lanes – symptoms not excuses – they’ve had 4 days of above freezing weather to clear things, and have done [email protected] all since sunday/monday. This is a normal snowfall; it shouldn’t affect things for a week.

        • Dognonymous

          2 feet across the metro area isn’t anything close to a normal snowfall for DC. We got more snow in 48 hours last weekend than we did all of last winter. I agree that more progress would be good, but we’re simply not set up for this kind of an event with how infrequently they happen in this area.

          • ***

            This is getting to be a BS excuse. Okay, yes, it doesn’t ALWAYS snow 20′ every winter in DC, but it snows enough and it’s been snowing more in the last several years that by now the city should have it’s act together. It stopped snowing 5 DAYS ago and there are major roads that are still 1 lane, no salting to prevent ice, bus stops have not been cleared. I’m embarrassed to be a DC resident at this point.

          • CPT_Doom

            I’ve lived here since 1989 and this is the 6th major snowstorm I’ve lived through in the area. As a native New Englander trapped here in the South, I have long accepted the “God puts it there, God takes it away” method of snow removal that the area normally applies, but I am sick of the “this doesn’t happen that much” excuse. Every 5 years or so we get a substantial snowfall and the DC region acts like we’re in Key West and never get any snow. Something that happens twice every decade is certainly something that should be planned for, but it doesn’t seem like any agencies in the area have seriously done so. I understand that our normal 3 – 6 inch snowfall, typically followed by several sunny days over 32, doesn’t really require much of a response, and it is easier, cheaper and safer to simply shut down for a day and let it melt. But that does not excuse the apparent lack of planning for this type of major snowfall. To have a region still unable to cope this many days later is ridiculous, especially given the very warm temperatures we had until this morning (you’re SOL if you want to move any snow this AM) and that the Northern states that have a lot of equipment were largely spared this storm, and were able to lend even more equipment.

          • Dognonymous

            CPT_Doom, I think this was discussed a bit yesterday. All those northeast cities have the resources of a whole state that can be marshaled in the case of a major weather event. DC, by its odd nature as a sort-of-independent city, simply does not. I would like the city to be more ready for big snowstorms, but if they’re happening once every five years, how much investment are our residents/taxpayers willing to absorb? Maybe we arrange improved covenants with companies for quick-turn deployment of plows and road treatment. I don’t think I want the city to buy and maintain enough equipment to deal with an event of this scale. Now, all that said, I do think DC’s repeated failures to successfully prepare for *smaller* snowstorms is something else entirely, and more worthy of embarrassment.

          • Cassie

            Dognonymous, but I think part of the problem is that feds come from MoCo and some NoVa counties, which still aren’t plowed out either. And they have access to the resources of the whole state (and even put the most monetary resources into the state).

          • CHGal

            “All those northeast cities have the resources of a whole state that can be marshaled in the case of a major weather event.” But they also have a whole state’s worth of snow to clear, so how much does that help? It’s not like Rochester can send their plows to NYC, because 9 times out of 10 they have their own snow to clean up.

          • Anonymous

            Rochester is also a de-populating Rust Belt town. It doesn’t have much in terms of traffic, masses of pedestrians requiring public transport, and 500K+ people commuting within a geographically area each day.
            In other words, it’s easy to clear the roads when there ain’t that many people on them to begin with (see: Buffalo, Minneapolis, Syracuse, Cleveland, etc etc etc)

          • Almost everything about DC is different from a bureaucratic standpoint than most any other city in the nation. Comparing what happens here to anywhere else, especially extremes which receive zero or lots of snow, is a pointless exercise.

        • caroline_petworth

          Its not that extreme. Almost all federal agencies have telework agreements in place so feds are mostly working a full day from home. Those that are not are not all taking the whole 5 hours. My coworkers who drive left at their regular time and it took then an hour extra to get to work because of road conditions and traffic. People are not sleeping in during the delay but reather its taking that much longer to get to and from work.

      • It’s embarrassing because of how many people in this city seem to lack the understanding that their single commute is not representative of everyone else’s.

  • Federal Worker

    Did any other Feds experience confusion at their office this morning about the correct interpretation of this delayed arrival/optional telework or leave policy?

    • FridayGirl

      Most people at my agency seem to take almost the full 3 hour delay to come in, but I interpret it as “come in as soon as you can get here safely, no later than 3.” Mostly because I don’t want to deal with everyone else’s rush hour at 9am.

  • LP

    Not everyone lives in DC/ not every federal agency is headquartered in DC – OPM has to consider those agencies that are outside of the central business district when making its overall DC metro operation decisions. Plus, not all bus routes are open and it is going to be icy on the side walks from snow melting and refreezing overnight. Maybe everyone doesn’t need 3 extra hours to get into the office, but a lot of my coworkers yesterday had over 1.5 hour commutes because of Metro.

    • The OP Anon

      My friend’s commute via bus to the FDA (typically 40 minutes) took 1.5 hours yesterday morning and 2.5 hours to get home. That’s why we have the delayed start time. With those kinds of delays, one might as well just work from home and get more accomplished.

      • anon

        It tool me well over an hour an an all-underground metro commute that usually takes me about 30 minutes. I agree with other commenters that there is no excuse for the roads and metro to continue to be FUBAR, but OPM is taking into consideration the reality, not the hoped for outcome.

      • Anon

        At least she had a bus. My friend who’s a Fed had to take yesterday off because the bus lines weren’t running near her house and there was no way to get to work (not sure if that’s still the case today).

  • Anonymous

    Regardless of what our Mayor says, the roads are not ready. In some cases streets are down to one lane or piles of snow are blocking entire turn lanes. The commute is a mess. Still.

  • ***

    Okay, so this helps in the morning. But FEDS don’t work OT. So everyone will be leaving at the exact same time. Can’t wait for the commute home! Glad I brought a new book with me… I’m guessing I’ll have it read cover-to-cover by the time I get home.

    • I Dont Get It

      I’m not a Fed clearly…I thought that a 3 hour delay means that you leave 3 hours later than normal. Is that not the case?

      • Dognonymous

        No, feds get additional administrative leave for however many hours the delay is. So if you usually work 9 to 5:30, a 3-hour delay means you can come in at noon and still leave at 5:30 without having to take any time off. If you choose unscheduled telework, youtypically have to work the full day, which kind of goofily incentivizes people to come in when they perhaps shouldn’t.

    • Feds don’t work overtime? LOL what?!

    • KSamps

      For clarification, feds definitely work OT. However, if you’re referring to today specifically, then yes, if someone takes advantage of late arrival then they can’t work OT or credit (per my agency, but that may be different than others). They also let us change our WFH days (we get 3) to avoid the crowds/roads, and work full days because late arrival doesn’t apply when you WFH.

    • textdoc

      People will be leaving at whatever their normal departure times are — not “all at the same time.”

  • eva

    I fell twice this morning in my 5 block walk to the metro before I gave up on the sidewalks. If they can avoid more people slipping on the ice that formed overnight by letting some people commute later that’s fine by me. I don’t think most of my neighbors salted–and the sidewalks were all iced. So I walked in the road which DC seems to have salted overnight–go DC!

  • El

    I for one am thrilled this week. I haven’t felt this well rested in a long time with some time to sleep in every day, yet I’ve still been very productive (if not more productive than usually due to that fire of having to get everything done in less time). Wish all workdays could be 5 hours. Feel like most ppl spend a couple hours at work dicking around anyhow

    • Cassie

      A couple of studies have proved this. One study even said that people get more done in a 20-hour work week than in a 40-hour work week. Which reminds me, I need to find a link to that study to show my bosses.

    • anon



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