Really? People who are in the public eye tend to be fair game for folks who may be having a bad day, or who have low self-esteem, or who are just plain envious. I used to hear that phrase all the time when one of the folks I was trying to ‘serve’ with respect, creativity and patience, didn’t like the answer.

Mind you, I loved my work – Manpower & Immigration (employment consultant – where some of my most marketable clients were convicted murderers who’d learned a trade behind bars), Special Projects Coordinator (federal grants management for women’s, youth and Native initiatives that made a difference), Policy Manager, Police Services Advisor (juggling issues with police chiefs, boards and associations around Ontario). We always had performance targets and evaluation processes that took days and weeks to complete. And don’t get me started on the rigours of submitting expense claims for reimbursement – makes the income tax system look like scribbling a shopping list. Were there slackers? Of course. Plus many, many folks who did more than a full day’s work for a day’s pay. It’s the same in any profession, skilled or otherwise.

As a government employee, we could not get involved in political activities, either. If you could have seen the deductions listed on my pay cheque when I worked as a public servant (you note that word, ‘servant’?) for 35 years, you might have been shocked.

Anyone who is ‘out there’ amongst all of the ‘citizen journalists’ – EMS, police, fire, health care, teachers, etc. – has to take all sorts of guff at times.Here is a great riff on the “I pay your salary” insult from a television series called ‘Southland’.