With budget restrictions, a hiring freeze and the furlough, Civilian Employees across Fort Drum are having to do “more with less.”
One Civilian in the Directorate of Resource Management was personally thanked for her efforts by garrison leadership during a recent briefing. Sue Barney, who recently was promoted from civilian pay technician to management / program analyst, has continued to perform the customer service representative (civilian pay tech) functions while picking up a few program manager functions.
Before her former position was filled, Barney was not only worked on civilian pay and leave issues, but also assisted with support agreements and manpower data, and ensured defense travel and time card reports were being submitted and filed correctly.
“Like everyone is, we’re short staffed in DRM,” she said. “Everyone is trying to pick up the slack.”
Although she was juggling the many different duties, Barney said her job is rewarding. She remembers a retired Civilian who was upset and couldn’t find the answer to resolve an issue in her retirement check.
“I tried the best I could to track down the problem,” she said. Sometimes when she is looking at numbers and data, Barney said she doesn’t always know the end result or how she has helped a client.
“I was able to make a couple of phone calls and explain to her to what she needed to do to get a debt paid off,” Barney said. “She was so appreciative. She was crying and thanking me. I was able to help her.
“That made me feel good, because I would hope that if that was me, someone would be there to help me too,” she added.
Now that Barney’s previous job is finally filled, she is helping to train the new employee and learning more about the ins and outs of her current job.
“My co-workers are so good about answering all of my questions,” she said. “They’re very patient, and I appreciate it very much. All the people I’ve worked with are just great.”
However, Barney said her story isn’t unique; many Fort Drum employees are stepping up and doing more work to ensure the mission of taking care of Soldiers, Families and Civilians is still being met.
Receiving recognition and thanks at the garrison staff call was a surprise, Barney said.
“I felt good and kind of embarrassed at the same time,” she said, laughing. “There are a lot of people out there doing a good job and everybody is working hard, but it was nice to be recognized and told that I was appreciated.”