I am in the USA. The long and the short of it:

  1. I work for the government.
  2. My office has massive turnover for employees that have worked there less than three years. Most employees have been here 15+ years.
  3. This is affecting the viability of the office to the point that higher levels are slowly taking notice.
  4. Our HR department is obsessively sending out surveys and begging for feedback from employees who have worked here less than three years to try to figure out why but no one answers.
  5. I could give them a piece of my mind, but I doubt the responses are legitimately anonymized.
  6. For a whole lot of reasons, I cannot leave this job within the next five years.

I can either grit my teeth and train new coworkers every six months or try to send feedback anonymously so that my situation might improve. I considered sending an anonymous letter explaining what's going on (no, managers should not joke that their staff should form a homeless camp instead of expect raises, among other things). I don't want the next five years to be as miserable as the last two but I don't know how to do it or whether it's worth it.

  • Where are you located? Mar 23, 2022 at 20:50
  • @ComicSansSeraphim I am in the USA, and have added that to the post. Mar 23, 2022 at 20:50
  • Do you believe they punish employees who leave negative feedback? Mar 23, 2022 at 21:26
  • "Our HR department is sending out surveys, and they are puzzled why no one sends them back" "I doubt the responses are legitimately anonymized". I think you've just answered that question for them!
    – spuck
    Mar 24, 2022 at 14:17

2 Answers 2


For a whole lot of reasons, I cannot leave this job within the next five years.

Then you are stuck. It doesn't matter if you answer the survey or not or what answers you give. It's highly unlikely that anything will change for a government job no matter what feedback is provided.

If you are miserable you need to work on removing the "5 year" constraint.

  • Do what majority is doing. If no one is answering, you don't.
  • If "higher levels are slowly taking notice", then very soon, they will know the situation and improve it.
  • "For a whole lot of reasons, you cannot leave this job within the next five years". So slowly tell yourself that it is not a misery but a job to be done. Find out methods to do the job in a simple way without putting a burden on your mind e.g. if you are training new employees, make notes with 1-, 2-, 3- kind of mechanical procedures. Instead of giving a lecture, just give them the notes (as a lecturer is doing in every semester).
  • Spend more time with your loved-ones. This will divert your attention to some better thoughts.

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