Best and Worst Workplaces: Government Plum-Jobs and Prunes

Photograph by Brian van der Brug-Pool/Getty Images

Colleagues celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Aug. 5, 2012 in Pasadena, California.

At NASA, they get to launch rockets.

Little wonder it tops the list of big federal agencies where employees are happiest — at the top of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government in 2012, according to the survey of the Partnership for Public Service.

The Intelligence community and State Department rank pretty high — world travel.

Homeland Security, low — living in fear of threats.

Among mid-sized agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation stacks up pretty high — all deposits insured, to a certain level.

Broadcasting Board of Governors, not so high — Big Bird is continually under threat.

Among small agencies: the Congressional Budget Office — even though the predict another recession if Congress goes over the fiscal cliff.

Low: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative — treaties are hard work.

Another really low-ranked place to work: Voice of America.

Everyone blames the bearer of bad news.

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