These are tough times for both public and private sector workers, with all of us having taken pay cuts that we can ill-afford.
It's fair to say that up until now there has been a certain sense that we're all in this together, and feel a collective sympathy for the woes we ordinary, decent citizens are facing.
However, the actions of the Passport Office staff in adopting a work-to-rule approach are merely serving to erode this team spirit.
Whilst others have to get on with their jobs and do more with less, certain public sector workers -- many of whom it must be said are not highly paid -- feel that they can obstruct vital public services without consequence.
News that Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin has threatened to dock pay from workers who refuse to carry out their contractual obligations is more than fair -- it's just. For proof of this, simply ask anyone who has recently lost their job.