There´s another set of rankings out: the best places to work in the federal government in 2009. The results, unlike the rankings for top lobbyists, are somewhat surprising. For instance, how did the Treasury Department come to be deemed the sixth best place to find a good work/life balance?

It´s puzzling: Within the Treasury, the best place to work overall is apparently the Bureau of the Public Debt. It´s hard to imagine that department holding on to its top spot for long. And the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network occupies the bottom ranking within the Treasury divisions. Who knew it was so stressful?

In overall appeal, the Office of Thrift Supervision nor the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were pretty much in the middle of the pack among the Treasury´s departments. The OTS did demonstrate great improvement in the "Pay and Benefits" category, while the OCC saw its work/life balance composite drop to its lowest in four survey cycles. The OCC still won out over the OTS for the general ranking.

There isn´t a lot of raw data readily available on the Web site, but one important thing to keep in mind when perusing the rankings is that much of the qualitative information seems to be based on employees´ perceptions of their jobs. Apparently there´s a groundswell of sentiment at the epicenter of the government´s bank rescue efforts that the "workloads reasonable and feasible, and mangers support a balance between work and life."