Not strictly anti-MMM in the financial sense, but if you want to know what lifetime servitude to the federal system does to people, here's an example.
Two GS-13s are currently having an argument over a cubicle. Three of us had to move out of a particular area so it could be rebuilt, including one of the 13s in question, and during our temporary displacement, the other (who's been here longer) returned from a year-long deployment. Deployment guy is on his fair share of personal shit lists for various reasons, and decided to add to that this morning by pulling seniority and taking the window cube previously occupied (and assumed to be more or less reserved for) the other guy. As this produces a ripple effect that includes "my" workspace, I got to hear about it from him. As we walked into the area in question he openly launched into a tirade against the offender... I just walked away.
I had to go back over just now and partake in a group discussion of how my team (3 total) would rearrange ourselves within that same small (6-cube) area, while deployment guy sat nervously and fidgeted (clearly upset by his castigation but unrelenting all the same) and the whole time, all I can think is, how does any of this matter enough for people to get so wound up over it? It seems to me that the path I have traveled makes me immune to two different unhealthy trains of thought exhibited by these CWs. Deployment guy is clearly a lifer, hanging onto the system for the sake of the paycheck and the security, and has never really bonded with co-workers or shown great interest in having relationships here. He volunteered for a year overseas not long after arriving, probably for the extra pay. Judging from his output, he doesn't find great meaning in his work, and it seems like he's resorted to squeezing whatever kind of validation he can from little things like seniority and a window seat. It sounds really sad. Conversely, on the other side, I think if the offended party (who is senior to me, better paid, and a fellow DINK with oodles of FIRE potential) were in the financial driver's seat, he could look at things like I do - who cares about the seat? I'm here because I want to be, and if I hated it, I could walk. Instead, staring down another 20 years of this shit, being marginalized in the tiniest way is probably magnified in importance. It's a reminder of the pecking order, and of his subordination to the whims of a perceived inferior individual due to the vagaries of the system.
I have to say, there's something to be said for personal workspace, when you spend so much time at work. I've been working for decades now.
Even the smallest cube, if it's yours, is a great thing. There was a period of time when I had a window cube, big enough for my bicycle, and it was GLORIOUS - at least until two local teenagers started making out just outside the window. My coworker and I finally went out after a few weeks to tell them "I know that the windows look black and all, but we can see you."
At my next company, I went from a desk in a trailer, to a cube, to...just a desk in an open area. We were growing, didn't have much space, and someone decided that it would be great for collaboration to just have a big open space? I'll tell you what it's good for ... distractions, noise, inability to make a phone call and concentrate. It's awful. I hate it. It's a dumb idea.
For the last few years I've been in an office with 1-2 other people. There are 2 desks, but one guy got laid off. The other guy isn't here much because his wife had a baby (I haven't seen him since the baby was born a month ago). It's private. If one of us needs to shut the door and have the office to ourselves for a bit, that's okay. I can see the open window 30 feet away over the cube farm. Mostly when I need sunlight and air, I got for a walk. When I need a smile break, I look at my calendar with pictures of my kids.
Within the grand scheme of cubes, I don't think window/ no window would matter much to me. But the difference between my own cube and a big open shared space was glaring.