Now that that whole November 4th thing is behind us, we can move past the campaigning and get down to the good part: governing.This is a subject close to my heart, because I am a part of government: I’m a federal employee. If you’re an American, I’m your humble servant.
What did you think about the election? Thrilled? Devastated? Or C), one of the above plus just really happy that it’s all over? I’m not a political appointee or anything that fancy, so it shouldn’t really affect my employment. It’s possible our agency head might depart; he’s a political appointee, after all.The one sure change we're expecting is that the very large portrait of President Bush in the lobby will be swapped out for one of Obama.I’ve worked at this agency for nearly five years; that’s five years of entering beneath W’s knowing gaze, his eyes following we servants as we lower our gazes and salute. (Just kidding about the salute. (Most days.) Not kidding about his eyes following us. It’s like his eyes have been borrowed from a Hogwarts portrait – I swear they move about.)
I work at an agency that is mostly famous for One Thing. I have absolutely nothing to do with That Thing. That Thing, in fact, and everything related to It, are not even in the same building as me. They’re in our fancy/symbolic downtown DC facility. I’m out in our flagship suburban facility, which looks much less ornate and much more like what you’d expect of government:gray wallpaper, lengthy procedures and regulations, and many soft-shoed humble servants treading up and down the halls. The gray wallpaper: getting grayer, and a little peely at the seams.The procedures and regulations: getting lengthier.We don’t even refer to them by subject, just by number, usually, as in “I’m just trying to make sure this is 783-compliant.” (For example.) The servants:there really are a lot of us (maybe 1,000?), but I don’t really know how many. We need a Facebook for Feds. We don’t have it, though, because just try to pull up Facebook, I dare you:you’ll get the red internet screen of Violation and Doom, because Facebook falls in the category of “personal file sharing and storage.” Somewhere, there’s a regulation for prohibiting those.
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