Thank you, Megan, for letting me stop by from Not-Ever-Still Life with Girls. I'm so glad to be here!
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.
It should be stated that I love my work. If I told you about it, you'd probably think it sounds pretty interesting. I also have some great perks, though. One nice thing about my fine agency is the onsite childcare. My two girls, Crazy Monkey (almost 3 and just a tad rambunctious) and Kicky (almost 1 and figuring out how to become competitively rambunctious) are in daycare at my work. The girls, also known by their initials E and L, respectively, they're the light of my life, of course. They're also a daily reminder of why I value my career. We commute together. (This accounts for the very many Laurie Berkner lyrics clogging up precious coherent space in my own velveteen personal file sharing and storage.) I am nearby for illnesses, bad moods and photographable moments (see:
Halloween Harvest Parade). My younger one is still nursing and I don’t have to pump! I can just walk down the hall and stick a body part directly in her. Onsite daycare: No Flanges Necessary.
Anyway, the governing. Let’s talk about my birthday. My birthday is December 26th. Don’t worry, I’m Jewish, so the gift issue wasn’t ever so much of one – I never felt cheated. (My dad’s a college professor. I’ve always assumed I was “planned” for winter break, but I’ve never asked. Dad? Hello? Mom? Confirm or deny?) December 26th, as you know, is the day after Christmas. Christmas, as you probably have already checked, is a Thursday this year, making my birthday a Friday. Traditionally, the President gives federal employees the next day off,when Christmas is on a Thursday, or Christmas Eve off when Christmas falls on a Tuesday. I’m sure it’s pretty much written off as a non-productive day anyway, and this way the administration looks all generous and can save money on a day’s worth of heating and lights, too. Score! It doesn’t just happen, though. The President has to write an executive order for it. So come on, W! I’m going to be 32! Big things could happen and I shouldn’t be at work if they do!
All I want for Christmas is a four-day weekend.
If that wish does come true, boys and girls, it will then repeat itself just a few weeks later. We humble servants will have a four day weekend in January, too. We get the usual Saturday and Sunday, then Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Tuesday is Inauguration Day. We little people don’t work on Inauguration Day. The commuter snarls just get in the way of all that pomp and circumstance. We get the day off, so the parades and balls and ceremonies aren’t bothered by any interference from our needs to use those roads and sidewalks. Democracy in action! To switch over our government we must stop the business of government!
Not that I’m complaining.
My dad, the professor, he loves to say: “Honey, as your father, I’m happy for you. As a taxpayer, I’m outraged.”
Oh, but there’s one small problem. That glorious onsite daycare? It closes when the agency closes. So basically what I’m begging for here is two four-day-childcare-free-weekends.
WHAT am I thinking?
To feel sane, organized and well-rested by contrast, go read more from me at Not-Ever-Still Life with Girls. Then take a long nap, have a leisurely dinner and come back and leave me a comment to taunt me about it!