Sorry to interrupt your holidays, but the Federal government has found yet another new low, apparently disciplining a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee for farting. Yes, these are your tax dollars!
Sorry to slide this blog into the realm of fart jokes, but it appears to be no joke. The time documenting the employee’s flatulence and conducted a formal disciplinary process resulted in a five page letter of reprimand even now being studied for grievance potential by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union that represents the SSA worker. The letter documents not just a single instance of bad gas, but a pattern of such over a period of several months, interrupted by the “counseling sessions” required by supervisors seeking to discipline a civil servant.
For example, it is noted that “The following dates show the time of your flatulence.” What followed was a log listing 17 separate dates (and 60 specific times) on which the employee passed gas. For example, the man’s September 19 output included nine instances of flatulence, beginning at 9:45 AM and concluding at 4:30 PM.
The formal result was a charge of “Conduct Unbecoming a Federal Officer.” Here’s the letter.
There remains of course the possibility that this is all a hoax, but, having received my share of letters of reprimand (none for farting, just for blogging), the letter reads real. As a supervisor myself at the State Department, I was forced to go through such a process with a civil servant who, for her own mental reasons, stopped bathing and switched to an all-vinegar diet, the combination of which created a very difficult office environment.
Americans– taxpayers– you can stop saying now that the government in general and Social Security in particular “do nothing” and are full of lazy, incompetent boneheads. We now have written proof that the government in general and Social Security in particular have managers who know how to document a personnel issue and are full of lazy, incompetent gasbags.
Update: There is no truth to the rumor that the gassy employee has been offered a political appointee job as an ambassador. Stop saying mean things like that!
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