Audit Trail: A Bureaucrat in Dupont Circle

Photo of a bureaucrat in Dupont Circle

A bureaucrat dreads the potential confrontation necessitated by giving Dupont Circle a negative performance evaluation.

Finding myself with yet another Friday off but no laundry to catch up on, I thought I might ride over to Dupont Circle to surprise my wife for lunch near the 501(c)3 corporation where she works.

Per our Memorandum of Understanding on Surprises, I contacted her two (2) business days in advance with my proposal. She expressed interest in having a conversation about the matter, after which I had one of the analysts put a working dinner on the calendar for us to touch base.

Aside from a tense moment over a split infinitive the meeting went well. I was right, by the way, but rather than push it I decided to drop the matter because conflict makes me break out in hives. Instead I offered to hold the pen on the final draft, and that’s where I quietly slipped in my edit without tracking changes. Continue reading

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Audit Trail: Bureaucrat on H Street

A brazenly unsafe pie place.

A bureaucrat examines an eatery that deserves to be placed on the watch list.

As a special favor for my wife, who was celebrating her birthday that evening despite the actual date being Tuesday, I consented to attend a live musical performance in the neighborhood of northeast DC known as “H Street”. Generally, I try not to make a practice of granting special favors, but all her paperwork was in order and she had given the required 60 days advance notice.

I also generally try not to make a practice of engaging in social activities on weeknights. The policy objective there is to maintain a regular bedtime schedule, which studies have shown can significantly improve sleep performance when coupled with an afternoon nap beneath one’s desk. In this instance, however, it was actually going out that improved my sleep performance, as my wife notified me that if I stayed in I would be sleeping on the couch that night. Continue reading

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Audit Trail: Le Bureaucrate à Montréal

Photo of the bureaucrat at the Montreal Jazz Festival

A bureaucrat fights to find a signal for his BlackBerry during some performance or another.

With the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday and my flex day that Friday, I found myself with four days off and no emails to answer no matter how many times I checked by blackberry. On an uncharacteristic whim I decided at the last minute to fly to Montreal for the annual jazz festival. That left me just two months to book my tickets. Happily, the cost was covered by all that per diem I’d saved up eating nothing but saltine crackers and sardines when I was in Paris meeting with our European counterparts. More happily yet, with the mileage I earned on that Paris trip I was able to upgrade to economy plus. I didn’t have enough miles to upgrade my wife as well, but it was only a three-hour flight, and I’m sure she understood that I get leg cramps if I can’t stretch out. Continue reading

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On the Audit Trail: Bureaucrat at the Beach

Photo of a bureaucrat relaxing cautiously on vacation.

A bureaucrat relaxes cautiously in the shallow end of the pool at his beachside rental home.

Taking advantage of the extra extra long weekend afforded by Memorial Day (I already have every Friday off), I loaded up my Ford Focus with briefing papers to review and set off for the beach. The interns did a great job renting out a house for me that offered the government rate, and they even stocked it with O’Doul’s for a little well controlled rowdiness, which was fine by me so long as my friends agreed not to tag me in any Facebook photos without my necktie on. Continue reading

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Introducing On the Audit Trail: Bureaucrats About Town

The Washington Bureaucrat has launched a new feature called On the Audit Trail, a series of executive summaries introducing readers to various locales in DC and other places alfresco. In our first installment, we send a bureaucrat to assess the beach for proper sand to seashell ratios. Read it here.

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