Ask a Bureaucrat (July 2013)

Servicing the public good

Dear Bureaucrat,

Wendy’s last day is Friday, and she has one of the good office chairs. How do I snag it before one of the other analysts gets to it?

-Edge of My Seat

Dear Edge, Hide your guest chairs then invite Wendy over to touch base. When she drags her chair over, shut the door and promise that if she leaves you her chair you’ll let her lobby you for whatever she wants from her new job on K St. If that doesn’t work, you may as well go trendy and ask the ergonomics office for a standing desk.


Dear Bureaucrat, A reporter from the Post wants to interview me about a recent rulemaking we promulgated. What’s the protocol for talking to the press?


Dear Hot Shot, Section 204.b of the Department’s General Policies and Procedures states that all media requests should be directed straight to the Office of Communications and Media Affairs without passing GO and certainly without collecting $200, unless you want to have the Office of Employee Ethics to reckon with.


Dear Bureaucrat,

At my agency we’re not allowed to check personal email on work computers. They block, but they forgot, which redirects to the same page. Is it wrong to use that loophole to log in?


Dear Email,

By acknowledging your inquiry, per Section 306.b.q.17 of the Employee Ethics Handbook I would be required to report you to the Office of Employee Ethics. Therefore, I’m not going to acknowledge it. Instead, let’s pretend you asked which form you need for ordering office supplies. The answer is form 545B. Or steal them from another section.


Dear Bureaucrat,

My job title is economist, but my assignments are mainly administrative tasks like binding briefing books. Meanwhile our admin watches TV all day. How can I get her to do her job so I can do mine?

-Federally Frustrated

Dear Fed,

You must be new here.

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