Wherein DC Sir Lancelots Turn Their Tail And Flee Like Candyass Sir Robins

Attention Americans:

Those brave elected and appointed representatives who represent YOU in the Federal Government are fleeing! Well, granted, I guess that doesn’t really account for the elected members of Congress who have been diddling and twiddling their thumbs, among other things, for a while now in order to suck at the tit of corporate cash, while doing nothing for you on the record at their elected jobs (no, Darrell Issa’s dog and pony show doesn’t count) and throw it around to perpetuate a fraud on you.

But, as they say in movies, that is something completely different.

No, here is the notice I take just a little umbrage with:

Non-emergency employees (including employees on pre-approved paid leave) will be granted excused absence (administrative leave) for the number of hours they were scheduled to work unless they are:

required to telework,

on official travel outside of the Washington, DC, area,

on leave without pay, or

on an alternative work schedule (AWS) day off.

Telework-Ready Employees who are scheduled to perform telework on the day of the announcement or who are required to perform unscheduled telework on a day when Federal offices are closed to the public must telework the entire workday or request leave, or a combination of both, in accordance with their agencies’ policies and procedures, subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksites unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

As friend of the blog, Timothy Shorrock, noted:

No government Monday. A state of anarchy will reign!

I’m with Tim, we are all SO SCREWED!

Okay, and I’m going to take a flyer that Mr. Shorrock agrees, the nation may not only survive, but actually prosper without the usual cabal of corrupt con men and bloodsuckers that generally run things in Washington DC on a “normal” day. Call me crazy, but I am going out on that limb.

Here is my issue: They are all bozos on that bus. Pretty much all of the NOAA, CNN and other data intensive models have been prediting this likely Sand path for days.

Our Men in Havana, er, I mean men and women in DC, are just figuring this out now??? Perhaps the usual rhesus monkey brains were otherwise occupied still figuring out the Administration’s housing policy.

And, look at the directive. What does it really say? That the poohbahs suggest common workers, just being notified a couple of hours before they go to sleep, do what they were already doing, or already had the option to do, and work from home. For any others unable to do so, the suggestion is they take leave.

In short, the real backbone of the federal government, the regular workers, are being treated in a tardy and tawdry manner.

By the 1% MOTUs. Shocking, no?

So, while the politicians who are not already cravenly out of town on your dime are absent, even the remaining Knights of The Pinhead Table run like crazed Sir Robins.

Ain’t that America?

Uh, yeah, so tomorrow will be different from exactly what other day you federal jackasses??

Because, Congress, the DOJ, the SEC, the FEC, the NLRB, and all the rest, BEFORE SANDY, were sooooooo totally responsive to the needs and desires of their constituents.

On a serious note, this hurricane is pretty clearly a grave matter for human safety. Care SHOULD be taken. The projected damage had the DC/Eastern Virginia/Maryland area in the cone of danger in nearly every projection.

The federal government waited until now to tell regular workers, the real backbone of our functioning government to, paraphrasing “stay at home if you have that already available, or otherwise work as best you can.

That is loathsome from a leadership of cowardly and craven Sir Robins. And, on the remote chance you do not understand what a “Sir Robin” is, watch the video.

14 replies
  1. claude says:

    I’m not sure if this is serious or sarcasm, but if you are serious about the lack of notice, this is a ridiculous gripe. Half a day is plenty of notice, and really, how much notice do you need to tell people not to come into the office?

  2. bmaz says:

    @claude: well, here is the deal: It was both. But, I think they should be given better notice so they can plan with their families, especially where it could so easily have been done knowingly ahead of time. Secondly, I think the notice was crap in the way it framed things for common workers.

    So, yeah, not so much sympathy for your “ridiculous” assertion.

  3. P J Evans says:

    Well, the NYSE waited until today to decide they’ll be closed tomorrow. They apparently weren’t even going to go that far, but the governor announced the subways were closing at 7 Eastern, and would be staying closed. i suspect most of the NYSE workers come in by subway, or from areas that are being evacuated because of the storm surge and flooding that’s expected.

    They’re hoping the surge doesn’t get as high as it did in Irene – that one nearly flooded lower Manhattan.

  4. guest says:

    This is par for the course when you work for government. This is actually better than normal. Usually they will wait until the last possible moment to say offices are closed and granting admin leave. First thing they do is grant “liberal leave” which means that the offices will be open, but if you don’t want to come in for whatever reason, you are allowed to use vacation time. Then when they announce the closures, everyone who did not have leave scheduled or who did not request libeeral leave gets admin leave (i.e. doesn’t affect their vacation or sick time) everyone else who lost at the game of chicken saves the government some money (since they were eventually going to have to pay for that leave time at some point).

    Actually, the Republican administrations are a bit nicer to workers about this stuff, because IOKIYAR. The Dems treat federal workers like shit so that Faux and CNN won’t accuse them of coddling those public sector union workers (actually they do it cuz they like punching hippies and those government workers, but this is their cover story).

  5. bmaz says:

    @guest: Thanks for that explanation. Honestly, as I first was writing the post, I thought they were screwing the workers a little worse than is really the case. I still have some issue, and wonder how different it might be if the Congress critters were actually in town to freak out.

    I dunno, but it seems pretty clear the peril was sufficiently known by Friday night or yesterday. It still seems the little guy is in the whipsaw.

  6. Phoenix Woman says:

    @guest: It used to be better before the GOP took over Congress in 1994. That was also before the vote to raise the debt ceiling got turned into a club by the GOP.

    But yeah, there are now enough Republicans who started out as appointees and then burrowed into career positions (and then hired their friends) that unless your office manager is African-American, he or she will likely screw you on things like administrative leave because he or she is probably a movement Republican.

    One of my dear friends works for SSA in the local branch of what used to be the Office of Hearings and Appeals but is now ‘ODAR’, whatever that means. The ALJs there were about 50/50 Dem/Rep when my friend started, but now it’s more like 70/30 Rep/Dem, and the chief ALJ is a bigwig in the NRA. Worse yet, one of the judges is a dual-citizenship Israeli-American who allegedly holds officer rank in the IDF — how that can be legal in the US is beyond me — and became a rabid Republican because he is such a Likudnik.

  7. guest says:

    @Phoenix Woman: It used to be better before the GOP took over Congress in 1994.

    I would note that in 1994, the person running the executive branch was supposedly a Democrat (the one who spilled his seed on the Blue Dress). He was not as bad as Obama and his unilateral efforts to freeze federal pay for the last few years. But I do remember our cost of living raises got MUCH better under Bush than under stingey Clinton, and the Clinton era hiring freezes that did so much to make government enforcement less effective ended under Shrubya, too.

    And growing up in the DC era in the 60’s thru 80’s, I can say this game of chicken predated 1994 by a long long time. I don’t know if it was that way in other cities, but in the DC area where so much of the population used to be federal employees, (whereas now it is more contractors and godknowswhat kind of parasite industries of corruption), someone high up was very conscious about try to save a little money from giving a million or so folks a free day off.

    As for the timeframe, I think they were afraid of making a decision and then seeing the storm hit somewhere else. 3 days is a long way out for accuracy in weather predictions. And I’m sure most nonessential workers already know the drill from yearly winter snow closings, and knew that they could take leave if needed for evacuations or other weather interruptions. At this point I am loathe to grant the benefit of the doubt to the Obama administration, but maybe the point of giving this earlier than normal notice with the benefit of not penalizing those who scheduled to take annual leave was to encourage more responsible decisions by those hoping to save 8 or 16 hours of vacation time in the game of chicken.

  8. masaccio says:

    It will be interesting to see if the absence of the SEC and the DOJ will make any difference to anyone.

  9. Peterr says:

    Listening to Dick Grasso on CNBC right now: “If shutting down [the NYSE] for a couple of days could save one human life, then absolutely that is the right thing to do.”


    I’m sorry, but I’m really, really cynical when NYSE bigiwgs suddenly get religion about possible loss of life. It’s not like they do this when talking about coal mining, asbestos abatement, automobile safety designs, and things like that. In those cases, they just factor in loss of life to their cost-benefit analysis, and they oppose at every turn the efforts of government regulators to attempt to protect human life vs the rights of MOTUs to make money.

    Also, it is clear to MOTUs that not all people are created equal, and those miners et al. are not their people. Traders ARE their people — their minions, to be specific — and God knows the MOTUs need their minions.

  10. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Horrors!

    Clearly they need more and better minions.

    the bright side, given Grasso’s newfound concern for human life, I suppose this means that they won’t simply take the incompetent minions out behind the garage and have them shot.

  11. scribe says:

    @Peterr: Grasso’s there to help his fellow MOTU, Bloomberg. Bloomberg wants people to forget his and his administration’s performance during the day-after-Christmas blizzard/Nor’easter two winters ago, more b/c he has further ambitions than b/c he actually cares about the Little People.

    You might remember, that storm was the one where Bloomberg and his deputy mayor for stuff like cleaning streets, the stone-Rethug union-busting former mayor of Indianapolis, didn’t call out the plows until Monday morning, i.e., after it had been snowing hard for about 14 hours and over 20 inches of snow were already on the ground. Didn’t want to pay overtime. (Actually, Bloomberg had little to do with the call, seeing as he was hanging at his villa in Bermuda or something.) Then, when people started dying because ambulances couldn’t get through the government tried to blame it, falsely, on union workers.

    After that storm and because of Bloomberg’s fuckups, there was still a foot of snow – up to my boottops – covering 6th Avenue at 57th Street the Friday after the storm, i.e., 4 1/2 days after the snow stopped.

  12. OrionATL says:

    i’m sure you intended this column in your customary good-hearted manner, bmaz,

    but it is definitely one of not your better efforts.

    unless brand new, federal employees have gone thru this circumstance numerous times in their careers. they have no trouble anticipating what is likely to happen.

    in areas where federal employees are concentrated, it can be a big help to keep them out of the transportation stream.

    try driving out of washington across woodrow wilson or roosevelt bridge and then down the g.w. parkway and i-95 south in a NORMAL rush hour and you’ll understand why every car kept off the road now is a very good thing. a rapid evacuation on the potomac river side of d.c. (where tidal flooding might occur) is simply impossible.

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