So a colleague at work was supposed to get something done.
Well it didn't happen, and someone else got left holding the bag--not really very fair.
Too make matters worse, the guy sort of unapologetically and clouded pops in my door and says to me, "What are we doing here?"
Taken aback and not sure what this guy is talking about, I say "Excuse me?"
He looks up into space for a moment, and turns back toward me and repeats emphatically, "I mean, like what are we e-v-e-n doing here?"
Getting more than a little frustrated at this point, I ask quizzically and with some sarcasm, "You mean on planet Earth?"
Again, turning and looking oddly away and then back my way, he says, "In this building!"
I must've been looking at him at this point like is he on drugs, and I say, "We'll there are important laws that we're fulfilling here (implicitly referring to FOIA, Records Act, Privacy Act, E.O. 13526, etc.)."
Unbelievably, he continues, now shaking his head, "Well that's what I mean...why we need that?"
Having too much work to play out whatever this toxic game was any longer, I'm like, "[if you don't believe in transparency and safeguarding/security of information,] Maybe you should write your Congressman," [smile!] and with that went back to the million and one serious work things I still had waiting for attention.
In retrospect, I can't help but think that incredibly, there are people coming to work here in D. C. that either don't know why they are there in the first place (but should know!) or don't believe in the mission or meaning of what they are doing.
In the private sector, I certainly don't think this conversation would've even gone on as long as it did...the consequences there seeming more pronounced, abrupt, and in a definite way connected with reality.
With more than 16 years into the Federal sector, I still can't believe a lot of what goes on--both good and hopeful, and bad and more than a little disappointing. ;-)
(Source Photo: Danielle Blumenthal)