Government service really can be funWASHINGTON — Job recruiters for the federal government complain that often they can’t land the best, brightest and most promising youngsters because government service is seen as boring — shuffling papers in drab offices in drab buildings.
By: Dale McFeatters, The Dickinson Press
WASHINGTON — Job recruiters for the federal government complain that often they can’t land the best, brightest and most promising youngsters because government service is seen as boring — shuffling papers in drab offices in drab buildings.
The General Services Administration, for example, provides those drab offices and the gray metal desks and gray metal filing cabinets to go in them, not exactly pulse-quickening activity.
The Secret Service gets to stand around in drab suits, ear pieces and cool shades and talk into their wrists once in awhile, but when you come right down to it, what they basically do is stand around.
That’s why the recent GSA scandal in Las Vegas and the Secret Service scandal in Colombia should be seen as opportunities, not occasions for censure. They show that government service can be fun — perhaps in these cases too much fun, but fun nonetheless.
Eleven Secret Service agents and some members of the military are in hot water for what The Washington Post called “a night of ... widespread debauchery that included heavy drinking and a trip to the Pleyclub, a strip club.” The New York Post reports that the night also included quantities of one of Colombia’s best-known exports, cocaine.
The happy crew allegedly returned to its hotel with 21 hookers in tow. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said some of the men said they didn’t know that the women were prostitutes.
Mr. Chairman, it’s bad enough that these guys are in serious trouble with their employer without you making them out to be complete hayseeds.
Events reportedly began running off the rails when, as one official told The Wall Street Journal, “One guy didn’t pay the girl and kicked her out of the room.” On second thought, maybe one hayseed in the bunch. “She started making a ruckus, screaming and kicking in doors.” And that reportedly brought the police and a quick conclusion to what, up until then, had been a night of good degenerate fun and a great recruiting tool at any of the nation’s better party schools.
By contrast — as far as we know — the GSA gathering in Las Vegas was a more sedate affair, even though it cost $823,000 and featured a clown, a mind reader, a “team-building exercise” to assemble a bicycle — those are some cutups over at the GSA — plenty of food and drink and a rap video making fun of the expense of the whole affair.
The Secret Service may be straight-up party animals, but the GSA’s cubicle dwellers show more sophistication in partying at taxpayer expense. One ruse, apparently, is to invent an award and then fly off to a resort to hold an awards ceremony.
A variation on this, one GSA employee told The Associated Press, is when “several GSA officials flew to Hawaii for five to seven days in 2011 to attend an hourlong ribbon-cutting on space leased by the federal government.”
We won’t keep you government recruiters tied up any longer. Job seekers are probably lined up in your hallway even as we speak. Be sure to remind them of two basic rules: Don’t appear in any videos while on a government junket, and always pay the hookers.
McFeatters is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service.