Still Time To Be Really, Really Stupid!

Feds have little over a week left to win a no-expense 180 day respite from their jobs and paychecks. Anyone can enter. If you do it right (which means wrong) you can be one of the self-nominated chosen few.

Some have already entered the time-out contest. Others are laying the groundwork even as you read this. The rules are simple:

Basically, all you have to do is to go politically ballistic at the office. Using your government computer or phone, send friends and coworkers (don’t forget the boss) a note blasting either of the presidential candidates. Be sure to tell them who to vote for, or not to vote for. A nice touch would be to mention what a swine the candidate you don’t like is. Ideally you should pass on partisan literature and websites from the party of your choice.

Lest you are afraid nobody will notice (as in report) your efforts, you might want to dress in an Uncle Sam suit when you come to work. Wear partisan political buttons or banners and put up a poster of your candidate in your cubicle, or better yet, on the office bulletin board.

If you get reported, and found guilty of violating the Hatch “no politics” Act, you can get a suspension (did we mention it is without pay?) for up to 180 days. If you really outdo yourself you can also get fired. For lesser offenses you may just get a short (one or two week) suspension. Or a reprimand which will go in your permanent file.

Even if you don’t get nailed for playing politics at the office, on government time and using government equipment, you can rest assured that you will irritate and offend a number of your colleagues.

To find out how to run afoul of the Hatch Act, or to avoid same, click here.

Either way, hurry. The election is November 4.

P.S. Does this sound like anybody you work with?

USPS Headquarters Downsizing

The headquarters operation of the U.S. Postal Service is not immune from the mail-moving corporation’s downsizing drive. The USPS is offering early retirement (but not buyouts) to tens of thousands of craft employees. Under the early-out they could retire on immediate annuities (and keep their health insurance) if they are age 50 with 20 years or at any age with 25 years of federal/military service.

While this is going on the Service has frozen hiring and is looking at layoffs for a still undetermined number of headquarters personnel. Workers in jobs targeted for elimination will be allowed to bid on other positions. The process of posting jobs begins this week.

New Retirement Plan?

Check out the following e-mail from a reader/listener in Cincinnati:

Mike, have you been sleeping at the wheel? Buried in a footnote on page 3568 of the recently enacted Wall Street bailout, which was part of a last minute amendment to the bill that ensured agricultural marketing subsidies for American products sold to Uzbekistan (passed at 3:15 a.m.), was the establishment of the new retirement system that will supplant Social Security, CSRS, FERS, 401(k)s, IRAs, and TSP. Known by its acronym, WUYD, the new Work Until You Die retirement system (try humming this to the tune of “Whistle While You Work”) will guarantee wages and health insurance for everyone who makes it to the finish line. So far, the $750 billion bailout seems to be having its intended effect: the market has lost several trillion in value since its enactment, and workers everywhere are adjusting their retirement planning accordingly.” E. W., in Cincinnati.

Very funny!

He’s kidding, right?

Seriously, E. W., this is a joke, right?

Nearly Useless Factoid

Teenagers are getting less intelligent. The (London) Independent reports “the most intelligent 14-year-old in 2008 is now only on a par with the brightest 12-year-old in 1976.” Researchers think it might have something to do with computer games and watching television.

To reach me: