USA Today recently conducted a survey of Federal Government employee discipline policy.
It seems Uncle Sam has a hard time giving the heave-ho to screw-ups getting a paycheck at your expense.
Private sector firings for cause occur five times more frequently than under the wings of the bald eagle.
I therefore present for your reading pleasure a true story of one agency's attempt to root-out a man who single-handedly destroyed his work environment.
The government won't release his name, so I'll just use the initials P. U.
P. U. passes gas.
A lot of gas.
And this caused the Social Security Administration's management in the Baltimore office to issue a reprimand to P. U. in a letter that was extremely specific.
I have a copy of that unusual disciplinary correspondence.
Between September 7 and November 29, 2012, our flatulent friend gave freedom to 61 separate silent but deadly outbursts.
On Friday, September 19, 2012 alone, nine mammoth methane events were recorded by some poor sap who must have pulled the short straw when the boss handed out duties for the day.
"Hey, Frankie, I'm really sorry but you have to record every one of you-know-who's gaseous releases today. You know the mantra when it comes to employee misbehavior: document, document, document."
For you amateur civil rights lawyers out there, the manager's missive points out that P. U. has failed to identify a medical reason for the office-clearing behavior.
The reprimand concludes by citing specific ways in which the nausea-inducing incidents violate the employee handbook and provisions of a worker agreement.
More specifically, it says that P. U. "continues to release the odor which has become intolerable to those who work in the module."
How did this controversy end?
You guessed it.
Uncle Sam backed down.
The American Federation of Government Employees, as P. U. 's union, launched a counter offensive (admittedly, a bad choice of words).
They threatened litigation unless the management action was retracted.
And they prevailed.
An entire office staff gassed out, destroying office morale, and you the taxpayer can't expect a solution.
Why should the people who represent us feel the burden of carrying these incompetent employees that flaunt their misbehavior right before our eyes and, in this case, our noses?
Common sense tells you that a disgusting atmosphere is intolerable for co-workers and for members of the public who enter the office in Baltimore.
When it comes to what P.U. is doing, the onus is on his anus.
By the way, turn your head away when you open your envelope from Social Security this month.
It might be from the Maryland office.
P. U. has proven the impotence of our national government in the face of outrageous behavior.
And now, as we approach the counter at the Social Security office in Baltimore, he smiles as he asks us to pull something else.