Pop quiz: What publication ran this headline Wednesday, “EPA Employees Told to Stop Pooping in the Hallway”?
Was it (a) the satirical newspaper The Onion that called out the Environmental Protection Agency’s malfeces; or (b) the normally staid Government Executive magazine?
If you answered (a), no points for you! This actually happened.
Also, Onion staffers should look into a different line of work. Bureaucratic surreality is leaving satire in the dust.
“In [an] email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned ‘several incidents’ in the [Colorado EPA] building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and ‘an individual placing feces in the hallway’ outside the restroom,” reported staff writer Eric Katz.
Local EPA management, proving that they do, in fact, give a crap, consulted with “workplace violence ‘national expert’ John Nicoletti” to help clean up this mess.
Nicoletti advised the environmental experts that “hallway feces is in fact a health and safety risk” and “added the behavior was ‘very dangerous’ and the individuals responsible would ‘probably escalate’ their actions.”
Today, the hallway. Tomorrow, the boss’s desk.
To dispel charges that Government Executive was smearing the agency, Katz put the current crapper crisis in a larger context.
EPA workers, Katz explained, “have done some odd things recently.
“Contractors built secret man caves in an EPA warehouse, an employee pretended to work for the CIA to get unlimited vacations and one worker even spent most of his time on the clock looking at pornography.”
The poop-in-the-hallway incident is simply one more stain on the agency’s reputation.