Postcards from the Bureaucratic Underground

I have spent the last two days on the taxpayers dime. And I can tell you, working for the government is unlike working for anyplace else.

I was assigned a phone extension. First morning, I was surprised to find that I had 44 messages. That is 44 messages all from nurses with questions about their nursing license. We do not licensed nurses in my agency. Somebody transferred all of those people to a dead extension knowing full well that this wasn’t the right division. The nurses were pissed, and I am scared to call them back.

The department’s secretary sits directly behind me. I have been informed that I should not give her a file if I ever want to see it again. The secretary spends all of her time calculating out loud when she can retire. And then she disappears for hours at a time.

My boss stops by every few hours to ask if I am overwhelmed. I think he is afraid that I am going to try and bolt again. But no. It’s my baby now.

The girl who is supposed to be training me mumbles as she tries to explain things. I can’t understand a word she says so I have had to try and figure out everything myself. I stopped in to ask her a question, and she went into a monologue about the players in an office romance. When naming names, she spoke absolutely clearly.

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