The difficulties of government service

Today’s New York Times (the real one, not the parody) has, in addition to one of my bylined articles, a link to the questionaire that the incoming Obama administration is supposedly asking prospective government employees to fill out. Not that I ever aspire to be back in the employ of the feds (I worked for Congress and the fledgling USDA IT operation in the early 1980s), but I can’t see how anyone can hope to complete all 63 items in any kind of detail without taking the next three months off their day job to collect the various supporting documents and prepare a response. I mean, I understand having copies of tax forms, references and so forth, but copies of all speeches and articles that I have written? And any emails that might potentially be an issue? You have no idea. This isn’t a questionaire, it is a major research project that someone like Bob Caro would attempt before writing a biography.

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