There is a marble statue out on a patch of grass behind the congressional incinerator, right next to the dumpster. As Washington monuments go it’s not much but I have aspirations. I’m hoping that my survivors in this temporal world will one day make the trip to that hallowed ground to spread my ashes beneath the statue dedicated to exaltation of the noble but lonely census Field Representative.
Yes, yesterday I swore an oath – out loud for Pete’s sake – to uphold the constitution, to defend our nation from enemies foreign and domestic and much more. Initially feeling a bit self-conscious standing bathed in fluorescent light of the beige library room while I stared at the page, I soon found my purpose. My voice gained traction as I passed the words “…true faith and allegiance…”, found its pace when intoning “…without any mental reservation…” and hit a dramatic flourish with “So help me God”.
In fact maybe the flourish was a bit over the top given my theologic proclivities. Clearly the nice woman standing next to me flinched in a manner that left me unsure of my decorum. But hell, how often do you get to read this stuff out loud? I began to picture myself standing straight and tall at my inauguration, my voice echoing out and across the biggest inauguration crowd ever. Of course this delusion of grandeur passed quickly but then I began to dream my own special moment as my ashes (I don’t know, I kinda imagine them like a gritty salt and pepper mix with a few boney lumps thrown in) are gently, gracefully tossed at the feet of my marble doppelganger.
What was really great about yesterday was that I got my nose under the tent of federal employment. Instead of imagining the bureaucratic bullshit that happens inside mega organization I am now there, in person with a front row seat. The paperwork, the checklists, the impossibly inappropriately sized boxes into which you are supposed to inscribe some wacky number/letter/symbol string, the WARNING(s) and the passwords on top of passwords; I am living that dream and it is special.
How hackers get through all this electronic barbed wire and avoid the kettles of boiling tar the software engineers have ready if they try to get into these networks is remarkable. Soon I will be a master of all this sorcery and ready to bust loose on unsuspecting interviewees with time tested and awkwardly phrased scripts designed to elicit facts which will eventually be collated into trends, graphs and riveting analysis. Just to assure my readers, I have vowed to take a bullet (figuratively of course) to protect the integrity of my fob and data. That’s a promise.