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Thursday, January 3, 2013


Dateline: Maryland
Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O’Leary
from:  alibi.com
A federal employee was formally reprimanded in early December because his “uncontrollable flatulence” had created an “intolerable” and “hostile” environment for his coworkers. On Dec. 10, the unnamed, 38-year-old Social Security Administration employee was given a five-page letter logging the dates and times office mates reported him “releasing the awful and unpleasant odor.” A redacted copy of the letter was circulated among officers of the American Federation of Government employees and made its way to the internet where it was posted by TheSmokingGun.com. The letter of reprimand, which accuses the windy worker of “conduct unbecoming of a federal officer,” is the least severe administrative sanction that can be given to a government worker. According to the letter, the worker was first spoken to about his problem on May 18, when a manager informed him that coworkers had complained about his flatulence and that it was “the reason none of them were willing to assist you with your work.” On July 17, a second SSA manager spoke to the man “in regards of your releasing of bodily gas in the module during work hours.” On August 14, an SSA Deputy Division Director was called in to discuss the “continuous releasing of your bodily gas and the terrible smell that comes with the gas.” At this time, apparently, the worker said he was lactose intolerant and planned to purchase Gas-X. Despite the workers’ promise to fix the problem, the author of the note went on to chart 17 separate dates and 60 specific times on which the employee broke wind. The letter, which will remain in the employee’s file for up to one year, calls the conduct “discourteous, disrespectful and entirely inappropriate.”


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