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EPA Employees Pooping in Hallway

someone-pooped-in-hallway

Apparently, the EPA needs to start environmental cleanup a little closer to home.

Government Executive (“EPA Employees Told to Stop Pooping in the Hallway“):

Environmental Protection Agency workers 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.

It appears, however, that a regional office has reached a new low: Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.

In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.

Confounded by what to make of this occurrence, EPA management “consulted” with workplace violence “national expert” John Nicoletti, who said that hallway feces is in fact a health and safety risk. He added the behavior was “very dangerous” and the individuals responsible would “probably escalate” their actions.

Presumably, these incidents reflect a combination of mental illness, graft, and laziness. Any very large workforce (the EPA employs over 17,000 people) is likely to have some of this sort of thing, although hallway defecation is something I’ve happily not yet encountered in my career.

I can’t help but speculate, however, that some of this is hostility towards the recent employment climate. Years of pay freezes, hiring freezes, sequestration, shutdowns, threats of shutdowns, and budget cuts are certainly creating a strain within the federal workforce. Yes, they’re in a better position than those in the private sector, who’ve taken a big hit since the 2008 meltdown. But there’s nonetheless an undercurrent of resentment, sometimes not all that well disguised.

Still—and I can’t emphasize this enough—there’s no call for pooping in the hallway.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. John Peabody says:

    If you must poop in the hallway, please mark it with yellow tape, so that the floor polisher crew can avoid polishing the turd.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    In any sane work environment, such conduct would be grounds for immediate firing. But I have no doubt that should be Mad Pooper be identified, his or her union will fight tooth and nail for them keeping their job.

    I can’t help but speculate, however, that some of this is hostility towards the recent employment climate. Years of pay freezes, hiring freezes, sequestration, shutdowns, threats of shutdowns, and budget cuts are certainly creating a strain within the federal workforce.

    Sheesh, if it’s that bad, they are free to find other jobs. Those jobs won’t have the same benefits and job security, most likely, but they won’t have those concerns.

    @John Peabody: Bastard, you made me laugh out loud with that one… and made me flash back to the Mythbusters actually doing just that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  3. Matt Bernius says:

    Still—and I can’t emphasize this enough—there’s no call for pooping in the hallway.

    True Face: James begins every e-mail to the OTB staff with this handy reminder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  4. DrDaveT says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But I have no doubt that should be Mad Pooper be identified, his or her union will fight tooth and nail for them keeping their job.

    I’m sure that belief is as well-founded as all of the other things you have no doubt about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  5. Franklin says:

    This office wasn’t in Ypsilanti, Michigan, was it? Because they recently had a rash of midnight defecations on playground equipment in local parks. There were so many incidents that the cops advertised on a billboard, pleading for help catching the pooper, I mean perpetrator.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Franklin: I think you mean “poopetrator.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. Jeremy says:

    Wasn’t there a song that went like this? “POOPING IN THE HALLWAY / AIN’T ALLOWED IN SCHOOL.”

    Oh, “Smoking in the boys room,” oops.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Jeremy says:

    @DrDaveT: Oh c’mon, the union will defend the poopetrator, we all know this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.

    Doesn’t this s*** happen in many offices across the country? People (employees) often misuse restrooms, waste supplies, inadvertently clog toilets, etc. Why would government offices be any different? Except for the “an individual placing feces in the hallway” – most of that has happened in some of the places I’ve worked – not often, but it has happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. rudderpedals says:

    Lighten up folks, it’s not like someone pooped in the urinal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Franklin says:

    @rudderpedals: Or left an upper decker?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. Nick says:

    We had a case like this at the international organisation where I worked. Female staff were complaining that someone was regularly using the toilet without raising the lid. After a while, it was decided to have a member of the cleaning staff hang around and check after every “visit”. Eventually the poopetrator was identified; it was someone who had been in dispute with HR over a job assignment or promotion matter. Her comment was, “The organisation is s****ing on me, so I’m going to s*** right back on them”. She ended up in therapy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. rudderpedals says:

    @Franklin: That’s nasty!

    Gotta try it one day

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Eric Florack says:

    Well, look…. years ago, cave men had enough brains to “go” outside the cave.
    What we have here is confirmation of my long held belief that government workers have less brains than the cave man.

    That the EPA is involved is another confirmation…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0