February 1, 2011, - 6:28 pm

Barack Obama’s Personnel Director said WHAT?!

By Debbie Schlussel

Unless you’re working for Barack Obama’s federal government, you probably can’t drink alcohol at work. But when it comes to the feds, John Berry, Barack Obama’s Director of the Office of Personnel Management (the top recruitment guy in the Obama administration!), thinks it’s a good idea to “telecommute”–work from home–and drink a glass of wine while you’re at it? Can you do this at your job?


Obama’s Top Personnel Guy Applauds Drinking @ Work

Last week’s snowstorm offered lessons learned for the Office of Personnel Management as the Washington, D.C., region faces freezing ice and sleet on Tuesday, said OPM Director John Berry

On Monday afternoon, OPM announced that D.C. area feds have the option to take unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. . . .

“I made the announcement at 11 in the morning and if you were telework-eligible you could’ve left at 11. I got a lot of thank you letters last week from people who did just that,” Berry said. “They watched the snowstorm out their window and enjoyed a glass of wine.”

Nice work if you can get it . . . and if your boss is Uncle Sam AND Barack Hussein Obama.

Reader Mary:

Apparently the OPM director thinks tele-commuting & alcohol are great together. Is Alcoholics Anonymous membership optional?

Good question. I guess it’ll be part of ObamaCare.

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16 Responses

It must be nice to have a job where you can ‘telecommute’ at the expense of the taxpayers. I once knew a government “employee” with two young children who ‘telecommuted’ twice a week for several years. She spent most of the time caring for her kids instead of working.

Little Al on February 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Yup… fill out the paperwork at home and e-mail it to the boss… and if you like, have a drink in between sessions!

Nice work from Uncle Sam – if you can get it!

NormanF on February 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Hey, living in Washington, DC, I can tell you that most government employees here do nothing but drink coffee, go out to lunch, and pick up a paycheck. Most government jobs could be eliminated and the country would be none the worse. Anything that requires work or brain power is usually contracted out.

Would you like a job in the Federal government. Not if you are a white heterosexual male without contacts.

However, if you do still insist on applying, there is no need to take an exam. Jimmy Carter eliminated the Civil Service Exam, claiming it was racially biased.

Need U.S. citizenship? Not anymore. Just be a U.S. national.
Do you have a problem speaking English? Go the the US Patent and Trademark Office, where many of the examiners struggle with English.

Don’t want to work eight hours a day? Well, just stroll in at 10:00 am, leave at 4:30 pm, and just talk about sports most of the day.

RTVF (Radio Television Film) major? No background in anything? We’ll have you in a $155,000 a year job in no time. The government will just reject people who took have multiple degrees in serious subjects.

Now, is there any wonder why our government is so screwed up?

Jonathan Grant on February 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm

What’s wrong with telecommuting? The private sector has been expanding telecommuting for quite some time, and with verifiable success. A good telecommuting policy can save a company a great deal of money PPE costs. The government could learn a lesson from this. Rand Paul, in his budget proposal, called for the shutdown of many government facilities. Telecommuting is one way to affect that kind of change.

As for what John Berry said: please. Can a guy not crack a slight joke? Even if he was serious, I again point to the private sector as an example for gov’t to follow. Come work for a company in Southern California and you’ll find more often than not that they’ll shut down early every so often for an on-site happy hour – including drinks. In the dozens that I have attended over the last several years there has never been a single problem reported. Treat people like adults and they’ll tend to behave like adults.

Dave-o on February 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Telecommuting is fine to a point. The wine crack isn’t, as so many government employees do not do a lick of work to begin with. The last thing these employees need is more an excuse to screw off.

    Jonathan Grant on February 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with telecommuting. I work 100% from my home office. But I have strict deadlines and quality standards I have to meet. I produce. If I didn’t, I’d be long gone.

    I know several federal employees who telecommute a couple days a week. None of them have childcare for those days. Productivity killer right there, and that normally does not fly in the private sector.

    Plus, just a joke about drinking while I’m working would put me on the bad list.

    SusanR on February 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I will guarantee that the glass of wine that many of the employees enjoy will be accompanied by a couple of bong hits, payed for by the taxpayer as well.

CornCoLeo on February 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Debbie if we got rid of federal government waste, fraud, abuse, affirmative action, cronyism, and shiftless employees there’d be no one left but the guy who signs the foreign aid checks to Israel. On the plus side I think the Postal service is reasonably good and it gives us all the opportunity to comment on your hair color, etc.

A1 on February 1, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Private industry telecommuting has Adult Supervision. If you don’t perform your fired. Government telecommuting is unsupervised play time waiting for the retirement check to kick in.

Just imagine how much money we would have saved if obama telecommuted instead of traveling everywhere to read a teleprompter at the drop of a hat.

ender on February 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Garbage in, garbage out.

CaliforniaScreaming on February 1, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I am a Federal Employee- I supervise a department. About a third of my people are beyond redemption- lazy, shiftless, and immoral. About a third do what they were hired to do. The other third work hard-very hard. I need tools that will work to get rid of the deadwood. The Union is too strong.

EDS on February 2, 2011 at 12:22 am


On this issue, I have to disagree (somewhat). I am a technical writer by trade, and can do my job from anywhere, as long as I have a good connection to my company’s network. I’ve telecommuted almost exclusively for years and love it. I think its a huge waste of time to drive to an office, fight traffic, schlep my laptop with me simply to park my rear in a cubicle and do what can be done working from home. It saves me at least a 1-1/2 hours productive time per day; this is valuable time I spend working instead of driving.

That being said, I agree with the other posters who mention that people like me in private industry have “adult supervision” – if I hadn’t been producing while working from home, I would have been fired years ago. As a Conservative, I simply don’t trust the government, and I don’t want government employees, collecting their paychecks that we fund with our hard earned taxes, to work at home unsupervised. You need a lot of self-discipline to work remote, and I don’t think bureaucrats on the public dole have that kind of self-discipline.

Phil on February 2, 2011 at 12:51 am

Did he say this from home whilst enjoying his fifth glass?

Preposteroso on February 2, 2011 at 3:29 am

This is what they mean when describing: “Non-Essential Government Employees”.

P. Aaron on February 2, 2011 at 8:28 am

Yes, but the taxpayers don’t have to pay for telecommuters in private industry who loaf.

Little Al on February 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

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