Why I quit working for Uncle Sam

In late 2013, I decided to quit my job at the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the US Department of Labor (DOL).   I’m writing about my experience and my reasons for leaving because I think that doing so reveals some possibilities about what I might do in the future. In detailing my experience here, I think I’ve also explained what some of the advantages and disadvantages of Federal employment are.

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Your mother is not your friend

My parents suddenly appeared in San Francisco one weekend in January 2006 with a desperate plea that I become more involved in their lives as my dad expected to die from cancer within the year. My residence in Sodom-by-the-Sea, so far away from them, had not been an accident, but rather where I ended up when I fled.

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The Tennessee-Alabama racist tchotchke and Confederate dreamcatcher emporium

There is a lovely road that leads out of Nashville and into the hills. Before the hills, there are suburbs all the way to Murfreesboro. Then there is a place in Manchester where they’ve widened the road to accommodate the yearly music festival there. The road climbs about thirty miles to Monteagle: from there, if the weather is good, you can look down in either direction upon Tennessee’s finest, who enforce a low 55 miles-per-hour speed limit both directions up the hill.

This road, I-24, continues then on over hills and plateaus and lakes to Chattanooga. From Chattanooga, I-75 stretches southward into the sprawl of the ten-county metropolitan Atlanta area, the residents of which are largely unable to list all ten counties. I have driven between Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA at least once a month, on average, since I moved to Nashville in 2009. In the three years before that, I did a much longer drive from Normal, IL, that also put me on 24 from Nashville to Atlanta. All of these things I have done for the sake of taking care of family.

I know my exits on this road. I know where the rest areas are. I know where I might get good food, coffee, or cheap gas. I know where it’s fun to stop. And, most of all, I know an amazing fireworks store where they sell racist tchotchkes and memorabilia.
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How the religious right lost its iPhone, and ended up in my kitchen

I often wonder what people think about the place I live. The people staying here for AirBnB right now seem neutral. As a rule, I’m often unaware of how my guests really feel. Today presented a very special opportunity for my housekeeping skills to be judged by the religious right.

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Top ways to get left behind by your Uber driver

I always make a phone call to the rider to confirm his or her pickup. I’m often able to tell which ride requests I need to cancel out on before going out of my way based on how this call goes. When I’ve been wrong, the results have sometimes been disasterous.

Based on past experience, there are some rides I now know to cancel as fast as possible. Here’s how to get your ass left on the curb by your rideshare driver.

NB: In this article, I’ve changed names to protect the guilty.

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A secret dance party

I have often concerned myself more with becoming instead of merely being. I thought the future was going to reveal some amazing secrets about me. I confess that the promise of a better me or a better future distracted me from the opportunities  of the moment.  As I’ve aged, and I’m no longer confronted by endless possibility, I’m better able to see how well I might live right this very moment, with no self-improvement necessary.

Last night, I went out blues dancing at Cumberland Park, Nashville’s new riverfront park. Many of the parking lots and streets next to LP Field and the Shelby  pedestrian bridge were cordoned off to accommodate a autocross festival that will take place starting today.

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Frequently Asked Questions about me (FAQ), May 2007

Nobody actually asks these questions of me, but I wish they would. That’s what an Internet FAQ is. No one actually has ever previously asked the questions that have been compiled into a FAQ. The FAQ is merely a compilation of the desired conversational topics of the person compiling the list of questions. It’s an agenda for the future conversation instead of a chronicle of past queries.

Everyone knows this is the true nature of a FAQ, but no one writes I Wish These Were More Frequently Asked Questions. IWTWMFAQ doesn’t serve the purpose of brevity.

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Licol the burgeoning bigamist

Licol is married to two women. Or perhaps he was married to two women.

First there was the woman he moved in with 13 yeas ago, Nuerky. She has a gaggle of kids, but none of them are biologically Licol’s. Licol wanted a family, so he pursued Eliza. Eliza is 19 or so, and has a boy child, Eduard, by a previous relationship. I found Eliza to be attractive and even considered coming on to her myself once upon a time.

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Born ugly

On Sunday, 2 February at a few minutes before six in the morning, a very ugly man arrived on foot at my door. Out of the darkness, he called my name. I was expecting him and I yelled from where I had been sleeping “Bonjour! M’ale!” I ignited the propane lamp and opened the door. The ugly man on my doorstep chose not to come in. I invited him, in my best Haitian Kreyol, to eat breakfast, but he declined, stating that he only drinks coffee in the morning. I gave him a piece of bread with egg inside, which I wrapped in a newspaper.
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