Sifting through a box of puzzle pieces (with some missing) with tears in my eyes

Earlier this week, our newly elected president (yes, you *won* Donald, I’m still not sure why) abruptly shut down public communications from various government agencies including the EPA. I know that this kind of thing happens with every regime change but usually it is a more targeted kind of investigation into various programs and the overall business of communicating with the public goes on more or less normally. This heavy-handed NYET (or whatever Kim Jong Un says in North Korea) seems unprecedented in our country of free speech (not to mention freedom of the PRESS!).

I have a long history with the EPA. It was my first job after college. I had a music education and I had NO CLUE what to do with it. Somehow I thought that I would have to take some kind of clerical job and do that and build, well, I dunno what, some sort of flute studio? Back in those days, job ads were in newspapers and there were a lot of secretarial-type jobs and you needed to take typing tests and whatever. I could type but those kinds of jobs just didn’t feel right to me.

My cousin worked for a tech company that contracted with the EPA and I used to party with all of those people and eventually they hired me as an entry-level employee on that EPA contract. I spent my first six months there sitting in front of The Window, logging in data processing “jobs” for key-punching or whatever and handing out printouts from our Data 100 printer. I think my starting salary was something like $8,700. YES REALLY!

For various reasons, the first six months were challenging but I found that I had a knack for IT work and I EARNED some respect for my ability to learn and try to get things done. Long story short, I ended up with a good career there for 15 years. When I had my children, the powers-that-be (EPA and CSC) created a part-time job for me, enabling the GG and I to take care of our kids in tandem, switching them off in the parking lot as we changed shifts. THANK YOU CSC and EPA! Yes, the GG worked there then too. See the P.S.

There are bad apples in every work situation but I have to say that the majority of folks at the EPA are committed to making the world a better place. The scientists and those who support them do not approach their jobs in a political sense. They are dealing with facts. I mean *facts*, not *alternative* facts.

When I saw tweets from @ActualEPAFacts today, I almost lost it right there in my cozy little cube in Cubelandia. I covered it by blowing my nose. I could not think how I could explain to my current [beloved] co-workers what my childhood career at the EPA was like and what it meant to me and why I was so sad and yet heartened that those “darn EPA folks” are resisting this tyranny. You Go EPA (and NASA and National Parks and all of the others who are resisting)!

Love you all but still don’t understand why Trump is our president.

G’night, KW

P.S. In full disclosure, the GG retired last year from a long career at the EPA. I was skeptical about his retirement but now I think it might have been a good thing. Alas.

2 Responses to “Sifting through a box of puzzle pieces (with some missing) with tears in my eyes”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Those people are my heroes!

  2. GG Says:

    EPA will be fine. This is just another transition to another administration. This transition will be a little rougher because EPA has become a polarizing partisan democrat organization…