Thursday, September 24, 2015


You may have heard the news that Pope Francis was in DC over the past couple of days. Out of concern for the massive transit backups likely to be caused by visiting Catholics come to see the Pope, most of the federal government was encouraged to telework or take liberal leave. (If you're unaware, "liberal leave" means you use your own annual leave and don't come in to work.) Unfortunately, my staff can't telework because our work is confidential and can't be taken from the building, so we've been almost fully staffed yesterday and today.

So how was the commute, you ask? Wonderful. Enough federal workers stayed home that the influx in tourists didn't make up the difference, resulting in better commutes than usual. Trains were plentiful and half empty, so commuting was a great treat for those of us who do it every day. And my building, occupied by six federal agencies, was also half empty, which meant shorter lines in the cafeteria and a generally more relaxed atmosphere.

Thanks, Pope! Come back any time.


Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the Pope's address to congress

Ipecac said...

I'm not a huge fan of the Papacy (it falls into the whole not a huge fan of religion idea) although this is easily the best Pope we've had during my lifetime. He seems kind, unaffected and downright pragmatic in how he deals with issues and people. And as a progressive, of course I liked many of the things the Pope said, for example, about our system of government, cooperation and compromise, poverty, the death penalty and climate change. He didn't throw out a lot of red meat to the right wing about abortion and "religious freedom" either, so I appreciated that.

I wish I could be optimistic that some of his words would make a difference to conservatives in Congress, but I long ago lost that hope. They just aren't interested in compromise and making things work for all Americans. In the end, I don't think the Pope's words will make a difference to those gumming up the government.