(Washington, DC — November 24, 2016) – Federal agencies scrambled this week to post messages of cheer and warmth regarding today’s Thanksgiving holiday. Many even sent out messages via LISTSERVs to further spread their positive messages.
But it turns out that “safety” this holiday season isn’t for everyone.
An anonymous Federal agency, sending out greetings from its director, walked back part of its positive message by editing out the word “safe” from its holiday message. The final non-offensive, non-denominational, non-political message? “I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.”
The reason for eliminating what would seem to be a completely inoffensive word has left Federal government experts scratching their heads.
“If the message had originally been ‘Have a blessed holiday’ or something similar, I could see where the agency might get into trouble,” said a government observer, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I guess ‘blessed’ might offend some people, such as those who aren’t particularly religious. But the overall message had no religious overtones. It didn’t mention politics. It didn’t even talk about eating meat – such as turkey or ham – so even the vegans couldn’t have complained.
“Is this just another example of political correctness run amuck? Or just the general insanity commonly associated with the Federal government? My money is on the latter.”
Some fear the reason for the word’s removal is sinister in nature.
“By removing the word ‘safe’ they’re saying we should instead have an ‘unsafe’ holiday?” asked an officer from the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), speaking on condition of anonymity. “Is the Federal government actually recommending unsafe practices for its non-essential employees? Eating salmonella-ridden turkeys? Using hedge trimmers to carve turkeys and hams? Driving drunk? Where does it end?
“This could be a means to an end for the Federal agency in question. We know there may be a hiring freeze within the Federal government in 2017, and many agencies are currently over their Full-Time Employee (FTE) allotments. What better way to downsize than ask employees to maim and incapacitate themselves so as to take themselves out of the workforce? Brilliant. Sinister, but brilliant.”
If nothing else, it seems to be a prime example of irony-impairment commonly found within the Federal government: The anonymous Federal agency which removed the word “safe” from its holiday message is regulatory in nature, so its main mission is safety.
And this isn’t the first time this agency has shown irony-impairment in the name of safety. In January 2014, it forced its window washers to report for duty in spite of sub-zero wind chills in the DC area.