Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Maybe There Really Is No Difference Between State And Federal Clerkships

I pointed out previously that in my clerkship we have chores (i.e. cleaning the kitchen, taking out the trash, and making sure the recycling is emptied regularly).  Well, it turns out that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals (federal court covering New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) has its own "issues."

The clerk of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit gave her staff a "writing test" to find out who scribbled rude graffiti in the men's room.  Apparently, last week someone wrote a note on the fifth-floor bathroom wall that read, "Don't [bleep] on the seat," along with a penis. Now, one might think this sort of thing crude.  I find it to be a public service.  For reasons I cannot fathom, some men cannot aim to save their lives.  Now, I suppose this is a personal problem that really doesn't affect anyone but the wild shooter.  However, I am guessing this "graffiti" as the clerk called it, was written because someone didn't wipe up.  I mean, we've all seen the signs at someone's grandmother's house that says, "please be neat and wipe the seat."  I don't see much difference between that and a talking penis telling someone not to piss on the seat.  Well, this clerk and I obviously see things differently. After hearing about (presumably) the "graffiti," she summoned every male employee in the building to an afternoon meeting. According to the newspaper article I saw, she told staffers to write out the sentence, "Do not play on Delancey" with an exclamation mark and to sign the paper -- apparently to match their handwriting with the graffiti. The clerk says it was necessary. "By having the meeting and by closing the lavatory for a period of time so it could be cleaned, [I hoped] we could restore the kind of civil consideration that people living in a community extend to each other," she said. 

So while I may have to wipe down kitchen counters, I don't have to give writing samples to prove I don't draw penises on a bathroom wall.  If you'd like to read the original article, it can be found here: To Catch a Public Servant

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