Federal Worker Reprimanded for Flatulence

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 22 2012 6:54 AM

Federal Worker Reprimanded for Flatulence

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The Social Security Administration employee engaged in "conduct unbecoming a federal officer"

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Talk about an embarrassing letter to have in your file. A 38-year-old Social Security Administration employee was formally reprimanded earlier this month for his “uncontrollable flatulence” that had created a “hostile” and “intolerable” environment for the unfortunate co-workers in his Baltimore office, according to the letter posted online by the Smoking Gun. By “releasing the awful and unpleasant odor” the government worker engaged in “conduct unbecoming a federal officer.”

The difficult-to-believe letter includes a log detailing dates and time when his flatulence was detected, including one day when he passed gas nine times in one day, starting at 9:45 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. The issue was apparently discussed with the employee numerous times over the last few months and at one point he was asked to “make it to the restroom before releasing the awful and unpleasant odor.” Although the employee presented evidence that he suffered from “some medical conditions” the manager who wrote the letter notes that “nothing that you have submitted has indicated that would have uncontrollable flatulence.” The purpose of the reprimand is “to impress upon you the seriousness of your actions,” notes the letter.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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