Kim Kardashian's impact on teleworking

Thursday - 11/3/2011, 2:00am EDT

Will 2011 be the year that inspired the government to really get serious about teleworking.?

Was the tragic, surprise news from Kim Kardashian the tipping point? Consider:

People have been pushing teleworking for a long time. Especially after 9/11. Continuity of operations is the name of the game. We know we've got to keep going, no matter what Mother Nature or terrorists throw at us.

The future pace of teleworking will be largely decided inside the Beltway. And it's been a rough year, both weatherwise and emotionally here. It feels like we've had an unusual number of events here, and elsewhere, that make teleworking look more important than ever.

While things were even tougher in other parts of the country (much of Texas baked, the South and Midwest had killer tornadoes and New Englanders went many days without power), what happens in D.C. is important because this is where most of your bosses live. And where Congress, when it's in town, does its thing. For instance:

We were hit with 5 to 10 inches of snow in January 2010, followed by a 30-plus inch deluge in February that President Obama, a veteran of some tough Chicago winters, nicknamed Snowmegeddon. Many D.C. area workers had eight-hour commutes. Some camped in their cars.

The blizzard shut down most nonessential (and even some essential) government operations for a week. It also emphasized that in order to work from your home computer you need electricity which 750,000 people didn't have for a week or more.

This August, we had a rare 5.8 earthquake which cracked the Washington Monument, did damage to the National Cathedral and rocked a nearby nuclear plant. A few days later Hurricane Irene slammed the East Coast. No volcanic activity, yet.

In between the earthquake and the hurricane, parts of the country saw record drought and record heat then record rainfall which some meteorolgists said was a thousand-year rain. Late last month, we had a rare snowstorm and our coldest-ever temperature for that date in October.

To add insult to injury, in September my daughter's cat ran away. ( Fortunately there are three left).

Then this week, perhaps the cruelest cut of all. Kim Kardashian tweeted that she was ending her 72-day marriage, which many of us thought was made in heaven and would last forever. Thanks to the miracle of Twitter some of us probably knew it before her former soulmate got the word. Some younger feds are still in a state of shock.

And it's only November. The congressional supercommittee is yet to be heard from. Democracy can only handle so much stress.

Many experts say the best way Uncle Sam can survive weather or man-made disaster, not to mention protect the environment and reduce gridlock, is to have more people working from home. And the ability to have tens of thousands ready, will, able and authorized to work from home as part of the COOP.

The General Services Administration has announced a new emphasis on governmentwide teleworking programs. Previously, the Merit Systems Protection Board issued a 91-page report on teleworking in 2009. Both were done before the crushing news about Kim.

Question: Did the GSA and MSPB folks who wrote on the report work on it from home? If not, why not?


Nearly Useless Factoid

The Kardashian-Humphries marriage isn't as short-lived as some other celebrities. According to PerezHilton.com, the marriages of Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman, and Cher and Gregg Allman each lasted for a whopping nine days.


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