Embracing G.A.S. – wrote this some time ago. Thank God I am no longer at the Pentagon.

The Department of Defense slapped me upside the head with GAS (Government Acronym Speak) on the way to my new cubicle .  New boss said, “Read the SSAA for eCCS until we can get you IA”.   A confident smile burst through my ignorant fog.  “Will do!”  Internal dialog said, “hummph?”

 Each time I read the SSAA, the GAS sinks a little deeper into my skull.  I am picking it up more with each conversation overheard and paragraph read.   I am so impressed with this new, efficient and exclusive lexicon that I have created my own SAL (Secret Acronym List) to chronicle my first week at the Pentagon.

My day is divided into two separate phases.  First, beginning at 0600 I am at the PAC (Pentagon Athletic Center) where I have designed an OAR (Organic Athletic Routine) that combines RAT (Resistance Athletic Training) and FAT (Fast Aerobic Training).  Following the example of an obvious regular, I call him Poindexter Swarchenegger (some dude who has mastered the impossible:  incredibly nerdy yet fit-as-a -squirrel), I use a BST (Bubblegum Smelling Towelette) to clean and disinfect each piece of equipment I use.

Just prior to CA (Cardiac Arrest) and typically around 0700, I head to the LLR (Ladies Locker Room) to CPP (Clean, Primp and Preen) before work.  How wonderful that the PAC provides PSST (Postage Stamp Size Towels) for free.  There are always plenty of PSSTs so I grab three.  Occasionally, with luck, there may be a WMS (White Modesty Sheet) to grab as well.  These WMSs can cover all three points of female modesty without the use of yogic maneuvering.  There are five for the entire gym.  Herein is the favorite and most private part of my day.  ATFHWICT (All The Free Hot Water I Can Tolerate).  I. Take. My. Time.

Post shower, I dress and take my position in a formation of about 20 other working women in various states of undress.  News flash: women primp on the buddy system, so the sinks are super chatty.  I like this.  As if l am part of some kind of clothing optional sorority.  To date, I don’t join in, but instead engage in DHO (Dialogue: Head Only), which typically sounds something like this, “Don’t get toothpaste on your hair” or “Crap!  Mascara all over my cheek”.  Eventually, I give up, dress, stow my gym bag, grab my lunch and head to the office.

The halls of the Pentagon are like a museum of military history.  Each hall has a distinct theme, giving me ample landmarks to dictate where to turn and when to escalate up.  From the PAC I get off the elevator at the Buffalo Soldier, then head to the A-ring where I hang a right at the Veterans of WWI, then another right at the NATO star and straight on till evening.  People watching is a favorite hobby.  There are MIUs (Military In Uniform), GWUCs (Guys/Gals Wearing Ugly but Comfortable) and DUM (Dressed to be Upwardly Mobile).  Just like any city, you must lock your eyes on each approaching face to avoid being D-GAGed (Dropped Gaze to Avoid Greeting).  So far, I have been a DUM.  I wore panty hose yesterday and heal-click lady shoes that sound just like the spit-shines.  I stick to my known route so I do not become forever LIBOP (Lost in the Bowels of the Pentagon).  I arrive at my desk smiling and exhausted and ready to re-read, re-read, re-read the SSAA for the eCCS.

I was hired to be a technical writer, but thus far have not written a single technical letter.  I am waiting for a lady named Luvia to begin my in-processing.  Luvia can’t begin my in-process until a guy named Hank confirms that he has a chair for me in the Polk Building.  Hank is on vacation.  The Polk Building is an in-processing purgatory where I will sit to do IA (Information Assurance) training and god knows what else.  I’m just hoping there are no Body Cavity Checks (BCCs) before I am cleared to come back to the desk where I have already established BOC (Butt On Chair) residency.  My expectations remain below sea level.  In the meantime, I have developed a three-tiered SAP (Sanity Action Plan) that consists of RAASSAA, W2B, and WISP as explained below –

1.       RAASSAA (Reading and Absorbing the System Security Authorization Agreement Repeatedly).  This is the only task I have been given for the past five days, so I have done it repeatedly.  As this does little for my sanity, I rely heavily on –

2.W2B (Water cooler to Bathroom).  This is a necessary and mercifully cyclic tier in the SAP.  Multiple visits to the water cooler typically set off a time consuming series-

    a.Bathroom break – In addition to the obvious, this little trip is a welcome opportunity to stretch my legs and perform a DWAS (Dance, Wiggle and Stretch) in the privacy of the PBS (Public Bathroom Stall).  Once I feel my legs again, I wash my hands repeatedly.  This has less to do with cleanliness as my indulgence in a natural element: water.  I miss nature in this windowless maze.  Clean and awake, I return to my desk for

    b.HCAP (Hand cream Application Procedure).  Each hand lovingly massages the other with whatever was on sale at Wal-Mart.  Next, I rub Neosporin into my cuticles, pushing them gently back.  If I am careful, I can use 10 min in the W2B process.

3.WISP (Writing Insignificant  and Silly Pros).  Alas, by now this tier must be self-explanatory.  At my core, I believe such indulgence is a form of theft: SGT(Stealing Government Time).  As a tax-payer, I offend myself.  But, after five days, I added WISP to my SAP to keep from going ASS (Ape Shit Stupid).

With practiced study and osmosis, soon the GAS will flow as easily from me as it does from the cubicles around me.  I can hardly wait.


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