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Mad Scentist, Santa and Federa Workplace Skippy Lists


Based off the "213 Things Skippy Isn't Allowed to Do in the Army" list.

213 Things Skippy Isn't Allowed to Do in the Mad Science Lab Anymore

Compiled by Erin Mills and Brian Taylor

Med-school intern Stephen Von Sigerson, known to all and sundry as "Skippy," has recently completed an internship with a not-very-well respected scientist in an obscure middle European country prone to lightning strikes and wolves baying at the moon. During his time there, Skippy has learned a number of things about the proper conduct in a laboratory setting and has compiled the following list of things he was either told or learned during his prematurely terminated internship.

  1. We do not taunt Igor with torches.
  2. ... especially not during lightning storms.
  3. We do not respond to every one of the doctor's commands with "That's what she said."
  4. Well, not anymore.
  5. "I'll get the marshmallows" is not an appropriate response to the sight of a torch-wielding mob of villagers coming up the road.
  6. We do not play "pin the tail on the Tesla coil."
  7. We do not let Van Helsings into the castle while the Doctor is away.
  8. Especially not if they promise to bring "steaks."
  9. Atoms are not for splitting.
  10. Sulfuric Acid is not meant to be used as an eyewash.
  11. When I blame something on my evil twin, I should first make sure he's actually been created.
  12. We do not comment that the Doctor's creations look just like his mother-in-law.
  13. We do not call the police even if they are his mother-in-law.
  14. The monster's neckbolts are not there for the jumper cables to be clamped to.
  15. The "Abby Normal" joke is no longer funny outside the context of a Mel Brooks movie
  16. Recreating King Kong using a Tesla coil, the Monster, and a nubile village girl is no longer acceptable behavior.
  17. Nor is trying to sell the unholy spawn of that union on the black market.
  18. The Monster doesn't like it.
  19. "That's just WRONG!" is not an acceptable response to the unveiling of the mad scientist's latest abomination in the eyes of God and Man.
  20. The Doctor doesn't like it when we draw juvenile pictures on his anatomical diagrams.
  21. Medical waste is not a good soup stock.
  22. Bribing village gypsies to falsify fortunes and send tourists to the castle only works when you pay them with money.
  23. Newt eyes and lizard tales are not acceptable forms of currency.
  24. Walking around with throw pillows in the legs of your pants and declaring that "The M-Master does not ap-prove of such things" is now a hanging offense.
  25. We are not allowed to make fun of Igor's lisp.
  26. So stop asking him to say things like "Necessary antidisestablishmentarianism"
  27. "The Monster Mash" is not our official theme song.
  28. Jeffery Combs is not our official spokesman.
  29. So walking around the lab muttering "I did not kill him. I gave him life!" is not permitted.
  30. Unholy genetic experiments are no longer to be conducted on cockroaches or arachnids.
  31. Once was more than enough.
  32. We do not use the Doctor's equipment to build ourselves a girlfriend.
  33. Especially not if we have to kill his jailbait younger sister to do it.
  34. It is not advisable to turn the castle into a bed and breakfast offering "complementary tours of the Secret Evil Laboratory."
  35. We do not mislabel the gateway to the Dimension of Doom as "Happy Fluffy Kitty and Rainbow Pony Room."
  36. Just because it looks, walks and quacks like a duck does not mean it IS a duck.
  37. Nor should it be assumed that it eats bread crumbs like a duck.
  38. Under no circumstances do we tell Igor, "Bite me."
  39. In fact, telling anything in the lab to "Bite Me" is a bad idea.
  40. Sticking my hand in the Doctor's little black box is not a good idea.
  41. I should not eat anything I find in the labs.
  42. Drinking potions in bubbling beakers will not get me trashed.
  43. If we notice the eyes in Master's ancestral paintings following our every movement, we should not attempt to poke them out.
  44. "You want a piece of me?" is not an appropriate response to the Monster's threatening hand gestures.
  45. When Master asks for my opinion about his latest creation, mumbling, "Dear God in Heaven, what have we created?" is not what he has in mind.
  46. When removing medical waste from the lab, I am not allowed to quote the soap making monologue from Fight Club.
  47. Speaking of Fight Club, passing the various internal organs to the Doctor for use should not be preluded with "I am Jack's Spastic (Insert Organ Here)"
  48. Especially not "I am Jack's Spastic Colon."
  49. Recreating the chest-burster scene from Alien using some of those organs is also frowned upon.
  50. If I want the Doctor to regenerate my severed limbs, I should refrain from flipping the Monster off.
  51. Putting wigs and celebrity name labels on the jars of the floating brains is not funny.
  52. Even the one containing Richard Nixon's actual brain
  53. And speaking of Nixon, transplanting his brain into the Monster is only funny once.
  54. Playing "Got Your Nose" is only cute if the nose in question stays attached to the face.
  55. Getting so drunk I urinate on the Master's ancestral graveyard in the basement is not a good idea.
  56. Secret passages are a privilege, not a right.
  57. Using the dimensional forks to look into the Face of God is one thing. Using dimensional forks to look into the Face of Bob is another.
  58. The Master's tools are not toys. We do not use them to steal cable.
  59. "Oh look,the spare parts are here!" is not the correct way to greet overnight guests and/or potential victims.
  60. No one is interested in "hot Igor-on-Igor action."
  61. Purchasing body parts for the Master's experiments on eBay is wrong.
  62. So Is going to Big Bob's House o Organs
  63. So is selling organs to Big Bob.
  64. X-rays will not give me superhuman strength...
  65. ... and Master is getting tired of removing the tumors after every attempt.
  66. Telling Inga the cute bar wench at the village pub that I am a "close personal friend of the Cryptkeeper" will not score me free drinks.
  67. Nor will it get me Inga's phone number.
  68. Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noize" is not appropriate background music for the Monster's dramatic revivification.
  69. Nor is Elton John's "Crocodile Rock."
  70. If the village's loveliest nubile teenager should somehow wind up dead and turned into the Monster's bride, do not attempt to reason with the enraged mob of torch-wielding villagers.
  71. Magnets have no place around the Master's robotic monsters
  72. We do not bait the robots by pretending to be Cylons.
  73. I am not TV's Frank, and the Master is not Dr. Clayton Forrester.
  74. While we're on the subject, Television to the contrary, one cannot conquer the world by widespread broadcast of terrible B-Movies. The Sci-Fi Channel has proven this conclusively.
  75. If I refuse to do the dishes and then go around the castle muttering "There is no spoon" during breakfast again, the Master has threatened to carve one out of my skull.
  76. There is no Matrix. I do not know kung-fu. I should not practice on the monster.
  77. Nor should I refer to the Monster as "Mister Anderson."
  78. I should not use eyes I find lying around the castle for marbles.
  79. Stopping to smell the roses is highly unadvised in a castle full of genetic mutations and abnormal freaks of nature.
  80. Particularly if the roses stop to smell you.
  81. It is not adviasble to refer to the guest room as "The Cthulhu Suite"
  82. It is not a good idea to get involved in the land war between the mutant ants and the colosso-termites out in the bog.
  83. Screaming "Klaatu Barada Nikto!" while fleeing from the library is not a good way to break the ice with hot village chicks during one of Master's increasingly-infrequent dinner parties.
  84. Sombreros are not necessary...or desired...in the lab.
  85. Soylent Green is people, but we don't tell guests this during dinner.
  86. I may not claim Randar the Lava Lizard as a dependent on my income tax return.
  87. The Master does not approve of reinactments of scenes from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in the lab.
  88. During the master's final dramatic monologue it is not acceptable to respond with "We belong dead? Where does it say 'we?'"
  89. We do not push the big red button marked "Do Not Push." Ever.
  90. Not even if Igor dares us to. And he will.
  91. No one is interested in the contents of the specimen jars.
  92. Not allowed to auction off the Monster's weak spot to the highest bidder.
  93. Not allowed to open the gates to the mob of angry villagers even if they claim to be the Welcome Wagon. We moved here five years ago.
  94. Not allowed to ask Master's sexy assistants to kiss the serpent - even when there really is a serpent.
  95. Not allowed to wear a bra on my head when creating a female Monster ever again.
  96. Using Master's cold fusion generator to ferment alcoholic beverages is expressly forbidden.
  97. Ditto the freeze ray to chill said alcoholic beverages.
  98. This is not a democracy and having three hands in jars on my person does not give me three additional votes on the Master's orders.
  99. Do not feed the creature in the lake.
  100. Especially not the 13 Alarm Chili
  101. Its hundreds of rooms notwithstanding, it is not a good idea to turn the castle into a recreation of the castle from "Dragon's Lair."
  102. The Monster would not fit in better with a bad toupee
  103. The Master's sexy lab assistants are not interested in the "monster in my pants."
  104. If the Master is making two monsters using parts from the same person, it is not desirable to play the soundtrack of "Deliverance" during construction.
  105. Do not feed the Monster after midnight.
  106. There is no such thing as a Flux Capacitor and the Master does not have a DeLorean in the dungeon.
  107. It is not possible to be your own grandfather. I know that now.
  108. Paradoxes in the space-time continuum do not result in the death of all that lives.
  109. When an extra-dimensional being invades the castle, we do not tell it we are Gods.
  110. The Master has more important things to do than help me bring a pet gerbil back to life.
  111. ... and it's not a good idea to ask him while he's doing any of those.
  112. Should I somehow gain superhuman abilities from consuming a potion found in the lab, I should not expect them to last forever.
  113. I should not, under any circumstances, challenge the monster to a steel-cage death match to impress Inga.
  114. Do not taunt Master's zombies with raw meat on sticks.
  115. Dressing up like the Gorton's fisherman upsets the Fish-Men in the lake.
  116. The answer is not 42.
  117. The lab does not have a black tie policy.
  118. The cell in the basement is not a good picnic location.
  119. The castle is not to be rented out for LARP functions.
  120. Throwing garbage into the Dimension of Doom is not a wise idea.
  121. Strapping three severed heads to my shoulders and crooning "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon" does not make me a barbershop quartet.
  122. The Big Red Switch is not to be used to jump start my car.
  123. "I thought it'd be funny" is not a valid excuse for opening the monster's cage during lightning storms.
  124. Not allowed to use the Master's equipment to swap the heads of the sexy lab assistants.
  125. If the Monster gets loose and flings a village girl into a pond because of something I did, I am not allowed to go to the authorities and ask if I can see a line up.
  126. Clones have feelings, too.
  127. "Over my dead body" is not an invitation.
  128. Hamsters are not threatening, no matter how big they are.
  129. Conversely, no scorpion is unthreatening - not even the Cute-N-Cuddly Scorpion Buddy.
  130. None of the Master's creation would look cute in feety pajamas.
  131. I am not Bruce Campbell, and the remains of the monster's victims in the dungeon are not the Army of Darkness
  132. Inga is not impressed by my ability to make the monster flee in terror from a match.
  133. Nobody else is, either.
  134. Nor are the sexy lab assistants impressed by my coming into the lab wearing sunglasses and claiming they "blinded me with science."
  135. There is no such thing as a "mad gynecologist."
  136. After the inevitable disappearance of village girls, the police do not like being bribed with money from my Counterfeit Money Machine.
  137. We do not bait Igor into licking electrical sockets.
  138. Rectal probes are not toys.
  139. And I shouldn't tell the Monster they are.
  140. When the Monster is trapped by the angry torch-wielding mob at the old windmill, it is not appropriate to show up with a slab of ribs and an apron saying "Kill the Cook."
  141. The Doctor will never create an army of "zombie fly girls," so I should stop asking,
  142. The Monster does not have great manual dexterity and as such putting roller skates on him is a bad idea.
  143. If I use the monster to pick up chicks in the village bar, I should not be surprised when he's arrested and charged with assault.
  144. When the sign on the flask says "Do not drink," do not drink it.
  145. I am not "Mentok the Mind-Taker," and I will stop insisting to be addressed as such.
  146. ...and I will stop that annoying "oooOOOOooooOOO' noise.
  147. If a certified mad scientist tell s you that something falls under the heading "Things Man Wasn't Meant To Know" it damn well better be left the hell alone.
  148. Do not experiment with pyramid schemes involving genetically-altered corn.
  149. Do not experiment with ANYTHING involving genetically altered corn. (See: "The Steve Incident")
  150. If I have to ask the question "What has science done," I don't want the answer.
  151. We do not question the Master...even if he thinks he's a small casserole.
  152. The Monster is not to be allowed near the gas lines.
  153. Especially not while Igor is holding one of his "Firestarters Anonymous" meetings.
  154. Jehovah's Witnesses are NOT to be allowed in the lab...EVER.
  155. The toilet is not for flushing vivisected eel-fish.
  156. Not allowed to play "Skin-Tac-Toe" with the Monster's stiches.
  157. Not allowed to sell "Monster Insurance" to the villagers.
  158. Nor am I allowed to extort "protection fees" from the villagers.
  159. And the Monster is not to be used as an enforcer.
  160. And the Master is not to be referred to as "The Don."
  161. Scantily clad village girls are a privilege, not a right.
  162. I should not light myself on fire and run back and forth in front of the Monster screaming, "Flame on!"
  163. On an unrelated note, the Master is not a chiropractor, and will not write me a referral.
  164. The Master's insurance does not cover fire, flood, famine, or acts of Igor.
  165. Curiously enough, it DOES cover "Acts of Skippy."
  166. The Master's dress sense is just fine, thank you, and he has no need to don a green cloak, power armor, and a metallic death mask that a Sith lord would wear.
  167. The Master is not now and never has been referred to as "Lord Vader."
  168. Nor does he use the Force.
  169. Although he is good at choking people from a distance.
  170. Taking the above into account, I am not allowed to refer to myself as "Darth Skippy."
  171. I am not allowed to hook up the brain of Sir Issac Newton to the voice box and call Stephen Hawking to "freak him out."
  172. While a lab coat is required in the lab, that does not mean I can get away with wearing only the lab coat.
  173. Likewise, when the Master hires an unsuspecting sexy female intern, I am not allowed to tell her that this is the "required laboratory dress code."
  174. I am to refrain from using the peat bog as a dumpster.
  175. On an unrelated note, rampaging fish-men are harder to contain than one might expect.
  176. IRS agents at the gates are not justification for activating the self-destruct sequence.
  177. There is no conceivable use for a vacuum cleaner/fax machine/espresso maker/doomsday device. Besides, the Master already patented it last week.
  178. Using the Master's top-secret satellite to spy on the village girls is wrong.
  179. So is using it to etch my face into Mount Rushmore.
  180. On an unrelated note, I am not allowed to send the Master's address to MI-6 in order to "lay the smack down on that James Bond guy."
  181. Nor am I allowed to include blueprints of the Master doomsday device, and the location of the secret entrance by the moat.
  182. The Master does not expect me to talk.
  183. When the Master wants my opinion he'll give it to me.
  184. There is no "Evil Mad Scientist Lackey's" Union and I am not a shop steward for Local 217.
  185. Under no circumstances am I to inject glowing green serums into dead bodies.
  186. The same goes for injecting glowing green serum into Igor's coffee.
  187. Or into the Monster.
  188. Or the sexy lab assistants.
  189. The Monster cannot be used to scam Social Security.
  190. We are not at home to anyone with a name like "Lance Daring, Dashing Adventurer and Ladies Man"
  191. "American Idol was on" is not an acceptable excuse for missing the thunderstorm meant to bring the Monster to life.
  192. The Master does not like it when I sing karaoke.
  193. Especially "The Monster Mash."
  194. The Master likes it even less when I convince the Monster to sing karaoke
  195. Igor, on the other hand, is a karaoke shark.
  196. Do not irk the vampie lords when they stop by to visit.
  197. Same goes fo the werewolf pack.
  198. Same goes for the aliens from the Arcturus system.
  199. The toaster is not an Instrument of Evil...no matter how many times I coat the Pop-Tarts with the blood of a virgin
  200. On a completely unrelated note, Inga will no longer return my calls.
  201. When challenging the Monster to a game of soccer, we should not play using Aztec rules.
  202. The Master does not like anybody touching his collection of shrunken heads.
  203. Especially the shrunken Nazi-fugitive skulls.
  204. Nor does he like me producing an all shrunken head reenactment of the Nuremberg Trials.
  205. When the Master is creating a non-biological monster, I am not allowed to keep asking him if he's going to make it into "a real boy."
  206. Nor am I permitted to dress Igor up in a blue dress and sparkly wings.
  207. Although Igor seems to like this just fine.
  208. On a related note, A.I. is not longer allowed to be played on the lab's DVD during downtime.
  209. Or any other time for that matter.
  210. Do not touch Master's collection of doomsday devices - not even if the villagers are storming the castle.
  211. "Every man for himself!" is not a viable defense against a torch weilding mob of angry villagers.
  212. Do not give the Monster a flask of nitro-glycerine and tell him it's candy.
  213. When the castle is a smoking ruin, the Monster is dead, Igor has run off with he sexy lab assistants, and the Master is about to be hung from the tallest tree in the village, I am not allowed to ask him if I can put him down as a reference on my resume.


    Santa’s Son, Stephen “Skippy” Claus, has been slowly developing the skills he’ll need one day when he takes over the family business. Over the past 100 years, he’s been taking over more and more of the Route each Christmas Eve. With the advent of electronic toys, CD ROMs and DVDs, Santa has been more than ready to turn the entire operation over to his son. Last Christmas, Santa rode along with his son on a final audit of his abilities.
    Between notes taken on that flight, reports submitted by the elves of the Sleigh Crew (Flight and Flight Support), Letters to Santa, and complaints filed by the Strategic Air Command and Federal Aviation Administration, the following list has been generated. These are guidelines the young Claus must comply with prior to assuming the reins and sack of the position of Santa Claus.

    Things Skippy Clause can’t do on or in preparation for Christmas Eve:

    1. Children getting a pony for Christmas get the whole pony. As a side note, The Godfather will no longer be shown on Polar TV.
    2. Either give gifts or don’t. No leaving lists of ‘what you would have gotten if you weren’t such a prat all year.’
    3. Empty boxes of batteries with ‘Batteries Not Included’ stickers are not nearly as funny as one might think
    4. Giftwrap depicting a Santa Claus as a black man must be very, very carefully used, especially on the Alabama run.
    5. Girls on the naughty list get coal in their stocking, not lingerie and a phone number
    6. Cannot arrest children for not believing in us.
    7. Musical instruments should be distributed based on the child’s interest and/or ability, not on the parent’s predilection to migraines.
    8. Must not leave exciting toys in the hearth, inciting children to reach through the flames.
    9. Must not visit Christian households and leave essays on the pagan history and symbology of Christmas, proving that kids are gonna burn in hell for having a Christmas Tree.
    10. Must not visit Jewish households and leave lists of presents the kids might have received if they were not descended of Christ Killers.
    11. My job description is not to ‘winnow out the weak.’ With that in mind, high explosives don't go in stockings.
    12. No dancing in the Sleigh.
    13. Fishnet Stockings will not be worn, even if not visible under my suit.
    14. Not allowed to buzz livestock during deliveries to rural areas
    15. Not allowed to buzz the Distant Early Warning Line during periods of international tension
    16. Not allowed to distribute toys that are not part of an existing line of production (ie: Slut-Puppy Barbie, Section 8 GI Joe)
    17. Not allowed to feed chili to the reindeer.
    18. Not allowed to take the sleigh through the drive-up window, even if it’s ‘on me.’
    19. There is no excuse for the use of a bullhorn while in transit through a chimney.
    20. Not allowed to shout ‘We’re Taking Phaser Fire!’ and rock back and forth in the sleigh.
    21. Not allowed to act out Monty Python routines in flight.
    22. The Sleigh lacks cruise control, autopilot, mini-fridge and in-flight toilet. Plan accordingly.
    23. Not allowed to have pizza delivered to where you think you’ll be around 11:30.
    24. Reindeer can fly. You cannot.
    25. Not to wear the Easter Bunny costume while delivering presents. Or the pumpkin costume. Or the Cupid suit. Or the Leprechaun suit…
    26. Not allowed to have the Reindeer do the ‘wave’ while standing on a roof.
    27. It is wrong to leave Jehovah's Witness pamphlets stuffed in the tree.
    28. Not allowed to replace nativity scene figures with Hellraiser® action figures. Pinhead is not ‘the coolest magi ever.’
    29. We do not need ‘Pink Panther Theme Music’ playing during deliveries.
    30. The teachings of Sun Tzu have little application in delivering Christmas presents.
    31. It is wrong to slip pornographic photos in amongst the Christmas cards during your visits.
    32. Stop switching the Hanukkah and Christmas decorations between houses.
    33. Stop gluing the Christmas tree to the ceiling in houses below the equator.
    34. It is not the policy of Santa Clause to ‘clear the room’ before entry. Give the grenades back to the 101st Airborne and get on with the route.
    35. Reindeer can fly. You cannot. No matter what you’ve been drinking.
    36. Not to leave clothing in the size the recipient ‘should be if you weren’t such a fat bastard.’
    37. It is wrong to leave gifts for a mistress at the home of the gentleman. Especially not gifts with the wife’s name crossed out and the mistress written in.
    38. We do not offer advertising space on the sleigh, reindeer, or wrapped gifts, nor do we drag a banner behind us through the sky. Yes you have to give back the money.
    39. Not to act out TV commercials, like the time you left the Giraffe in the house of the Toys-R-Us CEO.
    40. Never, ever, ever leave DVD collections for movies that have not been filmed yet. Temporal anomalies are not ‘way cool’ gifts.
    41. The extremely low population density of the ocean time zones should create slack time to be used in the more populous zones. This advantage is lost if you spend time looking for all the good little submarine boys to leave gifts for.
    42. As a point of interest, there is no chimney on the submarine. All the gifts you tossed in the snorkel got shredded by the diesel.
    43. It is REALLY wrong to use gift tags that say ‘To whoever…all you (insert ethnic) kids look alike anyway.’
    44. Getting the elves to make ‘cloud angels’: Bad idea.
    45. Not allowed to risk Santa’s 501(C)(3) qualification as a non-profit organization by broadcasting political messages during flight.
    46. Reindeer can fly. You cannot. No matter what you’ve been smoking.
    47. Yodeling in the chimney: Bad Idea.
    48. Stop erecting mosquito netting around the Christmas Trees.
    49. N fireworks in the Sleigh. Not never no how.
    50. No fireworks launched from the Sleigh, either.
    51. You are not being followed whenever you leave the Pole. Loose the disguise.
    52. Not to deal with obstacles by calling in an air strike.
    53. Not to leave astrologers lists of gifts they would have gotten ‘if Mars were not in retrograde.’
    54. Not to have a boombox providing a laugh track, background music, or funny sound effects during deliveries.
    55. Santa seldom has a need to assemble a super-cool weapon from normal-seeming articles of clothing.
    56. Also, funding for ‘Q’ Branch is immediately rescinded.
    57. You have to climb down the chimney. Stop assembling an elven ‘away team.’
    58. Seat belts in the sleigh: Good idea. Airlock? Not so good.
    59. What ‘fine print?’
    60. Not to attach ‘I fly with Stupid’ button to Dasher’s harness. Comet does not think it is funny.
    61. Not to move the ‘I fly with Stupid’ button to point at someone besides Comet.
    62. We invoke the spirit of air to make the Sleigh fly. We do not invoke the spirit of yippy little goddamned dogs to keep the ankle biters away during deliveries.
    63. ‘Action Figures’ should be selected based on points of articulation, not points of entry.
    64. It is wrong to enhance my codpiece for dramatic effect.
    65. The rules against unionizing here also apply to forming a Guild Hall.
    66. Stop adding the notation ‘forbidden zone’ to the maps at random.
    67. We do not subcontract deliveries to swallows, whether they are African or European.
    68. Not to watch Monty Python movies in flight, either.
    69. Not to throw elves over the side if they don’t know their favorite color.
    70. Still not to watch Monty Python movies in flight.
    71. Not to ask ornithologists to explain flying reindeer. Especially in lecture.

      Update: 18 November 2004
    72. You work one day a year. The fact that we make you work on a holiday is not a subject for a grievance.
    73. There is no need to station an elf ‘at tactical.’ Santa does not return fire.
    74. I don’t care what you ate, gastrointestinal problems do not constitute a fire hazard.

      Update: 27 November, 2004:
    75. It is wrong to force the elves to sing the ‘hi ho hi ho’ dwarf song.
    76. Don’t give kids unbreakable toys…it merely gives them a tool for breaking other toys.
    77. Stop tailgating. Collisions at these speeds are not ‘dramatic fun.’
    78. No we do not need a moat. And… are those crocodiles?
    79. It is wrong to use explosives ‘soften a room’ before entering.

      Update: December, 2004:

    80. not allowed to write your name in the snow from rooftops. Your aim sucks even without crosswinds and a slippery platform.
    81. Elf Bowling is a particularly tasteless online game, not a training video.
    82. It is wrong to give the third-world nationals an Illudium Q36 Space Modulator without knowing what planet they want to blow up with it.
    83. What do you mean, your ex-wife get’s half the presents made by the elves over the last two years, or the monetary equivalent? Where the hell did you find your divorce lawyer, the Y’?
    84. Suicides do not actually increase at Xmas, they just get more attention. But fact or fiction, we do not leave Kevorkian Kits under the trees of the unstable, the depressed or those without decent cable service.

    85. Stop pulling into pet stores and asking the attendant for Deer Chow® for the reindeer.
    86. Do we want to know why there is a restraining order against Santa Claus for the greater metropolitan area of New York City? And why Blitzer and Cupid are also named in it?
    87. Not allowed to bring alligators back from the Florida run. The elves love them, I know, but they don’t do well in the climate.

      Update: April 2005

    88. The Sleigh is never to be on ‘Pimp My Ride.’ And it’s THREE ho’s, not one.

      Things not to say when you hear little children sneaking out to spy on Santa:
    89. Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness.
    90. So many stockings, so little coal.
    91. Take your dirty hands off me, you lousy miserable elves!
    92. I can never get a good grip on these newfangled cattle prods.
    93. Mazel Tov!
    94. IT’S LOOSE!! RUN!
    95. What does 'Environmental Hazard' mean?
    96. I don't understand. It should be dead by now.
    97. I wonder where the critter's mother is...?
    98. MILK? Don’t they know Santa’s Lactose Intolerant? That’s it, they all get CLOTHES!
    99. IT’S GONNA BLOW!!!

      Things not to do during appearancees at the Malls:
    100. Reference to the children in line as 'worm.'
    101. Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in Turkish.
    102. Not allowed to accessorize the Suit with a monocle and a riding crop.
    103. Nazi accents are SOOOO not Christmas.
    104. Tell kids that the free candy cane is the limit for Christmas gifts, this year.
    105. Not allowed to clutch your chest when the fat kid sits in your lap and shout ‘MY PACEMAKER!’
    106. Not to have children ‘fire walk’ before they sit in your lap.
    107. Stop telling kids that he’s named ‘Donner’ because of what he was forced to eat to survive one winter.

      Update: April 06:

    108. If the US Marines won’t let you deliver presents to the Embassy, don’t argue with them.
    109. Also, Marines do not get coal for doing their job.
    110. Embassies are part of the home nation, but keep to local time. Landing on the Embassy roof at 2 in the afternoon because it’s midnight in D.C. is going to get you shot. Again.
    111. “I’d like to give the world a Coke” is an avertising jingle, not our mission statement.
    112. No, the sleigh would not look better with STP decals and a racing stripe.
    113. Anyway, reindeer are not NASCAR approved.
    114. Not allowed to mimic John Belushi when delivering gifts. This includes charging Illinois Nazis, sneaking horses into administration offices or flying over Los Angeles looking for Japanese bombers.
    115. I don’t care if you won the Dwarf Toss, don’t take elves on a pub crawl again.
    116. Not allowed to let kids roll a d20 to select a gift from the Treasure Table.
    117. Yes, you must wear the traditional Santa suit…
    118. …and take off the coconut cup bra.
    119. I don’t care how many tricks it knows, the polar bear can’t ride in the sleigh with you.
    120. Reindeer rodeo: Bad idea.
    121. If I ever catch you selling reindeer jerky on ebay again…
    122. Stop telling the flight crew the toy bags have to fit under the seat in front of them.
    123. The sleigh does not HAVE a cushion, it may not be used as a floatation device. In case of a water landing, you’re SCREWED.
    124. Not allowed to brand the reindeer. It’s not like we can confuse them with the other herd of flying ungulates.
    125. A nutcracker is a great gift for a little girl, but ONLY in a MUSICAL performance.
    126. Not to put classical music CDs in Boy Band CD cases in an attempt to educate teen listeners.
    127. Not allowed to confiscate MP3 players with illegally downloaded music.
    128. Not allowed to unwrap presents already under the tree as an ‘audit.’
    129. Riverdance homages on rooftops is not a truly well thought out idea.
    130. It is far better to avoid police involvement than it is to attempt to bribe an entire precinct.
    131. Not allowed to tell the security guard you have ‘a clue’ in the bag for him.
    132. It is wrong to wire a transponder to the sleigh and screw up O’Hare’s flight pattern. O’Hare has enough problems.
    133. Don’t tell the elves that Blitzen has converted and needs Kosher oats.
    134. There’s a reason the sleigh doesn’t have a roll bar. Stop trying to roll the damned thing.
    135. We’re not American, nor are we associated with the American government. Handing out Christmas Gifts does not put us in violation of the 1st Amendment.
    136. …and take those ‘Happy Solstice’ tags off of the toys.
    137. It is so your fault.
    138. Gift Bombing Runs – baaaaaaaaaad idea.
    139. Not allowed to kidnap Brad Pitt as someone’s Christmas present, no matter how cute her letter to Santa is.
    140. Not allowed to kidnap Scarlett Johansson, no matter how cute she is.
    141. Do not give IRAs to dogs that are of ‘working’ breeds.
    142. No, we don’t need a tailgunner.
    143. Why would need a bombsight on the sleigh?
    144. No, a flamethrower would not improve sleigh navigation on foggy nights. That’s what Rudolph is for.
    145. Whaddaya mean, not any more? What happened to Rudolph?
    146. Why is Dancer named in a lawsuit from the National Zoo?
    147. That’d better be oregano.

      Things Skippy can't do in
      the Federal Workplace

      Dedicated civil servant Elfled has been observing and learning the skills to survive in the US Federal workplace for some years. Having encountered the enormously helpful Skippy list (both original and in various incarnations) she was inspired to contribute a version for the Federal workplace. In the process of surviving dissolution, merger, reorganization and creation of government departments and agencies she has compiled the following list of helpful information from things witnessed and/or more or less forcefully impressed on her over the years. Careful observation of coworkers, management, and the general public as encountered by government workers has resulted in an evolving list, kindly hosted here, for your edification.

      1. I may not tell employees which of my co-workers will actually help them.

      2. I may not tell employees which of my co-workers are useless to them.

      3. I may not stand behind co-workers making faces and pointing in order to hint.

      4. I may not laugh when told that someone has not returned a phone call.

      5. ...and I must never say “‘oh really?” in a sarcastic tone regarding same.

      6. I may not say, "sucker!" under my breath when offering to take a message.

      7. I may not tell employees to take it to someone’s supervisor, and then provide name and number up the chain.

      8. ...even if I stop short of the President.

      9. I may not come to work whenever I want as long as I ‘work all my hours’.

      10. ...even if half the people in the office are allowed to.

      11. When the network goes down it is not time to play solitaire.

      12. When the network goes down it is not time to go home.

      13. I am not to ask what it is time for when the network goes down.

      14. Paper airplanes are not communications devices.

      15. Knitting at my desk makes it too obvious that I am not busy enough, even if I am ‘just trying to be productive’.

      16. Concern about productivity is above my grade level.

      17. Claiming to be knitting blankets for the troops is not an excuse.

      18. I really ought not to point out an employee's rights to them and encourage them to seek legal counsel.

      19. Entry withheld until after retirement to protect the....well, not the innocent, that's for sure.

      20. I am not to spend 'too much' time talking to employees and explaining things to them.

      21. I am not to seek clarification on exactly how much ‘too much’ is.

      22. I may not tell applicants if they cannot figure out the application they probably cannot do the job.

      23. I may not request that someone speak English.

      24. ...especially if they think they already are.

      25. It is not recommended that I say 'duh' if someone asks if they have to be a citizen, when the announcement says: "Requirement: US Citizenship"-.

      26. ...in fact, I may not say 'duh' at all.

      27. ...especially not to co-workers.

      28. I may not ask applicants if they know how to read, though I may ask them if they have read the announcement, and when they say no, suggest they do so.

      29. I may not laugh at applicants who call up with conspiracy theories about how all of HR is against them.

      30. ...and I may not explain to said applicants that we neither know nor care who they are, we treat everyone with equal, err... impartiality.

      31. No matter what they say, I may not hang up on representatives of any agency, especially my own.

      32. When an applicant tells me that they are going to call their congressperson because they are unhappy that they did not get a job I must refrain from pointing out that 10,000 other people also did not get the job and they are not whining to their congresspersons.

      33. I must avoid sarcasm when pointing out that Dallas, TX is not in the local commuting area of Bangor, ME, even with a personal jet.

      34. I may not say, "liar, liar pants on fire" or any equivalent thereof to someone who falsified an application.

      35. ...especially not in writing.

      36. I may not tell someone they were just not smart enough to get the job.

      37. …even if it is true.

      38. I may not tell people if they want a government job to join the military.

      39. I am not to agree with people who are complaining about my fellow employees, particularly when I agree with enthusiasm and offer corroboration.

      40. I am not to try to turn in employees to Immigration, when they work for Immigration.

      41. I am not to assure indicted employees that they are innocent until proven guilty and of course the government as an employer respects that and will not fire them for being indicted.

      42. I most especially should not ask ‘if the government does not treat people as innocent until proven guilty who will?’

      43. I may not encourage employees to file FOIA requests.

      44. …or Congressional inquiries.

      45. I am not allowed to discourage them either.

      46. Entry withheld until after the author's retirement

      47. It is not nice to point out to nervous employees that the reason we do not evacuate immediately when there is a fire alarm is for fear of snipers.

      48. …or to point out to the same employees that we don’t even go into the hall now without being assured there are no gun-toting maniacs out there.

      49. …and I should not remind said employees that there are people just like us who work in this building and carry guns.

      50. I must not expect a strict relationship between reality and what supervisors say happened.

      51. I should not point out that the head of the Department looks ‘evil’.

      52. …and no, his picture is not a Halloween decoration.

      53. I must not tell people that I do not know anything because I am “at the bottom of the food chain.”

      54. Contrary to what I have been told by my mommy and my friends, my personal worth IS determined by my grade level.

      55. Being timekeeper does not entitle me to carry a swagger stick, or to remind people to submit their timesheets on time.

      56. Being timekeeper does not mean I can think about the data I input.

      57. Being timekeeper does not entitle me to extra time off or to free drinks when pay runs properly.

      58. I must do a better job of keeping a straight face when the boss says how wonderful her staff is.

      59. I should never do anything on my own initiative, initiative is bad, and someone will always feel that I have stepped on their toes.

      60. Outcome is less important than following orders.

      61. If people see me smiling when they tell me something, I should not inform them why, exactly, it is that I am smiling (they will be happier if they do not know, and so will I).

      62. I am to remember that the stupid probably cannot help it, but I should probably not tell people that is why I forgive them.

      63. “Stupid is as stupid does” was amusing in Forrest Gump but is not amusing here.

      64. When I cannot understand anything a coworker says because of an accent, nodding and smiling, punctuated by grimaces or laughs as seem appropriately clued by demeanor, are always sufficient to grease the social wheels; when on the telephone pretending that they are breaking up is always possible.

      65. Just because this is the US government I should not expect employees to speak English or an understandable approximation thereof.

      66. When responding to emails from applicants or employees it is never a good idea to copyedit their text.

      67. …and it is even worse to do that with communications from supervisors.

      68. Imitating the British civil service sense of propriety is not recommended: jumping naked out of filing cabinets is not ok, even if they do it (And oh, yes, they do).

      69. We are not on a mission from god, any god, not even the fuck-up fairy.

      70. It is possible, however, that the fuck-up fairy is our patron saint.

      71. Responding to coworkers’ flyers about prayer groups for the President or prayer chains for the troops by posting an invitation to a solstice celebration or a ritual for the troops’ safety is not recommended.

      72. When the office has been firmly reminded not to forward chain emails, and there are people in the office who think that because it is religious it is an exception, turning them in to the IT department is probably not nice.

      73. Feeling pressure or a sense of urgency about work getting done is a personal problem others may not share, and I must not try to make them.

      74. I may not be seen to be more efficient and effective than my boss.

      75. I may not help people circumvent unhelpful co-workers even if that is the outcome all parties involved desire.

      76. I should focus on workload management so that I am not in the position of running out of work and having to ask for more, thus possibly having a negative effect on the self-esteem of others.

      77. Reading government documents to stay informed can be counterproductive.

      78. Any indication that I read published government documents that are not directly related to my job can also be counterproductive.

      79. Sharing knowledge about regulations and where to find them will not encourage other employees to fend for themselves It will mean that fellow employees will identify me as a source of ‘help’ It will not mean that I have taught them to fish, but that they have learned where a fish fry is available.

      80. Thinking that my job as a government employee is to enforce regulations based on Federal law is a fundamental misunderstanding of the human resources role. HR is here to give managers what they want.

      81. It is not permitted to suggest capital punishment for incompetence.

      82. …or for any other reason.

      83. Entry withheld until after the author's retirement

      84. Shredding is not an alternative to filing, but it is not my place to point that out.

      85. Not allowed to engage in ‘creative problem solving’ if the solution is one that requires duct tape and a hiding place large enough for a body.

      86. No sleeping on the desk even if it might help ‘enhance the self-esteem’ of co-workers.

      87. No sleeping under the desk, even outside of regular work hours; saying you thought you felt an earthquake is only believable once, even in California.

      88. Filing is not meant to be a creative endeavor, and the alphabet is not negotiable, but encouraging people to think outside the box may result in having to explain that.

      89. I should keep in mind that the US civil service is largely composed of average Americans, and remember what average actually means.

      90. Acronyms have set meanings when referring to government entities and I am not to substitute other meanings for DoJ, DoD, DHS, CIA, etc.

      91. Not every acronym used in government-ese is standardized To some people EOD does not mean entry on duty, and to tell them they are going to be EOD’d on a certain date only brings to mind explosive ordinance disposal, and does not encourage them to show up.

      92. I can post anything in my cubicle as long as it is in a language no one else can read and I can lie convincingly about what it says.

      93. Answering the phone by stating the department and my name does not entitle me to think that people hear what I have said, and they can be relied upon to ask who I am and what office it is.

      94. When applicants ask me to tell them whether they qualify for a job before they ‘bother to apply’ I may not tell them that if applying is a bother, the job would be a bigger one so they should probably forget it.

      95. When HQ people visit the office I should not mention ‘how unusually nicely dressed everyone is today!’ in front of them. Comments about how hard people are working are also not encouraged.

      96. When an employee calls and has left more than one message, I am to restrain any urge I have to tell him or her the odds on a return call, based on for whom it is left. Hinting is also not ok.

      97. I should give up as hopeless the effort of telling people that anyone who answers the phone can help them. If they have called more than once they probably know better.

      98. I should avoid drawing conclusions about who is responsible for an error merely on the basis of years of observation, experience, and direct evidence.

      99. I should remember that who makes a mistake is not important, and neither is who fixes it, as long as it gets fixed.

      100. If it doesn’t get fixed it is still not important.

      101. Observations about possible solutions to long-standing problems are not welcome if they call for actions that will actually introduce substantive change.

      102. Entry withheld until after the author's retirement

      103. …though cosmetic change is fine and can be used as proof something has been done.

      104. If I have an aversion to being stared at for hours on end I should learn to be invisible.

      105. Requests for relief in a crisis are addressed immediately after the crisis is resolved, but pointing this out is ungrateful.

      106. If I do not appreciate personal remarks about my attire I should learn not to we- hmm… I should wear earplugs.

      107. Barbed wire at the entrance to my cubicle is not an acceptable defense of personal space.

      108. If I wish to contribute to positive employee morale, pointing out that Homeland is a word that sounds more like Fatherland or Motherland than it does like Land of the Free will not help.

      109. Intimidating telemarketers by asking them if they know that they have called the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WITH THEIR FRIVOLOUS TIME WASTING should not be regarded as a selling point for working in this office.

      110. …and is not something to be mentioned in recruitment.

      111. …no matter how much I enjoy it.

      112. I am not to point out the characteristics various coworkers share with rocks.

      113. Timesheets are only rough approximations and should not be taken too seriously, and I should not worry so much about... precision.

      114. If the supervisor signs off on it, it is not my place to question.

      115. Understanding that broadcast messages go to everyone is not easy At least one person will feel compelled to forward it to everyone they think should know.

      116. When faced with a colleague who exhorts you to show his companion your brain, standing there with an open mouth is not the best, though it might be the most revealing, response.

      117. Competence is not our main concern, the main concern is, umm…what is the main concern again?

      118. Being late to work because of the weather is only an acceptable excuse if there is actual weather.

      119. When called into the Chief’s office the appropriate response is not “what now?”

      120. There are better ways to get someone’s attention than shooting rubber bands at them.

      121. …hypothetically.

      122. I must try and remember whom I work for, and while it might be the people of the US, technically, that does not put them in my chain of command, and they do not write my evaluation.

      123. Just because something is public knowledge (ie published publicly for the public) does not mean that I am allowed to tell anyone about it.

      124. I am to remember the less that I tell someone, the less trouble they can make, and the less trouble I will be in when they do.

      125. The fact that someone works for the government does not mean that they will be cooperative just because you work for the government, too.

      126. It must not be expected of an applicant that they will know what job they applied for.

      127. Entry withheld until after the author's retirement

      128. Entry withheld until after the author's retirement

      129. It is probable that not all political appointees are incompetent.

      130. Posting “Free Fire Zone” at the entrance to my cubicle is not “fair warning”.

      131. Citing regulations may be very satisfying, particularly when you are raining on someone’s privileged parade by doing so, but be prepared for blowback.

      132. My oath may be about defending the constitution, but I am expected to leave actually doing so to people above my grade level.

      133. Raising or addressing constitutional issues is not within my area of responsibility.

      134. Things that are not in my area of responsibility are none of my business.

      135. Contrary to what I might think, the problem with the government is NOT people who think that if it is outside their position description they ‘do not have to think about it’ and are ‘not responsible’ for it, and I am not a one person counterbalance to that.

      136. I should not think so much.

      137. I am to remember my job description, and my place in the scheme of things.

      138. Tattooing my grade level on my forehead can be arranged.

      139. NO ONE likes the Inspector General’s Office, and responding to the statement that they will be in my office with, “oh cool” is not appropriate, and will seriously disturb them.

      140. People who see the ‘big picture’ are extremely valuable and are not subject to petty concerns, criticisms and rules.

      141. Seeing the ‘big picture’ means seeing how to cover the asses of those in authority (which is, admittedly, often a very large picture).

      142. If I must bang my head on a wall, I should be tactful enough to do it out of sight and hearing of the cause thereof.

      143. Everyone thinks that they are the exception to the rule, and shattering their illusions must be done gently.

      144. Pointing out that mandated legal requirements, political necessity and the social need to employ various special groups and not necessarily the most able applicants are going to affect the level of civil service job performance will unfailingly result in accusations that you are an elitist or a racist, and probably in an EEO complaint.

      145. First thing in the morning means different things to different people, especially if they are in different time zones.

      146. If given a choice of teammates, go with Vets, they have useful skills.

      147. ...however, 'search and destroy' is not a workplace appropriate skill.

      148. Employees who have carefully cultivated low expectations in their supervisors can have a very nice, stress free, work free career.

      149. No matter what you say people will hear what they want, and you will always be quoted out of context.

      150. People on the east coast should not be expected to remember that there is a three-hour time difference between them and the west coast no matter how often they call.

      151. Never try to explain to someone in Washington, DC, that they are not at the center of the universe.

      152. In the government, the truth may put you in jail.

      153. Beware of people who copy everyone in the chain of command on emails, though you can hope they look stupid.

      154. No, someone does NOT have to ask questions.

      155. Thanking someone for giving you work to do will raise questions in their mind about your sanity.

      156. …or at least lead them to suspect you of sarcasm.

      157. The IT department is to be loved and appreciated as much as possible since they also have to deal with your coworkers- along with (other) antiquated equipment and obsolete programming.

      158. Pointing out that ‘human resources’ makes employees sound like iron ore, and ‘human capital’ makes them sound like machinery and that neither one has the simple virtue of plain old ‘personnel’ will raise suspicions that you are not on board with the management agenda.

      159. Not allowed to brag that I am not on board with the management agenda.

      160. The value of ‘pay for performance’ depends on what kind of performance you are looking for, and who is looking.

      161. Awards are given to the people who get credit for the work. By definition, they are managers.

      162. Say nothing. Ever. To anyone. They will be upset and complain.

      163. …or worse, they will be grateful and come back.

        This entry was originally posted here at my DW journal. You can comment here or there. :)


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