People who think government work is dull don't know what sometimes goes on after hours at the Office of Personnel Management.
Though OPM is mainly a paper-moving organization, it has its moments. Like last Thursday evening, when staffers had to deal with a naked job hunter.
Most employes at the seven-story, block-long OPM headquarters at 19th and E streets NW had gone for the day. OPM General Counsel Joseph Morris and staff had settled in for an evening of paper work production in preparation for an important court case next day.
Just after 6 p.m., a man walked into Morris' office, asking for a job. Morris and his associate, Clifford White, explained that the personnel office was elsewhere, and was closed for the day.
They suggested that the gentleman pop around to the federal job information center first thing in the morning to fill out the necessary application forms.
The man indicated, rather strongly, that he didn't have time for all that red tape. He was persuaded to leave.
But when he retreated to the elevator he took it up instead of down, and Morris and White figured they had a problem.
The elevator returned shortly, empty save for a gym bag and an airline flight bag. Protruding from the gym bag was a suspicious-looking electrical wire. Morris, who also doubles as the agency's security chief, called the Federal Protection Service.
Officers took one look at the bag and called the bomb squad, which arrived fast.
There was no bomb in the bag, which contained personal papers, letters, an ID card (issued by a local company) and a torn American flag.
A search was begun for the owner, who was found about 45 minutes later, sprawled naked on a giant executive-style table in OPM's executive conference room. The room contains civil service memorabilia, including items that belonged to a former civil service commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, who went on to bigger things.
The naked stranger was removed by guards and taken to St. Elizabeths Hospital for observation.
The OPM building is open to the public and passes aren't required, but since the incident, guards have been ordered to take a closer look at people coming in.