This is a story for anyone who has butted his or her head against a big bureaucracy and given up in defeat.

Stephen Patrick, a nuclear courier for the Energy Department, might be the bane of every manager who has tried to fire someone they didn’t want on the job. And Patrick made a mistake when he misused a government vehicle on overnight rest during a work trip.

But four years later, taxpayers are paying him to sit at home.

If you’ve ever had a similar experience dealing with red tape in the federal bureaucracy, let us know. Contact me at reinl@washpost.com.