Friday, November 03, 2006

They Always Get Their Man

The other evening I was preparing to undergo a sleep study at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. As the technician readied me for the test with an assortment of wires, leads, patches and other small indignities, I turned on the television to watch some local news.

During the broadcast, Fox 29’s crack investigative team presented their latest "triumph" in the station's ongoing effort to weed out the scoundrels and miscreants in our midst. In this case they had been surveiling a city worker from Wilmington, DE, who was apparently double-dipping. Our crack investigative team followed this fellow, a water meter reader, as he drove to work one morning in his company car. Once there, he went inside, presumably punched in, and then departed to make his rounds. Or at least that's what his boss must have assumed. But not our crack investigative team, who soon revealed that the subject drove to where his own car was parked, changed into a different "uniform" and reported to work at another institution where he spent the majority of his day laboring. From there, our crack investigative team followed him as he returned to his city-issued car, changed back into his Water Dept. uniform, reported back to said Department, and presumably punched out.

Later in the piece, our crack investigative team confronted the worker and asked him whether or not he thought what he was doing was fair and balanced, a rhetorical question if ever there was one (and one tinged with a bit of irony considering the network doing the asking). Naturally, the double-dipper wasn't happy about being questioned on camera. In fact later in the broadcast, on a separate occasion, the subject got more than a little huffy when the crack investigator pressed the point.

So, what was this scoundrel doing on the taxpayers' dime and dollar, our crack investigative team wondered out loud no less than 25 times during the piece? It turns out he was on the payroll for Habitat for Humanity. Yes, that's right, our double-dipper was helping to build shelters for the disadvantaged and underprivileged. Not Toll Brothers. Not Hovnanian. He was working for Habitat for Humanity. Now, I am not excusing his malfeasance in the least, but I have to admit I was a little bit ambivalent when I learned just who he was working for when he should have been working for the good people of Wilmington.

So, by the way, was the technician who was prepping me for the sleep study. He kept repeating over and over again, "Habitat for Humanity??!! They're going after this guy and he's working for Habitat for Humanity??!!"

Our crack investigative team didn't stop there. They interviewed the local head of Habitat for Humanity who admitted on camera he was both surprised and dismayed to learn of his employee's double life. Our crack investigative team was unsuccessful in interviewing the head of the Wilmington Water Dept. but we can be sure being the crack investigative journalists they are they will pursue the matter to the end.

I don't know about you, but I wanted to sleep a whole lot better that night, wires notwithstanding, knowing that of all the double-dippers in all the world our crack investigative team leaned on this one. I wanted to, but couldn't!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh, what were the results of the sleep study? Sleep apnea - the latest rage!

5:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...


8:13 AM  

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