Talking 'bout Responsibility

It's always good to see my tax dollars being spent wisely. As a result of some regulatory changes implemented after 9/11, the company I work for found it necessary to get a federal explosives license. Due to my exalted position within the company, I am one of the people listed on the license. This led to a stunning display of misguided incompetence from everybody's favorite jackbooted thugs.

First off, we applied for the license 10 or 11 months ago. Good thing we didn't really need to use those explosives, huh? Oh, wait, we did. So we've been subcontracting the necesssary work for almost a year now. While our subcontractor likes the money, it's been a flaming pain in the ass for us.

The ATF finally came through for us, though. As a result, I have on my desk right now a "Responsible Person Letter of Clearance". I may now lawfully direct the management or poilices of my company as they pertain to things that go boom. I may also lawfully transport, ship, receive or possess said loud things. The idea that I am now federally certified as a responsible person I find pretty damn amusing. J finds the idea to be almost totally ludicrous. I do wonder exactly what I was when I was a young cavalry trooper learning the wonders of C-4 and det cord. Besides hungover, I mean. I certainly don't recall any fancy letters declaring me responsible.

That neatly covers the misguided portion of this incident. The incompetence is the actual name on the letter. One of the other engineers here is also listed on the license. The ATF conflated my name and his on my letter. So the letter has my last name, SSN, date of birth and home address. It also has his first and middle names. So the ATF has issued a letter authorizing some imaginary person to use explosives. I'm fairly confident they mean me, but who knows?

I have faxed the ATF and informed them of their error. I was exceedingly polite about it, too. The ATF has proven in the past to be a mean bunch of bastards when roused. I certainly don't want to get them pissed off at me. Some guy up the road a way did that, and look what happened. The general feeling around the office is that I probably shouldn't use the explosives until we get this cleared up. No sense taking chances, right?


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