html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: How secret can it be?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How secret can it be?

I work in a completely mundane state building in downtown Sacramento. We do, however, titillate ourselves with the rumor that the governor has a secret office downstairs that he uses to get away from the press and the politicians at his real office. I don’t think that’s the case, but the wing directly below me is the only set of offices in the building that aren’t in our agency. And my card key works everywhere else in the building (when you work in a new place, you immediately go around to all the staircases to find out if you have roof access, right? And try all the nondescript doors to see if they are locked? And basically pry around until you know how the building works, right?), but not for that wing.

For the California special election, the downstairs wing was full of young pretty sharp dressers who paced aggressively around the courtyard talking very seriously on their cell phones. They didn’t seem to want to talk to those of us who amble around in jeans and make jokes where the punchlines are equations. Then one day I decided I wanted to know who they were, and the fuckers wouldn’t tell me! I asked nicely, “what is this office? Who are you working for?” and the guy who’d made eye contact with me on several occasions said “it’s a secret nuclear facility” and I said, “right, jackass, but what is it?” and they all laughed and didn’t tell me. My bosses couldn’t tell me and I couldn’t find any mention of a secret governor’s office anywhere.

When the special election ended so poorly for the governor, the downstairs wing cleared out. In the past month, young pretty people in pinstripes have reappeared, smoking in the courtyard and talking very seriously on their cell phones. I notice it isn’t any of the same young, pretty people. Maybe one of these ones will tell me what their office is.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not just wait outside the office door, and piggy back in with someone? Then snoop around until you figure it out.


3:36 PM  
Blogger Lo said...

In response to your parenthetical aside-- oh, heck yes. When I worked for a university newspaper, we editors got key cards so we could have 24/7 entry access to both the building our newsroom was in, as well as the newsroom itself.

Only whoever authorized our keycards, didn't realize that they also opened every single building on the campus, as well as (nearly) every single classroom.

College kids with 24/7 access to a large campus of empty classrooms. And a golf cart (designated for our news staff) to transport us b/w building and classrooms. At three in the morning.

Hello, trouble (and fun, however vaguely illicit)!

3:46 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

I love breaking and entering! I grew up in DC and our favorite thing to do on Friday afternoons at a certain pre-teen age was to go to the National Cathedral and run around the crypt and try to break into areas that we weren't supposed to go and evade the "purple ladies," the docents who were supposed to keep some order. Okay, so we were a weird sort of geek. But it was fun.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Ask them when they are alone. If they aren't supposed to be talking to you, they will be less likely to talk if they know someone is watching them.

And chat them up first. Tell them your anecdote about training for drinking games. I liked that one.

Try to express your interest as being in them instead of the facility itself. Maybe ask them where they live, where they went to school, what their prior work background is, what kind of work they do, and *then* who they work for.

And wear that dress that your lady friends like so much.

Of course, you'll probably ignore this and go with Justin's advice. That is, after all, the physical solution.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous ogged said...

Once upon a temp job, a couple other temp guys and I managed to find our way to the roof, feel like kings, throw around that roof gravel, and then find that the door was locked on the roof side. Luckily, some of the building's windows had roof views and we made monkey gestures until someone saw us and let us back in.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Too many secrets

10:24 PM  
Anonymous ogged said...

But nevermind me, you really need to get to the bottom of this. Like a blog project.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's where they shoot the porn.


11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing its PR/political hired guns types. Not so exciting. -K.

5:59 AM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

Clearly, the solution is a whole other physical solution. How hard can it be to use your assets to lure one of these pretty people, cell phone and all, on a date? To a bar? Where you can slip a truth serum in their whiskey and a bug on their lapel! Since you don't drink, it will be that much easier to ensure that you won't have one too many yourself and tip your hand.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Mike Jenkins said...

Thanks for tipping us off to this security problem. We will be attending to it immediately.

Is there anyone you want to take care of your website while you are gone?

7:28 AM  
Blogger Pandax said...

I love a good mystery... do give us any other tidbits that will help solve this mystery.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Breaking and entering is so fun. In high school we used to go down to the big hotels in LA, split into teams and race to the roof.

Bob V., Ogged, -K, Amanda Bee, PandaX:
I asked them yesterday and got an answer. It is the Governor's Office of Constituent Affairs. But now I don't know what that means.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Bob V said...

The Governor's Office of Constituent Affairs will be tallying the support or opposition for various bills awaiting action by the Governor, including SB 1161-Alpert. To call Constituent Affairs, please follow these instructions:

1. Call: (916) 445-1456
2. Listen to a series of prompts. ONLY choose prompt #7, where you will get to speak to the Governor's representative.
3. You will be asked what bill you are supporting, and will be asked to offer a few brief statements as to why.
4. To date, most callers have not been asked to give their name, library, company, or geographic location, etc.
5. If you are a business, a representative of local government, etc. we would prefer that you write or fax the Governor instead so your company, group, or title is appropriately noted in the bill file.


Geez, could you find a more boring place to infiltrate? The least you could have done was seduce one of them.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

They're smokers! And wear suits, and they pace around self importantly. That's not sexy. They're, like, 24, and they think they're a big deal.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous scottb said...

OK peeps, listen up - it's time to be more careful with our terminology.

"Breaking and Entering" is usually considered a _felony_. And it involves _breaking_ something. What I read above sounds much more like "Criminal Trespass", which is only a misdemeanor. You (or your court-appointed lawyer) should probably know that distinction someday.

And, fwiw, picking a lock falls into the latter category.

Carry on!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous jens said...

At least now, when the updates stop appearing on this site, we will have some idea why.

On b&e vs. criminal tresspass: where does making just a tiny slit in a window screen fit in, one that already had several holes (not, though, in useful locations)?

When the apartment is vacant, and your friend can't get into the apartment building to get home and it is very late at night?

4:21 PM  
Anonymous jens said...

Not that I'm saying that ever happened, of course.

I might be just wondering.

4:23 PM  

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