Luck of the Irish: Dept. of Transportation Worker Punished for St. Paddy's Day Cheer

What's on the other side of the rainbow for you? If it's a leprechaun protecting a treasure and a field of shamrocks, protect your neck and avoid that shit at all costs. Because your St. Patrick's Day cheer - like trans fats, and soda, and salt - is now considered illicit and/or heavily taxable by our fair city.

Via the New York Times' CityRoom: Jared Largo, one of the guys who pilots the Staten Island Ferry, was handed a fourteen-day suspension from his job for stamping shamrocks around the control room, with the Department of Transportation citing it as "vandalism." Largo, like all people who celebrate holidays meant to bring "flair" to otherwise mundane daily routines, just wanted to boost morale, the same way he says Christmas decorations would've. But to be fair, Largo kinda sounds like that guy who obnoxiously celebrates said holidays. Like the people who actually pinch you if you're not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. Or, in Largo's case, like the guy who offers to bring a Sham-Wow towel to work to clean up his shamrock mess. Or like the guy who supposedly can't tell the difference between black and green, and decides to, uh, "dress the occasion" to his DOT hearing:

The morning of his court date, he grabbed a hunter green pair of shoes, thinking they were black. "The judge was like, 'What, you think you're funny, wearing green shoes here?' " he said. The judge, Mr. Largo said, sentenced him to 16 days of unpaid suspension. His sentence started Feb. 18 and runs through next Monday (he works four-day weeks).

On one hand, we probably should punish those - like Hallmark, for example - who subject us to stupid celebrations some people want absolutely no part of. Holidays like St. Patrick's Day - ostensibly, a celebration of a culture, but really, a depressing reminder of how desperate we are to cushion our existential despair - are like being dragged to Applebees without the food.

That said, we probably shouldn't be punishing people who intend on boosting morale with some dumb shamrocks. What's the harm? Really? At least now, if you want to know why New York's civil service workers are so disgruntled, you don't really have to look any further than over the rainbow, where office cultures like these go to die at the hands of a troll-like bureaucrat protecting things that make people's lives a little easier to deal with. Essentially, leprechauns. Obligatory House of Pain offering:

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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