Three ladies paid me a visit at my office yesterday.
Hi, sorry for interrupting you…
No problem, what’s up?
We’re ordering new wooden furniture for this office to swap out the metal pieces. Did you want your metal bookshelf replaced?
Nah, the metal one is fine.
Are you sure? Because everyone else is getting wooden bookshelves to replace their metal ones. You’ll be the only one here with a metal bookshelf.
Yeah, this one is perfectly fine and I don’t want it to go to waste.
Oh it won’t go to waste, it’ll be used elsewhere.
That’s ok, I’m fine with this. No need to waste government money.
<talking amongst themselves>
<whip out the measuring tape, measure the office area>
Guess what time of year this is? This is the last month of the federal fiscal year. If money isn’t spent by the end of the month, it goes back to the Treasury! *gasp* What an awful thing that would be because our federal deficit isn’t large enough. I’ll be getting a wooden bookshelf AND a wooden lateral file. Fancy schmancy. Sorry cancer patients and diabetics. Your cure will have to wait. Clearly uniformly furnished offices are a bigger priority than say, disease research.
The problem isn’t us misappropriating funds though. Money that is appropriated for office supplies by law, cannot be spent on anything but. So the money wouldn’t have gone towards a science grant had we not wasted it on furniture anyway. Hope that made you feel better. If not, go suck on a piece of candy, it’s probably your blood sugar.