Buttigieg Justifies Absence from Job

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has been on parental leave since mid-August. During his absence, a massive backlog of cargo has been unable to dock and unload in southern California. An estimated 250,000 containers of merchandise await transportation to retail centers where customers can buy it. This has spawned enough dissatisfaction that the memes “#EmptyShelvesJoe” and “#BareShelvesBiden” are trending on Twitter. Nettled by demands to know why he wasn’t doing his job, a testy Buttigieg temporarily emerged from his home to lash out at “the invasion of my privacy. If everyone must know, my husband and I have been spending quality time with our new twins. I am taking the paternity leave to which I am entitled as a federal employee and don’t appreciate the unwanted comments that some people have been making.”

“The notion that I have not been doing my job is erroneous,” the Secretary insisted. “I left strict instructions that my staff should be conducting a series of round-table discussions on the topic of shipping problems. Thus far they’ve informed me that major contributors to the problems at the California ports are regulations put in place by Gov. Newsom and the vaccine mandate issued by President Biden. I can’t fix either of these missteps from my position at the Department of Transportation.”

“I want to remind everyone that shipping problems are transitory,” Buttigieg pointed out. “Before I took office, there weren’t any significant shipping disruptions. Now there are. At some point in the future there won’t be. In contrast, fatherhood is forever and time lost when your children are little can never be recovered. So, weighing my lack of responsibility for the chief causes of the current port backlog against my eternal duties as a father, I think I’ve been spending my time in the right place—besides my husband and children.”

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