Chattahoochee Chatter: To laugh or cry at unpaid time off?

July 10, 2013 

When it comes to being forced to take unpaid time off -- aka furloughs -- is it better to cry or laugh about it?

It appears that Fort Benning's Directorate of Family & Morale, Welfare and Recreation is taking the latter approach.

The directorate tasked with making things fun and interesting for the post's military and civilian personnel shot out an email this week with the title: "Look at it this way, now Thursday is the new Friday."

For anyone out of the loop, most Fort Benning civilian workers are participating in federal budget cuts mandating one furlough day each week through September. Friday is the designated off day for many workers.

And the math brings that to a 20 percent salary cut over three months.

Would you burst out in laughter or grind your teeth if that happened to you? After all, they do say that laughter is a great medicine.

With that in mind, Fort Benning's Golf Course is offering "Furlough Fridays" through Sept. 27, with discounts on the links.

There's also the Benning Club, which is serving up a free Comedy Night this Friday, complete with adult humor from Shaun Jones and food and drink specials for purchase.

How's that for easing the tension? We in Chatterland say, if it works, embrace it.

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"Embrace."

That will be the key word for these next two items …

As an inadvertent alarm blared for 20 minutes, delaying Tuesday morning's Columbus Council debut at the City Service Center, one observer suggested that it might be because someone parked at the library next door.

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If harassing the police station with time-wasting calls doesn't land you in jail, foul language might.

William Parrish, 52, found himself in Columbus Recorder's Court on July 5 after he was arrested the night before. His charges: loitering pedestrian, false 911 call, false request for an ambulance and profanity over the phone.

An officer told the court that police's interaction with Parrish began soon after he left The Medical Center for unspecified injuries. Parrish gave himself "just enough time to get drunk" before calling the police and demanding an ambulance.

Since another ambulance had already determined nothing else was wrong with Parrish, the answer was no.

That didn't stop Parrish from cursing at the officer taking the call, or the officer that showed up to handcuff him.

In his defense, Parrish said the charges were unnecessary and overboard.

"She just showed up and gave me every charge she could think of," Parrish said loudly.

Judge Michael Joyner, who warned Parrish not to curse while giving his statement, smirked as he listened to Parrish's compliant.

"Well, she did a good job, didn't she?" he replied.

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