Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant Goes Political


(An angry Mr. B. enters the Goldman Sachs washroom. Washroom attendant Selig Cartwright has done something company rules don’t allow.)

Selig, come out of that stall you’re cleaning immediately. We have to talk about the political fliers you’ve been handing out all over the building.

(Emerging from a stall) Pretty thought provoking aren’t they, Mr. B.

That’s not how I would describe them, Selig. Incomprehensible is the word I’d use. And more to the point, you can’t politic here.

But sir, you’re always saying corporations are people and they have a right to politic any way they choose. So I thought that folks who work for these corporations should also have the same right in their workplaces.

An interesting interpretation of the law. Selig. I’m sure the Supreme Court will consider it carefully next time you appear there. Until then, I’m the judge and I say stop. But before we recycle this paperwork, will you kindly explain what exactly it’s promoting.

I thought it was pretty straight forward, Mr. B. It asks support for the None Of The Above Party candidate. We think if we can actually get him on the ballot, he’s sure to win.

Sure to win? That’s absurd, Selig.

Maybe not, sir. A recent survey found that only 9% of voters think Congress is doing a good job, and a majority want to vote them all out of office.

I heard that, too. But why should anyone vote for a None Of The Above candidate?

It’s simple, sir. In most jurisdictions, your place on the ballot is determined by the votes you got in the previous election. Since our party fielded no one in the previous election, we’re at the bottom of the ballot.

And you think that’s good, Selig?

In 2014 it could be great. People walk into the voting booth, angry and disgusted at the top two parties listed, not caring a fig for the little parties below. Then they see None Of The Above at the bottom of the list, it’s their real choice, they pull our lever.

(Mr. B. becomes pensive). This may not be the stupidest idea you’ve ever had, Selig.

Thank you, sir. Coming from you, that’s high praise indeed.

But what does your party stand for, Selig? What does it want to do if elected?

Do, sir? Getting elected is the only thing we want to do. Being in Congress is the best job anywhere. They have a salary of $174,000 a year and benefits that would make the Sultan of Brunei envious. Once in, they’re virtually assured of reelection until they leave voluntarily to get a seven figure job lobbying. Congress in 2014 will be in session only 113 days, down from 126 days in 2013, and a member of congress only works overtime a couple of times a year to prevent a government shutdown — or vote for one. Their families and close friends also tend to land high-paying jobs in think tanks or non-profits. Who wouldn’t want a gig like this?

Point taken, Selig. So who are you planning to run in this district? Not yourself, I hope.

(Selig points around the washroom). And give up all this? Who, then?

My brother-in-law, sir. He’s currently living in our basement after being laid off at the poultry processing plant. Not a bad fellow, but lacking the hygiene graces.

Just on the off-chance that this relative of yours actually does in fact win the election, Selig, do you think if we contacted him, that he might be willing to ... willing to ...?

Willing to serve Wall Street’s interests blindly and happily in all things always? Why not? He certainly wouldn’t stand out in that regard after he takes his seat.

Does he have any irritating preconceptions about issues that aren’t susceptible to alteration. You know the ones I mean, Selig. The kind you get from reading long tracts rather than getting your news from fair and balanced sources.

Sir, the only reading my brother-in-law has done recently is what’s written on the back of a beer bottle. In conversation he makes Rocky’s brother-in-law sound like Stephen Hawking.

I’m sure you’d be happy to introduce us before he goes off to Washington, Selig. I understand now what the None Of The Above stands for, why it could actually win elections in 2014, and why Wall Street could back a candidate like your brother-in-law. What I still don’t understand is the gibberish on the bottom of your flier.

You mean our party slogan, sir?

If that’s what it is. Well, what does it mean?

Simple, sir. The abbreviation for None Of The Above is NOTA.

Alright. I can see that. And your slogan?

Tea Party, schmea party. Vota for NOTA.

Not exactly Hope and Change, Selig, but interesting. Much to consider here. I’ll run it by the board. In the interim, is my personal Stall #8 ready for use?

Cleaned, stocked with new DVDs, and the latest issue of The Economist.

Good man. I’m going in.

Michael Silverstein is an investigative poet. See

From The Progressive Populist, February 1, 2014

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