Ed and I briefly discussed the idea of spinning an entire different tab for Hot Air devoted entirely to stories like this, but eventually abandoned the scheme. It’s not that there wouldn’t be enough material, but it turns out that calling it, “Effed Up Things That Happen At The Environmental Protection Agency” would take up so much space there wouldn’t be any room for the banner ads.

Back at the good old EPA, the Daily Caller has come across yet another story of happy, productive government employees making their way in this cold cruel world. Some of them seem to be doing exceptionally well in fact. One woman started a new job as director of the RTP Finance Center in Raleigh, North Carolina and quickly started making a name for herself. In fact, so amazingly productive was this new employee that she racked up more money in bonuses over the first twelve weeks than some people bring home for their regular salary.

A new hire at the Environmental Protection Agency hit the jackpot when the employee’s new bosses awarded her $9,000 in performance bonuses for less than three months of work.

The EPA’s inspector general said the newly hired director of the environmental agency’s RTP Finance Center in Raleigh was paid two separate performance bonuses of $4,500 shortly after beginning work.

“The total award amount of $9,000 represents approximately 25 percent of the Director’s salary for that 3-month time period. Based on discussions with OCFO management, this was an unprecedented amount for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer for such a short period of time after being hired,” the EPA IG said in a report made public Monday.

Call me suspicious by nature, but there’s simply got to be more to this story than meets the eye. The IG is looking into it, but there’s simply no way, even inside of one of the most notoriously wasteful and inefficient departments in the entire federal government, that this happens. A person just coming in the door doesn’t land those sorts of performance bonuses before most other new employees would have even located the emergency exits, the break room and their parking spots. The report includes an observation that, management felt the need to treat the new director ‘well,’ but it’s generally the job of the new hire to impress the bosses, not the other way around.

This could be a person with powerful connections in the administration or some sort of love connection, but that sort of a payoff isn’t made just for figuring out the speed dial system faster than anyone else. If she had come in the door with some revolutionary new theory of office operation which immediately boosted efficiency and cut costs there would have been some mention of that in the report. And even if that were the case, you need more than three months to evaluate a new system and track performance to ensure that other criteria aren’t suffering before you begin handing out bonuses. Something smells rotten here and there had best be a longer investigation to find out what it is.

Of course, no matter what the final mystery of this hefty payday turns out to be, will anyone who pays attention to the news be surprised? After all, this is the same group which:

Say, where do you get one of those job application forms to go to work there? I mean, if we can’t beat ’em, we may as well cash in and join ’em.