another sense for gov't work

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Jan 21 02:17:56 UTC 2005

>During WW2 my father worked nights as an engraver for Sperry Gyroscope
>(afterwards acquired by Remington Rand and renamed Sperry-Rand) and he used
>"gov't work" to mean "private jobs done for friends" such as nameplates; it
>was useful as a label because a supervisor would never query a worker who
>said he was doing "gov't work."

I heard something like this occasionally on the job in the 1960's, usually
in the form "a government job": "he's working on a government job" meant
"he's engaged in a personal project [on company time, probably using
company resources]". Of course no such thing was said to the supervisor,
who knew very well what a "government job" was.

-- Doug Wilson

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