US Government wee sized offices?
September 27, 2006 1:14 AM   Subscribe

On the hunt for unique and odd US government offices (somewhat for entertainment, seriously for a job.) [Oh yes, there is somewhat more inside.]

After learning about the Flag Corps office (Metroblogging DC link), I'm now curious about other small, odd, or unique government offices/agencies.

I'm looking for a list (didn't find much via Wikipedia) of these sort of odd places that the government works. Places that wouldn't typically show up on many people's radar, basically.

Part of this is basically just my own random curiousity but there is also a part of me that would like to work in a place like the Flag Corps at some point soon. (Brief history: graduated with a BA in English (Creative Writing) and Psychology in May. Currently obtaining a MSA concentrating in Federal Programs Management. I live in MD. My dad works for the DoD. My mother is an accountant with a Japanese pharm company.)

Please help me find somewhere I could possibly fit in. The government seems like it's nothing but giant agencies where an extreme introvert like me would get eaten alive.

Thanks hive mind. (If y'all want more info, let me know.)
posted by sperose to Law & Government (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried the USA Jobs site? You can just type in e search keyword and get jobs that match that. I typed in "tea", "pin", and "goat" to get some interesting job opportunities.
posted by JJ86 at 6:23 AM on September 27, 2006

I think Harpers Ferry Center is pretty nifty, and they produce some damn cool maps.
posted by grouse at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2006

I'm fairly certain it's a tiny shop, but for sheer entertainment value, how about The Institute of Heraldry? Heard about it recently- maybe even on the blue- and thought it was interesting. Good luck with you search...
posted by hwickline at 7:30 AM on September 27, 2006

You didn't ask about this, but I've always thought this book was interesting.

Obscure UK offices, such as the Queen's Remembrancer, the Lord High Admiral of the Wash, and:
Here is the Chief Butler and Grand Carver of England (the Earl of Denbigh, by hereditary right), the High Almoner, the Lord Warden of the Stannaries (responsible for "knackt bals"--don't ask!), and the Herb Strewer at the Coronation.

posted by Brian James at 9:00 AM on September 27, 2006

I worked for 3+ years at the National Transportation Safety Board. It's an independent agency (not part of DOT), and has about 400 or so employees nationwide, the majority of whom work at HQ (L'Enfant Plaza).

There are other small independent agencies - try this list from FirstGov.
posted by candyland at 11:43 AM on September 27, 2006

I will also say that there are pros and cons for working at a small agency. You can have more of a direct impact. But resources may be more scarce, and some of the programs that are readily available at Cabinet-level agencies (such as recruitment bonuses, student loan repayment, etc.) are less likely to be funded at a small agency.
posted by candyland at 11:46 AM on September 27, 2006

I'm looking for a list (didn't find much via Wikipedia) of these sort of odd places that the government works.

Do you mean geographic places, or places in a more figurative sense, as in "any obscure field"?

Perhaps satisfying both, the Fish and Wildlife Service administers such obscure US possessions as Navassa Island, Baker Island, and the newly-created Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument. I imagine though that this kind of work requires some scientific knowledge, not just introvertedness.
posted by Brian James at 1:01 PM on September 27, 2006

out in Hawaii, you'll find the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) sporting the worlds largest collection of forensic and historian types where they identify the remains of servicemen who...didn't quite make it. it's not all that small, though.
posted by garfy3 at 2:34 PM on September 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Gah, I'm attempting to mark more than one best answer and it's not cooperating.

Thanks to the commenters, that FirstGov website certainly is giving me some interesting places to scour. I'm also really digging the Institute of Heraldry and the Harpers Ferry Center. The Baltimore Office of Rumor Control looks interesting too, but I'm having problems finding more info than just the links listed. Maybe I'll have to go ahead and call em up. :)
posted by sperose at 10:42 PM on September 27, 2006

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