High stakes and bathroom breaks at State ops center


The Washington Post just posted a fun article that peeks inside the State Department’s high-pressure, round-the-clock operations center. In an office that coordinates phone calls to the most powerful people in the world, even things as mundane as bathroom breaks have their own protocol:

“I’m going blue!” duty desk officers call out when they stand up to go to the bathroom. They flip a switch, triggering a blue glow from the [Barbie-sized, light bulb-equipped wooden] outhouse. As on an airplane, the light signals: Bathroom occupied; remain in your seats. Work stations must be staffed in case of an emergency.


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