Good lord are we glad we don't work for the state. If we did, or even if we just happened to share an office with the Department of Transportation (or were, say, the beneficiary of a $586 million contract to replace the 520 Bridge), we'd almost certainly be subject to one hell of a KOMO 4 Problem Solver investigation.
If by chance you haven't heard yet, KOMO dropped a hidden camera undercover bombshell yesterday by bringing to light evidence that suggests workers at the project headquarters for the 520 Bridge replacement in Bellevue drink on the job. Like, a lot.
The headquarters is home to employees of KGM, described as a joint venture firm of Kiewit, General and Manson contractors (the company that won the bid to rebuild the 520 Bridge), and employees from the state Department of Transportation. WSDOT Project Director Mike Cotton tells KOMO he doesn't believe any of the station's clandestine video depicts DOT workers imbibing on the clock, but he's concerned nonetheless.
Don Draper doesn't see what the big deal is.
Citing an anonymous source said to have worked at the site for two months and classified as "disgusted" by what she saw, KOMO unleashed the dogs and headed out to the office last Friday to do some snooping.
What did the Problem Solvers find?
We went to the project office at 3 p.m. on Friday looking for the boss. While we were waiting -- to our amazement -- we saw two workers walk in the front door, each carrying a 12-pack of beer. Neither man would talk to us, nor would a third who was identified only as a manager. When we told this third individual we'd seen numerous people drinking on the job, some while working on their computers, and asked how common that practice is, he would only say, "I'm not commenting on any of that."
KGM's corporate spokesperson would not comment on camera, but emailed a statement saying, "We take these matters extremely seriously. We have initiated a full investigation and will take appropriate corrective action."
OK, sure, a few 12-packs on a Friday afternoon. As I already mentioned, Seattle Weekly is in no position to judge. Still, KOMO's source says the problem is much bigger.
So how often do people drink at the 520 Bridge project office?
KOMO's anonymous source describes the scene:
"Every day," she said. "On Monday through Thursday, some people have one, two, three. On Friday, it's a six-pack."
Thanks to the report, KOMO says both WSDOT and KGM are launching investigations.
And thanks to this story, I'll be heading out for a beer on my lunch hour.