Would you mind BARFing?
Certainly some of the Federal Communications Commission's decisions are hard for the telecom industry to stomach, but The Wire had no idea there was so much BARFing by commissioners over their own decisions.
Before readers start investing in Pepto-Bismol stock, this kind of BARFing has to do with signing off on changes to an item after a commissioner has voted on it.
A BARF, which we are told stands for "bureau authorization request form," is a request for the commissioner's office to sign off on any changes to an item--misplaced comma, upside down period, or something more substantial--that has been tweaked after the commissioners have cast their vote. It can be a paper form or an e-BARF.
"It is really called BARF," one veteran, well, BARFer, said. In fact, there is BARF on most of the items voted on at the FCC (insert joke here).
"If anything changes after you voted the item, you have to send a BARF that says you have approved a final version with whatever edits. It happens all the time, even if you tweak a footnote," the source said, and another staffer confirmed. "As horrible and as bureaucratic as this sounds, we all send e-mails that say we BARFed this item. And we get a call from the bureau if we don't do it that says: "Would you mind BARFing?"
Is there a lot of snickering associated with this process? "When people first come to the commission and they hear BARF, you get very weird looks, but those who have been around a long time are used to it."