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Hey, Boss, I’m writing science, but it’s fiction, OK?

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Furloughed Energy Department workers, are you looking for some backup cash while the government’s shut down? It’s cool if you want to work as a yoga instructor. Barista at your local coffeehouse? Yup, that’s on the “approved” list issued by the agency Thursday, as is performing as a musician in said coffeeshop, or just hanging out there working on your novel – “blogging, creative fiction writing, writing magazine articles” are A-OK, according to DOE.

On the prohibited list? “Teaching or writing related to an employee’s scientific or professional work for the Department or based on ongoing DOE programs, policies, or mission.”

But there is a catch. Even if it’s just a side job as a professional sports coach (also on the list of approved gigs), you’ll still need permission from your boss. What if your boss is furloughed, too? If you can’t find him or her at the local coffeehouse, the agency has provided a form to fill out and email to the Department of Energy’s Office of General Counsel for approval.

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