I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – FOIA and public records requests don’t always have be serious. Ask for off-the-wall records and you can find some really fascinating stories – stories I guarantee your competitors won’t have.
“Why can’t there be nicer food handlers? Attitude every day,” one perturbed CIA official wrote.
Another official was annoyed that the Jazz Salad did not include grapes.
“Grapes are in the title of the salad. I asked about them, and the server pointed to the cherry tomatos [sic], said they were grapes. I said, “no, those are tomatos [sic], soooo should I just get grapes from the salad bar … I do not condone putting salad bar items into a Jazz Salad.”
If you need inspiration to file your own random records request, here are some stories I and others have done:
- What’s in a school chicken nugget?
- What books are banned in prisons?
- Want to see Marilyn Monroe’s FBI file?
- Viewer complaints about the Super Bowl
- Campaigns fueled by coffee and doughnuts
- What crazy things has your local government lost?
- Sex, drugs, profanity among NC’s rejected license plates
I’d love to know what interesting public records you’ve found. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @RecordsGeek.