Uh, Sorry About The Mess

Security is tight at Bill Clinton's still-vacant transition headquarters. Armed guards repel visitors to the 12th floor of 110 Vermont Ave. NW. But BUSINESS WEEK has learned the walls inside need paint, the refrigerator holds a rich ecosystem of molds and fungi, and false fire alarms drive everyone from the building twice a week. How do we know? The Clintonites are inheriting the office formerly occupied by BW's Washington bureau.

Clinton says he wants his team to act quickly to fill new posts. He obviously hasn't ridden the elevators, which will make the first 100 days seem like a 40-yard dash. The President-elect also prides himself on his team's diversity and the authority he has invested in women. Too bad the doors to the stalls in the ladies' room don't close. And hey, Bill, that cafeteria in the basement? It's owned by Willard Marriott, a staunch Republican. If we were you, we'd avoid the Inaugural Specials.

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