Monday, June 20, 2016

Heard: The Congressman's Shadow

Recently I spotted and heard an intern (with badge displayed, of course) proudly announce to a group in the Cannon tunnel, "I go wherever the Congressman needs me."

Uh huh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Spotted: Only You Can Prevent Reception Fires

One of our staffers asked an ambitious intern for help setting up a lunch briefing.  Setting up the briefing consisted of a buffet table with the works: trays of food, plates, utensils, etc. 

Minutes after announcing to the office that he “won’t burn down the building,” and that he “works with buffet spreads the way Picasso worked with oils,” the ever-graceful intern elbowed a buffet tray, knocking the hastily-lit fuel canister across the table, and ignited the very flammable tablecloth.  After gasping out: “Ruh-Roh!” the intern doused the flames with bottled water and … paper napkins. 

We hope his next internship isn't at a paper mill.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Heard: Been There, Done That

I work at an off-Hill non-profit.  Today I spoke in our weekly department meeting about the plans for an upcoming after-hours Capitol tour hosted by a Member of Congress and that the plans seemed to be coming along well.  Some older donors are attending so accessibility and walking long distances was an issue of importance and concern.  Having paid my dues and been a (non-obnoxious) Hill intern back in my day, I was familiar with the tour process and explained how it would work.   

After the meeting, our intern let me know he knows all about Capitol tours because he was once (wait for it…) a Capitol Hill intern!!  He then started giving me some of the details of a Capitol tour.  As he was talking, I realized he was not an intern in a Member office, but was a red coat based on his tour details.  But, I let him say his piece, and then replied, "Cool. It was like that when I interned too! Thanks for the tips!"

He just stared back at me, shocked that anyone on staff (of a Washington, DC non-profit) would have Capitol Hill experience!


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Spotted: A Fond Farewell ... Complete With A Masseuse #tbt

We received this goodbye email from a summer intern.  It was addressed to the entire staff. He spelled one of his direct supervisor's name incorrectly and the masseuse just showed up.  Bold move.

From: [name redacted]
Date: Wednesday
Subject: My Goodbye

Dear fellow interns, my many bosses, and [name redacted]

It seems that Friday will be my last day, so I'd like to thank you all for the experience I had this summer working for [name redacted]. I truly had a great time these past few months.

Whether it was photocopying congressional testimonies, stapling of said copies, or retrieving Starbucks for [name redacted], my experiences this summer have cultivated my skill-sets and better suited me for the world beyond. I only jest; I gained invaluable insight into the private-public sector dynamic of politics while also experiencing the Hill. It has undoubtedly been the perfect DC cocktail, and one I would not have done any differently.

I'd like to thank all the partners at the firm for your dependebly open doors and willingness to share your personal perspective on the world of lobbying, your personal stories were each unique yet all similarly educational.

To the intern coordinators – [name redacted],  [name redacted],  and [incorrect name redacted] – I'd like to commend you on your uncanny ability to put up with my many theatrics. I'll have to tell my mother she has been wrong for always saying I'd never have any women in my life without growing up.

I can also say I made many good friends over this summer – no one in the copy room, I mean just in general outside of work. My fellow interns, you were all truly forgetabble.

And last, but certainly not least, I'd like to thank [name redacted] for being the rock of [name redacted].  Athough it may have taken me all summer, I have finally realized that she alone is the brains keeping this office together.

Yet I do not believe a mere email will suffice in exemplifying the gratitude I have for you all. As such, I have decided to bestow a gift upon the entire office.

In accordance of Friday being both my last day and my birthday, I'd like to inform you all that I have reserved an in-house masseuse to come into the office for 4 hours to give each of you a well deserved massage break.  [Name redacted] has graciosuly offered his office as the designated place of serenity, so the masseuse will be setting up her massage chair there. Whether it is your chronic lower back aches or nascent tight neck, let your bodily worries be remedied by [name redacted]. She will be arriving at 9:30 and staying until 1:30. I've decided it will be best to see how many people are at the office before we determine the order and duration of the massages.

I hope none of you were planning to skip Friday. Thank you all again for everything.

[name redacted]

Note from the Editors:  We didn't edit the e-mail except for identifying info (the spelling mistakes are the intern's).  Also, the submission included a photo of the masseuse.  Bold, although pretty thoughtful.  We wish our interns would provide masseuses.   

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Heard: A Real Go-Getter

Short and sweet intern quote of the day: 

"Your article was great.  I read most of it."

Stated while speaking to her boss (the author of the article) after it was suggested she read the article.  Needless to say, it did not go over well.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Heard: This Intern Would Walk 500 Miles

Recently, one of our interns went out to a bar in Dupont to go dancing and he got extremely drunk.  He stayed at the bar until it closed and then left with his friends and they parted ways on the street.  Unfortunately, he was so drunk he left his backpack inside (with his laptop and cell phone in it) and his credit card at the bar, but didn’t realize this until he wandered for a while and the bar was closed. 

He found himself alone, without a phone, without a credit card, and $6 in his wallet. So, how does he get home to Falls Church?  Obviously he walks down 66.  (Editor note:  Google Maps says that’s a 2 hour and 45 minute walk.)   

He got about halfway there when Park Police showed up and put him in the back of the car and questioned him for 45 minutes about what he was doing walking alone on 66 at 4:00am.  Once they were satisfied that he was nothing more than a drunk idiot, they drove him the rest of the way home.

He came to work the next morning unable to do anything because he had to wait for the bar to open so he could pick up his work computer, cell phone, and credit card.  Bravo! 

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Spotted: mi cab es su cab #tbt

Editor Note:  We're posting a favorite #tbt to kick off the blog this summer.  You'll notice this was pre-Uber, pre-cabs taking credit cards in DC, and back in the red badge of courage days.

I live in Eastern Market and intern at a Department very near the Hill. This morning it was raining and I woke up late. I decided to call for a cab. I waited for a fair amount of time for the cab and eventually had to call my supervisor to let her know I was likely going to be 5-10 minutes late, just to cover myself. The cab ended up getting there just in time for me to arrive at my meeting on time.

The cab started on its way and was stopped at a stoplight. I'm checking my email and reading the news, when a loud knock scares me. The cabbie and I look up to see a young female intern knocking on the door to the cab in the rain. The driver tells her he's occupied, but then...drumroll please, the intern flashed her red badge of courage, pulled the "I work for such and such Senator line", and then proceeded to reach through the window, unlock the door, and hop in. She kept on saying over and over again how grateful her Senator would be to us for getting her there on time and without wet hair. Though shocked at her behavior, I made polite small talk with her. After finding out she was from Connecticut, I mentioned to her that I was from Missouri. She so wisely informed me that "there was nothing important between the coasts," and that I should never go back home. As if it couldn't get any worse, she got out of the cab without paying, stating that all she had was a debit card. I had specifically called a company that took cards because that was all I had too. The driver mentioned this to her, but she just slammed the door and skipped merrily away. The driver offered a discount to me, but the Midwesterner in me wouldn't allow it. I hope she made it safe and dry to her Senator's office, and gains some Midwestern values and common sense along the way.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Welcome Back: The 2016 DC Summer Intern Season has Commenced!

Happy 2016 Intern Season!  After a hiatus last summer, we're excited to celebrate the beginning of our eighth summer with you.  Welcome back to all our loyal followers and welcome new followers and new interns.  

To our newest interns:  Welcome and congratulations on your summer internship!  We hope you use this opportunity to make a great impression in your office and get the most out of your internship. However, we suggest you heed our warnings and follow our advice. For those of you who do not, we look forward to sharing stories of your drunken evenings, your conspicuously placed pumpkin orange badge on a non-work day (or after work hours), your obnoxious banter on the metro, and your inappropriate clothing choices. 

As always, we value the anonymity of submissions and our team.  We invite you to share stories as you encounter the newest batch of DC Summer Interns.  Especially in this tumultuous election year—we would love to hear your Berntern, Clintern, and Trumptern stories.  

For many interns, this blog will not apply. For those interns to whom it does apply, we hope that you use these anecdotes to change your behavior and eventually change the stigma associated with being a DC Summer Intern.  

Welcome to DC!