Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heard: Nickname Mistake

I love your blog! Sadly, I have my own intern confession to make.

A few years back, the Hill personal office where I interned was pretty laid-back, and it was common practice to use the Member's nickname when speaking to other staffers. One day, I was sent to photograph a press conference where the Member (who was also chair - at the time - of a major committee) was speaking. The committee staff was making the rounds, and the Chief of Staff for the committee came up to me to be friendly. What followed was this gem of an exchange:

COS: "I don't think we've met. I'm [name], Chief of Staff for [committee]."
Me: "Oh, hi! I'm [name]. I'm an intern. Nice to meet you."
COS: "What office do you work in?"
Me: "I work for [member's nickname]."
COS: (very slowly repeats the nickname, trying to give me an out to self-correct)
Me: (perky, not getting the hint) "Yep! [I repeat the nickname, this time adding the last name... as 'clarification.']"

(long pause)

COS: "Ah." (Turns and walks away.)

About ten seconds later I realized my mistake. Needless to say, I took my photos and retreated to the office in shame as fast as possible.