Three Hill interns riding the metro after a VERY intense happy hour start talking about their times in college. The most drunk (and therefore friendliest) of them all whips out his fraternity card trying to prove to myself and those around him that he is "very proud to be a brother of his organization." He asks the closest male passenger to him "Yo man, what frat are you in?" The man replies, "I work for the Customs Department." The intern looks to his friends then shakes his head and says, "What?! I've never heard of it, must be a local chapter or something, they probably suck."
On Tuesday morning, the new batch of interns made their way to the metro for their second big day of awesome responsibility. But this was the first day they could use their Red Badge of Courage to their advantage. Naturally, one female intern couldnt wait. On the Red Line, she confidently approached the turnstile and swiped her red badge over the SmartTrip reader. When nothing happened, she assumed that the machine was broken, so she moved to the next turnstile, cutting in front of the crowd to do so. When that one also failed to yield for her, she cut in front of the next group of people. Each time, she made an exasperated face, completely at a loss as to why her ID badge wouldnt overcome any obstacle she encountered, much less a metro turnstile. She made her way down the entire line of machines until she shoved me out of the way in order to try one last time, angrily swiping her intern badge back and forth across the reader to no avail.
Someone suggested that she deserves the benefit of the doubt, being such a neophyte and all. I might be inclined to agree, except the thought process must have gone something like this: Its a good thing I got this ID badge from work. They recognize that Im so important to my office and this city that I get to use my free ID badge from work to ride the metro while all of those other people have to pay!
So, for any interns reading this, heres my bit of advice: try to remember that your Scarlet Letter doesnt have any magical powers, metro or otherwise, and keep it tucked away unless you have to show it.
Thanks to construction on the Red Line this weekend I was stuck at the Chinatown Stop for 15 minutes on Friday night, just enough time to allow this gem of a conversation to occur. An intern comes to the middle of the car and yells out, "Excuse me everyone! My name is (blank) and I am going to play professional football one day!" he proceeds to go on and on about his stats and how we should YouTube him. While this was odd in itself he finishes it up with "And if that fails I am just going to become a stripper, I look great in a bow tie. But until then I am a DC intern!" with a huge grin on his face and his red badge still on (its 1 AM). Mind you this kid was way too short to ever be a professional football player so it looks like he is going to have to stick with his stripper career option.
This morning as I made my way into work, a group of obvious interns boarded my train (sporting those red badges, of course). Because I have recently come to love this blog so much, I have intentionally not been listening to my iPod on the metro, in hopes of hearing some sort of nugget of ignorance. The conversation I heard this morning made it all worthwhile...
Intern 1: "Have you guys been reading that blog about how stupid interns are?"
Intern 2: "Yeah and it pisses me off. I don't think people stop to realize how vital Hill interns are to this country as a whole...seriously. Like, a lot of stuff wouldn't get done without us. The city should be thanking us actually..."
Intern 1: "Yeah. I just feel like a lot of the stories are embellished though. I mean, interns aren't really that stupid. We were selected to be here and they wouldn't pick stupid people to fill those positions. Plus, why are people listening to our conversations anyways? Maybe we wouldn't be on the defensive so much if people weren't always criticizing us."
Intern 2: "You know, I'm just scared that someone is going to hear me say something stupid and write about it. I don't want to be that person, you know? They all sound so dumb."
Dear interns, it's hard to ignore your conversation when you are the only ones talking on the metro. It is, however, amusing to see all of you on your very best behavior, as not to become the next victim of this blog. So, thank you.
I am a college student in DC, and I have done my fair share of internships. This summer, I did not anticipate on staying in DC for the entire summer; when I decided that I would be staying, most of the more competitive internships had already been filled so I am currently in an administrative internship at a non-profit, doing mostly mailings and the like. Having previously worked at more difficult research positions (with more responsibility), the position I am in now is relatively easy. As I mentioned, more desirable intern positions have already been filled.
Having said that, the institution where I am interning has research interns on staff who were hired before me. Today, I heard one of the interns tell his boss that he did not know how to list something as a source if it had been found on wikipedia. He was researching something that most poli-sci majors learn on the first day, and he is helping the place where I work to write a book.
I heard this while trying to keep the printer from jamming as I worked on a mass mailing.
I arrived late to a reception in the Rayburn Foyer one night and aside from the bar, all that was left was a big chunk of cheese and some crackers. I cut the chunk up a little bit and offered around the pieces to my friends. As we sat there chatting and enjoying our beers we watched with amusement as one intern placed the entire remaining chunk of cheese on his plate, added some crackers, and started walking away from the table. Another intern walked up to him and said, "dude, what do you think you're doing? You took all the cheese!" The cheese-snatcher shouted back, indicating that he got there first and he was taking the cheese. As the exchange continued and got louder, my friends and I started moving away from the table, sure an actual fight would break out. In the end, one intern was full and the other unhappy. Moral of the story: if you want free cheese, get there early. It's an intern eat cheese world out there.
Several weeks ago during the Memorial Day recess, a particular intern working in our office showed up to work with a less than office appropriate outfit. Now, during recess, it is policy in our office for staff to wear "business casual" dress which for men is usually khakis or jeans and a collared shirt. This intern got that part correct just fine. The issue was the Hooters t-shirt that he had on underneath his very thin, light blue, collared shirt. Anyone with better than 20-80 vision could read the logo and the famous "Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined" through his shirt. Most people would think about maybe looking in the mirror before leaving their residence, but not this intern. What is even better, later that afternoon, "Hooters intern" accompanied a staff member and some other interns (myself included) on a tour of the Capitol building. Even after being made aware that the Hooters t-shirt was shining through his outer garment like a beacon of idiocy, the intern did not even go to the restroom to flip it inside out to try and help the problem, and proceeded on the tour as is. We proceeded with the tour with many constituents raising an eyebrow about how things go about on the Hill. All I could say was "Wow..."
I was happily sealing envelopes with the standard issue glue stick, when the other [under-21] intern in the office bursts into the office. I had seen a small gathering down the hall from us at a prominent member of the other party's office, and there were a few snacks and a six pack of beer or two that I could see.
This intern dashes over to me and whispers in the loudest whisper possible, "THEY HAVE TEQUILA!" I was taken aback for a second as the heavy scent of tequila breath washed over me, but regained my composure and said something about some light after lunch margaritas. She replied, "No, man, they let me mix it myself! [Member's] office is the SHIT!"
She bounced back out of the office, obviously pleased with herself for pilfering congressional alcohol. An awkward, two-minute silence fell over the office. Finally, the legislative director says, "Doesn't she have a [Capitol] tour at 2:15?"
This blog is dedicated to those DC residents who eagerly await (or completely dread) Intern Season. Essential to the function of offices in DC, interns are willing to complete tasks that are often considered undesirable.
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 attached to DC interns.
*PLEASE NOTE: As with the viral nature of the Internet, many offices are concerned about anonymity and poor reflections upon them - please be assured that no office or individual will ever be singled out. This blog operates under complete anonymity and will never be of a libelous nature; it will never post any identifying information including, but not limited to: place of work or residence, name, or congressional office. We welcome you to submit any absurd intern stories you are bound to acquire. TWITTER EXCEPTION: we assume you give us permission to re-tweet any submissions you send our way via your public Twitter account.
To the interns: please use this blog as a learning tool. Godspeed and best of luck this summer. firstname.lastname@example.org