Friday, August 07, 2009

Heard: Mile v. Kilometer

intern 1: i just biked 4 miles today
intern 2: no way, we've only been here 10 minutes. there's no way you biked 4 miles. are you sure you read the right number?
intern 1: it says miles or km. what's km?
intern 2: kilometers
intern 1: oh, well a kilometer is way longer than a mile, so it must have been 4 miles.
intern 2: yeah. good job!

Heard: Time Time Time

Two interns from a downtown non profit: "I don't understand why we didn't meet with the Senator." Considering the Senator is busy with the health care negotiations, I can't believe he didn't make time to meet with these two interns, sending his LA in his place.

Spotted: Peddie Cash

There is an intern that sits next to my cube, that reads US Weekly, Cosmos and People, constantly checks her facebook and sleeps at her desk (no joke, she was out cold the other day for an hour). The office has a particular knack for cultivating nicknames for people, especially interns, she is known as Club Girl. Club Girl comes to work in silk halter tops and tube tops with no bra, mini skirts that would make a gay man blush and either flip flops or her hooker heels from the night before. Club Girl does not do anything work related and this past Monday she and another intern went to a museum because they were bored. The best is the attached photo of a post-it note on her desk. I think that explains everything.

Heard: What's a Health LA?

I work on K St. in government relations. Recently, I called up the office of a freshman Member who shall remain nameless. The conversation was as follows:

Me: Hi, could I please get the name of your health LA?

Intern: [Sounding annoyed] What?

Me: The name of your health LA?

Intern: [Seemingly disgusted at having gotten such a question] I don't know what that is.

Me: Oh, I was looking for the name of your legislative assistant who works on health issues.

[Dead silence]

Intern: Ummmmm let me put my associate on the phone, he can speak with you.

I would have understood some confusion if I had a more complicated request...but this was pretty basic!

Heard: Fred Thompson

A group of interns from our state's other senator's office were sitting in our front room. One of them was paging through a copy of the Washington Post and remarked out loud, to the other 10 interns, "Gee, I didn't know Fred Thompson was in Congress! I thought he was just an actor!"

Heard: Pink Ladies

I just can’t ride Metro anymore before I have my coffee in the morning. Here is an excerpt from this morning’s conversation between a group of three interns who were headed to the House side.

Intern #1 (boy): “Geez, have you guys been getting bombarded by birther phone calls? They put me on phones for an hour yesterday and that was all I heard about.”

Intern #2 (boy): “I dunno—they don’t let me near the phone. Is your boss for it or against it?”

Intern #1: “Against what?”

Intern #2: “The birther issue. My boss is strictly conservative—so he’s pro-life.”

Intern #1: “Oh yeah—mine’s the same way. Totally supports Roe v. Wade.”

Intern #3 (girl): “Yeah, our office has had a lot of visits from the Pink Ladies. I think my boss is in favor of the birther issue too.”

At this point, I had to get off the metro and go to Starbucks because I thought my head was going to explode. Attention all interns: a) the “birther issue” is whether people believe that President Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen; b) Roe v. Wade upholds a women’s right to abortion; and c) the “Pink Ladies” are activists that opposed the war in Iraq and are now focusing on misdeeds on Wall Street (and other issues).

Perhaps we can require all interns to read the newspaper in the morning so that they gain at least a bit of knowledge of the issues of the day?

Heard: Princess Hilltern and her Mother

I'm a student at one of the universities in DC which all rent out their housing to interns for the summer to make us some extra money and offset academic year costs. I work for the office that oversees that housing for the summer.

One day, an intern who seemed to think that her accommodations were inadequate came in to complain. I explained that she was informed up front what she had paid for and that our prices were set based on the cost of real estate and services in the city. She was disgusted and felt she needed to be upgraded at no cost. I apologized if she felt she was misled but explained an upgrade would have to be at her own expense. This did not sit well with her and set off a tirade. She started explaining to me how hard her job was and how I needed to not treat people who "worked" on the hill like that. I smiled sweetly and repeated our policy and listed all our options. She insisted that her boss, Congressman so and so was not going to be pleased.

About an hour later her mom called. Both Princess Hilltern and her mother explained that they knew that I wouldn't understand her situation because I haven't ever had the stress of something like that and I just work for my school because it was the only job I can get. I've done my hill internships, thank you, and I did them while juggling a full course load. Furthermore, I get to wake up at noon and make far more money than I actually deserve to sit in a room and occasionally deal with hillterns like you.

Yeah, I'm sure dumb for spending my summer working for my school. What does your paycheck look like, honey?

Heard: From One Intern to Another

Hi DC Interns:

I'm proud to be an intern on Capitol Hill, in spite of the Giant Death Glares many of the other staffers and workers inflict on us. However, one particular incident helped me to see their perspective in a completely different light.

I was sitting with my tour group in the Senate gallery, when I saw that another one of my fellow interns and his tour were vacating the front row. Seeing an opportunity to give my constituents a better view of the Senate proceedings, I gave them the okay to slip past the other group and quietly sit down in the front row.While we were sitting there, we of course stayed quiet obeyed the rule forbidding us from placing our elbows where they didn't belong. While he passed me, however, the other intern felt overwhelmed with the minuscule amount of power afforded by his badge; he then leaned over me as I sat down in my seat and whispered, (by the way, this is a direct quote) "I'm okay if you want to sit in my seats, but don't ever place anything on the divider [the marble-covered safety wall bordering the front seats of the gallery], and don't put your face on it!"

Not only did my group and I look askance at each other when we heard the last part of the intern's edict, but I'm pretty sure that the people in the row behind us tittered behind their hands when they saw this young man give orders to a fellow intern, who (by the way), knew better than to whisper loudly in the gallery right when the senators started reading their statements.

If you post this, that would be great! Also, it would be proof that not all interns are arrogant, obstreperous brats; only this fellow was. Thanks!

Heard: The Tombs

Preface: I will be an undergraduate senior at Georgetown in the fall and I am an intern this summer but not on the Hill. Thanks for your blog as I find many of the stories hit home with my own experiences this summer.

Case in Point: I am on the Circulator on my way back to Georgetown and two tourists can be heard trying to get directions to a store in Georgetown. These two loud, obnoxious and know-it-all guys then proceed to give them directions in a, "I know everything about Washington DC" type of way. Thinking that these two guys were locals, another couple approaches them and asks if they can tell them how to get to The Tombs. The two guys, obviously looking confused, ask, "uhhh is that a cemetery or somethin' somewhere dude?" The tourists explains that no, it is in fact a bar. I overhear and proceed to tell the couple how they can find the bar.

Now, I don't expect everyone in DC to know what or where the Tombs is. Even for people that live here. But if you are a college student here, especially at Georgetown or GW I bet you have an idea that its a bar, and not, a cemetery.

More to the point: Don't give directions and act like you know where everything in the city and what you're talking about when when you really don't. Thanks again for the blog.

Heard: Confirmation?

After a conversation between two interns about how BUSY they were (with more than one project at the same time):

Guy Intern: "I'm going to the ambassadorial confirmation hearings in the Senate this morning."

Girl Intern: "I didn't realize people got confirmed in the Senate. I thought that happened in a church!"

Heard: What Does the Congressman Drink?

One weekend our boss was in town on his district work period, I get a text message from our Intern. What does the Congressman like from Starbucks? That's an easy one so I quickly type back my reply. Two minutes later I get another text from the Intern who was helping to staff the boss man, what does he like to eat at Starbucks....I quickly again type back a reply.

I settle back down to my reading of legislation as I am a staffer enjoying my weekend off, when my BB rings this time...The Intern had left the Congressman in the car in the heat without AC going and did not remember what I had told him five minutes ago about the bosses coffee drink....honestly you guys are in college or graduated from college? So after some quick damage control...I settle back down thinking that it has been resolved..when I get another text..what does the Congressman like to drink from Jamba Juice???