Nationals game. Strasburg debut. Scoreboard walk in the outfield. Young fan acting obnoxious on his way to get a snack. Red gym shorts? Not my style, but ok. Brand new Strasburg jersey. Check. Red lanyard around his neck. Figured the way he was pushing his way through, he must work for the team. Nope. Hanging from that lanyard: a red badge of courage. Fifteen years in DC and they still crack me up.
A post from last week about an intern who fell asleep for a half hour reminded me of my own unpaid misadventures. I was an intern at Treasury, and the office I shared with a fellow intern also had the department's refrigerator in it - meaning higher ups would come in and out as they pleased, almost never speaking or making eye contact with us. One day, I fell asleep. A few minutes later in walks, to my horror, our Assistant Secretary, to whom I had been instructed to neither speak nor introduce myself. With a startle, I woke up, and he said "Hey, we're not paying you to sleep." After an uncomfortable silence (during which my life flashed before my eyes), he said "well actually, we're not paying you at all." He then chuckled to himself and left. I wanted to die.
This past week (recess) one of our interns was given the task of updating our press release list. All she had to do was call news organizations and verify email addresses. She started by kicking one of the other interns off his computers, saying "I have a really important project; I need your laptop." She sets up a massive workstation for herself, which includes stringing the phone cord across the room, successfully creating an obstacle course for the other interns. She then proceeds to place calls identifying herself as "This is Jane from Senator X's press shop."
Dear Intern: You are not part of the press team. You are barely part of our office. You are NOT more important that ANY other intern.
*Also, please stop wearing flip-flops to bring constituents over to the Capitol. It's unprofessional.
Yesterday, Roll Call ran an Intern Guide including stories about eating/drinking on the cheap, how to dress and where to find free and inexpensive fun around town. The site is free and open to everyone right now. Check it out: http://www.rollcall.com/ath/
This blog is dedicated to those DC residents who eagerly await (or completely dread) DC Summer Intern Season. Essential to the function of most 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: While many offices are understandably concerned about anonymity, please be assured that we will never post identifying information (including, but not limited to, place of work or residence, name, or congressional office).
We welcome you to submit any and all absurd intern stories you are bound to experience this summer.
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To the interns: Please use this blog as a learning tool. Godspeed and best of luck this summer!