I was in Longworth Cafeteria last week when I overheard two valley girls with red badges the table over. There was nothing out of the ordinary until the following exchange:
Intern 1: Is July 5th, like, a federal holiday? Intern 2: Ummm. I don't think so. Intern 1: Then, why do we have off? Intern 2: Maybe it's because, like it was the first full day they really got to celebrate the Declaration of Independence.
I ride a commuter bus home most days. Yesterday there was a Hill intern (yes, sporting the red badge of shame) in the inside seat on the last row of the bus. There is an unwritten protocol that the bus deboards front to back one row at a time. It's oh-so-civilized.
When the bus arrived at its destination, said intern starts climbing over me. I tell him, "we're all getting off here." He continues to the aisle and rushes mid-bus where he promptly runs into his fellow passengers exiting.
Once off the bus, the driver, who I assumed to be his mother ("Proud Navy Mom" license plate frame) swoops him away in a minivan. I'm sure she is proud of her intern too.
I’m currently in charge of the interns in a congressional office, so it falls on me to make sure that they have an enjoyable experience and aren’t just sitting around doing absolutely nothing.One of the current interns seemed to be focused, didn’t overly ask questions, and always did what we asked him to do… kind of.When then Member of Congress asked this intern to carry out a task over 3 weeks ago, the intern jumped into it.Currently the intern is still working on that same assignment for the Member which we thought was weird…Until we realized one small detail… the intern is obsessed with “America’s Got Talent” and has been watching every episode from this year; that is, until the intern caught up with this season, and then began to watch the previous seasons via Hulu.We threatened to give him a computer with no internet, so that he would finish the assignment, but he promised to get it done.Only 10 minutes later he was back to watching/giggling through another episode, when our other intern called him out for watching it… the obsessed intern got up and shouted “It’s got funny acts… and Nick Cannon!!!!”I don’t know what is worse, that fact that Nick Cannon hosts a show about talent, or the fact that my intern is obsessed with a TV show that has Nick Cannon as a host.
On the Capitol South Metro platform earlier this week, a male hilltern with an ill-fitting suit was spotted taking a picture of his red badge of courage on his blackberry. Because it is just so cool you want to send it to all of your friends back home? I know I was not the only one snickering at him, next time save the photo-op for the privacy of your home.
I'll admit, I'm a Hilltern this Summer. However, I'm a little older than most and I've been reading this blog for some time now, so I'm well aware that my red badge means absolutely nothing. Earlier today, while enjoying a nice Subway sandwich on my lunch break, I overheard the following conversation in response to the long line:
Kid 1: "We should just flash our staff IDs and cut in front of this line"
Kid 2: "Do you think that would work?"
Kid 1: "Yea, we'll just make sure we find some tourists and cut in front of them."
Girl: "John, I doubt anyone will care about your badge."
Kid 1: "They should! I work for Senator X from the state of Y! I shouldn't have to wait like this."
While out at a bar this weekend, my roommate and I (who are students in Washington, DC) encountered an intern to top all interns...and he didn't even have a red badge. We knew we were in for an interesting time when this guy approaches us in boat shoes and seafoam green shorts, still wearing his backpack. He begins by letting us know he isn't a typical intern because he has one paid and one unpaid and that he lives in Georgetown; but isn't a typical "Georgetown person" because he bargain shops for his Vineyard Vines and JCrew. So he's not a typical "Georgetown person"...but he looks like one, talks like one, and wants to be one, just at a discounted price. He then informs us he will "probably go to Georgetown law," even though he hasn't even applied yet; but he is taking a L-S-A-T course (pronounce as you would the SATs). After a few more minutes of him talking about himself, he told my roommate she wasn't intimidating enough because she didn't go to an Ivy League school nor did she have a career, as if him going to a small school in NY that no one has heard of is intimidating. My roommate's response - "trust me man, my resume is better than yours." Clearly his ego takes a hit, and he is upset. She says "thanks for playing" and clinks his glass, and he walks away. It is not over yet, because we see him go up to his bro and loudly say "this b*** is pissed because my resume is better than hers!" And then to make him feel better, his bro responds with "yeah man, it happens" and they proceed to fist bump.
Just a note DC intern - next time you want to insult someone for not going to an Ivy League school, make sure yours is at least in the top 100.
After six hours of waiting in the 95 degree heat, I was finally walking into the Elena Kagan Confirmation Hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee had handed out over 400 tickets, and I was in the first group to enter the hearing. As we approach the roped off area to enter, a group of four kids start walking along side our line and attempt to enter the hearing. Noticing their presence, the judiciary staffer asked for their ticket, the same one the 380 other people were holding outside. One of the four goes -- "Oh, no no no, we're staff." Judiciary Staffer -- "Can I see your badge?" And with the flick of his wrist the kid turns around his sparkling red Congressional intern badge saying, "One of theeeessseeee?" After the staffer refused to let them into the hearing, they responded with, "Are you joking? I work in this building; I'm a Senate intern."
Nothing says DC intern like strolling into the biggest hearing of the year and expecting a red carpet in return for flashing their intern badge. The staffer started laughing and finished with, "you can either go outside and wait behind everyone else or try showing the badge downstairs and get a free train ride to the Capitol."
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!