Thursday, June 06, 2013

Heard: It's a Publicly Available Website

I work for a lobbying shop downtown.  Earlier this week I called a Senator's office to get a copy of a bill that was introduced that day, since it was not on Thomas yet.  Note - this Senator introduced the legislation.  

The intern who answered the phone fell all over himself when I asked for a copy of the bill and then stated, "if it's not on Thomas, which is a publicly available website run by the Library of Congress, then we wouldn't have a copy of the bill either."  Please keep in mind that his boss wrote the bill.

I tried to be calm, I didn't interrupt him, and I patiently explained, "since your office wrote the bill, I believe you may have a copy."  Finally, after six minutes and multiple requests to speak with the appropriate staffer, I was able to speak with the apologetic staffer who spent three seconds writing down my e-mail and promptly sent a copy of the bill to me.

If the intern didn't know, he should have just asked for the bill name or its issue area and transferred me quickly.  He tested every level of my patience.