We already know that working in D.C. under Trump is chaos. Well, actually now it’s probs more like a ghost town. Seriously, who works there anymore? But no one seems to ever really think about the hundreds of people that work for Congress and WTF that’s like. What your office is like heavily depends on which member you work for, however there are some aspects of office culture that are the same everywhere on the Hill. Time to pull back the curtain and check out what it’s really like to work for a Representative or Senator in DC… it might not be what you expect.
You Can Delete Your Dating Apps
Wouldn’t it be so nice if you didn’t have to have 10 different apps just to get a date with a normal human? Almost forgot that meeting a guy IRL used to be like, a thing. Lucky for hill staffers, they have a massive dating pool right outside their office door. Did he graduate college? Check. Does he have a job? Check. And do we have shared interests? Check, check, check! It’s a common trend that staffers meet BAE at work and they run off into the sunset to have little politician babies of their own. So if you’re over texting a guy on Hinge for a week before he even suggests getting drinks, then maybe think about a career switch.
Get Ready for Happy Hour
If you like free food and drinks… so if you have a pulse, then Hill receptions will be your thing. All sorts of lobbying and interest groups throw what are known as “receptions” for hill staff. They range in size and exclusivity, so obvs the best food is at the hardest to get into ones, ugh. There are usually a few options every night and people hop between them, then end up at the bars nearby afterwards. This is one of those places you’ll probs meet political bae. It’s also how a lot of staffers get their dinner, because they aren’t making enough to be spending money on going out. Just know that you’ll be feeling that cheap free wine in the AM.
Who Run The World: Interns
OK so maybe not, but congressional interns easily keep the place running. If you’re supes into civil engagement or have at least heard about calling your Senator, the person on the other end of the phone was def an intern. These college aged kids either intern while still in school or are unpaid recent graduates. Yeah, that’s right, they work for free because offices can barely pay actual staff. They answer the phones, give tours, run errands, and keep the office snack bowl filled to the brim. The real heroes, if you will.
Can I Have the Name of Your Party Please?
Stating your political affiliation is not that much different than stating your name and hometown in DC. While that may seem partisan AF, as soon as someone asks you who you work for you’ve already outed yourself, so it’s NBD. And while there is some me and mine vs. you and yours vibes between parties, that rarely carries over to individual relationships. It actually is super helpful to know before you start casually talking about tax laws (because who doesn’t always bring that up), so that you don’t end up having a political debate at a reception and instead just focus on getting drunk. That being said, once you choose a side there aren’t any takesies backsies, so make good choices.
It’s A Gossip. Mill.
You put a bunch of young people in a confined setting everyday, and you’ve basically recreated high school. Yay. And that means an endless loop of drama/gossip. The amount of gossip you know depends on how deep into the hill scene you are. If you’re deep in, you know about the girl who f***ed up at work last week, the guy that stops by that one office all the time to talk to that really pretty new girl, and which older staffers have dating histories. It’s a slippery AF slope though because all of those receptions with the free booze give you a few too many opportunities to act a fool or flirt with someone you shouldn’t have. People can get reputations real fast on the Hill.
You Don’t Make Money Moves
They are not in it for the money. Next time you complain that a congressional office is slow, remember that nine people work on legit no money, with no overtime at the most prestigious political offices in the US. My mom said it’s rude to talk money with strangers, but if you want to know how much people in your member’s congressional office make you can look it up, because the government is into this whole transparency thing rn. Get ready to feel super bad for the Ivy League kid who chose to go into politics and now has a job working at a clothing store on the weekends to pay the bills. Except like, a lot of people who work there had some help from mommy and daddy in the beginning, shoutout to privilege.
*Disclaimer: The above has like nothing to do with the actual kind of work you have to do on the Hill, it’s prob like hard or something.
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