Tuesday, March 25, 2008

#3 The West Wing

When performing menial tasks a chimp with Down's Syndrome could execute, for an annual salary that rings in at about half of what they paid yearly for their Ivy League or second-tier undergraduate education, it's helpful for Hill Person to escape from time to time into a dramatization of what their career could be (but won't) some day.

The hit television series "The West Wing" provides plenty of wet dream fodder for the downtrodden, indentured servitude-working staff assistant Hill Person, and helps him believe that if he just hangs out in the right bars and hands out business cards to the right people, he too can someday wear designer suits that no federal worker could ever possibly afford, while quickly rattling off impressive policy mumbo-jumbo, in the grand tradition of Josh Lyman, Sam Seaborne, and that ugly surely Jewish guy who may or may not have been on the verge of suicide for the entire series.

One of the most badass things about West Wing is the cool insider-DC knowledge that comes with watching an episode. Hill People like to tell their friends who live in other cities when their favorite restaurant or bar is mentioned on the show ("omigod I hang out at Hawk & Dove alll the time! And whenever my parents come to town, we eat at Old Ebbit!") or when the show's producers take creative license that doesn't reflect the geographical reality of Washington ("the National Cathedral is soooo not on the way to the State Department. That is so unrealistic. Ugh.")

The subtle crossovers between fiction and real life also excite Hill People. The final season of the show features a young, relatively inexperienced and (OMG) Hispanic congressman taking on an affable, yet haggard and fatally flawed Republican senator. Holy crap that's totally Obama vs. McCain!!! And Hill People can relate to this. They are on the front lines of history in this presidential election. Because if they weren't in Washington giving tours of the Capitol, nobody could go to Pennsylvania to campaign for Hillary or accompany McCain on Spring Break Iraq '08. Democracy would crumble.

The availability of the show on DVD has made frequent repeat watching a possibility for Hill People. However, be wary of prominently displaying your DVD collection when inviting one into your home. Absent of a part-time job or bankrolling parents, Hill People can't afford their own television box sets, and will be eager to "borrow" yours upon seeing it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

#2 Interns

It's hard to imagine that there is anybody on the Hill who has a more menial job than a Hill Person. Well, in fact, there are thousands of them, and they are known as Hill interns. An intern's "official" function is to do the mail, answer the phones, and give tours to constituents. When interns aren't around, these are all things Staff Assistants are made to do, so Hill People love interns because interns are essentially everyone's bitch. Plus, when you're fresh out of an Ivy League college and working a job a dyslexic six-year-old could probably do, you really need to degrade and humiliate an intern every few hours to remember how super awesome you are.

You can tell the difference between an intern and a Hill Person by looking at their badge (which both prominently display outside of work hours in order to look more important.) An intern's badge is red, while a Hill Person's badge is green. The stop-light imagery is not coincidental. The bright red warning is ostensibly to protect male Hill People from creeping on young college women. In reality, much like a lower back tattoo of a butterfly, it serves as a bullseye for horny staffers who prey on unassuming and naive interns who are turned on by proximity to power. This desire to make out with an authority figure is especially helpful, because nobody loves pretending to be powerful more than a Hill Person.

Staff Assistants and LC's are especially in luck when interns are around. These are the two categories of Hill People who are literally working the most mind-numbing and unimportant jobs you can imagine. For these Hill People, the only hope of scoring some ass is by finding somebody they can impress with stories about the time they literally ran into Nancy on the Capitol subway! Or the time they stumbled into the Senators Only Elevator and Hillary complimented their tie! Stories like this serve the dual purpose of both being hilarious and showing that the Hill Person is on a first name basis with celebrity. Fortunately, interns are usually pretty dumb, so this shit works.

Notably, intern hook-ups are not limited to junior staffers. Senior staff and even some Congressman have been known to live for intern season. Also, it goes without saying that this applies only to female interns. Male interns are pretty much ignored by staff and female interns alike. Unless they intern for Senator Craig.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

#1 Business Cards

Actual gchat with a friend:

Roommate: tell me about last night
me: it was alright
I went to the (reception) by myself and drank crown on the rocks
talked to some boys
nobody who was cute enough to get a business card from

It’s a proven fact that Hill workers love receptions. But besides the free food and alcohol, receptions provide excellent networking opportunities for Hill workers. In a traditional sense, that means finding a new, less shitty job. For many Hill workers, that also means getting laid. To both ends, business cards are like the life blood of Hill workers. We love to show them off because they have our professional contact info, which means you can’t get a hold of us outside of work. That means we can email during work hours about meeting up for a happy hour, but the guy doesn’t have to actually have the balls to ask me out. They also include our job title, which is like cleavage to other Hill workers. Most importantly, they have a shiny gold seal. That shit is legitimate. It’s the only reason my parents believe I have a job.

If a conversation ends without a Hill worker giving you their business card, one of two disastrous things happened over the course of the conversation. Either they realized that your job is shittier than theirs, and therefore no networking opportunity exists. Or, more likely, you are really fucking ugly.