Thursday, April 10, 2008

#8 Personal TVs

There are a few of things you can expect to find on any Hill Person's desk:

1. A calendar, probably free and from a constituent, featuring some creepy art show back in the district.

2. A computer that takes 45 minutes to turn on, built circa 2004 by the now-defunct Gateway.

3. Pictures of important people in the Hill Person's life, like family, friends, or the Senator and his family and friends.

4. And the most important tool for getting through the day: the personal television.

In most jobs, you are probably not allowed to watch TV at work, because that would "get in the way" of "productivity." There are no such fascist regulations in the federal government. Most Hill People above the rank of staff assistant are given their own personal TV and are released into the wonderfully vapid and utterly mind-numbing world of daytime television.

Officially, personal TVs are supposed to keep Hill People apprised of breaking news and current events so that they can effectively carry out their duties Saving America as the country's lawmakers. And, to be fair, many Hill People do keep their TVs tuned to CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, or, if they are truly a moron/Brownback staffer, Fox News.

But let's be honest- the only time pertinent news comes from one of those sources is when somebody starts setting fire to Dirksen bathrooms (thanks USCP!) or a plane flies into Capitol airspace (thanks crazy pilot and Oxycontin!)

So, you may ask, what is the use for the personal TV? The internal network allows Hill People to watch hearings, briefings, and votes. Rather than absorbing the substance of these events, though, most Hill People are more interested in which of their fellow staffers make it on camera, who gets to sit behind the Senator, and how fat that committee's previously hot secretary has become. Such a shame, she really had a career ahead of her.

Hill People can also use their TVs to learn the tangible skills they didn't learn at their liberal arts college and probably won't learn on the Hill. Fantasy baseball season has started -- now they can watch EVERY baseball game and really dominate their friends with actual jobs. The Food Network is always good for new and interesting ways to cook beets. The Travel Channel reminds them of all the beautiful places they'll never get to visit on a government salary.

And if all else fails, there are always ever-present Law & Order reruns.


Anonymous said...

I think your blog is hilarious, but come on now, let's keep this blog funny for D's and R's alike!!! Besides, everyone knows Fox News is more entertaining, and isn't that what hill people are looking for?

Anonymous said...

I work in DC in a position not on the Hill, but I have many Hill friends. Your blog is the most honest thing I've seen in a long time.

Never stop.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, easy on the Fox News watchers!

Anonymous said...

dude, great stuff. but we dont get food network or the travel channel. i wish... i need something besides price is right and young and the restless

Anonymous said...

ahh have you checked the added channels i believe you get the food network, a&e, comedy central among others at leats you do on the Senate side....

Gosh i love Law & Order...

Anonymous said...

I miss the pre-9/11 Hill, especially. Being able to have pizza delivered to the Rayburn Horseshoe during fire drills.

The good old days of Bono and Kasich, the Martin and Lewis of their day!

The days before the Internets infiltrating constituent letters! Handwritten letters from angry retirees taking a break from their Ham radios

Brown Gold coffee and Stabucks on pay day

Senate Snack Bar-- curly fries!!!

Capitol Lounge, pre-fire

Anonymous said...

Your logic on the Fox News comment is pretty poor.

Adrienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

you forgot to mention using the TV to watch the reaction of your coworkers sitting behind the congressman as they read the totally filthy joke that you sent to their blackberry.

it'd sort of become a game in the office where i interned.

Anonymous said...

great post, I found out abour the bloq yesterday and it's hillarious and right on the money.

I would only have added this post in march because of march madness, which is when my office stops working.

Kerry Gutknecht said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Don't listen to the Morons/Brownback Staffers. No reputable office (including R's) watches Fox because it's too easy to lose track of the minuscule slivers of truth the reporting is based on and send your Congressman out to say a full-fledged whopper. At least when you repeat something from the Situation Room you can blame the Liberal Media. -KG

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention Daily Show re-runs.

Anonymous said...

I really like this blog. I hope to be a Hill Staffer one day! People have the guts to watch non-related channels at work? scary!

Anonymous said...

ummm, you forgot about martha and today show in the morning and oprah in the afternoon. don't forget to mention sports center, esp. during college fb season. i recently got to watch my school play in the sweet sixteen while working.

Lexington said...

As the inimitable Homer Simpson says, "It's funny because it's true!"

Great blog!

Now as for this:

Anonymous wrote:

I really like this blog. I hope to be a Hill Staffer one day!

Dude, have you been paying attention to anything that has been said here?

Anything at all?? :p

Anonymous said...

Sadly, no food network, travel channel or L&O reruns. But they added USA a couple of years ago because, at the time, they had the first two rounds of the Masters (Gone for now, mostly)! And we still get WGN and the Cubs!

Here's the lineup:

2 - CNBC
3 - Internal House feed (no annoying CSPAN interviews during votes!)
6 - WBFF/FOX/Baltimore
8 - "the Deuce" aka CSPAN2
10 - CNN
11 - TWC (ooo! Delays in Chicago! Route the boss through St. Louis or DFW!)
12 - WETA/PBS/Virginia
13 - WJZ/CBS/Baltimore
13 (alt) - The NASA Channel!!! Live, from of stuff!!!!
14 - Discovery Channel
15 - The Trey aka CSPAN 3 (hearings, programs that no one watches, etc.)
16 - MSNBC
17 - WDCA/My Network TV/DC
18 - FNC
20 - WMPT/PBS/Maryland
21 - CSPAN1 (for SUCKERS!)
22 - Univision! Telenovelas!
23 - WHUT/PBS/Howard U and DC
24 - Overflow/Today's Caf menu/Hearings
25 - Overflow
26 - CSN (Comcast Sports Net)
27 - WPIX/The CW/DC
28 - Overflow/Six overflow channels at once, no audio
29 - WGN! Cubs Lose! Cubs Lose!!!
30 - Overflow
31 - Overflow
32 - Overflow
33 - Overflow
34 - ESPN!!! Boo-yeah!!!!
35 - CNN Headline News: For those who like to watch the same damn thing over and over. Kinda like Iraq hearings, but without as much indignation.
36 - TBS! Saved by the Bell! The Fresh Prince! Home Improvement!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I read all the posts and I still really want to work on the Hill. Is that a bad thing?
It can't possibly be as bad as the author suggests...can it? lol

Anonymous said...

I am convinced the author of this blog and I used to work in the same room.

Anonymous said...

oh, you young people today with Gchat or Gfunk or whatever you call it!

i watched "Adventures in Babysitting" on TNT on my Senate computer when we had video cards installed in them. yes, i know, video cards are soooo 2001! it probably was a Gateway...

and am i the only old person who remembers using Lotus for e-mail instead of Outlook?

anyway, the debauchery on the Hill is fun for a while...or forever if you have #6 (parents' money) and don't want to grow up.

Anonymous said...

Yup, all us Brownbackers like Fox News cause they show all them car chases, and everwon nose we ain't got them fancy horseless carrajez back home!