Top 10 Worst Things About Working In A Congressional Office
If you work on Capitol Hill you see, hear, and overhear many things that the rest of the mortal world isn’t privy to. These privileged professionals that serve our US government acquire a wealth of knowledge that sometimes is just too good not to share. We’ve provided a platform on which they can unload.
CONFESSIONS OF A CAPITOL HILL STAFFER
TOP 10 WORST Things About Working In A Congressional Office
There are a lot of cool things about working in a congressional office, such as federal holidays, good work hours, and the student loan repayment plan. (Hallelujah!) But as in any job, there are aspects of the Hill that are the absolute worst. So before you accept that sweet staff assistant gig, you may want to consider the top ten worst things about working in a congressional office.
1. The complete lack of privacy
Did you share a room with a brother or sister growing up? Were they always rummaging in your things, stealing your stuff, and generally all up in your business? Multiply that by like, 5 – or maybe 6, depending on the size of your office. Working in a congressional office means lots of people hovering over your monitor trying to read your gchat conversations, looking through your files and papers, and tweeting random Trump endorsements from your account.
2. Being forced to listen to bad music
Headphones were invented because good music is subjective and there is a 100% chance that the people in your office would rather punch out their ear drums than listen to your favorite song 30 times in a row. I’ve heard Adele’s Hello so many times that if I ever saw her on the street and she said “hello” to me, I’d seriously consider slapping her across the face.
3. Sickness. Everywhere. Always.
You know that coworker who comes in sick and gets everyone else sick? Of course you do, because it’s literally everyone on the Hill. What’s worse than that wheezing, coughing, sneezing pile of death coming into work and putting its germy fingers all over everything? Nothing. There is nothing worse. I’d rather listen to Hello another 1000 times than have my snotty coworker put their used tissues in my garbage can.
4. Random flying objects
You have to be on constant alert when you work in a congressional office, especially during a recess week. So far this week, a giant rubber band hit the back of my head without warning, a paper airplane got caught in my hair, and I dodged a flying Cheesehead. (Yes, really!) My only solace is that I’m not in a Minnesota office dealing with one of these bad boys.
5. Obnoxious conversations
When you’re in the bowels of a congressional office, you hear every conversation. Headphones may drown out the voices, but have you ever tried to write an op-ed about national security while simultaneously jamming to Style? Try it. It’s difficult. You think ear plugs will do the trick? Nope. They are no match for the shrieking banshees behind you arguing about John Kasich’s chances of a miraculous rise to the top of the GOP ticket. To all my fellow Hill staffers, before you say anything… to anyone… ever… please, for the love of god, think twice. Say it with me people, email!
6. People know your comings and goings
If you’re five minutes late in the morning, take an extra 10 minutes at lunch, or dip out early to catch a train, you better believe everyone will notice. Not only that, they’ll discuss it at length. There was a week when I committed to drinking more water, and during that week the interns counted how many trips to the bathroom I made. If you strive to live a life full of intrigue, mystery, and secret rendezvous, the Hill life is probably not for you.
7. It’s cold. So very cold
The national debt is nearly $20 trillion but I can promise you that none of that money is being spent on heating government buildings. I’m from a northern state where it snows and is viciously cold nine out of 12 months. It’s insane that I need multiple sweaters, a coat, a scarf, extra socks, and mittens to feel comfortable at work, but alas… that’s the government I work in.
8. Total judgement and extreme prejudice of cubicle décor
The walls of my cubical are adorned with a few magical photos of John Boehner. I’m not ashamed of it. John Boehner is a total babe. Catching a glimpse of him every now and then throughout the work day makes me happier, thus, more productive. However, my coworkers tease me mercilessly. It’s fine though. If John has taught me anything, it’s that it’s okay to cry.
9. The smells
Anytime you’re trapped in a small space with lots of people, there are bound to be some weird and borderline offensive smells. That’s all I have to say about that.
10. The frenemy culture
What’s worse than a sick colleague spreading germs everywhere or listening to Adele on a constant loop? Office frenemies. We all have that one coworker that we pretend to be work besties with, who we may even go to happy hour with, but who we secretly want to crush on our way up to a leadership office, don’t we? Of course we do, because what is the Hill if not a large group of ambitious, ruthless, overachieving ladder climbers? JK, love you guys!