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
I hate networking events. However, since I live in D.C. and have a career that almost entirely depends upon me knowing people, I figured I should probably show my face around town. So I did.
My first fifteen minutes were spent slowly circling the room in search of a friendly or familiar face… preferably both. When I found neither, I slipped into a mild depression before working up some courage and saying “hi” to a total stranger, who turned out to be nice, considerate, and interesting.
After that, I thought I would be able to make it through the event like a proper adult. However, with every subsequent conversation and human interaction, my soul died a little. I left the event early – thoroughly entrenched in my renewed hatred of networking and an idea for a FamousDC rant.
So friends, please enjoy this list of DON’Ts, courtesy of everyone I met last night while trying to network.
DON’T manhandle the finger food
This one goes out to the gentleman last night who looked both ways before shoving his entire hand in the bowl of nuts at the bar. Don’t worry, bro… I didn’t want any anyway.
DON’T linger in front of the bar
This one goes out to the young lady last night who guarded the front of the bar better than St. Peter guards the gates of heaven. Listen, I really didn’t want to gently nudge you aside, but you didn’t give me a choice, did you?
DON’T check your phone when you’re having a conversation
This one goes out to the “too cool for school” political operative last night who apparently was too important to put his phone in his pocket while feeding me his pitch. Excuse me, am I getting in the way of your super active online social life? Because I’ll happily vote for your opponent out of spite.
DON’T hover around the elected officials
This one goes out to the dozens of amateur paparazzi who trapped the Speaker in a selfie circle of hell last night after his brief remarks. I know you probably haven’t changed your Insta profile pic in a few hours, but that blurry, over-filtered shot of you and half the Speaker’s face isn’t going to impress your followers. Sorry, guys.
DON’T scan the room while you’re having a conversation
This one goes out to the candidate who didn’t make eye contact with me once as she was trying to sell me. I understand that you need a target before politely excusing yourself from this mediocre (at best) conversation we’re having, but you’re running for public office for f***s sake. Can’t you at least try to be a little sneakier?
DON’T get drunk
This one goes out to the man who clumsily hit on me before spilling champagne on my carefully planned outfit. The rule of thumb is two drinks maximum at a professional event, right? Had you stuck to that rule, perhaps you would’ve left with my number instead of a dry cleaning bill.
DON’T interrupt someone to talk about yourself
This one goes out to the woman who asked me where I work, then promptly interrupted my answer to make sure I knew she was looking for a job on the Hill and that she would be PERFECT for an opening on my boss’s committee. 1) There aren’t any openings. 2) If there were, I wouldn’t recommend you. 3) You actually aren’t qualified, and 4) How rude.