Sigh. It’s true. So many metro rides have consisted of me spying on intern conversations, dropping names of reps and DC politicos that many have never heard of, talking about their kickball league, their trip to Hawk and Dove (if they can consume alcohol), making sure their hill badge is displayed correctly on their person at all times.
Little intern, DC is a wonderful town and you are allowed to be excited, but let’s be honest, your job is not that important. It’s not. Its mail and phones and filing just like so many other internships are.
Your internship is just as admirable as your little colleague that devotes himself to a random non-profit that saves streams. A non-profit whose support you will one day need because of a stream-pollution scandal in your district but you won’t end up getting because your colleague runs the NGO now and remembers what an arrogant little intern you were.
The DC locals dislike you, interns. They dislike you wearing your badge when you go out for a jog, they dislike you assuming political influence is a transitive property (it’s not), and they dread the day you evolve into an arrogant staffer. If you do end up working in politics, you will have to work with us folks in international organizations, NGOs, and government agencies and we will have to like you.
So intern, as the school year is coming to a close and you are preparing to descend up my town, remember to enjoy DC, take in its political energy, but do it humbly and graciously. The residents will thank you.