Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Three Strikes and You're Out (I'm at Two)

When I decided to take on the challenge of working in the House, I had no idea what the congressional session looked like. I had no idea that my first day would be the first day back after August recess, and that this session would be the last opportunity to get bills passed through the House before the election frenzy started. I had no idea the President's announcement for supporting anti-ISIL groups in the Middle East would be the day before I started, and that the debate would be fierce throughout session. I had no idea how hard I would be working at the House Democratic Caucus so quickly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not complaining. I like staying busy, and this past week and a half has been one of the busiest times of my life. However, I'm exhausted. The people in my office work from 8:30 am to 7 pm any given day during the session, all the time being as pristine and productive as possible. I'm fairly certain these people can walk on water and schedule their time incredibly. As an intern, I'm strictly 9 am to 6 pm, thankfully, but I can truly say that I am witnessing some of the most dedication to a cause that I've seen in awhile.

Being thrown in the the beginning of a very important session made my first day terrifying and wonderfully exciting. I was given authority to help with things that normal first-day interns shouldn't, but they needed my help, so they let me join them. It was a wonderful learning experience. But, I certainly made a few mistakes, as is to be expected.

My biggest enemy is the phones. Twice a week for a few hours, I answer the House Dems phone, asking who is calling and transferring them to who they need to talk to. Sounds simple, right? These phones are the quantum physics of phones in that no matter how hard you try to master them, you are bound to fail a couple of times. I have already given out an email that I shouldn't have and overbooked our conference room. In other words, I'm at two strikes. I know they won't kick me out, they're too nice for that, but I still have two, and I will certainly get more. But, with how much I'm learning and how much experience I'm getting, I wouldn't trade the mistakes for anything. Is it weird to say that I'm excited to see what mistakes I'll make next?

Oh and here's some pictures of my first week!

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