Woo!! I did it! I came out of my first day on the Hill unscathed.
I am working on the Hill this summer at the Office of Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, which is located in Longworth House Office Building.
Even though I wasn’t required to go to the office until 10:30am, I still decided to get up at 7:30 am. After a long, awkward, process of struggling with the hand-roll iron, getting my dress shirt wet in midst of figuring out how to work the device, and blow drying my shirt clumsily while trying to hang it straight on my shower curtain, I left the my apartment at GWU Philip Amsterdam hall at 9:00am. Foggy Bottom Metro station was only one block from my building so I actually got to Longworth at about 9:30am! Fully understanding my lifelong tendency to be late to everything in life, I am fairly proud of myself for finally pushing myself to show up to the first day of my professional career early. Good job!
Longworth was located only one block from the metro station, and Congresswoman Tsongas’ office, surprisingly, was straight out of the elevator that I randomly got on. So, I stood in front of the beautiful red-wood door, took a deeeeep breath, straightened my shirt and jacket, and walked in. The intern at the front desk, Owen, immediately stood up, kindly shook my hand, and turned around and almost screamed to the office, “Julie’s here!” I blushed.
My intern coordinator, Kathleen, then sent me out onto my first task – the grand quest of retrieving my congressional ID from the nearby Cannon House Building. I was told that I could use the magical underground tunnels to get there and save myself from some unnecessary sunburn. Before I left the office, Kathleen asked for my number and texted me, “Don’t get lost :)”
Little did she know, ha, I was lost before I even left Longworth: I accidentally got into the tourist lines to the Capitol and even cut in front of a few very confused tourists… I was soon rescued by a kind Capitol security guards. By the time I finally found my way to the right corridor, it was already packed with loud, anxious interns also in line to get their IDs. Starving, I stood in the line for about two hours and got my photo taken. Sidenote: This was legitimately the ugliest ID photo that I had ever taken in my life.
After going to lunch with Ali, a fellow intern from my neighboring town, Sudbury, MA (I am from Acton, MA, which is in Congresswoman Tsongas’ district, MA-3), I began my phone trainings with Kathleen (my primary duties as an intern would be to answer phone calls and sort mails from constituents). At first, I kept messing up when to transfer callers and got extremely self-conscious in the process. However, I soon got the hang of it (Shout out to the Kate Sainer of the Dickinson Fund for her amazing phonathon caller trainings!) and successfully directly my first call, which was a super easy one because it was from our scheduler calling one of our staffers.
The rest of the day was a bit on the slower side, but I used the time to introduce and shake hands with everyone else in the office, who all seemed very friendly, nice, surprisingly young, and good-looking. At 5’o clock, I went on the Metro again, feeling so completely beat that I missed my stop and accidentally went all the way to Virginia…
At around 6:30pm, with a warm poke bowl in my hand, I finally got back to my apartment. I asked my roommate to take this picture of me in suit. Despite that big smile overflowed with unconcealable happiness, I was, in reality, burning and dying under this wool suit. It was indeed a good first day. I got about five blisters on my feet, but I was so very much satisfied and could not wait to get back to the office tomorrow!