Ask a Lobbyist: Experience Required
Every week, our Anonymous Lobbyist answers your questions about how laws get made and why they probably shouldn't. If you have a question about the dirty business of doing business in Washington, send it along.
This week: drinkin', sexin', and huge public works projects. All that and more, after the jump.
What sort of experience is required to be a lobbyist (other than in alcohol consumption and copulation)?
Ahh, alcohol. Sweet nectar of the gods. It's not really so much that you require experience in alcohol consumption to be a lobbyist, you'll just be happier if you have it. I mean, remember the first time (or even most recent time) you got drunk? You likely talked a bunch of shit that was already swirling around in your head and made a complete ass of yourself. Personally, my first drunk I loudly encouraged some freaky goth twice my size to shove a glowstick up his ass and made fun of my friend Tony for picking up the fattest chick in the room. Unfortunately, she really was just big-boned, and my chin still hurts just thinking about it.
Oh, wait, where was I (besides my third glass of wine)? Right. Well, if you don't practice drinking politely, you'll never survive in Washington. Because you will be at a ton of cocktail receptions, and most of the people there will be assholes you don't want to deal with, so you'll have a drink or 5, but if you call them stuck-up pretentious assholes, you won't really be doing yourself any favors career-wise. Alternately, you could try not drinking, but take it from me -- Congress Members are far more tolerable when everyone's drunk.
As for trying out lobbying as a virgin, I don't recommend it. I can only imagine that if my sole sexual experiences were with a bunch of drunken, oversexed and under-endowed Hill staffers and their bosses, I
would be severely unimpressed with men in general. Like, Lane of Hep Alien unimpressed. And it's not like I meet anyone else at all my work-related receptions and happy hours. So, I highly recommend procreating at least a couple of times outside of this swamp's particular gene pool, just so you'll have something to compare Washington sex unfavorably to.
But, you wanted to know what kind of experience is required? Basically, none. You can get hired even if you don't drink or sleep around, without a PoliSci or IR degree as long as you're willing to sell your soul to the highest bidder (oil companies pay really well, and you get discounted gas!) and walk around selling a big bag o' bullshit to the people you consider your friends.
Just don't store it in your apartment after work, or dump it in front of your boss' office.
If you spend all your time drinking and partying for work, what do you do for fun?
First off, even if I'm on the clock and dislike the company, I'm still consuming alcohol, so I'm having fun. There's nothing quite like shutting up the voice in my head that tells me I'm drinking too much and have a slightly unethical job and that I shelled out all that money for a B.A. and a Masters to sit around and do little of any social importance. Goddamn my mother anyway. What does she know?
So, hmm, fun? Other than drinking at receptions and networking events? Like every other Washington workaholic, if it doesn't involve a gym visit, I don't really do that much outside of work, sadly. But if I were to do some non-work related things, I might try... um, crap, what do normal people do again? Read novels? Go to cultural events? That stuff all sounds good. Maybe I'll try that someday when I get out of work at a reasonable hour. Mostly I just get home and plop my drunk ass down in front of my TV or in front of my computer, and try to remember not to Blackberry when I've been drinking.
If all lobbyists are basically lemmings, is there any way we can build a cliff to encourage a population reduction?
Lucky for me and the rest of us rodents, DC is kinda a flat town. So, despite massive overpopulation, we seem to be here to stay.
On the other hand, if you're really committed to building a cliff for us to dive over, you're going to need funding, and there's nothing that Congress likes better than funding an enormous construction project. So, can I recommend building it in Maryland or Virginia, which have actual Congressional representation? Then you just have to hire one of us lemmings to do your dirty work and secure the funds. You've got a good month until Congress is back in session -- plenty of time to amend an appropriations bill! Just send me your RFP and I'd be happy to help.