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Thursday, June 01, 2006

This is the Title for This One

So I am sitting at my desk reflecting upon my post from this morning about D.C. Egos while eating my lunch . . .

When I get a phone call saying that [So-and-So] from Congressman [What's-his-name]'s office is on the phone, can I take the call?

No, I can't, I want to make him wait so he'll think I'm just as--if not more--important than he.

(Actually, though, I have found in my short time here there is some benefit to playing at least a day's worth of phone tag with a person before finally connecting. Doing so puts each person on notice that the other is an extremely busy and important person and can't sit around waiting for a call . . . because, uh, he has an appointment with, uhm, "the Mexican" at, uh well, the sandwich shop around the corner . . . of course.)

But, no, I took a sip of my drink to wash down my last bite of "The Mexican" and announced to [So-and-So] from Congressman [What's-his-name's] office that I was present and ready to talk.

And about a minute after I took that official I-Know-What's-Going-On-Trust-Me tone, I wanted to stop and say

"Look, [So-and-So], you're about--what--25? 26? You can't be any older than me. I've it on good authority that they put you in the canoe and sail you into the horizon when you turn 28 around here. So, anyways, this is the way it is . . . I'm going to stop pretending I have any clue what's going on around here and I'm going to tell you what my boss wants to do with this thing, this "issue" and I'm hoping you'll tell me what your boss wants to do with this thing, er issue, because this is about to become a really big thing-slash-issue and my boss wants to get in on it--from the litigation side, not the legislative side, because--well--we all know that in today's government the courts have been dealing the cards for about 30 years or more now . . . so, how's that sound?"

But I didn't do it, of course. I just tried to get off the phone as fast as possible because, honestly, at that point I didn't even need to talk to Congressman [Whats-His-Name]'s office anymore. In the course of playing phone-tag everything had taken a different direction.

Another thing--

I love who I work for. I think they are great. I think they do great work. They are honest and earnest and passionate about their purpose . . .

But working for them has taught me just why the federal government is so damned "Effed" up.

Everything is an "issue." This is an "issue" we want to be ahead of. This is an "issue" we want our names out there on. This is an "issue" we care/don't care about.

But everything, everyone thinks the same damned way.

America is a country of 300,000,000 "issues."

Minus the people running around here, of course.

And so I'm working on a project that could potentially, if i'm successful and ingenious enough, affect the life, security, and livelihood of somewhere between 5 and 11 Million of these "issues."

And that doesn't make me important.

It just makes me careless and cold when I treat it as nothing more than an academic exercise and not give it the thoughtfulness and respect the "issue" deserves.

Wow. I'm starting to sound more and more like "Mr. Smith" than Mr. Misery every single day . . .

"Just get up off the ground, that's all I ask. Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won't just see scenery; you'll see the whole parade of what Man's carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting."


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