It’s the End of the World as She Knows It
Posted at 7:13 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2012
We realize the holidays make some people unnaturally nostalgic and even a little weepy. But the woefully depressing post-Hill career primer passed around at Wednesday’s House Chiefs of Staff Alumni Association holiday party had us reaching for the Prozac.
The memo, drafted by a former staffer who, by her own admission, spent 26 years tending to one member’s every need, opens positively enough with the subject line “Survival tips.”
Things quickly go south from there.
The seven-point plan for transitioning back into the “real world” reads like a heartbroken teenager’s tear-stained diary.
“You have already had the best job in the world. It’s over. Move on,” the writer offers, warning departing aides that their glory days are now officially over.
The feel-bad train only plows forward from there, rolling roughshod over former friendships (“Distribute your personal email address and cell phone number now because people will just not try that hard to find you once you are no longer in the House system,” our bitter job-seeker warns), whatever self-esteem might still be squirreled away (“You are not as smart as you think you are,” she posits) and any sense of imagination (“Believe it or not, you can have a rich, meaningful life without Congress,” she dares suggest).
Worst of all: Nobody, but nobody — including the verklempt author — will ever be able to fully wrap their little heads around what the saddest fraternity ever assembled endured on a daily basis.
“Nobody who has not been a chief will ever understand what your job actually entailed,” she writes, adding, “If anyone figures out [how] to tell our story properly, share it with the rest of us, please.”
Enjoy it while you can, current staffers. Because one day you might miss having to cancel yet another holiday trip while leadership plays chicken with the White House over the fate of the economy.