I’ve been in DC a little over two months now. When I first came back from Armenia, I had a paid internship lined up. After working there for only a few weeks, I somehow got hired to work at USAID and make more money than I had anticipated making before I was 30. Ok, maybe not THAT much, but I really like my salary.
As time passes, I become more and more acclimated to the US capital, its layout, its culture, its people. Some things I like (public transportation, feeling important, lots of stuff to do, massive gay population). Others I’m not a fan of (homelessness, racial inequality, gays that are sassy as fuck). But overall, my one major complaint about this city is the rude-ass people who constantly try to belittle me.
To bring us all up to speed, I’m a moderately intelligent and successful young person. (If you don’t like this statement, go away.) I did well in school, I had some internships, I’ve been abroad. So why do I feel so put down by these people? DC attracts some of America’s brightest and most pretentious recent graduates. They love to talk about themselves and how amazing they are and thus, they love to put everyone else down, especially other intelligent people like me.
I’m very thankful that I got my job only a couple of weeks after physically being here. Many people love to exaggerate how much they networked to get the positions they have today. I think “networking” is a big crock of shit and therefore, would not have a job if my career depended on the all-important “n” word. But DC-ites (pronounced “dickites”) are permanently stuck in network mode. Any conversation becomes a competition.
person: So what do you do?
me: I just started working at USAID a couple months ago.
person: Wow. Do you like it?
me: Yeah, it’s cool. It’s interesting work and a real job, not like my past internships. I even get security clearance.
bitch who knows nothing about what I do at my job: I don’t really understand why you’d need security clearance. It’s not like you do anything THAT important. At my job…
Another way people express their superiority is by hiding their past. Like in an awkward, uncomfortable way. I love sharing my background both personally and professionally and hearing the same from my coworkers and new friends. This allows for human connections to be made and (god forbid) networking. But for reason unclear to me, some of the people I work with are hesitant to share any shred of personal information. I still don’t know where people are originally from, their relationship status, how long they’ve worked at this office. At my job in Oklahoma, my boss could talk about her dog FOR. HOURS. And she did. But I loved it. Here, that’s probably considered taboo and “unprofessional”. Gag! Get over yourselves and your made-up professionalism rules.
But, probably the DUMBEST conversation I’ve had here in DC (maybe ever) was in the Russian class I started taking on Saturdays. On the first day of class, I turned to the people next to me during the break and tried to get to know them. Since I already knew their names, I asked what they do. A stereotypical question for DC but a conversation starter nonetheless. This is how it went with one girl:
me: What do you do?
girl: I work on the Hill. (SUCH a DC answer)
me: What do you do on the Hill?
girl: (acting confused) uhhhh
me: Like, do you work for a Member of Congress or for a committee…?
annoying girl: I work for a Member of Congress.
me: A Senator? A Representative?
robot: I work for a Senator.
me: A Senator from where?
robot: I work for a Republican Senator.
me: I’m done. (did not say this out loud)
What the hell is this, 20 questions? I really don’t give a shit what you do. I’m just trying to make small talk. You could have just concisely stated your position and we would have moved on. Nope, had to make it this drawn out process because you think I’m going to steal your identity or follow you home and sell your body parts on the internet with all this “secretive” information you’re supplying me.
Get over yourselves, people of DC!!! I’m sure everyone’s told you you’re the shit and that you’re important/special/deserving/talented/motivated/superior. But I’m here to tell you a tall glass of bitter bitch named Peter Jones is in town so you BUTTER step off that pedestal that mommy and daddy put you on. Because I.am.over.it.