It was a dark and (stormy)…well cold…night in Washington last week when I arrived. Following eight hours on I-95, three cups of coffee, two traffic jams, and a metro ride in a dark subway; I had finally arrived.
My mission was clear and time was of the essence. I had to make it to the Capitol before sunset. One would think that I was carrying my large protest poster and lobbying for something really important, but all I really wanted was a picture. It was the ultimate piece of digital history that would, one day, archive my legendary first day in the District.
I boarded the Metro in Vienna and headed towards my destination. My toes were freezing as I had prepared, via my excellent sense of style for this very important occasion, and was wearing flip flops. Seriously; what else would a South Carolinian wear to the Capitol?
Somber faces rocked side to side as the train hurled on towards my destination. As the train came to a stop, I exited and headed for the stairs. A large sign greeted me, “Virginia is for Lovers”. (Ewww…yuck.) That was my initial reaction, but I laughed as I thought about instituting the philosophy behind the statement.
I exited into a surprisingly deserted street. Freezing I ran for the nearest coffee shop. CLOSED. Surely, Starbucks was open. I mean this is Washington right? People must work on Sundays, right? There are important things to be done, and after all, Vegas is not CLOSED on Sundays. I approached the Starbucks; CLOSED.
Not willing to yield to this sure attempt at sabotaging my mission, I continued on. I rounded the corner and there it was . . . the United States Capitol. I’m pretty sure that at this moment Hollywood sound effects were implemented (insert angelic ahhh here).
It wasn’t that I had never seen the Capitol before, rather I had never understood or appreciated it during my age of political innocence.
I unpacked my camera, sense of humor, and smile and went for it. I was more giddy than a kid on Christmas morning and went straight to work with the official business of getting things done (a great attitude to have here).
Following my brief photo shoot and interview with the “Committee of They,” I headed back to the Metro and headed out for my second mission. I had been challenged to a dual. Unwilling to forfeit, I had to oblige.
Exiting the subway at my second stop, I saw a tall man in a long, black coat. He had come prepared to challenge my intelligence (or at least my ability to eat an entire cheeseburger in one setting) at Trivia Night at Wilson’s on Whitlows.
At this point in time, GovLoop had officially left the web and went to Washington. The mystery man in the long, black coat was Sterling Whitehead. We met about a month or so ago here on GovLoop. Young and ambitious, Sterling, was kind enough to offer some key resume suggestions for entering the acquisition/ procurement field. Using his suggestions, and GovLoop, was precisely the reason why I had left the web and traveled to Washington. Less than four weeks later, I had an interview! (The point here is that GovLoop works if you work it).
Now after that brief plug, back to the story…
We headed into Whitlow’s and settled in for a burger and the trivia challenge. Needless to say, Sterling took the 80’s music category consisting of songs that had the word “eye” in them and we both failed miserably when it came to the “stupid humor” movie category (ie. Anchorman, Dodgeball, etc.). Perhaps, it was our skewed sense of government humor that prevents us from laughing at such atrocities. Nonetheless, it was still an exciting few rounds (and a pretty good burger too).
As we headed out into the darkness of night, a respectful “match tie” was called…until next time.
Hopefully, this story has made you think about the power of GovLoop. It can be as adventurous as you like, and as useful as you make it. The possibilities for collaboration, networking, and even friendship are absolutely endless. We should all be thankful to have such a wonderful resource at our disposal!