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If summer in Washington has a calling card, other than air so heavy we could cart it around in wheelbarrows, it is without question the arrival of the D.C. summer intern. Most congressional offices take as many interns as their small office spaces can physically accommodate. After all, free help is hard to find, and helping out a donor's son or daughter is truly priceless.
Once arrived in its new habitat, the D.C. summer intern quickly becomes a breed of animal so complex, entire zoo exhibits could be dedicated to it. Curious and driven, privileged and pampered, no two D.C. summer interns are alike.
Because most are unpaid, they tend to break down to two subsets. The dedicated interns arrive early, work through lunch and stay as late as possible poring over committee reports before heading for their night shifts as bartenders or orderlies at local hospitals.
Most of the other summer interns have come to D.C. on the wings of their parents' connections, sent to Capitol Hill for their first experience with actual labor. Unfamiliar with the customs of professional settings, their behavior often oscillates between entertaining and horrifying.
If only there were a website to chronicle the interns' bad behavior. Oh wait -- there is! Behold Spotted: D.C. Summer Interns, the buzziest website in Washington today. Part "Gossip Girl," part "The West Wing" and part "The Office," this anonymous blog declares it is "dedicated to those D.C. residents who dread intern season," which it compares to "the Eighth Plague of Egypt."
From tales of interns demanding answers from Pentagon officials (don't do that!) to interns concocting strategies to avoid work by "forgetting" their ID badges (don't do that!), the website posts the escapades of the young and clueless on Capitol Hill.
As guilty as this pleasure is, the Capitolist has a gentle warning to the blog's authors: History tells us that D.C. summer interns are not to be trifled with. They've ruined careers, cost elections, and nearly ended a presidency. They could turn on you, too.
In the meantime, we will enjoy your handiwork in all of its glory.
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