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Hill Navigator: Personal Relationships

There are plenty of decent, hardworking members of Congress who keep their private life at home — and you should be able to find one to work for.

Rogue Staffer at Holiday Party

Q. Let’s say you’re at your office holiday party, and a colleague — one who you don’t really like but don’t have it in for — says something inappropriate and rude to you in front of coworkers and guests. Your boss isn’t there and doesn’t hear it. Do you report it back to your boss?

A. What are you hoping to gain in doing that? A sympathy card? A group hug?

Unless the insult has an indisputable mar for the office (“You asked for a campaign check? Made out to cash?”), your best bet is to leave it alone. A member of Congress has better things to worry about — like, say, the sequester or a budget resolution or running for re-election — than office squabbles.

That doesn’t mean you should sit idly by. Write that stuff down. If this is part of a pattern or it escalates into something larger, you’ll want documentation of when it started. If it’s an isolated incident, at least you’ll have a start on your tell-all autobiography.

Got a question, concern or complaint about navigating life on Capitol Hill? Send us your questions, concerns or just regular confusion about how it all works. Want to submit a question? Email us at hillnavigator@rollcall.com. All submissions are treated anonymously.

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