Aug. 23, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Hill Navigator: The Importance of Staying on Message

Last’s week’s column about a staffer reluctant to go pheasant shooting with his boss generated a number of responses. One respondent cited former Rep. Barbara B. Kennelly, D-Conn., taking up golf to fit in with the rest of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Another staffer pointed out Prince George’s County Trap and Skeet Center, a local spot where $40 will get you a gun rental and shooting lesson.

I agree that being a staffer means going the extra mile and learning new extracurricular skills — whether it’s golfing or shooting clay pigeons — but this particular question focused on the staffer’s level of comfort in doing so. If an activity of choice isn’t within your comfort zone, you can likely find one that is. And provided you’re making a real effort to better know the district, your boss and co-workers will appreciate it.

In addition, another astute former Hill staffer pointed out that the poor questioner seeking a title change from his office might be getting a not-too-subtle message instead. I urged the title-seeker to ask what else she or he could do, but I do agree that if all efforts are met with naught, then the office is sending a message — albeit an unpleasant one.

Got a question, concern or complaint about navigating life on Capitol Hill? Email us at hillnavigator@rollcall.com or submit online at roll.cl/12tvZqI. All submissions are treated anonymously.

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