Beyond School Trips

US Capitol

After another week on the job my comfort level increased by a fractional percent. I could recall most people’s names and knew my way around the office. The Federal crew would take us on walking tours of the surrounding buildings and I had good one on one time with the senior consultant with my company Ron. He was a wealth of information. Not only in our consulting space but regarding his past military experience. 

Ron was an outgoing personality. A true story teller, engaging and boisterous. A combination you wouldn’t think to find in a man who was former special ops (at least so he said). Once I relayed a story from Ron to another ex military member Mikhail, who I had swooned over briefly at my first assignment in the DC area. He was dubious of Ron’s recounting, because ‘no one who was actually special ops would talk so much about it’. Whatever the case I enjoyed listening to Ron and imagining the Mission Impossible like scenarios where Ron nearly always came out on top. 

In addition to the entertainment my eyes were being opened to a new way of approaching our work. Never before had the stakes been so high in terms of the weight it carried. Don’t get me wrong, I’d been on high dollar accounts before, but this wasn’t about the monetary value so much as the power behind the institution. I was at the epicenter of our nation and it was invigorating. As a kid my biggest hopes to be in DC were nothing more than class trips. Never would I have imagined that one day I’d have access to freely walk the halls of these houses of power and knowledge. 

There was no hiding my excitement from Dan on our phone calls. With a two hour time difference we connected as he was heading home and I was headed to bed. I would sleepily tell him what I saw walking to the office that day or where the team went to lunch. I’d hear about a new client referral he got or the progress someone was making with their physical recovery. We’d talk about his personal weight lifting bests too which went into the hundreds of pounds and to this day leave me both in awe of the human body while wondering what the everyday practical application is.

Dan was interested in politics and was excited for me on that account. Before I left for DC we would regularly engage in discussions around new legislation for the topics of personal interest to us or our community. And as we wrapped up another evening phone call we were making plans for what we would do when he came to visit following weekend. And you better believe they included food.

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