Working in a congressional office can be hectic. However, there are times when the office gets slow, and you start to think about your lunch, but it is only 10. Even worse, you think about the chicken parmesan you are cooking at home that night and then realize it’s only 3:15. Luckily, since the district you work for has a Mars Bars Factory, you can run over to the kitchen and grab something to hold you over. However, the best part is the small-scale trade wars that are occurring throughout the day when an office gets slow and people are craving something to snack on. Below are the tricks of the trad(ing) that have helped our office.
- Do not cold call offices for trades.
Cold calling an office shows weakness and a little bit of desperation. By doing so, they immediately get the upper hand and then hold all the cards. On the flip side of that, if someone else cold calls, let them tell you everything their office has. Beware though, if someone is cold calling, its usually because they are either trying to trade a perishable or something that is expired. The best way to bring up trade so far that I have noticed is casually mentioning a snack you recently had.
- If you are not getting the right snacks, you do not have to trade.
This one is relatively straightforward; if they are trying to trade something that you do not want, there is no obligation for you to do so. Someone might try to make it sound like that through an email or over the phone, but it is not true.
- Always go to their office to trade and bring another intern.
This part can be tricky. Speaking from experience, it can get dicey, and an ambush is very possible. However, if you bring another intern, the odds of a failed trade go down significantly. While there you can always see if they will throw anything extra in to sweeten the deal.
ADVANCED LEVEL ONLY:
- Show up with less than agreed upon. Or at least make it seem that way.
If you show up into the office with less than agreed upon and your office is far away, more often than not, they will still want to make a trade and you might be able to get more per case of Dr. Pepper than you would have with two. The best part about this is you can always leave one out the door. That way if they become hesitant, but your office still wants to make the trade, all bets are not off yet.
If you are willing to stick to this advice before you know it, the LA who covers trade policy in your office might become quite impressed. Now, does a snickers sound good or what?
Below is the Washington Nationals baseball game we went to; the snacks here were not as easy to acquire.
Office of Congressman Kevin Brady
Washington, D.C. | Summer 2021