Thursday, September 3, 2009

Making a Difference vs. Making It

An interesting observation. The stereotypes and cliches in this town seem to be much more rigid and scorn-filled. I've heard people working for non-profits scornfully talking about "jerks" that wear too-nice clothes and work on the Hill. I've heard people who work for the World Bank talk scornfully about those who work in an industry where they don't make any money. Douchebag. Stupid idealist. Sell-out. Where do the insults stop? Why do they happen in the first place?

As far as I can tell, there seems to be a split in Washington DC between people who are here to make money or gain power (the consultant/economic-research/congressional aide crowd) and those that are here to change the world (the non-profit/interest-group crowd). I'm obviously not a sociologist and these are very vague, probably poorly thought-through categorizations, but it's interesting to think about. Why am I here and what do I want to do with my time here?

It came up because the guy I'm going to be subletting from (works for the World Bank) said he might have some job opportunities he could throw my way, and then gave me crap for working at the UNHCR for free. I'm going to hang out with him tonight and some of his friends (who are State Dept., so maybe my theory is already failing) so maybe I can think a little bit more about all of this.

I do wonder if I were offered a paying job before my internship was up, would I take it?