This is a little dated, but it gives one heck of a peek into the mindset of at least one of the folks we send to Washington every two years. Apparently, getting on an elevator with Virginia Foxx can be one terrifying experience:
More House staffers are coming forward with cautionary tales of their members-only elevator rides with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).
ITK last week brought you one tipster’s claims of Foxx laying the verbal smackdown on a female staffer for taking a ride on a members-only elevator. The congresswoman’s office said the story — which involved Foxx questioning the staffer’s literacy vis-à-vis the “members-only” sign — was an “exaggeration” by “disrespectful junior staffers” who will go to great lengths “just to read about themselves in the paper.”
Now more elevator horror stories are coming in. […]
For those of you who haven’t spent much time on Capitol Hill, this may be unfamiliar. Certain elevators are set aside for Members of Congress Only — so they can get from their offices to their respective chamber floors quickly for votes. (Avoiding stopping at every floor for God-knows-who to get on and off.)
On days when the House and Senate are not in session, things aren’t so strongly enforced. The same is true for days when there are not a lot of votes going on. But apparently, SOME PEOPLE take it way too seriously:
One tipster recalls it was either the first or second week of his congressional internship in October of last year when he was running an errand to a committee room, and still had a “healthy fear of the members-only elevator.”
But after seeing a parcel deliveryman hop on one of the lifts in the Longworth House Office Building, our source stepped on, too. The deliveryman got off on the next floor, and that’s when Foxx got on.
Our insider says the congresswoman asked if he had seen the “members-only” sign outside the elevator before demanding his name and the office he worked for. “She was very intimidating, especially for a brand-new intern,” he tells ITK.
As our elevator rider describes it, “She walked up to a [Capitol] police officer and told on me for riding on her elevator, and he was as dumbfounded as I was.”
The former intern says Foxx later called the office he revealed he worked for to rat him out for riding the members-only elevator and for not being dressed in proper attire — he says he had taken off his jacket to run errands. The tipster claims Foxx said she thought of filing an “official complaint” but that she had “visibly frightened me and felt like I wouldn’t do it again.”[…]
I thought we had the monopoly on ill-tempered spinsters down here in Pinehurst. (It looks like at least one escaped to DC.) MORE:
[…] While our insider doesn’t think it actually happened, he says he was told someone from his office would call Foxx’s office and “rebuke them for intimidating an intern.”
The elevator episode apparently scared him straight. The ex-intern, who is now a staffer, says that to this day, he refuses to get on a members-only elevator unless he’s accompanying his boss or another lawmaker.
Another House employee says he had his own elevator encounter with Foxx last year in Longworth while taking a members-only ride with a custodial staff member.
This staffer tells ITK, “It wasn’t a voting day, so we figured we were safe.” But when Foxx stepped on the elevator, he contends she asked him whether he could read and demanded his congressional ID.
“She was actually in the process of writing the [other rider’s information] down when the elevator stopped and I stepped out.” Our spy says his quick maneuver enabled him to “escape her wrath.”
Foxx’s office didn’t respond to ITK’s request for comment on the latest elevator accounts.
During my time on the Hill — even outside of session — I remember seeing those Members Only elevators stand by empty and unused while crowds of “little people” waited for the other elevator. It’s ridiculous. (And so was her behavior.)