A Instagram An account where congressional staffers voice their grievances about their bosses and toxic offices is raging on Capitol Hill, with some staffers apparently being told to unfollow and stop interacting with the account.
The account has encouraged issues for Capitol Hill employees such as: B. being paid so little that they qualify for food stamps, dealing with abusive behavior by their managers, and minority employees feeling restricted from applying for higher positions.
Anonymous posts on the account reveal how employees are treated at lower levels, some so badly they have to seek mental health support.
The account, dubbed “Dear White Staffers,” has now amassed more than 40,000 followers, including senior reporters from the country’s top news outlets. The issues highlighted are long-standing issues such as long hours and poor pay and a lack of workforce diversity.
Hill staffers say the issues are deeply ingrained in the institution, and despite heightened attention to the issues and bipartisan efforts to change work culture, there is widespread skepticism that Congress is willing to make changes to help adequately support those who work there.
A former Hill employee who submitted an anonymous story to the Instagram account recounted Politically that “Capitol Hill is occupied by the kid in the front row who raised his hand. They want to serve.”
“And then they’re ground up and spit out,” they added.
Hill Advisors read the account’s constant stream of posts to feel understood about their own workplace issues or to ensure their member is not being unfairly criticized. Sometimes the same person follows the content for both reasons at the same time.
“When I started it was just an open secret that things were bad, but you just put your head down,” added the former House staffer Politically. “And I think something’s happening at Dear White Staffers right now — that it’s just generations of staff that have a trauma bond, and it’s all coming to light through this Instagram account. And it’s so cathartic and it’s so desolate. And that open secret is being erased.”
The informal “Rooney Rule” among Democrats is to interview at least one person of color for every job, but some offices only follow it for senior positions. A former Chief of Staff of Color tells Politically: “I can say the norm is, you know, maybe you’re lucky to get a person of color [as a] candidate for some of these positions.”
Another former Hill employee told the outlet she submitted a story to the Instagram account to urge others to “not do exactly what I did and stumble into an office that doesn’t represent her and.” doesn’t share their values and doesn’t exemplify what they want their career to be like.”
Many employees say that each office, with its own rules and structure, poses a problem for the work environment.
“I would like to see a resolution of this system where each office is its own independent little world,” said a current employee Politically. “That leads to a lot of abuse.”
The lack of a union for Hill employees was also a major talking point on the account. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she supports the effort.
“Like all Americans, our tireless congressional workers have the right to organize their workplace and form a union. If employees wish to exercise this right, they have the full support of Speaker Pelosi,” Drew Hammill, Ms. Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, said in a statement.