Lobbyists seemed like larger than life monsters. I was expected Givenchy pant suits, crocodile leather shoes, Ferrari car keys dangling and all. When I thought lobbyist, I thought of corruptions. And quite honestly, Satan. I had an image in my mind of people with endless amounts of money bribing off politicians in private, and more times than not have accused lobbyists of being the tick that keeps government so inefficient.
Today, my boss let me know a lobbyist would be buying us lunch. I was confused but didn’t bother to ask any questions; just proceeded to relay my Jimmy John’s order.
Around lunch time, an older man in everyday street clothes came in with a big full of Jimmy John subs. We sat down in the back room and just talked about everyday things. He was an attorney turned lobbyist, but also a dad and sports fanatic who grew up not far from me. He relayed some information about a crisis going on in Eduction, and then told stories of his kids’ lacrosse coach.
It felt like I was conversing with a neighbor. Mundane. Just an everyday person passionate about something, who works hard towards making it happen.
I realized that while we have a tainted image of “lobbyists”, the reality is not all lobbyists are driving Ferraris and eating steak dinners (I will admit, when I heard a lobbyist was buying us lunch, I assumed it would be something gourmet). A lot of them are just volunteers with a cause. It was eye-opening & humbling, in a good way.