I don't tend to automatically tell people where I work but I'll respond with the truth if asked. And in DC, you're always asked. It's usually question #1. But if not, certainly it's in the top 5.
The place I work is pretty well-known and people tend to be impressed.*
In fact, people often respond with things like, "Really?! You work for _____?? WOW!! For real? That must be soooo awesome! That must be great!!"
And in many ways, it is.**
But, if you are a reader of any time here, you know that, even if the organization has a pretty good reputation, it doesn't preclude periodic run-ins with morons. And, though my current job is making me happier than my previous positions, I don't exactly leap out of bed and skip to work, scattering rose petals as I go.***
So, there's always that decision to make in the moment when someone says, "Gosh, you must love it!"
I can meet their expectation and lie, saying, "Yes. It's every bit as awesome as you think it is" ...and sound really pompous.
Or I can say, "It's okay" or "It has its sucky moments just like your job." ...and sound modest. Unfortunately, this often brings more "Oh, come on, that must be frickin' awesome!"
Or I can say what I usually say: *shrug* "I guess I'm fortunate... it's a pretty good organization."
Which is really the truth. It’s not my dream job and if I were independently wealthy, I wouldn’t be here. But I don’t take my job for granted either. I know it could be a lot worse.
Excuse me, my break is over and somebody's thrown a milkshake over the clown speaker, again, and it's fritzing.
* I'm not going to reveal my organization's name on the Interwebs but suffice to say that billions have been served.
** Corporate policy: You can keep any food that drops on the floor.
*** In fact, I hit snooze four times this morning and would have hit it a fifth time if I didn't have a morning meeting that I couldn't miss.****
**** Have you ever noticed how, when you hit snooze and you're in that half-dream state and all mooshy*****, you'll start to incorporate what's being said on the radio into your dreams? So, your mom is still talking to you but now she's talking about a Ne-Yo concert. And some other part of your brain realizes something's wonky and says "That's weird. Mom is much more of a Metallica fan."
***** Isn't that half-asleep, snuggled in bed, mooshy feeling the best?! I vote for the candidate who can provide me with more mooshy.