I hadn’t been to the White House since I was a kid but today I was was on the grounds covering Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arriving to meet with our beloved god king. I was pretty excited being assigned this event for a couple reasons. First, any opportunity to be away from my building is welcome. If my boss told me to walk up and down Pennsylvania Avenue for an afternoon photographing dog turds I’d be out the door so fast my chair would be spinning like a tornado.
Secondly most of my assignments are extremely boring and formulaic. A majority of my shoots are retirement and promotion ceremonies. I put an effort into all my jobs but these are very formulaic and I could do them in my sleep. I’m not boasting and if you trained a chimp how to use a camera I’d probably be out of a job.
Anyways, the prime minister was scheduled to arrive at the White House at noon. I had to arrive three hours prior which was a pleasure compared to election day when I had to show up 13 hours before the damn parade started. I spent my downtime playing with my new camera. This is not an ad, but I was issued a Nikon D5 the other day and the damn thing is ridiculous. Flashes are obsolete as the ISO goes through the roof before your shots become grainy, and there is a little joystick for moving your focal point. Of course there are more features t than that but those are two that stand out. The price stands out as well as the body alone costs close to a whopping five grand. To put it mildly this camera is kind of like having a foot long penis. Impressive but more overkill in regards to getting the job done.
Anyways back to the prime minister’s visit. I never would have believed this had I not been there but the damn thing started on time! If you’ve never worked with a bureaucracy on par with the military and/or federal government you should be astounded by this. Much to the delight of myself and the literal dozens of Japanese journalists in attendance Abe rolled up at twelve along with his running crew.
Waiting for him was the man himself. President DJT. As I stated earlier this was my first time visiting the White House in a professional capacity, but apparently this is not typical. Rumor has it Obama usually assigned a protocol officer to meet visiting statesmen. Anyways, I am not a huge fan of our current head of state but I will admit I was a bit star struck when I noticed him standing there waiting to greet Abe.
They shook hands and disappeared inside. After waiting hours for itthe bigly moment was over almost as soon as it began. This was fine with me because I was hungry and bored. It was a pretty awesome experience though. I felt like a photojournalist again today and was excited to do my job. I need to remember this feeling for the next time I’m at some routine shoot.
Before I wrap things up here’s another fun story from today! When I left work this afternoon I passed Secretary of Defense James Mattis in the hallway. I did a double take because I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I happened upon him right after he had picked up his dry cleaning. This guy runs the department of defense, and one of his responsibilities is confirming nuclear launch orders. He is a big fucking deal. I mention his laundry because I was amazed he didn’t have one of his flunkies retrieve it for him. When I was in the military there were people equal to me in rank (much less a retired four star general and presidential cabinet member) who wouldn’t take their own garbage out, and while I know this is sappier than hell I was impressed by his humility.