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Recognizing the Scheduler

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 22, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank a group of courageous Federal employees: Matt Nordquist; Janet Hartman, now Schmautz; Jake Gibson; Carren Crossley; Virginia Mueller, now Partridge; Jordan Haverly; Joy Henrichs; Perry Ford Stamp; and Molly Mackenzie Harris.

There is no more difficult job in Washington than that of a congressional scheduler. My thanks and apologies go to those who served in my office these past 24 years.

For me, being away from home was the worst part of the job. Who booked the flight and told me I had to get back to D.C.? The scheduler did. Who would meet me in the office at 7:30 a.m. to get me to a breakfast meeting at 8 a.m.? Who would hang around to pick me up at 9 a.m., just to race me to the Hill for a 9 a.m. meeting? The scheduler did. Who received an irate call from me wondering why no one was at the meeting in HC-5, only to be told that if I had looked at my schedule, I would have seen that the meeting location had changed to the Capitol Hill Club? The scheduler did.

Who took the frustrating call asking how I can be in a meeting in the Capitol from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and then in my office in the Rayburn Building for an 11 a.m. meeting? The scheduler did. Who took the blame when I finally cried out that I needed a bathroom break after consecutive 30-minute meetings? The scheduler did. Who picked me up after votes at 6:30 p.m. to hit a reception at 6:45 p.m., another one at 7 p.m., and then dinner at another location at 7:30 p.m.? The scheduler did.

Who scheduled the flight to get me home, and then had to sweat as to whether I could make the early flight or not? Who received my continuous calls asking them if I thought I could make it? The scheduler did. Who waited in the car for that final vote just to see me run down the stairs and tell them, let's go, just to get caught in traffic in the plaza, traffic on Independence Avenue, and traffic on Interstate 395? The scheduler did.

Who had to put up with the worst backseat driver in Washington, D.C.? The scheduler did. My schedulers took the brunt of my frustration as we tried to fit 36 hours of work into a 24-hour day. They took the barbs of criticism when I missed my family.

If there was ever a single group that I need to apologize to, it is them. Having said this, this group of workers professionally conducted their job with poise, confidence, efficiency, and compassion. I can say without hesitation that because of me, the toughest job in my office is that of the scheduler. Matt, Janet, Jake Carren, Virginia, Jordan, Joy, Perry, and Molly, I thank you.

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