Thursday, June 28, 2007

The DC Handshake

I had the pleasure of learning the DC Handshake the other day. For those people not familiar with the DC handshake I'll try and explain it, so that if you ever run into it you know how to do it properly.

The handshake starts out the normal way.

DC -> Hi, nice to meet you Joe.
You -> Nice to meet you too, Bob.

Minor pause.

DC -> So where did you go to school? (start of the dominant dog butt-sniffing ritual)
You -> I went to XYZ school.
DC -> I went to Ivy League XYZ school (Ivy is a trump card; you lose this round)
You -> Oh that is really interesting.
DC -> So what do you do for a living? (Next round of butt-sniffing)
You -> Oh I work for Company X as a Y.
DC -> I'm a partner in Law Firm X. (Setting you up for the money question)
You -> Wow that is really interesting.
DC -> So does your job pay pretty well? (Just to make sure you make less)
You -> Yeah it's alright.
DC -> Last year I made 200k + bonus (Just to clarify your failure)
You -> That's really impressive (At this point you have lost)
DC -> Nice to meet you. I'll catch up with you later (I won't be back; you suck)

Now, if you get in this situation the correct way to answer is the following:

DC -> So where did you go to school? (Start of the dominant dog butt-sniffing ritual)
You -> I graduated with Honors. (No school, just titles; it catches them off-guard)
DC -> I went to Ivy League XYZ school. (Now he's off guard and trying to recover)
You -> [Yawn...] So how much do you make? (Beat them to it)
DC -> I'm a partner in Law Firm X, and I make 200k + bonus.
You -> Not really enough money to live around here is it? How's your townhouse?
DC -> Uh, my town house is fine. (Might have to back down)
You -> Kind of sucks to have to live around other people, doesn't it? Do you have a yard?
DC -> It's actually really nice, the city is really excellent. (Translation: you asshole)
You -> How's traffic? I hear it sucks.
DC -> I don't have a car, I ride the metro.
You -> You make 200K and you don't have a car? Traffic must be hell! How are the seats on the metro?
DC -> Fine. I usually stand.
You -> Ever been mugged?
DC -> Nice meeting you, I have to run over there, and talk to XYZ.

You = Win :-)


Anonymous said...

Hope you've contacted Comedy Central with some of this material.

The subject matter above sounds male to me. The female version might go more like:

(In the school yard)

SAHM: So, what neighborhood do you live in ?
You: Oh, I live in Wonderwood (innocently thinking you're about to make a friend).
SAHM: Lots of affordable housing, how nice. I live in Prestigwood.
Are you able to have a home theater?
You: Well, um, no...
SAHM: Hopefully you have enough space for a dining room....(looking down and then away)
SAHM: Oh, there's MAAH!! Gotta run..

jeffro said...


jeffro said...

way to screw that b*stard!

Anonymous said...

Very funny! Unfortunately, too true.

l2saint said...

Being a DC-native, and a graduate of a prestige, private college, I long ago developed a strategy to manage these types of interactions. Here goes:

DC > "So what do *you* do?" [translation: you're under-dressed, and under-employed. how could we possibly know the same people?]

Me > "Oh, I garden and I love reading, sailing, hiking, vacations at the beach. You know, I just try to enjoy life as much as possible." [smile brightly]

DC > "No. I mean what do you *DO* know, for a living??" [caught off-guard by my refusal to take the bait, and now visibly annoyed.]

Me > "Well, I do work full-time. But I'm also learning how to cook Thai food. I found this great seafood market..."

DC > [cuts me off mid-sentence] "Right. But *where* do you work and *what* do you do there?"

Me > [polite sigh] "If you really insist on talking about work [yawn], let's start with you. Where do you work?"

DC > "I'm a partner at firm X." [still annoyed, but more than willing to take an opportunity to gloat about their career]

Me > "Oh, that's interesting. Where did you go to school?" [this is my trump card at snob-fests, since I do have a prestigious degree and it usually stops the interrogation]

DC > "I went to Podunk University. Where did *you* go?" [at this point, they are feeling confident that they've won the exchange. after all, as far as they know I probably don't even have a degree...]

Me > "Wow! That's great. Good for you." [pause...there's still time to make an exit]

DC > "And you?" [victory is written all over their face. it will be fun to defeat them]

Me > "I went to X College with [insert host's name, or mutual friend]."

DC > "Really?" [they can't believe it. now they are really keen to get to know you better. you can almost see the drooling as they fantasize about plundering your rolodex]

Me > "Yep." [look bored and distracted. scan the room for someone else you know] "Well, gotta run and mingle. There's X now...See ya!"

Jeff said...

Where would you rather live, since you hate this area so much?

CrankyInColumbia said...

I wish to live in the Walgreen's commercial world. Everyone there seems to be smart, on the ball, and does what I want them too.

Nowhere in the commercial is a teenage kid smashing my groceries, coming to a complete stop in a merge lane, or just being blame dumb at the copy shop.