How to Pick Your Staff (Part Two)

Of the hand full of key staff people in Congressional office, the one with perhaps the toughest balancing act is the Scheduler.  Scheduler is a Capitol Hill term for the staff person who is the coordinator for the member’s schedule, but also works as the main personal aide to the Rep or Sen.  This is the gatekeeper — and is a key staff person because they perform the delicate balancing act of protecting the Rep or Sen from being over scheduled (something that is very possible since pretty much everyone wants a slot on the the member’s schedule) and yet make sure the Member is available.   Not an easy job.  This person must be personable, organized, a good communicator, detail oriented and be able to stand the heat — because it is the hot seat.

The scheduler must know what is on the official calendar (by this I mean the House or Senate master calendar), what legislation is scheduled to be debated and when votes are scheduled to occur.  What is scheduled on the Member’s committees and subcommittees. The scheduler will likely be handling all of the Member’s personal correspondence (this is different than constituent mail — which is a whole other ball game)

A pitfall that schedulers can fall into is treating the member as if they were royalty.  Having worked with schedulers with this attitude, I can tell you they do the member no favors, it may be nice to be handled with kid gloves — but in the long run it will alienate everyone else and ultimately reflect poorly on the member.

Again — this is a staffer that is critical because the performance of the scheduler can directly impact whether a member is effective or not.

7 Replies to “How to Pick Your Staff (Part Two)”

  1. Holy Cow!

    At coffee this morning I was talking about how after the last election on one of the reservations that all the family members of the previous administration were replaced by family members of the new administration. We were talking about how that sort of happens in Washington too but how it happens a lot on the reservation.

    Slurpy said Ya that is really tough when all your family members and even all the extended family members are out of a job because of an election. Slurpy said he even knew some of them and said now they are going to have to go out and get an actual job and work for a living!

    I asked Slurpy whih tribal members he knew? Slurpy said I must of misunderstood because he was talking about the Governor Rounds administration!

    Holy Cow! Do you think this will really happen? Will Governor Daugaard really replace the Rounds Tribe with the Daugaard Tribal members?

  2. MC

    Holy Cow! Do you think this will really happen? Will Governor Daugaard really replace the Rounds Tribe with the Daugaard Tribal members?

    In a word, yes.

    As a Governor, Congressman, Mayor, President, one of your first tasks is to put together a team you can trust, and works well together to help you keep the promises you made.

  3. mickey

    I don’t think the Rounds family has a corner on having so many family members working for the state. I have been told there is another family name that is frequently seen on the payroll list for SD…

  4. Anonymous

    The only thing I would like to see in an office is people treated with respect. I would say about 80% of political staffers run around acting better than the constituents they are supposed to serve.


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