The Important Work of Government goes on…

Posted by James Tarantino - Wall Street Journal

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Elizabeth “Liz” Becton, a staffer to Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington. A lobbyist, unnamed by Mullins, had written to Becton to request a meeting on behalf of a client:

Days later, the assistant checked back in and unfortunately began the e-mail with “Hi Liz.”

Becton curtly replied, “Who is Liz?”

When the assistant wrote back with an apology, Becton turned up the heat. “I do not go by Liz. Where did you get your information?” she asked.

The back-and-forth went on for 19 e-mails, with the assistant apologizing six times if she had “offended” Becton, while Becton lectured about name-calling.

Becton told the assistant that if someone said using “Liz” was acceptable, then “they are [sic] not your friend,” and “If I wanted you to call me by any other name, I would have offered that to you.” Plus, it’s “rude when people don’t even ask permission and take all sorts of liberties with your name,” she said, adding: “Please do not ever call me by a nickname again.”

But the tirade didn’t end there. Becton continued her riff–responding that the assistant “got played” by someone who was trying to “tick” Becton off. Becton’s final, searing missive stated: “In the future, you should be VERY careful about such things. People like to brag about their connections in D.C. It’s a pastime for some. It’s also dangerous to eavesdrop, as you have just found out. Quit apologizing and never call me anything but Elizabeth again. Also, make sure you correct anyone who attempts to call me by any other name but Elizabeth. Are we clear on this?  Like I said, it’s a hot button for me. And please don’t call the office and not leave a message. My colleague told me you called while I was away. . . . I do sometimes leave my desk.”

Surely there’s no place for this sort of bullying. We hope Becton’s friends tease her mercilessly about this. We suggest they nickname her “Queen Elizabeth,” or “Queen” for short.