Occupational Proverb

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Slovenian-American
Age: 53
Occupation: Self Employed
Residence: Arlington, VA
Date of Performance/Collection: March, 17, 2011
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): French, Serbo-Croation, Slovenian, Spanish

“A good agent doesn’t get wet and doesn’t go hungry”

Maria is a former employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C. This was a common saying in her office when she worked there. All the agents said it, and it was passed down. She personally heard it from her training agent.

She told me that FBI agents work a lot, sometimes almost twenty four hours in a row, often on mentally grueling crimes. Because of all the work, this phrase is quoted often to remind the agents that even though the work they do it difficult and tiresome, a person also has to take care of themselves. An agent should not overlook basic necessities, such as food when hungry or an umbrella when raining.  By getting in the habit of taking care of oneself, the agent is able to perform better.

I think it is easy to see how such a phrase is so common in this particular job.  An FBI agents work is tough, and the consequences of any mishaps can be devastating.  It makes sense to stress the importance of personal care, so that it does not get in the way of an agents work.