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Coffee, Tea...or an All-Expenses Paid Trip to Prague?

My goal in life is to end up in a "largely ceremonial" job. You know those jobs. They're the ones that have you cutting ribbons at factory openings and attending rubber-chicken lunches. Many foreign governments have jobs like that, where a president opens parliament and goes on junkets while the prime minister does the heavy lifting of actually, you know, governing. I assume that most largely ceremonial jobs come with a clothing allowance, a decent salary and a nice house for all that ceremonial entertaining.

If you hear of such an opening, let me know. Until then I'll have to hope that a vacancy comes up on the 13-member board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. These are the people who oversee the people who oversee Dulles and National airports. According to Amy Gardner's Metro story last week, the job demands two days a month; there's no pay, but seemingly all the travel you can get reimbursed for, including first-class airfare to conferences around the world.

As a Post editorial put it yesterday: "Members can request a trip anywhere, with any itinerary, and the agency will book it, even if it exceeds travel guidelines in place for staff members. Some members take advantage of this latitude by requesting first-class plane tickets or by booking itineraries that allow a companion to travel for free."

According to Charles D. Snelling, a venture capitalist from Fogelsville, Pa., and a federal appointee on the board: "I'm a volunteer. If anybody thinks I'm going economy class, you know, why, they can take the job and shove it."

Hey, I could do that! Ceremoniously, of course.

By John Kelly  |  October 21, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
 | Tags: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority  
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Well John, these are the same jokers that rolled over and played dead when the name of Washington (as in our first President...the one for whom the Capital City is named, the one who turned down a crown, the one who established that two terms was enough, etc., etc.)National Airport was changed with no local input. Don't get me wrong, President Reagan deserves to be remembered...he has that "ginormous" office building downtown, the emergency medical unit at GW, where he was taken after that horrible assassination attempt. But the renaming of National always smacked of some kind of "score settling" because the Dems had seen that Idlewild Airport was for JFK after his assassination.

As for Ceremonial Jobs, (and I don't mean to inflame the DC-Only-ists)but check out the Chancellor jobs at the Virgina State University campuses. Those sound like pretty sweet deals.

Posted by: mfromalexva | October 21, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

John: I need hardly remind you that the Queen performs the kind of ceremonial duties you are looking for and has several nice residences. There is just one problem: you are born to it, and even then, as Prince Charles has discovered over long years, you just have to wait and wait.

Posted by: cktirumalai | October 21, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the free travel isn't the problem, it's whether they have to expertise in aviation.

Posted by: scottandrewtaylor | October 21, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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