With all the non-stop negative press about the CIA, I’m sharing five SURPRISINGLY good things about the Agency. (Yes, you read that right, GOOD THINGS about the CIA.)
Here We Go:
1.) The Cafeteria: Compared to other U.S. Government agencies, the CIA’s cafeteria is fairly fantastic. Once a week was “sushi day” at the CIA when I worked there. Noooo, it wasn’t fancy sushi from a fancy place that the “Entourage” guys would frequent, but decent-one-step-above-grocery-store-sushi.
2.) Guest Speakers: CIA books speakers to address employees that have absolutely nothing to do with espionage or the intelligence community to inspire the workforce in different ways. When I was there, actress Rita Moreno and (Paul Mitchell CEO) John Paul DeJoria spoke. As a huge theater nerd it was thrilling to see West Side Story’s Anita in person. However, since I was a covert employee I didn’t have the opportunity to introduce myself and inappropriately gush all over her — you’re welcome Rita.
3.) Starbucks: Yes, Starbucks is everywhere, even at the CIA…and that’s a good thing especially when your day is crazy. When you’re having an extraordinarily exhausting day, a cup of very familiar coffee hits the spot.
4.) Parking Lot: During lunchtime, the CIA parking lot clears out, leaving large patches of asphalt that were perfect spots to practice driving a car with manual transmission. My first car was a 1979 Chevy Impala, so prior to joining the agency I only knew how to drive an automatic. In addition to learning how to be a spy, I also learned how to drive a stick shift at The CIA, which was an incredibly valuable skill when I was deployed overseas.
5.) The People: Say what you want about CIA management (there’s been a lot said, a lot still to say) but the majority of the employees are talented, intelligent and dedicated professionals. I wish I could tell people not to judge the agency by the management it keeps.