Bad news: D.C. politicos can't unplug even when they're on vacation

Congressional leadership aides who set up automated email responses about being “away” for a week? They’re still online, reading through emails and selectively replying. Leaving a message for a White House aide on vacation? You may not have to wait until they’re back if they like you, since they’re probably checking those, too.

“I 100 percent have this issue. It’s pointless for me to even put up a message,” said Erica Elliot, spokeswoman for House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “Also, I sleep with my Blackberry in my hand.”

Elliot said it’s not that she thinks she’s so important that she has to keep checking her messages. “It’s more like a smack addict.”

Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said he has the same depressing addiction.

“With Wi-Fi on planes and cell service everywhere it is impossible to unplug,” Hammill said. “On vacations, my husband gives me an allowance: a specified number of times per day I can check my phone. But I usually sneak in a few extras when he’s not looking. It’s really quite sad when you think about it.”