Intern Diaries: Stop Treating Me Like Crap!
For most college students, summer means one thing: an unpaid internship. We’ve been there and we feel your pain. Whether you’re making copies, making coffee runs, or just trying to make your mark on the industry of your dreams, it’s much easier to get through it all with a little help from your (CollegeCandy) friends. So come back every week to listen/sympathize with/vent with our anonymous intern as she does her thang at a big time magazine in New York City. Because let’s be honest, what else do you have to do in that cubicle all day?
Everyone knows that one of the worst things about being an intern is actually telling people you’re an intern. I can deal with getting coffee, fetching elaborate lunches in the rain, sending out mail and transcribing interviews for hours, all in the name of trying to get a job. I cannot, however, deal with being treated like sh*t just because some people choose to view me as just the bottom of the job food chain and nothing more than that.
I’m not saying that everyone treats interns like that, because that’s definitely not true. I’ve been extremely lucky to work with intern coordinators who are truly awesome – they listen, they care, they’re nice, and most importantly, they always say thank you. But there are still some people who insist on treating me, and other interns, as only their bitch. And I mean, let’s face it, we kind of are their bitch as interns – but that still doesn’t mean we should be treated like that.
The weird thing is, it’s usually the people you would least expect who are the rudest. When I first started covering events, I was terrified. I thought for sure that not only the celebrities were going to blow me off, but also that the PR girls would take one look at me and figure out I had no idea what I was doing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The PR girls consistently treat me with respect, and did anything they could to help me out. And the celebs? Most of them couldn’t be nicer. Just the other night, I had the chance to interview Emmy Rossum and Bernadette Peters, and both of them were so sweet it was unbelievable.
So who are the rudest people? I’ve found that the bitchiest and most annoying people to work with are the ones who literally JUST started their job. Like one of the interns I worked with over the winter who now has a paying job at my magazine. We were so close when we were both interns; we spent long hours doing crap projects together and really bonded over our shared dream of one day working for this very magazine. So when he got hired, I was proud and excited for him. That is until he stopped speaking to the other interns. I see him around hte office every day and he ignores me like he doesn’t know who I am.
And then, while huddled over my computer transcribing yet another interview recently, I overheard another former intern I used to work with say, “All of the new interns keep introducing themselves to me trying to network. Do I care? No. I couldn’t remember their names if I tried.”
I just don’t get it. I would have thought, since they were just in my shoes, these people would understand an intern’s position the most. That they’d be the most empathetic to our situation. And – come on – a few months ago they were not just my peers, but my friends. And now look at them. I get it – they must have done something right to get a job in such a tough market. But why does that mean that they can treat everyone else like they’re below you?