Being an intern is fun.
This is probably only the second time in my life I’ve worried about people actually liking me. The first was my first day of college. If you’re wondering why I didn’t say kindergarten, think back to your playtime-obsessed self, your mom doesn’t leave you saying, “Make lots of friends, honey.” No, she says “play nice with the other boys and girls” ‘cause she knows the only thing you actually give a damn about is making a beeline to the toys and staying put. Who cares about friends on the first day? You make them later, when someone has the same snack-pak as you, duh!
This is the first internship I’ve done out of college. For some silly reason, I had this awesome idea (now I realize this was what adults call a ‘fantasy’) that I was going to graduate and employers were going to be falling over themselves trying to give me a job. Yeah, well, the only thing my big, fat, phony fantasy gave me was an unemployed schedule.
Don’t get me wrong, funemployment lasted me about a week but then it was time to start working again. Yeah, yeah, yeah, our economy is in the thick of a recession and unemployment rates are through the roof and blah, blah, blah… nobody really believes it’s going to happen to them.
Anyway, I now only enjoy my funemployment 3 days a week. I spend my Thursdays and Fridays working as an editorial intern. Like I said earlier, being an intern is fun. Don’t believe me? Here’s why:
I spend my mornings staring into my mirror and asking myself: Does this outfit scream intern or idiot? If I wear my blazer, am I trying to hard, or is wearing a cardigan too first-date of me? My boss doesn’t wear heels but should I? I don’t want to be taller than her; if I’m taller than her she might think I’m trying to be more assertive than she is… but I did just buy these really cute pumps on sale… and if I wear the blazer, the heels definitely work, but what if my boss is wearing a blazer? I’m already her walking shadow. What about my black skinny jeans? Career professional attire is so not in season right now. Business causal is okay. So I should wear the jeans and the blazer, right? Okay, well what about this? And in about five minutes I’ve talked my way out of four seasons worth of wardrobe pieces. See, like I said, being an intern is fun.
I also stress about the type of jewelry (c’mon, I am a girl. Leave me alone.) I’m going to wear. Too many dangly pieces are annoying. Oh, I don’t want to be that annoying intern in the office whose bracelet clanks together every time she goes to spell-check a sentence. But too few jewels kind of says the opposite about the way I’m trying to present myself. If I wear my $3 ring from Forever21, is everyone in the office going to notice when my finger turns green? What about going jewel-less? I don’t want them to think that I’m so lackadaisical that I couldn’t even get up in time to look presentable at the office.
I use the subways to get to work so I’m always stressing out about my commute. If you’re walking, biking or driving to work then you’ve got the upper hand, you can kind of control the pace of your commute. I have no say. There are four things that happen after my teeth are brushed and I’m out the door on my way to being intern-of-the-year: 1. Get on the train without falling up the stairs or dropping your bag (this happens to me at least every other week). 2. Avoid the beggar asking for any spare change you can afford to give (uh, hello, you’re an INTERN, you don’t have any spare change). 3. Keep your computer bag and your purse on your arm so that you don’t spill everything when you get excited to get off at your stop. 4. Powerwalk. Go as fast as you can if your train is late (then I’m thinking why did I wear this freakin’ skirt?) and get coffee. This is like the golden rule of interning. Even if you don’t particularly like coffee, get it anyway. You look professional. But what about the other intern that works for this company too? I have to get there before him. What will they think if I’m there after him? Will they think I’m less dedicated? Less professional. Sprint faster already damnit! But keep it cool, okay. The outside world doesn’t need to see the Intern Idiot stamp on your forehead. Once you’ve got all that, sprint to the office and then wait outside catching your breath. When you’re back to owning the triple CCC mantra (calm, cool and corporate) you’re ready to wait for the elevator.
I’m not sure what all of the other interns out there in intern world do (there seriously is a website called Intern World. How cool are WE, guys!?) but I spend my entire day bouncing back and forth between tweeting, writing articles and doing whatever the hell the people above me (you know, the ones with actual job titles and paychecks) want me to do. In between all of those obstacles, I ponder the real questions of the day:
Do my colleagues like me? Are they forced into liking me – because I’m here two days a week – or do they willingly like me? Or did they all get together and agree to like me for the duration of my internship? Okay, well what if they don’t like me? Does that mean that they don’t like my work? Do they spend all day emailing each other back and forth about all the extra work I’m causing them, or are they just telling me “you’re doing a great job!” because that’s what you tell the stupid people who are at the bottom of the totem pole that need all the reassuring lies they can get their hands on?
There is also the endless time I spend contemplating the in-office romances. I plot all different ways that people in this office could have the affairs of their lifetime. But what if they’re really having them? Oh my god, stop thinking about it already; I bet everyone in this office can see that stupid mesmerized look you’ve got smeared all over your face. Time to focus! No more daydreaming. Seriously. You’re trying to make an impression here.
All that work is absolutely exhausting. So when my day is done (even though I’m watching the clock tick from 3:59 to 4:00) I stay in my seat until my boss tells me to go. If I get up without her saying anything, she’ll think I hate it here and I want to leave early. Or maybe they’ll start to think that I don’t have any respect for my higher-ups.
Then my day is finished and I commute back home and tell anyone that will listen (yes, this includes the aforementioned beggar on the subway) how awesome I am at my job and how much everyone likes me. I do this so everything thinks I’m really the awesome intern I spend my whole day trying to be. ‘Cause looking awesome is way more fun than showing off my Intern Idiot stamp. No, I don’t spend my whole day wondering whether or not anyone in this office would notice if I just suddenly disappeared in the middle of my shift. Uh, hello, I am awesome.
After mom and dad feed me and tuck me in at night, I have fairytale dreams of doing this whole day over again and calling it ‘tomorrow.’
Like I said earlier, being an intern is fun.
Does this sound appealing to you? Apply to be a spring intern today!