A Guidebook for Modern Day Interns
My dear interns,
Since the empty suit, puffed up academics at your schools have no clue how the business world actually works, I will step in as the corporate father figure you so desperately need. Heed my words below and you’ll be invited back after graduation to wither away like the rest of us. Ignore this sage advice and you may endure one of life’s ultimate humiliations – getting fired from an internship.
Two questions a day. This is the absolute maximum number of questions you can ask on any given day without being annoying. Question # 3 immediately puts you in either the “this guy is stupid” category or, even worse, the “overly-eager” category.
Don’t ask to be “Challenged”. You arrogant little shit! I’d love to give you real work and ease my own burden a bit, but you bring jack shit to the table. You know nothing about nothing. You think that Econ 101 class you just wrapped up has blessed you with game-changing insights!? “Companies produce goods until Marginal Cost = Marginal Revenue”….. Wow. Wow! Now what the fuck am I supposed to do with that information!? Here’s a newsflash, chief: 99% of companies don’t even have their own processes mapped out. They don’t know what they have in inventory. What their supplier contracts actually cost. It’s a f-ing mess over here. But thank goodness you’re here now to break things down for me and the COO. I have a challenge for you: Check your arrogance at the door tomorrow and shut the fuck up for the next two weeks until I calm down.
We expect you to be partially inebriated at all hours. We’re secretly disappointed if you’re not. Us tenured employees have real work to do, often have families at home, and don’t have the energy we once did. We want to live vicariously through you. Knowing that you got trashed the night before (and trust me, we know) and watching your two remaining, gin-soaked brain cells try and perform the menial work I gave you brings me great joy.
Never, ever forget that you get paid: Back in the 1880s when I did my college internship, I didn’t get paid. I worked nights just to afford my unpaid internship. Every day I lost $30 bucks going to work (parking, gas & food) and then spent my evenings hawking lemonade at the baseball stadium just so I could get out of the red. It was a sticky situation! A month into this lifestyle, my girlfriend dropped my sorry ass. Appropriately so. No girl wants to hear: “I’m sorry, I can’t take you to dinner, I have to work late selling lemonade.” A poor geek – that’s an oxymoron no woman will stand for. It defies nature.
Don’t suck up: If you bring me cookies in the morning, you’re fired. Did I ask for a fucking cookie? When I want something, you’ll know.
Pretend that you’re working. I can’t stand it when these wieners blatantly spend all day on their phones. I’ve seen these arrogant dweebs even bring their Kindle into the office. We know we didn’t give you shit to do today but you don’t need to rub it in our face by blatantly engaging in other activities. 20 years ago, we didn’t have these modern luxuries. Fuck you. Respect your elders. Open an excel spreadsheet or a word document and stare blankly at it like we used to do.
I will fuck with you at some point. How you respond is critical to your future prospects here. A few years back (at my direction) we temporarily instituted a “no cell phone” policy for the interns. We had them all give us their cell phones when they walked in in the morning on account that “someone had improperly disclosed PHI, a major security breach”. You’ve never seen such fear and panic. You’d have thought someone pointed a machine gun at their brain. One poindexter even whined…. “But I’m expecting a call from my mom.” ……………….. What are you, 7 years old? I don’t give a shit. Mama’s boy!
Be real. We all know what this is about … we toss some grunt work your way and you get to take your formerly blank CV and add two lines of lies about the corporate “experience” you had over the summer. So don’t lie on your resume a year later when you apply for full time jobs. You didn’t “lead” or “orchestrate” shit. Anything you “authored” was so incoherent and off the mark that, after I read it, I probably made you run to CVS to buy me migraine medicine.
Trust nobody. I interned at the same place for four years and was promised a lucrative job upon graduation. I ended up spending the first 5 months after graduation in my undies in front of my parents’ computer applying to jobs on Craigslist. I’ll let you fill in the blanks on that one.
To the interns of America: You will likely never see these words of wisdom because no interns read this blog. Let’s be honest, hardly anyone at all reads this publication. But on the minute chance that this gospel makes it onto your desk….. ask yourself this question: Who do you think knows more about business? Your tweed-wearing liberal arts professor who reads business theory, or the jaded middle manager who suffers PTSD spells anytime he sees a lemon?