1. Work simulation. Pretending to look busy is just as strenuous as actually working — in fact it requires much more creativity and dedication, like switching between the “make-believe-research” and the “actual-research” tabs on your browser in time. This actually takes time and effort to perfect, folks.
2. Perpetual guilt. Since you are an internee you can’t be Youtubing or Facebooking with as much liberty as other employees, and make sure never to laugh out loud regardless of how hilarious today’s “Cyanide and Happiness” is.
3. Great expectations. So what if it’s just the first half of your first day? How do you not know where the IT desk is? *bewildered look*
4. Leftovers. The work given to you will mainly be heaps of labour that no one wants to indulge in.
5. Homelessness. There will be no work station that is “actually” yours. The moment Mister-Just-Married returns from his honeymoon, you will be sent back to the PC which only works in MS-DOS mode.
6. “This wasn’t in the job description” you will hear yourself wondering time and time again. Well, too bad kiddo. When you enter the workplace looking that eager and that perky, there will be consequences.
7. Vague boundaries. Since you will be working here for six weeks — two months tops — you will occasionally feel the I-can-say-anything-euphoria. You will then follow your instincts and tell your supervisor how much blue suits her, in response she will give you an
8. No remuneration. Like most interns, you probably aren’t being paid more than a few thousand bucks. So you’ll understand how frustrating it is to pretend to be enthusiastic about a project, babbling on about how it will add to your CV… when all you care about is spending the rest of your summer in bed or catching up on “How I Met Your Mother”.
9. The humiliation. As an intern, you really have no
status in an organisation. So you aim to fly below the radar, but you know that whenever some “real employee” walks past the desk and sees your unfamiliar face, he’ll inevitably ask your superior, “Who’s that?” To which they’ll give that ego-crushing reply: “Just the intern.”
10. Being the outsider. Since you aren’t exactly part of the ‘corporation’, the ‘official’ details will be withheld from you. For instance:
“Can you start on that project where you compare
everyone’s performance with their respective salaries?”
“Sure, where do I get to the payroll database from?”
“Just assume random numbers for now.”
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, July 24th, 2011.
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