The Intern and the Day That Was Not So Bad (Mainly Because It Was A Friday)

So, during the storm, Mrs Q’s desktop (an old, ancient steam-run machine) was destroyed not by flames, not by a short-circuit either. No, this mighty beast would not fall to such weak adversaries. No, it was the water that dripped from the ceiling that did it. And it was not even a waterfall, by any means. Not even a stream’s worth of water. Just… annoying little droplets. A mighty beast, indeed. May it rest in peace.

So now, because good things only happen to me, Mrs Q is sharing my desk and my (not actually mine) computer. Now, I do not dislike Mrs Q. She has a very calm energy about her that I appreciate. But I have to admit I dislike her elbows. Especially when they’re accidentally befriending my stomach or upper arms. On another note though, believe it or not, today was actually *gasp* busy.

I mean, I only stared off into space for about 10 minutes every hour. That’s how serious it was. The whole office had broken out of a lethargic spell, instead moving around in a frenzy, like hens after a fox has stolen their eggs. Faxes were coming in every 20 minutes, mails needed to be sent, people had to reached.

But as someone who has been a university student, this was nothing. Nothing. But everyone in the office was breathless and panicking. Mrs. Hautemante only had time for one home call today. And the secretary Mrs Emile was…well, she was chill. She was just sipping her tea, overlooking the whole thing, like Caesar watching gladiators fight it out. And oh, did Mrs H. just draw blood from Mrs Q.? Who would have thought? Dreadful, dreadful business, office work…

But it is in the midst of all this ‘chaos’ that everyone suddenly remembers that: “Hey… you know…we have an intern? 😏😈”

I actually worked today. And even though it mostly consisted of Word documents and Excel sheets (the horror), it was fun, in a way. To work as a team.

And oh, lunch was all sorts of ethereal.

You see, I’ve been reading when I can. Because I surmise that it is not an activity they can really call you out for, like: “Hey, you young person there! You future of our nation, put that book down!”. And boy, the book I have been reading. After the Holy Trinity of Dystopias (Namely, “Brave New World”, “1984” and “Fahrenheit 451”) it somehow fit in so well. It was my first time reading Terry Pratchett and I have zero regrets. The book I read was the wackiest, cleverest, funniest and most absurd thing in existence. Something to help escape from the overwhelming normalcy of the office and to shake off the scent of Excel sheets clinging to my skin. And I did it surrounded by trees and greenery, somewhere I could hear the rustling contact of wind and leaves, where the sunlight danced in spots of warmth over cream paper.

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Yes, ‘Moist’.

I mean, just…just take a look. Also, Spoiler Alert for “Going Postal” by Terry Pratchett!

 

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And after that kind of lunch —alone, reading a book beneath a tree, with just a trace of wind and spots of sunlight— who could really remember what happened next?

 

The Intern Has Lunch

mean girls
Still from: Mean Girls

Today, before lunchtime, I had already gotten through the day’s work (because in spite of everything, I am someone who must be the best at everything I do because else, what’s the point really). But seeing, seeing as how I AM IN AN OPEN OFFICE. OPEN OFFICE.

OPEN.
OFFICE.
FREAKING.
OPEN OFFICE.

Ahem, yes. So, seeing as how I am in an open office, I couldn’t really be caught slacking by the secretary who was watching youtube videos or by Mrs H., next to me, who was making home calls as she is wont to do. No, I was too new for that. So, I just…clicked. Click click.

Click.

Clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick. (Furious clicking to signify frustration, because I am a serious person).

Cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. And a good long one. (I don’t know what this one signifies, it just felt like a nice addition. Like something a serious office worker would do).

I involved myself wholeheartedly into the act of clicking as a way to ignore the clock that had struck 12 (the hour of sweet, sweet relief). Because everyone was still busy working hard at their personal lives. (At this point, the secretary, Mrs Emile, was whisper-shouting at her husband about pension plans and feeding the cat). Either way, I couldn’t be the first one to move to eat.

Click click

……………………………………………Click click

………………………………………………………………………………………..Click click

đŸŽ”Clicking away my lunch timeđŸŽ”

Until, mercifully, the purple-clad angel that was Mrs. H, in all her extroverted splendour asked if I wasn’t going to have lunch. At which point I masterfully let out an innocent: “Oh, what, it’s lunch time already? :O”

 

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“Working too hard, that’s why you didn’t notice!”

….

….

Click.

Yeah…So hard. But let it be known that should anyone wish to bring harm to my lady Mrs Hautemante, they would have to go through me first. It’s weird, but every time I start working somewhere, I always get irrationally attached to/protective of one particular individual. It’s weird too, because essentially, for all intents and purposes, I kindof hate people. The last time, it was the proofreader: an old, thin man, named something very French, like Jean-Pierre or something. Whom I only heard swear once when the AcadĂ©mie Française decided to mess a bunch of things up in order to simplify the language. I remember word-to-word what he said, too. (“Mais ces messieurs de l’AcadĂ©mie Française, excuse-moi pour le terme, mais ce sont des cons! Des cons ces messieurs-lĂ !”) *

So, lunch was a lonely business.

Like, lonely lonely.

When I was mostly unemployed (How is one mostly unemployed, you ask?) I cherished silent lunches alone with my thoughts. But to be honest, today was a little sad. I didn’t know where exactly people took their lunches and everyone had gone out.

So I wandered out, sat alone and ate my cold sandwich that I had made in a rush that morning. Afterwards, I had about 40 minutes of lunch break left and there seemed to be nothing to do but contemplate the silence. I didn’t like it.

Every silence is different. This one was not self-imposed. It just happened and I was a little stuck inside of it.

I again had trouble with the whole time thing when the clock neared 4 (I was almost sobbing in relief ). At 3:58:49( I COUNTED) no one was making a move to leave. Strangely, I admired their determination to work, even at something I thought was  boring. I mean, really, office workers work harder than we give them cred—aaaaaaaaaand it’s 4 and everyone is gone.

Well, let it not be said that office workers are not efficient.


*”These gentlemen from the French Academy, excuse me for the language, but they are idiots/imbeciles! Imbeciles, these gentlemen!”

Note: It really wasn’t as bad or as lonely as it sounds~ I’m a grown adult lol. It’s just things that happen when you start somewhere or something new. So cheer up! (But I just had to use that photo, didn’t I 😛 )

The Intern and the Printer

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I stapled my first document today. I feel like I have been initiated.

It felt like Mrs Q. was just going to go around all the departments, waving the printed paper around, hiking up the Big Boss’ desk like it was the Pride Rock and she was Rafiki.

And my stapled document was Simba and—Nyaaaaaaa tsigoyaaaa Mama gi ttttii babaaaaa

And okay, here’s the thing:

They’re hiring.

If I do well, it has been suggested (by all and then some more) that I could get a job.

Now.

I do not like the prospect of unemployment. Of no money in the bank. You could even say they are fairly coercive factors. But employment. As in a contract. As in: “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to mind these cuffs around your Time and Opportunities, would you?”. See, they can have the ‘now’. The now where my time and opportunities are just taking a cruise around the world. But to stake a claim on my maybes, where everything, where a lot lies…Nuuuuuhhhh.

On another note, the big boss makes dad jokes and speaks in exaggerated french, like a rushed Parisian (not uncommon in these parts). Today’s joke:

“You’re here early!” I was. “I was just sitting here to watch who would be late.” to which I replied okay. And to which he then laughed, giggled almost. “I’m joking, I’m joking.” he said.

Are you…are you looking for the joke? Because it’s right there. That was it. That was the joke. And you know what the most insane thing is? Everyone else gets it. Everyone knows he’s ‘joking’. Yeah. Apparently, it’s a bit of an honour to be joked with, too. Let’s just say, the big boss is really big. He’s pretty important in that kind of world. Some would even say the most important.

I also printed my first document today (so many firsts!). I’m a little put-off that Mrs Q. didn’t start quietly sniffling in the corner, occasionally dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief, shaking her head at how they do grow up so fast, don’t they? Just yesterday I didn’t know her, and now look! Even printing things.

But guess what I printed.

No, really, guess.

Something so quintessentially office worker you could bottle it and sell it as a perfume (Eau De Printer No. 3)  and everyone would know what it smelled like.

An e-mail.

That’s what I printed. I don’t even know why they made me print it. I never used it later. (Lies, I doodled on the paper. I doodle on paper the way a dog pees on lampposts: it’s compulsive).

So, in good news today, I may or may not have found our Earth’s killers. Like, we can just tell hard-working scientists around the world to take it easy for now. Someone just call Green Peace and Nat Geo and show them the OBSCENE AMOUNTS OF PAPER WE USE.

But do you think office workers are contractually obligated to print things? And that somewhere, there’s a trembling earth-lover, quietly rebelling, getting nervous when they haven’t printed something in a while, afraid their co-workers will get suspicious?


Note:

Here, for your enjoyment:

Also, how am I ever going to be able to write something serious again after “I doodle on paper the way a dog pees on lampposts”?

The Soul-Sucking Journey of the Young Adult Internship

“If you’re going to sell your soul, might as well make sure it goes at a good price.”

So, I have run into an unavoidable entity of the modern young adult experience: the internship.

I didn’t run into it, either, so to speak. I sent a kind email. I’m lucky enough it’s a paid one. I’ve been an intern before, mind you. Wrote little articles for a newspaper (Mainly deaths, really. Traffic accidents. Thefts and the occasional make-up artist), and then another internship for a website. But this…this is different.

It prompted a thought I had never thought before:

“If you’re going to sell your soul, might as well make sure it goes at a good price.”

At least with the newspaper, there was something exciting about getting mail from the police division. Imagining thefts, murders, motives, family drama and all that inheritance hidden in vaults. Then writing about it, adding that hidden story in the spaces between the words, in invisible ink. Hoping someone would read the Sunday newspaper and find that piece of imagination in the insignificant miscellaneous section.

But this internship.

One does really understand why it’s a paid internship.

Usually, interns are the company mules. Doing all the odd jobs, the tiring shifts. Fetching coffee in the hopes of catching some experience and some semblance of a network in between revolving office doors.

But this internship?

I am well-fed. Well taken care of. People constantly ask if the workload is alright. They smile back at you.

But see, I have, so far, only been using two of my brain cells. One that stores information about how to copy, and the other on how to paste. I have decided to name them. One is called Anseline and the other Clemence. Or maybe Bob and Joe.

My pride (Yes, my pride, not me.) is indignant. Me, a journalism graduate (with not much desire to become a journalisty journalist), me, who wrote about petty thefts and make-up artists! Me who…has a blog? Yes, me. Stuck at a lovely desk, copying and pasting the whole day away. It feels like sometimes I copy and paste the minutes, too. And that, accidentally, the whole work day turns into a 16 hour one instead. Imagine copy-pasting the whole day. Then being asked if it’s too hard. Like, I used to program, Susan. Respectfully, and with thanks, I can copy-paste.

And that, is why they pay you for it.

If someone has a tonne of work to do, and they hire an intern, it’s because they usually can’t afford a regular worker. So you can bet, in those situations, that you won’t get paid. And that you will do all the work, one way or the other.

But someone who has the money to pay an intern…doesn’t really need an intern. From my experience, that is. They just need a few documents on their desk every now and then. Nothing too intensive.

As I am writing this, a stack of boxes containing ‘high quality’ paperclips made in china is staring at me. They even have one of those little claw machines (like a stapler) that removes the staples from documents. Gulp.

Office supplies, everywhere. Perforators. Binders. Staples.

Why are there office supplies everywhere?!

Holy C— I’m in an office.


Note: So this, I’m not sure if it’ll become a series (Although my notebook says otherwise). But I thought maybe it was time to touch up on the ‘Young Adult’ part of this blog. Something less whimsical. The style of this is much different from what I normally write. But as I explore my writing, I uncover the desire of trying new things.

Besides, I’ve always been pretty sarcastic. And for someone who so often writes about dreamy things, I’ve got a pretty dark sense of humour. For this particular kind of writing, I might actually look at the response. Usually, even if a series is not well-received, I’ll still post it.  But with this one, since the style and content are so different, it might make the blog look like it’s confused about what it wants to be. Ideally, I would argue that since both kinds of writing come from one and the same brain, that it’s not incompatible. But we’ll see.