How I wish I could write that it got better. It didn’t.
I tried desperately to have a good perspective on it, but there was no way to get around it: I hated the work I was doing. Truly it blew my mind that here I was, doing what I presumed I would love, and I was miserable. I also could not believe that this was probably the biggest decision of my life, and I apparently had made the wrong one. And I had nobody else to blame.
Soon after starting, I also realized this company would never hire me. In interviews and on the website, they made it sound as if you had a really good chance at getting hired after the internship finished. After starting there, I realized that their funds were pretty dire and that they wouldn’t be making any new hires anytime soon.
My bank account and I were borderline depressed. I was steadily losing money thanks to rent every month, utilities, groceries, furnishing my apartment, gas, reading 3-4 books a week, and going on dinner, fro yo, and bar outings with my roommates (I realized if I wanted to make friends, I HAD to go but found after two outings of not buying dinner then skipping the fro-yo dessert and answering tons of questions with the implausible “I’m not hungry”, I looked like a sketchball).
Anyway. The internship/position taught me so much about being a full-time team member in a company and the types of situations and people you meet in the workforce. I loathed working with a VP who was so caught up in the glory of her new “senior VP” title she treated me like the bug on the bottom of her shoe. As intern, I always made the coffee in the morning (duh, right?) The graphic designer took it upon himself to teach me how, since he was an avid coffee drinker. He taught me 11 cups of water, 9 scoops of coffee grinds. Then one day, that VP came flying down the hall, screaming for me. She pointed to her coffee mug and said “For four weeks now, I’ve been waiting patiently for you to learn how to make coffee but I’m through with waiting. Follow me.” She told me I was supposed to put 11.5 scoops of coffee grinds and who the hell had taught me differently? I threw the graphic designer right under that bus and she smirked, “Well as VP here, I’m telling you he’s wrong and to start making coffee my way.” I mean, ugh! Just the thought of having that much ego, due to my title, makes me feel nauseated. Team members started bringing their own coffee because they hated the coffee made the VP’s way.
I learned about what it was like to really be an intern and do those “intern-y” things like make the coffee. The first time I was asked to fetch the papers a team member had just sent to the printer down the office hallway, I stomped down the hall, raging, thinking “I got a bachelors degree just so I could bring people the stuff they just printed from 100 yards away? Are you f**king kidding me?!?!”One of the interns-turned-fulltime-hires had me stamp her envelopes for the “thank you for my birthday present” cards she was sending out.
Despite being miserable and angry, I really did try very hard at this company. I churned out good results for them and my boss told me I was the best intern of the bunch.
I thought about the company I had turned down. Oh, the salary (even though I still didn’t know what it was) sounded so good. Oh, the stability sounded like heaven right about now. I cursed myself for not picking it because now I was looking at jobs again, with 6 weeks left to go in my internship and the knowledge that I’d never get a full-time offer.
I started applying…..