Shortly after hearing the scuttlebutt (yeah) yesterday about the summer intern who took her new TV network employers and shat all over them (no literally shat all over them) yesterday we put a call out to some of our most cherished sources for "nightmare intern" stories that might gratuitously expand upon the "Kids today: My they are insubordinate and entitled in just that infuriatingly unabashed way that will probably totally work in their favor!" meme. And wow, did the stories we heard totally play to our stereotypes in ways we could not even ourselves imagine! But they also helped to contour our cartoonish notions of "clueless lazy entitled youth" with hints of "well, their parents' generation is obviously to blame"-ism. Take the case of this hapless Vogue-ette!
One of my old [Conde Nast publication redacted] interns had a nightmare herself - she moved up to Vogue and was passing Anna in the hall on her first day. Knew she wasn't supposed to look at her. As they passed, Anna tripped and fell, just bit it. Intern freaked out. she didn't know what to do. So she ran.
Oh, no! How like a poor young thing unschooled in social interactions not involving the "BRB" option! However.
Didn't help AW. got back to her desk, told her new boss what had happened, and the boss told her she did the right thing and that if she'd actually attempted to help AW, her first day would def have been her last.
Of course, there are two castes of interns at Vogue: worthless debutante billionairespawn, and meticulous and diligent pretty untouchables. Now let's contrast that with this dispatch from the Embassy of a major European country:
I've got a story of an intern here whose dad is some bigwig in the biggest [European country] union, and who has erased his title of "intern" from his sig., and instead calls himself the "acting social economic attache" or some bullshit like that just because he's commandeered in the office of the REAL social economic attache, who is on vacation. Because of this elevated, clearly non-intern status, he refuses to engage in the less-glamorous work all the other interns are required to do, namely act as hosts and hostesses at events and basically be bitches.
But! What works in Old Europe won't fly in, say, Boston.
We had 2 interns last semester who showed up at an Ashlee Simpson appearance at saint, or some other club here, and tried to bully their way in by telling the GM they worked for Boston Magazine and if he didn't let them in they'd blog mean shit about him and his club. Then they gave him the names of various Boston Magazine editors. While they were arguing they spotted one of our art department assistants, who was on a freelance photo job, and tried to pretend they were with her.
Such an uncharacteristic show of resourcefulness, right?
So the art assistant almost lost that freelance account because the GM was so pissed, and an editor here had to make some big show of apology to the GM or else it would probably end up in the Track. And then the interns first denied the whole thing. Then each blamed it on the other one.
God, are they too preoccupied with aspirational reality TV to have absorbed the single most obvious lesson of all crime television?
Then we made them write notes of apology to the club and they were filled with misspellings.
Yes. Anyway, our last story, from a publication in Philadelphia, is a long, cautionary tale about Why You Cannot Trust Ivy Leaguers Even If They Appear To Be Hardworking And Eager To Please (And Also Attend Lesser Ivies)
Once upon a time, [website] had an intern. Let's call her Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer Aniston came into our lives around three winters ago. Our website explicity states that we do NOT consider Penn students for internships, for reasons that would be obvious to anyone who's ever lived in any kind of proximity to Penn, and Philadelphia's radical allergy to the kind of senses of entitlement for which Penn students are widely known. But when we met Jennifer Aniston, she made a good point: She had graduated from Penn, and was thus, no longer a Penn student. And she seemed nice enough, and we really needed the help, so we let her by on the technicality. And here it must be said that Jennifer Aniston was actually a really, really great intern. She loved the [publication], did tons of grunt work with gusto, and was really just super diligent about any task with which she was charged. She ruled. But the more time we spent with her, the more we realized that Jennifer Aniston basically had no sense of self. For example, she constantly talked using "we" when discussing anything about her personal life, referencing things not simply she, but she and her boyfriend of a few months, did or enjoyed. Q: Hey, Jennifer, what are you listening to these days? A: Gosh, well, we really love Peter Bjorn and John and Italo disco! It also became apparent that JA was just a really, really sheltered young adult — that she was one of these people who moved to a big city to go to school, and then proceeded to basically never leave the campus, thereby terminating more than half the value of her education. In addition, we soon learned that she was attending this strange emo born-again Christian church that seems to prey on hipster transplants here in Philly. We felt bad for her. And we also felt like we wouldn't be doing our duty as intern masters/psuedo mentors if we didn't expose her to the world as we knew it. So we took her on a trip that we needed to make for work. A long, long road trip. On the trip and long conversations that ensued as we drove halfway across the country, we learned a lot of wacky stuff: That Jennifer Aniston didn't seem to know a lot about sex for a young woman approaching her mid-20s. That her boyfriend seemed to hold an almost cult-leader-like control over her. That she would pout at the slightest inconvenience. She was utterly horrified when we started listening to Howard Stern to break up the car rides. Well, the trip was what it was. But when we got back, through the strange social mesh of Philadelphia, we found out (inadvertently) that a friend of a friend of ours had met up with Jennifer Aniston's boyfriend roughly 30 minutes after we picked her up for the trip. This friend of a friend was then reported to have holed up and fucked Jennifer Aniston's boyfriend for a week solid. We didn't know what to do with this information. So we just held onto it for a while. But then, things got weirder It turned out that we started working another young woman who turned out to be Jennifer Aniston's Boyfriend's last girlfriend. We'd known this woman for a while, respected her a lot, and eventually, one day while chatting we realized that she and Jennifer Aniston shared something in common ( Jennifer Aniston's Boyfriend), and unbeknownst to Jennifer Aniston, that at least in the beginning, they were sharing this young squire concurrently. But Jennifer did know that our new co-worker did see her boyfriend in the past. When she found out that she was on the team, Jennifer quit her internship. Immediately. Despite the fact that she'd basically never have to see her. Meanwhile, Jennifer had been posting on her blog and talking nearly constantly about when she and her BF were going to get married, and how much in love they were, etc. We were worried. It made us sick to think that here she was, proclaiming eternal love, when in reality her BF was basically the town pump and here she was, unwittingly making a fool of herself. This all came to head at another employee's birthday dinner, where, unlikely as it seemed, all concerned (except the chick that Jennifer's BF screwed for a week while we were away) were present. When Jennifer's BF showed up, our new employee asked if they could talk outside for a moment. While we were not there, we assume and were told later that Jennifer's BF was given the dressing-down of his life. Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston slowly sat at the table and slowly lost her mind. When everyone returned to the table, Aniston bragged to our new employee, as if she had been hypnotized, about how she and the BF were so in love and were going to get married and make many many Aniston babies. Everyone at the table stared in disbelief. Silence. When the dinner ended, we decided that this could not go on. While it was not really our place to tell Jennifer Aniston what we know, we could, we realized, pass it along to a mutual good friend and co-worker whom we did know, and at the time, was very close to her. In short order, Jennifer Aniston reacted in the following ways: - She pulled down her Myspace and her blog. - Her Flickr stream as well. - And never spoke to us again. In the time since, it's become clear that she shot every messenger she could, and stayed with the BF. She still alludes to us on her blog from time to time as these evil, awful people from her past. It's made us sad, but it's also shown us one thing that we kind of knew already, but needed to be reminded about: No Penn students, ever.