Plight of the Intern
July 11, 2003

RANT #193: Society & Politics
A Slightly Singed Snail
Summary: A slightly exaggerated account of an exploited intern, with some unfortunately long but ever-so amusing sentences, ready to be ripped to shreds (or ignored) by you, the unamused public.
Questionable Content This rant contains profanity or other offensive material.
Full Text:

So Ive toiled from January until May for the all-important, door-opening, enlightening, awe-inspiring internship for somewhere (anywhere!) in the magical land of publishing, where I might one day lurk as a fear-inciting razor-toothed executive editor, barking at yelping editorial assistants (yeah right), or languish as an author at the will of the flighty public and aforementioned scary editors and agents looking for a best seller. In February I gave up hope of ever finding a paid internship and began offering my slave labor to small presses and agencies to no avail. And in April, I was about ready to give up entirely, looking into other things that didnt sound so bad: helping learning disabled children (forgot I didnt like children), bartending (well, I never actually seriously looked into that one), bar reviewing (even less chance than helping the kiddies), and lord help me, proofreading legal documents.

And then one day I actually got an interview at small but high profile literary agency. Moi? Cest incroyable! And then I got The Internships. Yes, they and another literary agency in the same space would share me on different days of the week, and my payment would be experience (gophering stuff) and knowledge (of the storeroom) and the occasional thanks. Dont get me wrong, the view of 5th avenue is gorgeous, its just, Im normally at the desk facing the wall, unless Im in the corner by the Xerox machine, my arm rammed up the machines ass fishing out a mangled contract, or running to a swanky restaurant to catch an agent at lunch with a writer so he can sign some letters (or you know, mark big nasty X's on them and have me explain to his assistant the philosophy of the CC). There are days the assistants take off and I agree to cover, for fear a no will mean that the day they (now seasoned drunk-on-power agents) come across a manuscript of mine is the day it gets gleefully tossed in the trash with a hearty laugh and the form letter I send to rejectees gets sent to me. But I digress.  Aside from paying office bills, I (along with the other intern who happens to have a  Masters from an Ivy League school) am essentially doing the same thing as them, except they are paid and I am not. Tomorrow, in fact, both assistants from each agency will be out, and I will be running between offices, answering the phone, because the agents are too important to answer themselves, as they schmooze with each other about how they hate people without cell phones (get with the millennium), and didnt they like that New Yorker party last night? Apparently, all the people at the New Yorker have fake British accents. This is one of the few absurdly amusing things Ive learned and I cling to it for dear life.

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