Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Intern

Everyone’s out of the office today. The Associate Publisher and the Publisher are in L.A. interviewing Milo Ventimiglia (lucky). The Senior Editor is uptown interviewing Opie & Anthony (an interview I wanted to tag along on, but I missed thanks to my customized schedule). It’s just Intern Number 2 and me.

Thanks to lack of supervision, it’s story time for all you fuckers.

I am an intern at a men’s lifestyle magazine. Yes, a lowly intern. I get a stipend (in other words, no money). I do “mailings” (AKA “stuff envelopes”). But thanks to this organization’s small size and casual atmosphere, my duties far surpass those of an intern for, say, Rolling Stone—I get to write articles, tag along on interviews/photo shoots, suggest stories, edit articles, etc. I get to do everything a real journalist gets to do.

I’m not the only intern here. Two others were hired alongside me. The magazine’s going through an overhaul, and they wanted some cheap labor to help them through it. They also offered the promise of a full-time job if things “work out.” I love it here, so, hopefully, they will.

One of the other interns that was hired on the same day as myself was…ambitious, to say the least. The daughter of a lawyer, a Midtown Manhattanite, a self-proclaimed “actress” who attended high school at an international school in China before returning to New York several years ago. Surely she spends summer weekends in the Hamptons. She was smart, if a bit pretentious, worldly, if a bit conceited, insightful, if a bit critical, and I could not stand her.

When it got down to breaking down duties, I found myself in charge of the automotive, travel and technology sections. She was given fashion (even though she seemed to think babydoll dresses and Ugg boots are the only two things human beings should ever wear). She said she liked fashion, and was very knowledgeable in it. No one gave a crap that she clearly didn’t (a trade secret: the people who write the articles you read in magazines don’t know shit about the subject—they just research until they can pretend they do).

For her first article, she wrote about men’s cologne. She called the company to request a bottle so she could review it. However, thinking no one would notice, she decided to request the woman’s version as well, which she promptly pocketed—the Associate Publisher noticed. When I included Snakes on a Plane in the “Upcoming DVDs of Note” section, she rolled her eyes and said, “Don’t include that stupid movie.”

“Uh, did you watch it?”

“No, but it’s stupid.”

“How do you know that if you didn’t watch it?”

“Because…it looks stupid.”

“Um, yeah, anyway, it’s staying in.”

Three weeks into our internship, and I do stress the word internship, she took it upon herself to write “Editor of Fashion & Lifestyle” next to her name in her email signature. She essentially decided to assign herself the title of “Editor,” a title that the actual editors had to work for years to achieve, after three weeks…as an intern…part-time…without conferring with anyone.

This blew my mind.

Are the remnants of corporate culture clinging to my skin, or is this the most presumptuous, audacious thing anyone has ever done at a job? Especially when I, her equal, was sitting here without a fancy title attached to my name and no free bottles of perfume adorning my desk, watching Snakes on a Plane.

On Friday, two weeks too late according to everyone in the office, the Publisher fired her, but not before telling her she’s a fucking moron.



Anonymous lolo said...

And sometimes, but only some of the time, things end just exactly the way they should.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that this won't be a wakeup call for this girl based on her overall attitude....

9:21 AM  

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