Yes, I know. There’s one considerable difference between being an intern and having a job…
YOU’RE BEING PAID FOR HAVING A JOB…
Moving that minor point aside though, I’ve noticed since starting several weeks ago that there are a few differences in your day-to-day working life. Not just in what you do on a daily basis (obviously), but little things.
Such as these…
When you’re an intern, unless you’re lucky, you are assigned the same email address that all 490 interns have had before you. It’s a mess in there. 7990 drafts. All font in pink, for no reason. 878,000 unread emails too, unread because they had been received between the internship placements. It’s boring stuff about how “brilliant we are all doing as a company”, or desperate pleas from previous interns that have all been trapped. You can’t be bothered to check.
But when you have a job, it is totally different. On the first day, you’re given a new email address. For the first day, it is totally empty. It looks fresh, clean and innocent. It’s a bit like what your student dorm room was like for approximately half an hour on the final day of first year the moment you moved all of your stuff out. You know, the moment when it’s so empty you can practically hear your echo and you think to yourself “was this room really all this big?”
Three days in, your inbox gets a bit fuller. You ignore several. PR companies going “Dear Mr or Mrs I’ve Spelt Your Name Wrong, you’ve been invited to blah blah blah” and email threads so long that you can’t be bothered to get round to reading them.
Then you go on holiday, or you’re off sick for the day. You come back. You log in. You yawn, and you look at your inbox.
You cannot believe it. You have more unread emails than the amount of money in your bank account. In fact, f*** it, you’re not Oprah; you have so many emails that if you were paid 1p for opening them you’d still be a billionaire, and if you spent one second reading each one you’ll still be opening the same batch during your retirement do.
If that’s not enough, the concept of opening and reading emails comprise 78% of all conversations between staff at all times. I’ve also spoken to staff that come in early to work after a holiday, just to open them. In fact, I bet there are some staff who have gone abroad just to spend some quality time getting down with their Outlook. It’s frankly horrifying.
There’s this thing that happens right, I swear it is illegal or something, where you tell your work in advance that you won’t be turning up and they pay you anyway. You can even go abroad and get tanlines and get drunk and everything. I swear it’s illegal.
As an intern you’re normally exempt from going to meetings. It’s basically a slap to the face when you can’t. “That’s right”, a non-existent message comes from your bosses. “You don’t really make a difference.”
But when you’re employed, you spend nearly all of your time in meetings wondering why on earth you’re in them.
There’s also a set of laws that exist within a meeting, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Somebody must write the words AGENDA on the top of the page and proudly announce whether there is “any other business” at the end. Not “anything else guys?” or “shall we call it a day?” No. Any. Other. Business. Like it’s the House of Lords and we should make a toast to the Queen afterwards.
As well that everyone must have a pen and paper on hand at all times even though nobody writes down anything, apart from the occasional swiggle and finely tuned ball point pen-drawn mini-cartoon down the inside part of the page - something that you would never do in any other location, or situation.
And finally. The main difference between doing an internship and having a job is…
It never ends. Unlike an internship, it never ends. Prepare to work from this moment, until very likely the day you die.