Saturday, October 31, 2009

Slide to the left, slide to the right. Cha cha real smooth!

I see boxes in my dreams. Boxes filled with blue mugs and bubble wrap with a perfectly folded letter inside a perfectly printed envelope resting artistically on top. I see them like an endless procession that mirrored my activities of the past week. Constructing boxes, cutting bubble wrap, polishing the mug, wrapping said mug in said bubble wrap and placing in box, printing envelopes and folding letters, taping the box shut, printing address labels, and stacking the completed boxes in endless rows of perfect sameness. It is SO GREAT to be an intern. I felt like I was working for the post office.

On the plus side, both of my bosses were out of the country, which meant that it was dance party time in the office. I jammed to Pandora while doing my bubble wrap thing. You just can't do that when the bosses are in and sharing an office with you. One of my upcoming projects though includes stamping 750 brown bags with the company logo before our big art festival. Woot! We'll see if that too can be segued into groove time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Okay, college students of DC. It's that time again. You've just gotten settled into your fall internship, figured out how late you can sleep in to catch the latest possible bus to be on time to work, found the best lunch places and maybe memorized your office's phone number. So it's time to start looking for your spring internship. Update that resume, get some references in order and start a'looking. No time to waste, it's always stiff competition. This year more than ever, we're desperate to get the internship that will distinguish us from our peers when we become real people and enter the job market.

It's a tough cycle. I figure you have about a month and a half of security, where the internship and school have just started, and you can get into a nice routine before reality hits and I have to start trying to pull everything together for the next semester. There's no such thing as a short-term plan in this city. You do everything with your next move in mind. Which really kind of sucks, because you never feel completely comfortable in a place. You don't really relax, because you know you have about four months to make a good impression, network, and learn as much as you can before moving on. No pressure or anything. But on the other hand, variety is indeed the spice of life. There's never a dull moment, and you truly get to feel out your interests. If you're in a job, and after a week are like "Oh my goodness gracious, I don't want to spend my life doing this!" then never fear. It's only for a few months, and then you get to move onto the next thing. Conversely, if you find your dream job, then it makes the "What do I want to do after graduation?" question that much easier.

So go forth, ye Intern, with resume and with confidence. Waste not October, for come January, you'll need a job.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


You've had it before. It starts early on Friday...the insidious feeling of an oncoming weekend. The symptoms start coming on strong: ADD, excessive facebooking, manic clock-watching, unusually long lunch breaks, and an embarassing eagerness to leave at 5 pm on the dot (one of the few times you'll make a concerted effort to be punctual in your life). Nothing is accomplished when you have Fridayitis. You make a few feeble efforts to finish a project or write that e-newsletter article, but it just can't be done. You've got it bad.

And so went my Friday. There were phone calls to be made and e-mails to be sent out. And they were. There was more organization of projects and coordination and moving forward. But there came a time, somewhere around 3 pm where things all just kind of shut down. I hit the proverbial wall. The crossword I'd been working on during my gloriously long lunch had somehow made it's way right next to my computer to be worked on in between e-mails. It was three-day weekend time, baby (THANK YOU FEDERAL HOLIDAYS!!!), and I was done making phone calls. Except not. There was that one I made around 4 pm, which was returned at, wait for it, 4:58. Man, my bag was all put together, and I'd closed out all my programs, and I was ready to roll out into the beautful fall sunshine. And then the phone rang. And the people on the other end were not put together. And I trying to politely get them off the phone as fast as possible. And I was not successful. I ended up leaving at 5:08. As Homer Simpson would so eloquently put it," D'oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And that my friends, it what is known as bad karma. I frittered away my afternoon, and my just rewards was leaving late. Let this be a lesson to you all. Do your work and keep your nose clean, and you shall recover from Fridayitis enough to leave marvelously ontime.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I Want To Go Too!

What a week. A week of productivity and pain. It was productive for, well, all the obvious reasons, but the pain...oh, the pain. One of my bosses is going overseas for almost a month! *SWOON* I just wanted to say, "Obviously, since I am the intern, you can't go anywhere without me, because everything would just fall apart. I am integral to anything you need to do overseas. Therefore it is not me just trying to be self serving when I tell you that you MUST take me along, but rather for your own good." But I didn't. I just died a little bit inside when I got the order to start researching airfare. On a positive note, I could start working for a travel agent, so expert am I at navigating the Travelocity and Expedia scene after studying abroad. Finding a cheap, multi-city/country plane ticket was no sweat. But inside, my heart broke a little.

But what else...OH! We have two displays that my bosses take with them to conferences which cause some problems. Think back to third grade when you had to make projects on the three panel cardboard things, and that's pretty much what I was dealing with. The issue is that they're covered in fabric, and the display pieces are velcro-ed to panels. While the pictures and stuff stay just fine, there's a piece that sits on top of the display and velcros onto the back. Well, the fabric is getting worn, because the display has been assembled and disassembled many times. so the velcro doesn't hold anymore. In the middle of a meeting last week, the display fell apart while my boss was giving a talk. Hmmmmmmm...embarassing.

So it was my job, as the intern, to call the company that makes these displays to see if they'd had an issue with the fabric wearing before and what they did to fix it. The lady I talked to was SO indignant that I was calling to report an issue. She made it sound like I was maligning her product and impuning the quality of the velcro they use. I was like, um, excuse me, this is your product and it failed. Don't try to make this my fault. She informed me that they'd NEVER had an issue like this before, and the only thing she could suggest to us was to flip the display upside down. Upside down? Really? That's the best you can suggest? At this point I didn't know that everything on the display was velcroed on, so it wouldn't be an issue to make them right side up. I was flabbergasted by her suggestion, thinking that this woman was crazy if she thought it would be acceptable for us to put up our display at a conference upside down. I thanked her very much, and looked at my boss, then looked at the display, then looked at my boss again and said, "She thinks we should flip it upside down." And my boss said, "Yes, that's a great idea! I didn't think to do that." I thought everyone had lost their everloving mind. "The pictures are all velcro too, so how about you just flip them around and test the piece on top and we'll call it good." Revelation! And so it was done. Oh, the joys of interning.