Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

Living to be the next ‘in-turn’

I don’t like the word ‘Intern’; I’d prefer to call us something along the lines of ‘Company Observers’ or ‘Spectators of Workplaces,’ for that better describes what we do.

We come in, meet the team, receive a desk and sometimes even a phone number and email address by which we are contactable.

We drink the company coffee, learn by example and if we’re really lucky, we actually contribute rather than merely examine the colour scheme of the office, or the efficiency of their recycling procedures.

The word ‘Intern’ suggests to me that we ‘in turn’ might… make the coffee, get a by-line, be offered a job…? I suppose I should acknowledge the fact ‘intern’ doesn’t stem from the combining of the two above words. Such is life.

As an Intern, you never actually admit to your powerlessness. On speaking to clients or companies over the phone, you confidently lead them into a false sense of security. “My name’s Laura and I work at the ‘insert your company here’”.

Again, you live and breathe as though you were a tax paying, benefits accruing, hard-working, company employee.

It doesn’t matter that, in fact, the only thing you share with your ‘colleagues’ is the fact that you buy your lunch at Waitrose; they use their neat salary, you use your £5 lunch allowance, keen to maintain appearances of grandeur and secretly determined to spend every penny of your essentially free lunch.

When you do get a by-line, it stares back at you from the page, as incredulous as to how it got there as you are.

No matter, it is there for the world (or in some cases a slightly smaller percentile) to see, absorb and ultimately judge. It’s slightly like hanging your undies on the washing line on the day your brother invites all his friends over for a beer and BBQ.

Building up a portfolio of work is, I think, the same as compiling a photo album.

It’s self-absorbing, ego-boosting (like having a great tan line in that photo) and it is that all important proof that you have not simply wiled away the summer watching re-runs of Dawson’s Creek and Hollyoaks.

It’s something to look back on in years to come and show the family. “Here’s what I did that summer after I graduated,” says an older, and more wrinkled you flicking through pages of neat prose and copy.

Hours and hours and hundreds more hours of unpaid work. “That’s great Granny. Can I go on my skateboard now?” Perhaps not quite the reaction you were after.

Guardian Media Monkey: Grazia staffers in a froth

Outrage at Grazia magazine after an intern who was sent out regularly to buy skinny lattes for the beauty desk announced at the end of her stint on the mag that she had in fact been buying them all full-fat ones. Cue much spluttering from the staff and a mass rush to the nearest set of weighing scales. Actually Monkey just made that last bit up, but feels after pulling a stunt like that, the intern’s future in the industry is assured.

REVENGE!

From Guardian Media Monkey

Publishing is a thankless business

Publishing is a thankless business, or so my experience this week tells me. I am writing because today I had to go to a book distributor and pick up 42 books and carry them to our office. The distributor and our office are two miles, and forty minutes apart – and I carried the books in a giant rucksack, a bit like the kind you see people use when they bum around South East Asia on a gap-year for six months.

 

Continue reading ‘Publishing is a thankless business’


Interns Anonymous

We want this website to be a forum for interns to share their experiences and discuss the ethics of unpaid employment. Most importantly, we want this site to be a place where YOU can tell us your story.

Disclaimer

Interns Anonymous accept no responsibility for the contents of the blog, comments or any other content on this site that is posted or provided by third parties. This website is designed to act as a forum for interns to share experiences and opinions about their work, therefore, we will not censor opinions we do not agree with. The opinions stated in blog contributions do not represent those of Interns Anonymous. We disclaim all liability for such content to the fullest extent permitted by law. If you have any queries please email us.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 118 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 118 other followers

%d bloggers like this: