Congratulations! You succeeded in dusting the Cheetos off your resumes and applying successfully for your first internship! (Or perhaps you got a job at your father's company, but hey, a win's a win in Job Land.)
Now that you're entering the unpaid working world and earning that college credit towards your Comm degree, it's time to learn some hard truths about life at the bottom of the totem pole.
Below are seven knowledge acorns you'll collect during that first summer as a cube-dweller.
1) You will never successfully make an outgoing call.
Don't even attempt to learn the code for making a call outside outside the office. It'll never happen, and the brainspace you're wasting on a long series of numbers beginning with an "8" could be better served remembering to wipe your porn-filled browser history from your computer every evening.
It will be an office miracle if you can check your voicemail, and by the time you do, your supervisor has already emailed you the same information.
If you actually can access your voicemail, make sure to record a super-professional out of the office message letting people know how important you are.
"You've reached Darren 'The Man' Murphy. I'm away from my desk running important intern tasks guaranteed to slam this company balls deep into profit. For Spanish, please press 2."
2) The 30 minute lunch break is complete malarky.
You heard me: malarky! Given that your list of tasks to complete on a daily basis could maybe-possibly-kinda fill three hours (and that's only if you really took your sweet time at the copy machine), you will spend nearly half the day eating.
It certainly doesn't help that Barbara from Accounting brought jelly donuts this morning. Man, they look scrumptuous! You'll just have three; they are free after all. You're saving money, and your dad would be proud of that responsible outlook.
If you got the Freshman Fifteen, prepare yourself for the 'Tern's Twenty.
3) You will send at least one email you'll immediately regret.
Author True Story (OMG! ROFLcopter!):
At my first internship, the email system went down constantly. After the IT guy fixed it, he'd ask us all to send a 'test' email to make sure our email was operational. My buddies Chuck and Hosam would always send me vulgar one-word email to 'test' the system.
One day, I was the first to notice it was time to 'test' so I shot Hosam an email with the Subject Line "Slut" and the Body "C*nt".
Hilarious, am I right?
But as soon as I clicked send, I noticed the auto-fill had selected a client with a last name VERY similar to Sam-bone's. After breathing heavily into my now-prayer-like hands, I rushed to the restroom to punch some walls. The next day I received a reply from the client:
I generously assume this wasn't meant for me, and I fear for the real receipient.
And that's how I became a badass in that one client's eyes. (Um but don't do that at your job. I just gave you terrible advice.)
4) You'll bond with one person in the office.
Whether it be your boss, your supervisor, the sassy secretary, or a fellow bottom-totem, you are guaranteed to find that one shining individual who respects you as an human being and values your ideas.
5) One person in the office will inexplicably hate you.
You'll never find out why this one co-workers spits on your mere existence, but you'll notice the awkward elevator rides, icy stares from across the break room, and the sudden dissapearance of your pudding snacks from the fridge. And don't kid yourself, this guy was the one who told the boss about the time you snuck into the executive washroom. Don't try to reconcile with him because it's no use. Just stand your ground and piss in his favorite coffee mug on your last day.
"Oh hi, Darren, I didn't see you there. Not because I have poor vision, but because it's so hard to see that far beneath me." Your mortal enemy
6) The one day you skip work is the best day at the office.
After four grueling weeks of sorting copies, filing forms, and hiding your iPod headphones from your supervisor, you deserve a rest. So you call in, weave a grand tale about something you title "the hyper-monkey flu" and curl back onto your futon.
The next day the entire office is in a great mood. It certainly can't be because you were gone yesterday; you're the life of the office! Then you settle into your creaky desk chair and the all-day chatter begins about the great office party you missed. You clench your fists as you slowly realize the one chance to get summer anecdotes to impress your college hallmates just slipped through your monkey-flu-ridden grasp.
"Did you see what the VP did at the party!" Co-worker #1
"Yes, it was the best thing that's ever happened. Ever. Let us never speak of it in detail again." Co-worker #2
7) Every time you poop, the boss will walk into the bathroom.
This is less a 'truth' and more a 'impossible-to-disprove fact'.
If you drop off any kids at any pool during the day, your boss will walk into the restroom at the same time. I theorize he secretly stalks the intern cubicles on Taco Day waiting for them to feel the urge. Then he bursts into action, waiting outside the main bathroom door ready to enter as soon as you make that first embarassing noise.
So go for it. If it's gonna happen anyway, you should go all out. After all, you never got an office nickname, and "Toots" could be kinda cute to that hot chick in HR.