Friday, July 15, 2011

How to Avoid Running in Heels: My Tips For Surviving The Most Menial Intern Duties

Every morning when I dash from the subway into work, often stumbling as I change from flip-flops to stilettos, I have a little “oh, my God, do I really get to work here?” moment. The gleaming, idyllic lobby; the perfectly groomed, coiffed, and outfitted women (occasionally, I’ll see a man or two. Occasionally.) towering over me in pair upon pair of fantastic heels… It’s all very glamorous.

And some days, the work I do even feels glamorous. Other days, I’m stuck filing papers, or sent traipsing around the city in the rain or in 90-degree heat on missions I can best describe as menial. It’s not that I mind changing the toner in the printer or heading out for a Starbucks run – I know I’m making myself useful and helping The Mag run, in my own little way.

But sometimes, when I’m calling to see why an editor’s magazine subscription didn’t arrive the previous month, or moving a bookshelf in aforementioned stilettos with two other interns, or delivering packages well after my work day allegedly ends in unfamiliar parts of the city, I can’t help but think, is this really in my job description?

At any rate, it doesn’t bother me to pay my dues – well, except for the one day I was stuck making phone calls and one of the other interns was writing a story for the website. Then I was feeling kind of cranky. I don’t usually mind scurrying around as long as the weather’s nice. Why should I complain about not having to sit in a cubicle all day?

Besides, doing what I’m told with a good attitude has paid off, from what I can see. Now that I’ve been here for a few weeks, my bosses not only trust me, but they give me a lot more work that I’m interested in doing, like research and transcribing interviews. (They also haven’t asked me to pick up cupcakes again, I’ve noticed. Hm.)

My best tips regarding the less-than-glamorous work an intern can get slammed with on a daily basis? Be cheerful, ask your boss for directions if you’re not sure where you’re going, never forget a receipt, and keep a pair of flip-flops or flats under your desk. No one likes to run in heels.

What’s the most annoying task-work you’ve ever been landed with at your internship? Mine involves standing in line for three-and-a-half hours at the crack of dawn... All right, 9 a.m...

Sometimes menially yours,
Features Intern

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