Errands. When the E-word is said in the office, my face usually perks up and I am positioning myself to volunteer. Most interns moan and groan about having to run errands but me, personally, I like going on them…most of the time.
This week I was asked to go on a few errands for an editor and so of course I grab my phone, headphones, and wallet (three things essential to running an errand) and head out the door with my address all plugged in to my map app. I hail a cab; give him the cross streets and set off on what ended up being a five-hour adventure.
After heading to my first spot, I get a call asking to head to another designer showroom, then another, andddd another. Fortunately for me, I was given a credit card to pay for all my cabs. Unfortunately for me, it was pouring rain and I had accumulated two shopping bags and four stuffed-to-the-brim garment bags that I had to lug in and out of ever cab into every building then back into a cab. I even slipped and fell in the lobby of a fancy shamancy PR firm…not one of my finer moments as an intern.
When I finally get back to the office, there was a list waiting for me to head out again and run to more places. I surprisingly didn’t mind because I didn’t want to go back to working in the closet after the last two hours I had just had. So I go back out and basically repeat the previous errands at different places with much less rain.
After finally returning for good, it felt like the entire day had passed by (which was fantastic!). I had spent over half my day running around Manhattan, though it didn’t come without its downfalls. I saw other interns had been running a few here and there as well, but their lists weren’t added to as they were out. One intern ran a wrong errand and ended up hysterically crying (rule one of errand running: never cry, at least never let anyone else see you do it).
Errands really aren’t that bad. You just need to be quick, efficient, and make sure you’re picking up what you’re supposed to. Besides my two tips above:
1) Always double check with the people at each place that they're giving you bags with the name of the person you’re picking up it.
2) Always, always, always get receipts.
3) And if you’re having a problem, don’t be afraid to call to your boss and explain the situation.
There are obviously going to be times where it’s hard to navigate the city and where you’re supposed to be going, but it’s way faster and saves you a lot of agitation in the long run if you just make a quick call back to the office and have your boss help you figure it out. They’d rather you do it right the first time and so do you.