Tristan joined the Peace Corps. Emily did Teach for America. Eric biked across the country building houses for the homeless. And what did I do? I moved to New York like all the other assholes, where I live in a shoebox, drown in dive bars, and complain about the rats and thieves that overrun this city.
To all my friends who are doing good things for society, please stop. You are making me look bad. Maybe not to my parents, who are pleased as punch with this “real job” I’ve managed to hold for a year. Telling their friends I work in advertising sounds a lot better than, “Andrea wants to be a writer/journalist/traveler something.” But this world is a far cry from my naïve, post-graduation Paul Salopek-esque aspirations. It’s like liberal guilt denied.
To make matters worse, I am happy here. Maybe I’m not teaching children to read or building wells or exposing humanitarian injustices, but I am paying off debts and not disappointing my parents.
That’s something to be proud of, right?
Posted in Begrudged Maturity, Career Opportunities
Tagged advertising, career, debt, dive bars, friends, good deeds, humanitarian injustices, job, journalism, new york, paul salopek, peace corps, proud parents, society, teach for america, writing
Really, I pity them. I did my time too: copying, filing, handing out mail. My fingers were paper-cut and coffee-stained; my soul, crushed. All for $7.15 an hour and a written recommendation. This is why I lived in an unheated sublet, accrued thousands in debt, and lost 20 pounds. (If you’re going to make me choose between food and liquor, I’ll take the latter.)
Internships are fundamentally unfair—a pseudo-slavery of the young, bright, and motivated. Hey, I was there. It’s a rite of passage. Today internships are a necessary evil after you get that liberal arts degree. Something about “connections.” Pay off your college loans later, bitch.
You know I don’t need that contract mailed tonight, but damn it, I’ll demand it. Copy this document. Now shred both. You’d better wear a tie tomorrow even though I slept in my clothes, and you think you still smell scotch on my breath. Whatever, intern (if that is your real name). I have health insurance and a 401k (whatever that is). This means I OWN YOU. (At least when my boss isn’t looking.)
And all you aspiring Should But Don’t interns, remember this: I like my coffee like I like my men—with whiskey.
Run along, now. Someday you’ll get your chance, too.