Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Internships wouldn't be internships without the good, the bad and the ugly of experiences. You know the ones: the good normally involve something free, or a positive comment on your work, the ugly leave you feeling demoralised, angry at the world and sometimes just a little bit dirty.

Okay, maybe not Christian Bale angry, but then, who is?

I have had my share of the good: I have worked in some lovely places, and, working within the industry I do, have been priveleged to attend press screenings, press nights, see fantastic shows, read some amazing scripts, and even get the occassional free DVD.

But there have also been times that I haven't enjoyed so much.
Top of my list comes the "Mango Medley Drama," experienced when I was in the mere salad days of unpaid emplyment, with work experience in a film production company.

The call came through to the runners' office at about lunch-time: "Un-named Executive Producer's" son is in hospital, and Un-named E.P. would like someone to go out and retrieve mango related products as a get-well present for him.

Yes that's right, I said "mango related products."

Why, exactly, it had to be mango I never learned, but the next thing I knew I was shipped off down Oxford Street with a wad of cash in my pocket, and a list of such natural candy as "mango juice," "dried mango," "diced mango," and of course that old favourite: whole mango.

There was one frightening moment when I returned with the wrong kind of mango juice: who knew there even WAS more than one kind of mango juice? Suffice it to say, I had to turn right around and get the right type of mango juice. It was Rubicon, if you're wondering.

Actually, screw the mango mania, at the top of my list has got to come the entire month I spent interning on an online fashion magazine/online directory/bitch fest. Now I am trying my best to be subtle here, so let's say it goes by the name of ""

I'm sure you can picture the place: run out of an office in the glamorous world of fulham, right next door to a swanky club. The actual office was until recently Moon Pig Headquarters. Yes that's right, the pig in the space mask. Hilarious. 

The office was a lesson in Sloaney hierachy. At the top, there was the editor-in-chief, a perpetually bronzed and blonde rake with a double-barrelled surname and an actual dog that she would bring into the office. Now I love dogs, I even have two of my own, but I personally think it was just cruel to make it sit there all day whilst she lounged at her desk, contemplating the last time she ate carbs. Plus the bloody thing yapped like a trooper every time a leaf fell outside.

Vacuous Editor once wrote a blog about having her house decorated, on which was featured a picture of her new bed, complete with three initialed pillows: one for her, one for her husband...and one for her dog.
Excuse me while I throw up.

Oh, and talking of her husband! Mr Vacuous Husband was so sidelined his marriage that his wife refused to take his name over own magnanimous double-barralled one. Can you imagine the conversation? "Darling, will you marry me?" "Why of course, but mind I shan't be taking your surname - why settle for one surname when you could have two? Plus mine has a hyphen."

To add insult to injury, Vacuous Husband was then forced to brandish his inferiority by being referred to forevermore by just his surname, cutesied up by the addition of a "y". "Oh look at you with your silly single barrelled name, aren't you a lamb?"

And this was just the editor. Next in line there was Underwench, a woman I am sure was perenially on her period, and wore a pained expression which could only be described as constipated. My theory is that Underwench was perpetually aware of her "second in command" status, the pain of which she alleviated by become a mini-dictator to anyone she was actually superior to. The best was when she went into an absolute skitz about trying to get the "christmas gift guide" finished faster, using the phrase "Last year I managed to do the whole thing all by my self " more times than was necessary. Well, it probably wasn't very good, was it? She also performed the Classic Sloaney Eyeroll everyone time she was asked a question by one of her slaves  interns. Or maybe she was just gassy.

Surrounding them was "Older Pregnant Brunette" who talked about such exciting things as the Farrow&Ball catalogue (the expression "watching pain dry" fits aptly) and who must have realised that she was the only staff member who wasn't young and blonde. Her own personal underling was Ultimate Skinny Ditz, a girl who was so blonde and vacuous I feared that if she went near something sharp her empty head would pop. The poor girl was suffering her own personal crisis whilst I was there: which type of Abercrombie jeans should she buy? I hear she's still deciding...

One of my two saving graces were Writer Girl, giving this eponymous nickname because she was the only member of staff who actually knew how to form a sentence, and consequently seemed to be the only one who actual did any of the writing. Wait a minute, wasn't this an online magazine, you ask? Yup, that's what I thought too. Saving Grace 2 was Other Intern, who started middway through my placement, and thankfully made me realise that the world hadn't been taken over by an arm of aliens masquerading as Sloaney Fembots.

Or maybe it has, and they found out that Other Intern was one of the few surviving humans left (they were obviously going to anal probe me at the end of the placement) I say this because at the end of her second week, they rang her after she left to say that they "needed to hire temps to finish the xmas work," so could she not come back, thank you please. Hmm, really, or are you worried that she'll leak your fembot mind tricks to the world?

Bearing in mind that they treated both Other Intern and I like crap, I don't think she was too non-plussed about leaving, especially when most of what we were doing was writing the html codes for silver engraved hip-flasks cum bookends, coffee makers slash hair dryers and a host of other things every Sloane needs.

For once, I'm thankful it was just an internship. 

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