Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Reader, I Did His Expenses

Once in a while there comes along an internship that makes my heart sing, that makes me realise that there are some people in this world who actually realise what an internship is for, and more importantly that an intern is actually a person, rather than just than chameleon-like being who changes appearences every month and is there to clean the kitchen.

As you may be able to tell, I started a new internship today, and the result is just...ah!

Words do not suffice.

Never fear, faithless followers, this does not mean that Ms. Intern will be giving up her anarchic tone for a world of sweetness and light.

After all, she loves nothing more than seeing the irrelevant replies clogging up her blog about exactly how much money she has in her bank account.

I am sure that I will find plenty to gripe about in the coming months, and if not...I have a wealth of injustices stored up from past experience.

But in the meantime, I feel that all is right in the world.

Perhaps it is because, for once, I am interning in exactly the department of exactly the industry I want to be in: namely Film Development.

I am greeted each morning by the twinkling chatter of box office ratings and potential castings.

I sigh contentedly as I caress scripts, still warm from the printer, and frolic to the supplies cupboard to achieve roladex cards and spare binders.

If this were a Disney movie, it would be a part where the little blue birds come out and start making me a dress out of scrap paper and treasury tags.

But mainly, I think it is because the people working there have actual been brought up with good grace, and the common sense that, really, treating people like crap does nothing for anyone.

I don't think I've ever been in an environment where I've heard the words "please" and "thank you" so much.

It's like being back in primary school.

And when one of the bosses asked me to pop to Starbucks for him, he even asked me if I wanted one too.

It took me a while to actually work out what he was saying, "I'm sorry, what now? Me, have a coffee? That's not how it works. I'm all confused. Where's the special cappucino maker, and the variety pack of tea?"

Of course, there is still the amount of admin, intern level stuff to be done - don't get me wrong, I'm not the one hiring and firing yet. But what this has made me realise is that it is not necessarily a question of WHAT you are asked to do, but HOW you are asked to do it.

I honestly don't mind filing receipts, doing photocopying, making coffee etc - hell I'll even get their weightwatchers supplements - if the person asking is gracious enough to understand that they are asking you to do something as a favour to them, rather than just commanding you to do their bidding.

In contrast, one incident at the vaccuum-cleaning-hell-hole that sticks out for me is being asked to fetch a salad for someone from M&S. They didn't have the salad, so I rang the office and asked his assistant what I should get instead. I returned and brought up the salad to the guy. When I was clearing up after, I saw that the salad was barely touched. The guy, seeing me pick it up, came over and said, "Did you bring me this salad? Intern, listen, what do I look like? I'm mediterranean! Bring me ham, or parmesan, or rocket. Not this."

Um...maybe you could try...I don't know...getting your own  lunch, if you must be so picky?

Many, many light years away from the Debretts Etiquette of New Internship.

And so, for the moment, I am happily toiling away in film-geekdome, still unpaid but less despairing to be so.

For the moment, that is.

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