I currently do not have a summer job or internship, and it is causing me to wake up in a cold sweat and spontaneously vomit on myself. Am I the only one left who doesn’t have a cubicle with my name on it at Goldman Sachs?


No. God, I hope it’s not just you and me remaining at the bottom of the pit of unemployed despair. I receive those e-mails from the Yale Undergraduate Career Services that begin, “Help! I Need an Internship!” and I want to punch my laptop in its smug face and scream, “You don’t know me!”

But it does know me, because it can see me sending desperate e-mails to employers with whom I’ve already pleaded for a job (multiple times in the past weeks) trying to prove that since I last inquired about an internship, I have become a much more qualified individual. It also laughs at me – makes that low grumbling noise with which it expresses displeasure before it flashes Chinese symbols and shuts down – whenever I Google phrases like “cool job.”

To help you adapt to your new status as a desperate loser, I would like to present a ladder (leading straight into hell) that shows what job opportunities one imagines are still available as time continues to flee, kicking rejection letters in its wake. Perhaps this will be good to review next year, as this death-cycle repeats itself, and we both act like fools once again.

Stage One (circa January, 2008)

Things are rosy. Life is beautiful. You dream that it is already the still-distant summer, and in your dream you look much like Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” You have ideals. You have goals. You make things happen. You don’t bother looking into summer grants because at the salary that you are going to be earning as you churn out Pulitzer Prize winning work/save planet Earth/rule the world, you won’t need to think about that kind of chump change.

Stage Two (circa February, 2008)

It begins to seem strange to you that other people already know what they are going to be doing this summer. You wonder what all those e-mails about Bulldogs and Bluegrass were about, but laugh it off. You go to Yale, so … you’re essentially the perfect candidate for anything. That fat old Y is the golden ticket. You worked hard to get here, so you’re going to sit back with your cigar and bottle of Andre, and ready yourself for when the job offers start rolling in.

Stage Three (circa March, 2008)

You begin to worry. You call up your mother, who is disconcertingly cheery about the whole thing, and tell her to start contacting everyone she knows that has a job. She wants to know what kind of job, and you start weeping and screaming, “Any job at all, Mom, I’m a Humanities major. I just want a roof over my head and an air-conditioning unit in the window.”

Stage Four (circa April, 2008)

You start sending drunk e-mails to your parents asking them why they don’t have more connections in the Right Places, why they didn’t get goddamn famous when they had the chance. You start trying to sabotage other people’s summer options, by belittling all the jobs they mention having applied for, and then applying for the same jobs behind their backs. Your parents start using the phrase “long-shot” a lot, and sending you care packages in the mail.

Stage Five (circa May, 2008)

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. That’s all you hear in your head, all the time, that and the song “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston. He’s only eighteen and look at his job, you think. You start asking if your parents will pay you not to watch “Make Me a Supermodel” all day. You take up knitting. You tell all of your friends on AIM that you’ve started a novel, but you won’t video chat with them because then they would see you swigging whole milk out of the carton, while wearing your Garfield pajamas (tops and bottoms, they just make you feel comfy).

Mid-Summer (a.k.a. Reality Bites)

You are working at American Apparel.

Summary: See you in the pit. I’ll bring the milk and the slim slacks. I get a discount.

Emma Allen could be YOUR intern this summer! Email! Or call! Whatevs!