To all my peers who think the scramble for summer internships will drive you so insane that you’ll eventually gnaw your hand off like a deranged, rabid raccoon, I can only say this: keep reading this super relevant column. Last year, my internship search nearly disemboweled me with its cold, sharp, cruel blade. I’d never searched for a job before, and, though it all worked out in the end, I thought for a while that my existence was absolutely devoid of any purpose or meaning. I hope that by sharing this experience you can learn from my mistakes and be successful in literally everything you do (you’ll have to read the whole article, though!).
First, I applied for a prestigious “book shelver” fellowship at Barnes and Noble. Its responsibilities, as I understood them, included recommending books of erotic poetry to beautiful women and not much else. I had applied to Barnes and Noble the previous summer, but was rejected for unknowable reasons, though I suspect my tacit support for the abolition of daylight savings time played a role. Nevertheless, I believed myself older and wiser, and figured they’d have to hire me, especially since I had recently received a degree from a public high school. But Barnes and Noble, being the regressive, outmoded and generally failing company that it is, declined to hire me on the ridiculous grounds that my resume was inadequate. My resume, though, was wonderfully succinct, a Word document containing only a single line: “IM GOING TO YALE :)”.
After this rejection, I didn’t leave my room for several days. I took solace only in chocolate pudding and the poster on my ceiling of middle-aged Johnny Cash. I also initiated my still ongoing boycott of both Barnes and Noble and books in general. (Barnes and Noble, if you’re reading this, I hope you rot and burn in hell.)
My mom suggested I apply for an internship at Chick-fil-A. “They pay $10 an hour!” she exclaimed, though she failed to mention that their health care plan didn’t cover my birth control products because Jesus. Ultimately, though, I refused to work there for other reasons. For one, I worried that onerous food safety regulations make it too difficult for small businesses like Chick-fil-A to succeed. Besides, I didn’t even care for their chicken, as it tastes like homophobia.
“But wait!” my mom cried. “I have found thee thy perfect toil!” (Yes, she talks like Captain Ahab.) The exciting internship opportunity was at a local movie theater and its official title was “Popper of Popcorn.” Its duties included patting down all guests for contraband candy, dashing the skulls of crying children against the theatre’s walls and severing the hands of all who used cell phones during their movie. I applied immediately, supplementing my application with a 100,000-word first draft of my yet-unpublished science fiction novel as proof that I am a whirlwind of positive creativity in the workplace.
When the phone call came, I could hardly believe my ears. The movie theatre’s manager told me that she wanted to interview and said she might even hire me. It was a bit difficult to schedule the interview itself, as I had to work it in between my dentist appointment (tongue acne) and dermatologist appointment (epidermal cavities). Nonetheless, I hung up the phone reassured that good things do, indeed, happen to good people.
In preparation for the interview, I had my mom subject me to an intense battery of questions. First, she asked me, “What is your biggest weakness?” I responded, of course, that the traumatic bullying I endured during middle school prevented me from forming meaningful, long-term relationships with other people for fear of making myself vulnerable. “Wrong!” she yelled at me. “You’re a perfectionist!” Because this was my first job interview ever, I was unsure how rigorous it would be. Just in case, I had her waterboard me while screaming, “Where is Osama bin Laden?”
Dressed in my finest vestments (a Ryan Seacrest tie and a monocle), I arrived to the interview two hours early and waited in the lobby. Before I even shook the manager’s hand, I thrust my resume at her and smiled brightly. She promptly informed me that there would be no interview, as it would “confer undue dignity and importance” upon the internship (humble, trusting people, they are), and then she told me that I was hired so long as I could pass the pee pee check. And boy did I! I didn’t even have to wait for the cup to urinate all over myself.
The rest is history. I earned $7.25 an hour, but the toothless smiles that illuminated the customers’ faces were worth so much more. The esteemed cinema patrons were all either old, rednecks, or, my favorite: old rednecks. I’ll never forget this one elderly gentleman I helped. I noticed him as soon as he walked in because he had a catheter trailing from his pant leg. I was sweeping up and he said, “Hey you janitor.” I smiled and replied, “Excellent greetings to you sir.” He proceeded to ask me where his theatre was (he was seeing “Finding Dory”), and I directed him to a sign with very clearly marked arrows indicating which theatres were to the left and which were to the right. He grumbled something at me, and I’d like to think it was, “Infinite appreciations to you beautiful sun child.”
I only hope my internship this summer can measure up to last year’s. I miss always smelling like popcorn and being called a fuckface for running out of hot dogs at the concession stand. But I’m optimistic. I just submitted an application to intern as a “Beaver Wrangler” at a renowned gentleman’s club. I’m not entirely sure what that entails, but I would consider myself a gentleman, and therefore overly qualified. Also, I’m great with animals!
In conclusion, here are my helpful tips:
Waterboarding is torture.
If at first you don’t succeed, gradually lower your standards until you do.
Don’t worry about your internship applications. They’ll work themselves out. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?