T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o


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Partially Through a Fancy Degree, and You Get Stuck with a Boss Like Me

2007-06-18    4:50 p.m.
The interns are coming! The interns are coming!

Starting tomorrow I’ll have two interns hanging on my every word, wondering how they can make my life easier, and kissing up with hopes that I’ll give them a strong recommendation so they can get a job at White Men In Ties, Inc. after they graduate.

The past couple years, I’ve had some experiences with the interns and new hires that leaves me looking forward to this summer. It’s not that I have anything for them to do, per se. But the younguns are fun.

My first intern was a real go-getter. He continually asked how he can better improve client value, completely neglecting that he was merely copying web pages into Word documents.

I didn’t hang out with this intern much until this one night in Wrigleyville. The poor sap drank entirely too much. HeBoss and I ended up dragging him to Taco Bell for something to help sober him up before he stumbled home.

We propped him up in a booth as we ordered, and his face gleamed like it was Christmas morning when we brought back bean burritos galore. With a mouth full of rehydrated beans and melted cheese, he exclaimed, “I LOVE WHITE MEN IN TIES, INC.!”

Yes, he ended up with a job offer and declined to go be a doctor in China (or something like that).

Prior to last summer’s interns, I got a couple new hires to help me out when things were very busy in my group. These two kids were taking these long documents and removing client information, making them look a certain way, and getting them ready for my team to work with. The work was long, slow, and dreadfully boring. They were real troopers, though.

The guy and I ended up hitting it off smashingly, and the other was a very nice Indian girl from an overprotective family in the suburbs. One day the guy told her that she needed more street cred to not be such a nerd, and he and I started working slang into her everyday language. Months later I was still getting IMs and emails that had “For Shizzy” before she signed her name.

Both are now doing well at a client site, certainly making more money than me at this point.

That summer I got two interns. They essentially took up where the above-mentioned guy and girl were, cleansing those long, boring documents for my team.

The guy intern was a worrywart. He was really, really concerned that he wouldn’t get a job after graduation, and he went above and beyond what was appropriate to land himself a position. His precociousness nearly lost him that opportunity, but we ended up not really caring and giving him a thumbs up so long as he didn’t work for us.

There was this one funny moment when I was showing him Pandora and helping him set it up. The way Pandora works is that it asks you for what kind of musicians or songs you like, and it picks a few from there. Like Tivo, you give thumbs up and thumbs down until it learns more and more what you’d be interested in. When I asked him to input what he wanted to work with, he gave me some random name. I assumed it was something way too cool for old, crotchety me to know. Alas, I was wrong. This hardcore gangsta rap came on. It was very clear that this kid was trying to break out of his first-generation in the US, big nerd school attending ways. He’d put his headphones on and blast this crap while bobbing his head out of rhythm.

As I already said, yes, we hired him.

The other intern was a badass. She was graduating with high marks from a good engineering program. She acted her age, but she rocked everything I gave her, asked smart questions, and required little supervision thereafter. No complaints from me.

In line with what we did with my first intern, we all went out one night. However, this time I was the idiot who drank too much. Homegirl stayed in the bathroom, tied back my hair, and refrained from making fun of me until my hangover was long gone.

In thankfulness for her actions, I gave her the best day ever when I dragged my ragged ass into work the next day. We went to Walgreens for Gatorade, Dunkin Donuts for a greasy breakfast, Borders for some magazines, Nordstrom’s for shoes, and The Sharper Imagine and RadioShack for iPod accessories. We didn’t get back to the office at about 11:30, so I took her to lunch then.

We lobbied heavily for her to get the best job possible, especially since we acted as her references and saw who all was trying to hire her.

And, yes, she ended up going with White Men In Ties, Inc.

I got the resumes for the new interns, and I’m sad to say that neither is on MySpace for me to look up before they show up. I’ll report back when they do or say something funny. Until then, send positive thoughts in their directions. After all, they’re working for me. 

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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