The kid filled out his internship paperwork, sent a FedEx or two, broke down some boxes and went home…
Then he sent this email:
From: [Name Redacted]
Date: September 19, 2007 10:02:15 AM EDT
To: "Brian" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am writing to tell you that I am not going to come in today. Here is why:
I was filled with despair all day previous. This attitude is self-determined, I realise, but it is real. I know you can feel this, and I think this might explain the “vibe-i-ness” of the whole office. My misery rubs off. I came to look for a job, but really: If I were in a hiring position I wouldn’t dream of employing someone who brings misery. And so it goes that I feel more guilt for being miserable…
The despair I speak of was brought on by a lack of social status rubbing against my considerable pride. I understood this would be a stretch for me coming into the internship, and thought I could self-sacrifice for future benefit: learning for instance, or the possibility of getting a job. These future benefits no longer seem attainable, or worth the sacrifice.
Why? The contract and the polaroid are a big part of it. Being asked (at the age of 24 and living under with imposed independence and poverty) for my parents’ phone number and address. My school, etc. I know you don’t enjoy it either, but that process implies a hostility towards your interns. A need for protection from the people who come to you to volunteer time. I was dissapointed. This is of no fault to you, and I am sure that your bosses have very real and immediate needs for this kind of protocol - I just felt very very very alienated, leveled and exploited.
This is good business, but bad social practice.
Everyone I met was great to me, including you and Lauren. I know that it is in both of your best interests to not have me there under these circumstances. That said, I am a competent if not great:
-producer and organizer
… and I am still looking for work. I think the staff would find me intensely likeable under a paid arrangement. One where I wouldn’t be consumed with “what am I doing with my life” questions constantly. It is brash to ask for a job now, sure: but whatever. I am trying to be honest here.
I want you to write me back, and would love to go for non-mandatory drinks with you sometime. Perhaps I could help you keep your interns better!