I felt a swell of pride when I heard about an intern at Grazia magazine after my own heart. This young genius, who was sent out regularly to buy fat-free lattes for the beauty department, revealed a little secret on her last day at the magazine. She had been buying them full-fat lattes all along. I can only imagine the look on their faces as they ran to the bathroom to vomit. This girl is a hero as far as I’m concerned. I hope interns of Anna Wintour types everywhere are listening because I can’t think of anything worse than being an abused intern. In fact, I have a checkered intern past of my own … [Guardian]Confession: being lowest worker bee on the totem
poll pole really doesn’t work for me. My most demoralizing internship was the one I had at an A-list talent agency. My supervisor was a rich, uptight woman named Chloe whose combination of condescension, arrogance, and ignorance were my worst nightmare. After the glitter of working in the entertainment industry wore off (it only took about three hours or so—until I got my first paper cut), all I wanted to do was get revenge on Chloe. Every day I would go into the swanky office, swallow my pride, fax scripts, file scripts, and refill Chloe’s coffee cup. It was not exactly the foray into superstardom that I imagined.
After about a month of trying to make the best of it, I decided to change my approach: I would try to make the best of destroying Chloe. I began my reign of terror on a Monday morning. I ran out of the elevator straight to Chloe’s desk. “You won’t believe it!” “What?” Chloe responded well to histrionics. “My friend works in the building next door and she said that someone broke into her office and stole her boss’ diamond engagement ring right off of her finger!” “No!!!” Chloe gasped, clasping her left hand to her heart. She had recently gotten engaged and was fond of showing her Harry Winston off to everyone and their dog. For the rest of the week, she demanded to be escorted into and out of the building by security and even moved her desk to a remote corner of the office … no longer near my intern station. That was the moment I knew what it felt like to be a success. And isn’t that what internships are all about? Learning your strengths?
Read on for some more tales of interns behaving very badly. Not that we are advocating that you try any of these things, but if you do, we will secretly praise you.
“At my internship at a film company, I hid under the receptionist’s desk to avoid getting asked to do tasks by the evil assistants. I put on my headphones and hung out under there for hours at a time. The receptionist would give me a little kick if someone was coming. It worked out really well.”
“When I was interning at a record label, I cut out a picture of my douchebag boss’ head and taped it on an inflatable beach ball. My co-workers and I played an invigorating game of keep away for the rest of the day. No one knew who made the beach ball.”
“I was interning in this production office where everyone really liked these granola bars. Every time a shipment would come in, I would put as many granola bars as possible into my bag. The office manager couldn’t understand why we were always out of granola bars.”
“While interning at an entertainment magazine, I started taking a really long time to do transcriptions, so that people would stop asking me to do anything. It totally worked.”
“When I was an intern, I went and removed the microphone parts of all the sales guys’ phones when they were in a meeting. When they came back and made their calls, they could hear the person talking on the other end but couldn’t talk back. It didn’t go well considering they had to call these big wig guys with huge contracts worth millions of dollars. Serves them right for being pompous.”
“When I was an assistant for a big photographer, she would get 90 million Christmas presents from magazine editors, and companies, and assorted vendors. She’d get so many presents that there wouldn’t be room to move in her office. The second year I worked for her during the holidays, it suddenly occurred to me that I could take a few things for myself without her ever noticing. I got a bag, a cashmere sweater, and a ton of beauty products. I figured it was my payback for having to work with her every day. Merry Christmas to me.”
How about you? Have you ever found a creative way to get revenge as an abused intern? Share your story in the comments.