Washington is the intern mecca of the universe. Wherever you are in the city, you can see them fleeing to work, Starbucks in hand, pained expressions pasted on, pencil skirts crooked as they rush to their cubicles. Being an intern at 2020 Productions is slightly more laid back than most places (I’ve very comfy in my daily flowy skirt and sandals, and I don’t do latte runs.) But I do hear a lot of horror stories- and because I think they are both heartbreaking and hilarious, I thought I’d share a few with you. This week we’re making a list of the worst summer internships I have heard about in July 2013. Enjoy, Washington, and I hope your summer is better than these kids’.
Public Relations Employee of the Month
We obviously have to begin our list with this star-studded child. The National Transportation Safety Department did what so many of his bureaucratic brethren do: blame the intern for a joint screw up. The entire story is a tragedy: An Asiana plane flown by a rookie pilot went down at San Francisco airport, crash landing on its way back from Seoul and in the process killing three, injuring hundreds and stopping all SF airport operations. This was a horrible day for American aviation, but of course the media has to work with what its’ got. They call the Transportation Department via the intern and asked for the names of the pilots. Reflecting on his summer spent answering phones about faulty seat belts and broken traffic lights, the intern gave the nation a beautiful example of racist thinking on your feet. He told KTW television that it was Sum Tin Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow that crashed Flight 214, instead of the politically correct (and accurate) pilot names. The best part of this is the fact that, indeed, the Department actually gave confirmation that these were the correct titles and gave the okay for the kid to say this. So either the Trans Department has a better (and more perverted) sense of humor than we ever thought, or they are as thick as they seem. I mean, who doesn’t speak faux-Korean? So let’s be fair. The kid probably didn’t think anyone was possibly stupid enough to be believe him-and the fact that they did speaks to some serious problems with the way America deals with crises. We’re pretty sure the kid got fired, and subletting on the hill means no return deposit. So an entire summer of soothing angry Americans calling about increased traffic congestion was capped off by getting binned for relieving some on-the-job boredom. And it only played out the way it did because of some other higher up’s nascent racism/ignorance. Score one, federal system.
Display of Showmanship
Alright, I’m not sure if this one is true or not, but if it is than there truly is a god, just for purposes of delectable story telling. Disclaimer, this tale isn’t for the faint souled. Word has it from Gawker. com that in 2008 a female intern fatefully showed up to her NBC internship ready to fetch coffee and drool over Alex Baldwin. Unfortunately for the entirety of the television-making personnel in her vicinity, in the middle of the meeting with her boss she ran outside and, because the bathroom door had been locked, extreme pooped her way through the 30 Rock building. She had this incredible accident all over 2 ENTIRE floors- and then picked up, went home, and returned the next day. They had to throw out some computers and carpets it was so bad. The best part of this story is that she was never fired- the whole ordeal was so jarring that no one wanted to talk about it. So this unnamed perpetrator continued to roam Liz Lemon’s halls, ready to strike (poop) at any moment. Kudos to her. I would have not only quit but sent gift baskets in lieu of returning for my puny cardboard boxes in shame.
Fear not: there will be more to come. Speaking of which, have you heard about the new Capitol Gossip Girl? There’s a bunch of bigwig intern coordinators that grouped together and started “Spotted: DC Interns”, a snarky anonymous blog that bashes the Democrat voters that work for Republican congressman and the drunken antics of the over privileged and (almost) gainfully employed by the federal government. I personally find the blog to be unnecessarily cruel- back when those coordinators were Hill Babies, there was no such thing as a blog that could document their every broken copier and mis-dialled patch through. Being an intern is the bottom of the ladder, of course, but we need to cut them some slack. Stereotypes are bad things. False verification on foreign pilot names and accidents all over mailing rooms are even worse.