Bookstore Slave has been interning in a hospice office in between school, homework and the blessed breaks each weekend. Now while I haven't experienced patient interaction, I have discovered that the working environment in an office can be chock full of its own little cruelties that make it an unpleasant experience. And all of you out there are nodding and cringing as your own memories of hell creep into your mind. The thing about interning is; you are free labor in exchange for learning and experiencing the professional environment. That's the way it's SUPPOSED to be. But anyone who has ever interned knows that tagline is just blowing We Love You smoke in your face while hoping you're too stoned to realize they're sodomizing you from behind.
Oy, I'm being a bit too graphic here with my imagery aren't I? Sorry about that, but that does seem to be the case sometimes; resulting in a two-faced toxic environment that you can feel the second you walk through the doors of your temporary indentured servitude.
My internship has included cycles of this:
1. "Hey the free labor is here! Take this crap and go off in a corner somewhere where we don't have to see you."
Goddamn it, if you didn't want me here why did you accept my internship? To be fair, some employees were friendly and welcoming and really could use my help, which I was happy to oblige. But some treated me with indifference, and some genuinely didn't want me around. They don't even have to say anything, you just enter their vicinity and you can just FEEL that you are nothing more than a nuisance that they just want to go away. Toxic enviornment much?
2. "Wait you finished? Well I don't have anything for you to do right now, go ask somebody else."
*sets her Internship on fire with the pure fury of her mind* I interned for four hours at a time, three days a week. I was often bored out of my gods blessed skull for anywhere between an hour to THREE HOURS! It wasn't that I was doing something boring, it's that I had NOTHING to do! I literally pulled printer paper out of the tray, drew lines on it and spent that time writing out a potential book idea. It was very productive for me, but not so much for the reason I was actually there.
3. "Why are you standing around? Go find something to do! Have some initiative!"
DO WHAT?! I don't have access to the stuff I want to learn! I can't answer phones becuase despite hours of shadowing the front desk lady, she won't let me touch the thing. The one task that lets me use the computer I could finish in the first half hour of the internship.
4. "Hey you're listening to the Evangelist Radio show! We throw around "Jesus" like street trash says "Fuck!" It's every third word and you know he loves you even though you're a God-Damned sinner and you're going to Hell anyway! And now a word from our sponsors! Greetings, my dearest sheep. Please ignore how we're fleecing you while we tell you how Jesus can get you out of debt! Pray to God! Instead of paying off your mortgage, Jesus wants you to donate the root of all evil to the church, because as you all know, donating evil makes it good!
I know I'm satirizing (but not exaggerating), but this was the impression I was getting from their dogma. This was a combination of love and hatred in the same breath; reminding me of the manipulation that abusive people use. Deepest respect to the religious members of RHU, but this radio show put my teeth on edge. I prefer nails on a chalkboard to what I was hearing. I have been to good churches, and I have been to bad churches, and THIS was a whole new level of WTFery.)
5. "Wait, who the fuck are you and why are you loitering around in our office? Oh you're an intern. Well golly gee whiz so nice to meet you! Here's some stupid shit to do that will take you 30 seconds just so I don't have to stand by the copy machine!"
Dude... You can gain only so many experience points standing at the copy machine, and there is no fucking way you can level up grinding on that monster, because after 15 minutes, you gain 0 exp per use.
This company obviously has no reason to take in office interns, because all the volunteers who sign up for shrieks and giggles go to patients houses. They don't know what to do with me! I'm supposed to be the front desk lady, but they've already got one and there's very little to teach me since I can't use the machines. I've basically done this for a blip on my resume and because it was required to graduate. GODS FORBID I actually learn something! ARGH! *goes to kill something in a game*
May all your customers be nice,