Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Interns

It's Intern Season!

Every year, in mid-June, a dozen interns descend upon our corporate office for three months. They think they are here to expand their horizons, learn about corporate America, and make life-long connections. What they're really here for is to do my bidding for roughly 90 days. To me, interns are like clowns- worthless but slightly entertaining if I've had enough to drink. They're only really good at stapling and wasting my time.

"You get three of them," my boss informed me, tossing their files on my desk on his way to lunch.
I looked up from my computer. "What? Oh, shit," I moaned, looking at the stack of papers. "You're going to dump the fucking interns on me again this year?"
"Somebody needs to babysit," he informed me. "Just try not to screw it up like you did last year."
My boss is referring to July of 2010, when I told our intern at the time, Robert, to charge $400 worth of vodka on the company's credit account. Robert was canned for that a couple days later when I told human resources it was his idea.
"It's not my fault that Robert ended up being both an alcoholic AND a thief," I sniffed.
"I'm pretty sure you had something to do with that, Living Shallow," my boss replied. "But I'm not going to lie- I wasn't sad to see that guy go. Interns are fucking worthless."
"Amen," I agreed.

The next day I had three college students sitting along the wall of my cube, similar to bottles of liquor lined up on a shelf. But unlike a bottle of liquor, these interns I didn't want.
"So," I said to them, lazily, and put my feet up on my desk." I flipped open the folder containing their files. "Let's see....Madison?" A blond with stringy hair nodded eagerly. "Adam...and Tucker?" The beefy one with dark hair, probably a frat boy, nodded his head, and the second guy, who looked young enough to be a fetus, smiled at me.
"That's your name? Tucker?" I asked the fetus.
"Yes." He smiled at me again.
"Well, that's a dumb fucking name. I'm going to call you Larry, cool?" Without waiting for a response I threw their paperwork into the trash and cleared my throat.
"Here's how this is going to work. I'm going to tell you what to do, and you're going to do it. I'm available for mentoring, but only between 3:48pm and 3:55pm. I like my coffee hot, with two sugar packets. And use the real sugar, not that Splenda shit. Don't think I won't notice the difference." The interns furiously wrote all this down.
"Also," I continued. "If I ask you to do things, like, say, give me a back rub or vacuum out my car and you feel like they don't fit your job description- then please, by all means- just let me know, and I'll make sure you get fired." I paused to sip my coffee. "I have an open door policy. And when I say 'open door', I mean it's actually a closed door and I really want you guys to leave me the fuck alone- like all the time. The intern who kisses my ass the most will get the best recommendation from me come September. Oh, and starting now, please refer to me as My Overlord." I stopped. "Any questions?"
Adam raised his hand. "Um...My Overlord? What about lunch breaks?"
"Great question, Adam. And when I say 'great question' I mean that you have so much product in your hair right now you're practically an EPA violation."
Adam looked confused. "Um....lunch...?"
"Your lunch will consist of gumming stale Fritos out of the vending machine around noon each day. Oh, and if you three don't mind- I'd really prefer it if you could use the eighth floor bathrooms. The ones here on the first floor are for staff only. You understand."
The interns nodded, eager to start their day.

Everything started off okay. I gave Larry the task of finding a Hollywood starlet who's hair was an ashy-brown with beachy waves to take into my stylist. He knocked it out of the park by finding me a picture of Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley, who's hair will look perfect on me. Madison got my car detailed and filled it up with a full tank of gas, and Adam got the annual percentage rate on 11 of my 17 credit cards lowered by hassling their customer service departments all day. The three of them even managed to staple 2,300 pieces of blank paper together. That I just made them do for my own amusement.

"Living Shallow?" My boss said, peering into my cube.
"Hey boss," I said, munching on a Nutter Butter that Madison had fetched for me out of the vending machine. "Hey, have you met Larry?" I asked, gesturing to my feet, which were propped up on Larry's back since he was crouched on all fours in my cube.
"Hey, Larry," my boss said, unconcerned that I was making a company intern my own personal human ottoman.
"It's- really- Tucker..." Larry said, straining his neck up to my boss, my calves digging into his spine.
"Great, great," my boss said, nodding. "Well, looks like you've got everything handled here," he said to me, and then strolled off.

A couple weeks later, things started breaking down. The interns started complaining about the jingle bell dog collars I made them wear during the day, but really, I just liked knowing where they were at all times. Since they're dumb they still mixed up the sugar and the Splenda, and, finally- the final straw was when I caught Madison and Adam making out in the supply closet. I called a meeting.

"Listen up, toddlers," I barked. "You guys haven't been pulling your weight around here- you've been showing up late, complaining non-stop, and now- making out in the supply closet? Dear lord, you KNOW only full time employees are allowed to make out in there! What is wrong with you?"
Madison teared up. "Corporate America sucks," she cried.
Larry nodded in agreement. "It's boring. It's just meetings, and stapling."
Adam shook his head. "I just can't believe how bad it is," he said.
I stared at the three of them, quietly, for about 30 seconds, and then, slowly, started clapping. They stared at me in confusion.

I leaned back in my chair. "So, my young grasshoppers, you have learned the lesson I have been trying to teach you all along. That yes, corporate America DOES suck. And you have to go to your job every day, every week, every year- FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. And when you're 65, you'll get a shitty retirement plan and a discount on adult diapers- and then you'll watch daytime television until one day they find you, dead of heart disease in your easy chair, clutching a warm beer." I paused, and stared at them with grave eyes. "So my question is, why in the fuck are you wasting your last summer in college in this shit box?" I let that question sink in and then leaned toward the three of them. "Listen, Madison, Adam, Larry- here's what I'm going to do- I'm going to fire all three of you right now. For the next eight weeks you have left of this summer, I want you to get shitty but young, fun jobs- life guarding, bartending, folding sweaters at The Gap- and I want you to party, work on your tans, have sex with the wrong people, drink too much, and basically blow off the entire summer in a haze of immaturity and debauchery. And in 50 years, you're going to look back on this moment, and think, 'That was the summer My Overlord set us free.'" I paused one final time. "Now get the fuck out of here," I said, as they bolted for the door.

I'm the best mentor.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Summer summer summer!!!!

June first always kicks off summer in my mind. For three months, three delicious months, every last mature cell in my body (and admittedly, there's only about a dozen) turns off and the super hyper, child-me pops out for the next 90 days. It's like that scene in Alien, where Sigourney Weaver's friend is eating dinner, feels a few stomach pains, and then ends up on the kitchen table of the space ship with an alien fetus clawing out of his flesh. It's just like that, but more fucked up.

I don't know what it is, but everybody around me seems to have it. The sun is shining, the grass is green, the whole world seems to be out and about packing the outdoor cafes, chasing their dogs around like children and biking around town in a pair of picnic pants like some kind of fucking JCrew ad. And, the skin- the chests and legs and shoulders of the opposite sex are finally exposed and glistening, sweating in the sun like sausages on a grill. And while I'm happily married, this time of year has me panting out the window of my car like a dog in heat.
Husband (driving): "Honey, you're drooling."
Me (passenger seat): "Our neighbor's son is home from college. And he's mowing their lawn. Without his shirt."
Husband: "That's weird, honey- he's like 19. He's a kid."
Me: "Do you think they need anybody to baby-sit him, then? Because if they do, I'm Kristy Thomas."
Husband: "Not funny."
I sighed. "God, he looks like Taylor Lautner," I moaned, wishing I was Bella.

Summertime is a total excuse to mentally regress without looking like an idiot. Want to stroll downtown in your husband's boxer briefs chewing on a funnel cake? It's ok, it's SUMMERTIME! Want to drink six margaritas on somebody's patio, pass out in their yard, and then get woken up in their grass the next day when the sprinklers go off? It's ok, it's SUMMERTIME! Want to blast Kesha's latest single out the window of your 1992 Subaru station wagon with your greasy hair in a scrunchie? It's ok, it's SUMMERTIME! Want to skip deodorant? Read a trashy romance novel? Make out with a hobo? SUMMERTIME! SUMMERTIME! SUMMERTIME!

"This is fun!" I said to myself gaily, drunk on Ketel One at two o'clock in the afternoon last Saturday and drawing pictures on the sidewalk out of chalk. First, I drew a picture of a bunny. Next, I drew a picture of the bunny holding a flower. Then I drew a picture of Satan eating the bunny. It would probably make the neighborhood kids cry.
"Babe?" I heard my husband call out the window of our 5th floor condo.
"I'm down here!" I yelled from the street where I sat, my eyes squinting up at our building and my legs stained with colored chalk. My husband was hanging out the window in a stained, yellowed t-shirt and holding a beer.
"I can fit eleven of those stale Marshmallow Peeps leftover from Easter in ONE toilet paper tube!" He cried. "Can you fucking believe it?!?"
"Damn!" I shouted, impressed. "Oh, and honey- could you bring me a beer? Let's slam it and then sneak into the rec center pool!"
"Ok!" He shouted back, and then disappeared into the condo. I added a few squirts of blood around the wound of the neck of the bunny where Satan had ripped into it. I wanted it to be realistic.

Work seems to go to hell, too. Around 3:40pm, somebody says something casual, like "Every Tuesday Sullivan's has half price jager bombs."
We all give noises of approval, and then twelve minutes later somebody else says, "Gee, we've worked a TON today. And I don't think we took lunch, right?"(We actually took a two-hour lunch playing Velcro Ball in the parking lot, but hey- who's counting?)
"Maybe we should schedule an out-of-office meeting," I'll suggest, casually. "Y'know, maybe we could brainstorm ideas to reduce overhead and become more cost efficient?" I asked.
"Great idea," somebody else will say, and 45 minutes later we're at Sullivan's slamming jager bombs and gossiping about office hookups, upcoming vacations, and who the hottest Kardashian sister is (my vote is on Kendall Jenner).

My point is, welcome summer into your home- be immature, stupid, and reckless. Your dignity might suffer for it, but in the name of fun, really- who cares? Somewhere out there there's a bucket of sidewalk chalk with your name on it.

I recommend drawing a bunny.