Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don't get in the way or screw up, but do more

On Friday, I went to ask the guy who hired me if I was doing okay. He asked what I thought. I shrugged. "All I was told was to help people who ask, and I do that."

He looked at me for a few seconds. I tried to not look nervous, like somebody who's terrified the person will go, "Actually Sam, now that you bring it to my attention, you're doing a terrible job! Please leave now."

That's not what happened. Thank god. Because even though I hate the fancy clothes, I'd be really upset if the reason they were no longer needed was because I got fired. Instead I got told that the two most important things were taking initiative and doing a perfect job of every task given. He told me to go home and think about how I can apply those to the work I do.

So I did. I made a list. It's kind of a short list, because my job is to like, fetch people's lunches and alphabetize things, or double-check math on expense reports. But it proves I thought about what I was told, and hopefully that counts for something. Work is really fucking hard sometimes, even if all you're doing is buying birthday cards for somebody's husband.

I just want this to turn into a real job when I graduated. Everyone is saying that they'll only hire one intern. Everyone else seems outrageously confident. Everyone else is always really confident. Any time I am racing around the office, rushing to get a document back to someone, everyone else is sitting around chatting, finished with their work. I am worried I do everything too slow. That I was only given this job as a favor to someone.

Sometimes it just seems like it'd be so much easier to be a hooker, or one of those girls who dance in a cage suspended above the people in clubs.


Alisha said...

Generally it's the people who are rushing around and eager to do their jobs well who get promoted/selected for advancement. The people who stand around looking confident are often overconfident and not so well-considered by those in charge. Also, from what you've described already about this position and collection of interns, some of the others may look like they're finished with their work sooner because they're given less to do -- it sounds like the regular employees may have already learned that if they want something done right they should give it to you (and perhaps there are a few others like you).

OTRgirl said...

I agree with Alisha. My impression is that anyone who's had the good fortune to have you work for them has quickly realized your worth. Even if this particular job doesn't pan out, make sure at the end of the internship to ask people you've worked for if you could use them for a reference. Not everyone, just the few for whom you did the most or have connected with best (esp if they have a great job title! haha).