April 13, 2010

An Intern's First Day: My New Life As A Career


By Kelly McHale, Student Intern

I start my new internship today. My first real job in college, I plan to wear my new suit. I was told I will be shown where I will sit. With my last week on the beach for the foreseeable future, as an active member of the FacePod generation, I scribbled a rambling list of thoughts on the sand that I expect to face on the way to success.

Kill'em with kindness. You only get what you give. What you put in is what comes out. You get what you bargain for and you've gotta bargain for what you get. If you can't get in, then get out. In a world of faceless pawns, in a giant economical chess match, you've got to figure out what you want and then go take it. No one else is going to hand you a fortune on a silver platter. It's work.


Go to a bar with lots of artists and observe them morosely obsessing over what they have become - an effect of the global economy. Oh, the pain! Crying like this - interestingly enough - is a great way to attract all the women you never wanted, or vice versa. Why is it that so many creative individuals are obsessed with downtrodden messages of pain, apathy, sadness and hatred? I for one am determined to turn the tides and usher in a new era of corporate sabotage base on kindness. Kill'em with kindness.


Will your soul morph if you squeeze it hard enough? What comes out? Laughter? Tears? By golly if I wasn't determined to find the hell out.... Where do cubicle penitentiary coffee cooler copier cubicle bars end and palm trees begin? By what system do they determine who's who and what's what to such an extent that they're left utterly off the bleeding hook? Matrixes? That theory has worn thin.


By now in the age of the digital hipster youngster revolution that's old news. A movie barely a few years old - yesterdays mind blowing theory is today's new reality. And so it goes - change, process - we're just here to experience it all. The sheer intensity one is required to muster in order to break free of the cocoon is mind blowing. Try it sometime. They say the Essenes worked for hundreds of years to cultivate a messiah, a prophet. I say let my words ring from sea to shining sea in this Illuminati age of information technology. I think I'll turn that into a song.


I like to wander dark autumn filled alley ways contemplating the meaning of life. Visions of sugar plums are long gone. I haven't had a good nights sleep in years. Heat ducts hang out of the glass ceiling of my thoughts as I stare into an empty abyss that I'm just now beginning to leave behind. How could I have been so mad, how could I have been so stark raving mad to live on a corporate shelf and think that it would satisfy me? I by no means mean to be mean in saying that the mean sum of those who live corporate lives are slaves - in fact we're all slaves of one kind or another but the question is how bad do you have it. Or how bad do you not have it? Or more importantly, how bad do you want it?


It is better to die a quick horrific and gruesome death than to die slowly - rotting piece by piece, toenail by foot in an old swivel chair with swivel wrists and a swivel head and intravenous coffee machines. By golly if it don't pour it rains. I wouldn't want to be a firefly caught in the middle of a spring thunderstorm - giant pink luminescent grass shining on the swirling green anvils in the sky foretelling the wrath of nature ready to unleash itself at any moment.


She doesn't discriminate; only people discriminate; she just downsizes the population. Armed to the gums with enough blood in their cocaine to chew off your monitor - these people haunt the depths and alleyways of internet land posing as innocent free tech support gurus - temperamental at best and fully asinine at worst. God am I glad to be leaving that pack of dogs behind.


The walls you cannot escape are your own. That's fine with me, at least I can do what I want with them. These days I enjoy walking naked to business luncheons and playing How Many Marshmallows Can You Stuff In Your Mouth At Once. It's a dreadfully entertaining experience and highly recommended - catch a fruit buzz? Hah! Catch a pure unmitigated salivary amylase buzz piping hot enzymes oozing into soft white decomposing sugary flesh - if I didn't know any different I might say it's better than sex. Oh the joys of a Home Office.


After being let off the leash my knees are still bruised and tender from all those hard days nights spent working for my Ego-manager-iac - why do we push ourselves so hard when we don't even know what we're pushing for. Have you ever seen the cocoon? I haven't. I know I've broken through it time and time again but I've never seen it. The dangers of overworking are, oddly, far more insidious when working for yourself. The project you love so much you forget to sleep or eat or shower or move for a long enough time that you realize that some part of you fell a sleep that you never had - and now you can't figure out where it went. I tried calling mine on the telephone the other day but apparently directory assistance doesn't deal in lost body parts.... the fascists :--)


What really woke me up though was the little things. We spend our lives so constantly steeped in anger and hatred and passive aggressive competitive attractive animosity that it actually begins to seem normal. That's when it gets scary - when everyone around you is acting as if what they're doing is totally sane and acceptable and you think to yourself "Am I the only one who thinks he's losing his mind over these angry freaks?!" Late night trigger finger keyboards clack away at comic strip alphabets soup boiling in the teapot waiting for another full tank of gas. Periodically a furry bird catcher sends tingles up my spine. Oh... hello kitty. Distracted I drop it all and plop my brain down into the soft rut of the butt imprints left on my chair and leave it to cool off while I lay on the floor and ponder the ceiling, the dog laying droopily on the carpet, the meaning of life, the price of hamburgers in this town and other very important things. Sometimes it's the small things in life that remind me why I left it all to become my own man.


I'll let you know how it goes.

Kelly W. McHale is a full-time student at Emerson College.




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