OK, so maybe you’re a little nervous. Being the new kid is scary. You’ve got no idea what these people are going to expect of you; you’ve really only got two professional looking outfits. So while you’re all out there stressing about making a good impression in your first few weeks, it’s good to be reminded that you’re not alone. None of us know what we’re doing.
In my first days on the job, I encountered more than a few internship fails. Revel in my failures so you can feel a little better about that hole in your sweater you hope no one sees, getting lost on your commute or accidentally hanging up during your first phone call. (It might just be funny to laugh at me — that works too.)
1. Anybody there?
So it’s the very first day and I walk in the door, but no one is at the front desk. What do I do?
a) Wait for the secretary — I’m sure she’ll be right back.
b) Take action: go find someone and introduce myself as the new intern.
Sydney opts for none of the above and walks around aimlessly for several minutes before someone asks her who she is … good choice.
2. Office Antics
So I’m finally inside and I’ve met the intern coordinator. She and her coworker are joking around and ask me which one I think is older. I’m trapped, I’ve got to answer, but what do I say? I tried laughing it off as a joke, but they kept staring at me. “You look about equal?” That’s a safe answer. But they keep pushing, “How old do we look?” Oh, all adults look the same age to me! “Thirty-two.” That’s young but realistic, right? They just laugh at me. I’m still not sure I had the right answer …
3. Snicky Snacks
There are plenty of pretzels and animal crackers at the coffee station, and I was told to help myself. I’m starving and really want some, but do I risk everyone watching me take like seven handfuls and bring them all back to my cubicle? I waited until no one was there, dashed over, poured myself an entire cupful and ran back. Judge me. I dare you.
4. Meeting the Boss
So now that I’ve got all these animal crackers, my boss pops in to say hello. My mouth is completely full with the crackers, but I have to talk to him. Chew? No, too obvious. Swallow? Impossible. Instead I shove all the food to one side and proceed to have a conversation with my boss. Smile, I think to myself, oh wait not too much he’ll see the food in your mouth. Every time he looks away I chew as slowly and quietly as I can. Maybe he didn’t notice?
5. Lunch Break
I get an hour for lunch, success! I picked Chipotle, which seemed like a good choice to me. Unfortunately, I got caught in a rainstorm on the way back and, of course, my car was parked nowhere close to the restaurant. So now I’m soaking wet and have to go back in to work … what am I supposed to do? My hair will dry, and, with the black pants I’m wearing, you can barely tell they’re soaked — same goes for the blazer. But what won’t dry is my shear pink top which is now two different colors, and see through on the top — lovely. Luckily, I had a hair brush (because, for some reason, I thought that was more essential to bring than an umbrella) but I had no idea what to do about the shirt. My decision? I went into the bathroom before anyone could see me and used the hand dryer to blow dry my shirt. I literally stuck my chest under the hand dryer … it was possibly a new low.
6. Going Home
So you think that would be enough fails for one day right? Wrong. I have one more. As I walk out to the parking lot I realize I have no idea where I parked. That’s easy, just use the button on the keys and the car will flash and beep. Plot twist — my keys don’t have one of those. So I searched for my car for at least ten minutes in the drizzle.
So while you’re obsessing about being perfect on your first day, just remember me, soaking wet, animals crackers in my mouth and wandering around without a clue. I also may have written this at my cubicle while I was supposed to be working. Whoops! So have a good summer, and remember, it’s hard to fail as badly as me.