Saturday, March 13, 2010

Please don't compliment the Interns, they might get excited

It's true, I am a sucker for compliments and affirmation. You tell me that "Hey, I like your outfit today," and I will smile for the rest of the day. Being a student means that most of my work will go completely unnoticed. I have interned at three different places over the last year and a half, and most of my work could have been done by any one with half a brain. I get it. I am not doing the work of champions. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to demean the places I have worked (in fact I probably wouldn't be able to get a job after college if it wasn't for them), but it's a fact of life-interns do the work of slaves.

I don't mind it really. I mean, everyone has to start somewhere. Starting at the bottom allows for plenty of growth and learning experiences. It also cultures a certain amount of respect for those who have developed their careers and expertise.

But compliments. Man, if you tell me that you liked how I put that sentence together, or that you thought my idea was a good 9, baby. This phenomenon does have it's disadvantages. I am constantly trying to look for opportunities to be noticed and appreciated. While that in and of itself is not bad, I can feel rather prideful or worst, hurt, when my work isn't set apart or considered the best.

The other day, I was working and was given an opportunity to do some work for editors at a newspaper. It wasn't some big job, just making phone calls and inputing data. I jumped on that chance so fast it would make your head spin. The jobs are rather menial and not very glamorous, but to me, editors asking me if I would do the job was them trusting in my abilities. I interpreted it as a compliment. They were just dumping work on an intern, but I saw it as a glorious bequeathing of a honorable responsibility. "Yes your Majesty, I would be honored to do this task, thank you, I shalt not let you down."

So next time you see me, sure give me a compliment. Just don't be surprised if I float off to the clouds to lovingly add to my beautiful collection of assorted compliments.