The summer is upon us and with it millions of freshly-minted college grads all angling to get a foot in the door in their chosen field. In these recessionary times, many will be forced to get that break by first serving as one of "the coolies of the business world" -- an unpaid intern -- where lowly tasks, long hours san lunch breaks and seemingly endless ridicule by senior employees will be the order of the day, every day.
I, for one, am a firm believer in the motivational, educational and dollar-saving power of intern abuse. In my new IFC comedy game show BUNK, we actually use our intern Patrick as a human timer -- giving contestants the time it takes for him to wade through a bag of broken glass for a razor blade, to get gum out of his hair, to pick up every strand from a box of spaghetti I spill on the floor, etc, etc. And showing constructive abuse is democratic, I treat my stage manager in the same way -- by making him wear an adult diaper so he doesn't have to take a bathroom break during the show's taping! Don't believe me -- just check out some evidence in the video below:
For any manager who wants to motivate their unpaid staff to the max, here are some of my favorite commandments to boss by...
1.) It is an intern's job to go for coffee for anyone who asks, preferably delivering it, scalding hot and cupped in your bare hands!
2.) Kissing my ass is not an acquired taste; it is your soup du jour...
3.) I expect that you will be able to read my mind at all times -- know the name of "that little restaurant" where I need reservations, where I put my car keys, etc, etc.
4.) Remember, when I yell at you, it is a sign of a job "well done."
5.) Everything that will go wrong will be considered your fault, without exception.
6.) When we want your opinion, we'll ask for it. Don't hold your breath on that one.
7.) It is not our job to know you by name. You will just be known and answer to the humiliating nickname we make up for you (eg. Staplehead, Dipshit, Betty Boobs) or the days you come in (Mr. Tuesday/Thursday, get over here!)
8.) As TV reality publicity diva Kelly Cutrone says, "If you're going to cry, go outside." But if you're going to go postal, please go to the mall.
9.) It is an intern's job to get their boss' dry cleaning. If you are late returning, just wrap the plastic bag around your head and take a nap.
10). If the task seems impossible to complete within the time allotted, it probably is. We're
just taking bets on how soon you'll go mental.
Bonus Commandment: Never ask what happened to the last intern. Just assume he's one of us, the one who is treating you the most like a doormat.
Follow Kurt Braunohler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kurtbraunohler