A necessary evil at most jobs: the intern. And, of course, we end up being the ones who have to manage them because why wouldn’t we. Theoretically, they are supposed to make our lives easier. But in reality, they don’t. It’s not because they’re awful, or maybe they are. They could be the smartest, most qualified, nicest people in the world–but at the end of the day, managing them is a job, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s that we don’t like to do work. So here’s how you deal with them.
Keep them busy but out of your hair
Give them projects that, at the very least, won’t fuck up what you’re trying to do. Coffee runs (with the simplest orders possible–say goodbye to your two pump sugar free vanilla no water non fat extra hot latte), shuffling papers around, rearranging the fridge, reading the operating manual for the scanner, dusting–whatever they can do without actually doing anything. Avoid assigning tasks that require any explanation or evaluation on your part–the goal is to minimize your workload, which is the goal all day every day regardless of interns, so we’re certainly not going to let them derail us. We have ASPIRATIONS, OKAY?
Don’t be approachable
You don’t have to be a complete jerk, but don’t be warm and fuzzy either. We don’t need them asking us questions, or thinking we’re there to socialize or, God forbid, teach them things.
Pawn off leadership responsibilities
“Oh, you’re wondering how that certain aspect of the business works? Why don’t you ask my co-worker, Steve, who I hate with the passion of Bill O’Reilly when the teleprompter malfunctions?” -Or- “You need a performance evaluation? Allow me to refer you to our head of HR–I’m just not sure that’s in my purview–but she can totally do it. Just make sure to catch her in a manic phase.“
Pawn off things you don’t want to do
Ok, of course this includes everything. But since interns aren’t qualified to do everything, only pawn off the things you don’t want to do and that they have a higher chance of not completely ruining–like organizing receipts chronologically for expense reports, or clearing paper jams in the copier, or mailing things. And that way, if those things get fucked up, you can point the finger of blame at someone else, legitimately for once (because obviously we never accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong ever, even if it’s technically our fault–so this way, we’ll at least have a clearer conscience. HA JK we don’t feel guilty blaming others when the blame should fall on us because SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST GET USED TO IT).
Discourage them from entering your field
The more you exhibit hatred for your line of work, the less likely the interns will be to want to pursue it, which means the less likely they’ll be to ask you questions about it and advice for how to get where you are, not to mention the less eager they’ll be–we HATE eagerness–like, have you not lived yet? Because if you have, you know that life is TERRIBLE and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to be eager ever in the world–and the less you’ll have to talk to them, which is ALWAYS the goal–minimal interpersonal contact. Plus then you’ll have less competition from young and hungry, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college grads who would probably shine a light on how terrible your job performance is and would force you to kick it into gear which is the LAST thing we need–to actually work at work? Ugh no THANK YOU–we’ll stick to mooching off the company snack supplies and using the printer to print our boarding passes and watching Netflix all day at our desks.
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