I had it made in the shade in my little corner of the office. The people I worked with were cool as shit. We took regular breaks to laugh at YouTube videos, cracked our own inside jokes, chilled out with Curtis Mayfield, and serenaded each other on gloomy Monday mornings. Hell, I took naps in the copious embrace of our leather chair, my feet in the lap of the young woman I playfully flirted with day in and day out. She loved movies too, and we talked for hours about Bergman, Antonioni, and Woody Allen. She liked to nap too.
Then you had to come along and ruin it for me. Almost as badly as you ruined it for the receptionist.
Life was hard enough for her before you decided to save the company a little money. Her mom just went to jail because her co-worker took the liberty of flushing their company down the toilet with a casual dose of corporate fraud. The legal fees emptied the poor girl’s bank account, and she had to drop out of college one semester before she would have graduated. After that every dollar of the meager salary you paid her went to her family. She took care of half a dozen children at home every day because their mothers were too busy working. Only twenty-two, she has to move back to Long Island, jobless, without a degree, deeply in debt.
You fired her because her benefits were due to begin in January, and you didn’t want to pay up. She was the first to go. A line on a budget. An ice cube in your spending freeze, you McCain-loving son of a bitch. And now you want me to do her job. Without being paid for it, of course.
I’m a lowly intern. I spend my days on the phone, Googling potential speakers for your conferences, eBaying the Blackberry you forgot to return, and sending your neice’s poorly-wrapped Christmas present at the post office. You pulled rank on my boss, and now you want to take me out of my niche and chain me to a reception desk. You want me to screen calls, to mechanically mumble the phrase ‘Thanks for calling blah blah blah how may I direct your call?’ To do even more bitch work than I do now. To sit next to your office and smell the wonderful mélange of your breath, so thick you could cut it with a knife, with your eau-de-molding-carpet cologne. To take calls from your nine-year-old brat, who will tell me how to do my job and knows the dirtiest secrets about everyone in the office. (I wonder where she heard them?) To quietly, mindlessly, dutifully render all of these services for nothing at all in return.
So thanks a bunch, you socially inept beanbag. Thanks for making life tough for someone who has already had to overcome more adversity than you or I could ever imagine. Thanks for using our poor economic climate as an excuse to replace cheap labor with free labor. Thanks for wrecking my last month at your tiny company with your pseudo-promotion; my parents will be so proud. But most of all, thanks for being you.
The lowly intern