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Writing at Work

I have an internship this summer. Now before you get all excited and congratulate me on my progress into adulthood, let me just say that this is not exciting for me. I won't go into details on where I work or what I do, I think it is sufficient to say that neither suit me.

I find myself waking up Tuesdays through Thursdays, putting on one of my button-up shirts, and commuting with the droves of people who do this every day of their lives. I thank whatever god may exist -- I don't discriminate -- that I only do Tuesdays through Thursdays. I doubt I could make it to the end of the summer if I worked any more days.

I didn't actually get this internship through my own interest (as would be expected I would think), rather my parents gave me the contacts and everything and told me to go. They seem to have more of a road map to where my life should go than I do.

So I've found that I hate this work so much that I find I spend more of my time here opening secret tabs to write a short story or check the forums or take a weird survey that tells me I'm in the 99th percentile of depressive symptoms (that got me a nice warning from the computer telling me to seek professional help and a hearty laugh out of me). Basically, I do work here, but it's work for myself. I don't work for them. They don't give me a reason to feel I should.

What I want to ask from this post to anyone who reads it is this: am I doing something wrong? I feel as if this I shouldn't be here, but then I feel the pressing need to stay in order to get this coveted idea of experience that everyone tells me I need. But the experience I'm getting here is not only wearing on me, it has nothing to do with where I want to see myself -- though where I see myself is rather murky still.

Either way, I'll keep writing everyday (I have an email titled "Letter of Recommendation" where I just write my thoughts about the day and avoid my other work) and hope that maybe this will help me grow in a way much more meaningful to me than what it is now.


sometimes we have to conform..even rock stars have to do things they get bored of.....life is like that some people have more choices than others and deciding what you can walk away from and what's best not to is up to you i guess...
I just can't help but wonder why anyone would continue to work in a place that gave them no meaning. I don't mind being bored, but this internship almost puts me through an existential crisis everyday when I realize how meaningless my work is here and I wonder if that's all that lies ahead. If something doesn't suit you, why should you stay with it?
you don't always need meaning in the mundane...it can take years before one realizes how important a certain time and place ment to you or not...but the old saying ..youth is wated on the young is a strange point to make but you have it all before you....
Typically the purpose for an internship is to get your foot-in-the-door to some sort of career path.

Not only is this not the case with you, but I have the [no-longer] secret knowledge that you aren't even getting paid for it, either.

I would go find a job that pays and is something you don't hate. Strangely, doing what you want to do is scary at first (it still is for me) and easier said than done because we've always been told what to do. We've always been told what we want is wrong, or that we're not doing it the right way. But once you do it, fear becomes confidence.

You don't have to conform. Be like water.

"Be formless. Shapeless. You put water into a cup. It becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle. It becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot. It becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

Take the path of least resistance. And like Neil Gaiman said, make sure you're getting closer to that mountain.

P.S. esc also brings up a good point. More often than not, the purpose for why we get stuck someplace, or have to do the things we don't want to do, isn't revealed until later. Maybe your life is telling you to "get a move on already!" in a British voice.
Your whole post comes across as selfish. You have only focused on yourself here at work not what your task is or those who rely on you for what you are "supposed" to be doing.

Being good at anything means you often put yourself second not first. You say this is only an internship, like all things in life you are only gong to get out of it, what you put into it. Based on your words you have already failed both yourself and the company that thought they would be teaching you something.

From an employers point of view, someone who has had interns, I would have let you go on the second day. It costs a lot of money to have you around, it takes time away from other employees and you are more than likely creating more problems than fixing.

For you to get this internship you at some point had to lie and tell someone this is what you wanted. You made both a fool out of them and out of yourself for putting them and you in a no win situation.

Figure out what your supposed to be doing, find out who is counting on you, take into account that person or persons who is spending the time trying to teach you something and pay attention.

No big surprise that depression looms in your future you have done everything possible to facilitate it.

You don't need sympathy you need to get your head out of your ass and take advantage of what you have. Some poor kid who lost out on this internship because of you, is the guy that really lost along with the people who tried to give you a hand up. My guess is out of all of this is that all you see is yourself and how everything effects just "you"

Every day you get to decide who you are, you can either waste the summer there or make the best of it.

And just so you know all work sucks some just pays better than others, there is a grind in doing any job that's why they call it a job an not a hobby.

The others here can hold your hand, I rather give you good advice. Bob
Strong words, WISE words from PW.

It's tough when you're young, not meaning to seem disrespectful, but " sticking it out " until something better comes along and then being able chalk it up to experience stands up on a CV, it really does. What doesn't kill you DOES make you stronger and life's a bitch sometimes isn't it.

Hang in there Greyson and try to make good of it.

And keep writing.
Stick it out. If nothing else but to prove to yourself and your employer that you have the mettle and strength of character to see a job through to the end. You might enjoy it more if you put all your effort into doing it well, rather than trying to avoid doing it at all.

When you're possibly applying for your dream job in the near future, you'll be so grateful that you have some working experience to put on your CV. Experience of any sort is your most valuable leg up into the job market.

Hang in there Grayson, and keep up the writing...
Smith, you're right. I shouldn't sit here and complain about something. If there's something wrong, you need to grow up and take charge of your life. At that same time, I need to be able to separate fact from fantasy. Am I really not happy here or is that just me feeling pity for myself because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today? I am not entitled to perfection, no one is. I need to make better of what I have.

PW, your honesty was much needed. I needed a kick in the butt to get myself in motion. Hats off to you. I started my day with reading your post and I have been having a great day ever since. I think I'll be reading that every morning from now on...

And Dither,you're right. By living through this I can always say I grew, but only if I let myself grow. This will be a waste only if I tell myself it is, and I don't want to let that be true. Experience makes us, and I want to make myself better. So I have to let my experiences do that.

Fisaffie: I'm going to, that's for sure. I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday and making an ass of myself in the process. There's no need to do that, especially when I have so much more time ahead of myself to start figuring more out. I need to take what is given to me and prove to myself I deserve it. I've been doing too much of the opposite.
I'll play bad cop and good cop. Ready? The Not So Charming Side.

Look kid, I envy you. You got an internship. That's something my parents (and family) wanted me to shoot for earlier in my career search. An employer deemed you as a potential asset for the company given you were trained with invaluable tools and resources. What was I doing while you were receiving the praise? Employers told me that I was fit for corporate (not for the bottom) simply for having a four year degree from a university ranking at #57 for National Universities with a 50% acceptance rate. Do I mention to them, "Thanks for the promotional offer before starting at the first level?" I had no experience, but they knew I had potential.

I started blogging during my first unemployed year. I traveled a bit to meet women from the Internet. I finally told myself to find something. I responded to a temp agency sign that requested for substitute teachers. I got the job. Despite working only a few days a week, I did something with my time. I networked for a month, and finally landed into the same high school I graduated from in 2008. I was a Bilingual Tutor. If I didn't volunteer my time during my last summer at UConn, I would have never gained those ESL tutoring skills to make me qualified. The irony - had the professors passed me with at least a D- in the first time around, I would have never been given the opportunity to retake a course to find these volunteer opportunities.

During my tutoring days, I found a second job. The rule of thumb is to use the first to get another. It looks good that you're still working at the time of the interview. Well, I knew retail wasn't my thing. I was miserable for two months. The first two months. I gave the manager the envelope with my resignation letter enclosed.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I don't take gratuity."
"No, Jim. It's my resignation letter. I'm done."

He handed it back to me and negotiated to place me somewhere else in the store. I was in charge of the overstock (the items people bring to the register but don't want anymore). I was later trained in File Maintenance, Produce, Bakery, Grocery, CAO, Night crew, and finally I went back to the register as a cashier while doing all these other departments. I am now on the Rising Star Program. Not everybody earns that spot. I recently worked outside grilling hotdogs fundraising for the Jimmy Fund on the busiest weekend prior to July 4th. I recently finished an overnight shift (paying a little more) just to clean the overstock area. Why? Because I am reliable. I became something more than I ever thought I knew I was capable of doing. I hang tags overnight, and I do my job well. I don't get that many hours from File Maintenance anymore, but I am the first to fill in for the full timer's vacations.

Going back to my parents, why didn't I do it for them? Why didn't I try to secure an internship? I didn't want to do something for them. I wanted to discover myself. I discovered the true colors of my school. I discovered the true colors of the town. I discovered the issues with public education system around here. I discovered a lot about retail. I was going to quit. I produced a letter that could have changed everything. My manager could have accepted it. He could have told me something else. It was too early, but he knew my potential before it was showcased.

I did really well with my job. Before he was transferred to another store, Jim prompted a question.

"Why? Why weren't you a cashier?"

The system is simple. Everyone is a cashier by default. I put my put down to be something more. Cashiers are replaceable. I had a degree, and I knew the degree mattered to them. It is mandatory with two years of retail experience to be an assistant manager. In two years, I've become something more because I did it for the company. Not for myself. In the end, it was a win-win. It was more experience for me, and a better investment for them.

Again, pull your head out of your ass. The company is doing you a favor. Whatever you do, make the most of it. Whatever you can get, use this time to your advantage. I know people in the store with five or ten years of experience. They can't even say they've done everything I have accomplished in two years with the same company.

If you really want to get personal, look at Writing Forums. I joined in January. I was, and still am, proactive. My efforts paid off. I am still making a difference. I joined thinking I will share my story, but in the end - my writing became opportunities to encourage others to produce their own story. Please, for the love of the company that felt you were a fit, follow this path. During the commute, discover the world around you. Study the company's roles and objectives. Be something for them to later find out that it was all in your favor.

If the cute teacher didn't suggest to find other people, I would have never moved on to find Dena. If I was still with Dena, I would have never found Writing Forums. If any of the women I've met, and the education I received, didn't exist - I wouldn't be PrinzeCharming.

This is a turning point in your life. Embrace it as much as you can.

Why? Well, I had to leave the school for personal issues. If the manager accepted my resignation letter, I wouldn't have the same job for the last two years. At one point, both jobs were stressful and questionable. Now, I see purpose in everything happening today.


It could have been
someone else.
Prinze, you call it the "not so charming side," but I don't see anything remotely 'uncharming.' An eye opening story honestly, and one that I should say I am thankful to have heard when I did.

My ass is a real warm and cozy place for my head (though the smell isn't all that great) but I think it's about time I take it out of there and try to look at what the world is offering to me. Lots in life aren't for our choosing, but it is up to us if we take what we have and run with it. It is up to us if we ever take our heads out of our asses and decide to join the world.

Thank you all honestly for your honesty.

And P.S. I'm glad you are who you are :)
They're right, but I think something important is being left out here.

Show appreciation for what you have; not only to your parents, but to your employer. The universe does not owe you a purpose for why you're working there. You owe that purpose to yourself. Find it, or at least keep looking for it. Do the best you can do.

However, the part I think is being left out here, is that if it isn't something you want to be doing, find something else.

That doesn't mean you can't keep working there, and be friendly, and do your job. That doesn't mean you can't learn something from the internship. But don't let yourself be guilt tripped into something you don't want to do.

I avoided working at fast food for well over a year. I refused to do it, because I knew I could do better. The only reason why I even changed my mind was because a friend of mine literally offered me a job, and beggars can't be choosers. All I had to do was go in and meet the boss, fill out the paperwork and I was done.

And I did that. Then that very same day, I went to my cousin's grad party and talked with my uncle Mark. He offered me an even better job at the place he worked at, which is where I work today several months later making way more money, and actually doing something far more tolerable.

So what? Does that make me selfish for turning down the other job? A bit of a paradox, see.

You can find a career that you love. That doesn't mean there won't be days that feel like work. But on the whole, you can find a job that will make you happy, leave you feeling accomplished, fulfill you with a purpose, and you'll get to do it for the rest of your life. People who tell you otherwise are people who settled for less.

"The most dangerous risk of all: the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later." -Alan Watts

Have a good day at the internship, give it your best shot like the others here have said, and if it still isn't what you want? Go get what you want. Don't neglect yourself.

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