It's that time of year, when thousands of young college students take a temporary (and often salary-free) dive into the labor pool.
The following Wuebb-log is a fictional example of why it's not a good idea to blog about a summer internship.
First Day On The Job
Posted byat 7:26 AM, June 4, 2007
I am just about to head out the door to start my summer internship. I am so psyched. It's at one of the most prestigious economic think tanks in the country. I heard they give a tour on the first day. I wonder if they'll let me see the tank, or if that part is off limits to us non-brainiacs. I bet it's just like the shallow pool in "Minority Report" where the pre-cogs hang out and mind meld.
To help break the ice, I've decided to greet everyone I meet with: "Hey, whatcha thinking?" I'll bet they've never heard that one before.
First Day Cont.
Posted byat 2:48 PM, June 4, 2007
I've only been here a few hours and I'm already fitting in with the higher-ups. The "whatcha thinking?" line is working like a charm. I don't even have to say it anymore; people now just point to me and start laughing. I heard two guys use the line in the bathroom to each other — it's really catching on.
I tried nudging and bumping into the old-looking people in line at the lunch counter to see if their smarts would wear off on me, and I totally think it's working. Right after that I was able to calculate almost exactly the amount of change owed me when I had the lunch lady break a $50 to pay for my soda.
Posted byat 7:39 AM, June 5, 2007
They didn't show us the tank yesterday, which is actually a touchy subject. I asked if that was part of our intern tour and everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I guess that means it's off limits.
I know I'm only here for the summer but I really want to make a contribution. I've decided to replace the coffee in the brain room (that's what I call the conference room) with a caffeine-free coffee substitute made with blueberries and ginkgo biloba extract. I think it can really boost the tank's mental output.
Posted byat 8:03 PM, June 5, 2007
The coffee substitute didn't go over well. But I don't think everyone got a chance to try it. While I was in the bathroom someone had poured the entire fresh pot into the top drawer of my desk. That same someone also left a straw and a rather nasty note about me needing it the most.
I will try again tomorrow.
Posted byat 9:55 AM, June 6, 2007
The coffee substitute didn't fly even when I went around to the offices offering free refills. "We can't have you working on an empty tank," I said repeatedly, to no avail. I'm moving on.
Playing Mind Games
Posted byat 10:31 AM, June 7, 2007
I read that playing verbal games can keep adult minds sharp. So today I'm only speaking in Pig Latin. It's ay-way ool-cay! Most of these old-timers are having a tough time catching on, but I'm sure after a few weeks they'll get the hang of it.
Another Mind Game?
Posted byat 10:55 AM, June 7, 2007
They've moved my desk to the basement, near the boiler. I can only assume the tank is around here somewhere. Are they testing me to see if I can find it on my own?
There Is No Tank!
Posted byat 9:51 AM, June 8, 2007
Does America realize it's all been one big sham? There never was a tank. There are no mind-melding apparatuses turning these people into a superhuman thinking machine! It's just ordinary folks, sitting in offices, writing long, boring papers about stuff I don't even understand!
What hurts the most is they didn't even have the common courtesy to tell me themselves. Reginald, the maintenance worker, let me in on the act. He's the real brains of the operation. He knows something they don't: honesty is the best policy.
Posted byat 4:51 PM, June 8, 2007
It seems I'm the big winner in all this. Sarah, the office manager, just informed me that I passed all the unwritten tests for an intern and I am free to go. And I did it in just one week!!! Sarah said the thinkers were very impressed with my dedication and ability to adapt to change.
And it turns out I did leave my mark. Sarah says in honor of me they will officially change the name of the conference room to the brain room. I should have signs made; it'll be my parting gift to the tank.
Mike Wuebben has written several non-published works, including angry e-mails to former girlfriends and at least three book reports on the Judy Blume classic, "Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing." Prior to that, he couldn't read or write.
If you really want to talk, send Mike an e-mail. If it's urgent, buy an industrial-size spotlight with a W stencil and shine it into the night sky. Mike looks up regularly to check his messages.
By Mike Wuebben