“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together – knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
Hello guys! Welcome back to the life-as-an-intern series. In the first episode, my boss turned out to be a sexual predator, and I ordered a brainless chicken. If you miss it, read it here.
Well, I had another internship right after that. In fact, I quit my previous internship early so that I could start another internship. WHY, you ask?
HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION AT ALL, PEOPLE?!
But hey, I was quite efficient, right? Grab life by its horn! Grab every opportunity! Don’t simply wait, but make things happen!
Ah, indeed was the epitome of all that since I was already interviewing for another internship while I was still in one. This other internship was for a PR role in a boutique PR agency. It was a typical boutique setting – the office was located in one of those shop houses along Dhoby Ghaut.
I remember the interview quite clearly though. I did not think I would get the role because I was talking and laughing too much. Perhaps it was my way to mask my nervousness. I recall the interviewer asked me something, and I made a reference about a celebrity being dead.
However, I got called back a few days later, telling me that I did get the internship and I was expected to start as soon as possible. It was quite awkward, I had to tell my current boss at that time that I had a personal issues and that I needed to cut the internship early. I think he was quite rude and mean about it – and I don’t know whether I should have, but I thought about what’s best for myself and that I could learn something more relevant to my study at the other PR company.
So I did it! I started interning at this company where I had quite a fun and fruitful working experience. My colleagues were very nice, they were definitely older and sometimes I felt quite ‘irrelevant’ being around them but they tried to guide and teach me along although they were in and out of the office for most times.
I had to do media monitoring every morning – which essentially meant flipping the newspapers and some online sites, checking if there were any mentions on any of our clients’ brands. I would then have to compile a report and send them to the clients’ every day. Other than that, I also helped out with whatever tasks my colleagues gave.
There were nothing to complain, really. I enjoyed myself, and the only memory I could think of while I was interning there was the fact that I just got into a long-distance relationship with my then-boyfriend and I remember talking to him on the phone every day at lunch time.
My colleagues were probably thinking I’m a total weirdo for always refusing to join them for lunch.
I’M SORRY, BUT I WAS YOUNG AND STUPID AND IN LOVE AND STILL SO HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC. WHAT COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TALKING TO YOUR BOYFRIEND EVERY LUNCH HOUR? (EVEN THOUGH I STILL TALKED TO HIM EVERY NIGHT TIME TOO..)
Ah, the things we do for love..
Anyway, another thing I recalled was, during this internship I wrote an opinion piece which ended up being featured in the local newspaper and I remember boasting about it to the bosses. It was actually quite lame – the way I boasted was as if I just won a Nobel Prize.
Very classy, Tina.
(If you miss what happened when I was lost in LA trying to get to Disneyland, read the story here.)
This story will be the next installment of my graduation trip to the States back in 2009!
Next stop: San Diego!
When we were in Los Angeles, my friend whom I went with had a relative who was living there with his family. They were so nice and offered to take us around the city as it was quite difficult to get around with public transport.
Alas, the getting lost part previously.
Having no more privilege of being driven around everywhere, we had to make our way to San Diego the old fashioned way.
Well, by train.
We were supposed to take this train to Oceanside from LA, where we would later transit to take another train to San Diego. Long story short, we got there pretty early and the next train wouldn’t leave for another two and a half hours, so we parked ourselves in some chairs outside, bought burgers from Burger King and camped there, talking nonsense.
I remembered I was actually looking for the grilled mushroom burger, and my friend was initially confused to see no rendang burger in sight! Hellooo, we are not in Singapore anymore, guys. We are hopeless.
So there we were, just talking loudly and eating our burgers (at one point I even spilled my Coke..errr, good job Tina.), until the guy beside us who initially had his headphone on, ended up talking to us (because our voices probably surpassed his loud RnB songs..)
Anyway, we were finally inside the train and we must have looked pretty eye-catching because of our gigantic luggage, pink and bright red some more.
We had quite a scary episode in the train as we saw two guys eyeing us weirdly throughout the journey. We had a feeling that they knew each other, although they sat separately, which made the whole thing seem even more suspicious.
“Anyone has a scissors in their bags?” I blurted out, dumbly. Granted, it was our first trip unadvised, we were pretty much safe in Oklahoma and LA.
Their blank faces was all I could need to freak out. We all stared at our luggages, hopelessly.
“I don’t care if they take that suitcase, as long as it’s not the pink one. I put all my make-up in there…” my friend said, not comforting me at all.
“Oh, so you’re okay with being completely naked as long as you’re fully made-up?” I teased her. She looked at me as if saying, duh.
We ended up approaching the guy whom we talked to on the train stop earlier, and asked him to sit beside us ’til our destination. Thankfully, he agreed.
So that’s how we spent the rest of our trip to San Diego; having the guy there made us feel at least a bit safer. He was supposed to alight at the stop after ours, but he offered to come down and hang out with us for the night. Uhm, we declined politely.
As soon as we alighted at our stop, we saw the two suspicious guys talk, so they indeed knew each other! We hurried, we couldn’t even like, stop for a second to breathe the cool San Diego air! We were too busy getting away as far as possible from the train. We only felt relieved once we got in a cab. What a ride!
But, that had to be the only slightly minor bump on our San Diego trip; the rest was truly amazing. We loved San Diego, and we met really great people there. Everyone was super nice and friendly.
When we checked in our hotel, we met this guy, Tim, who worked as the driver for the hotel shuttle bus. We told him that we were going to Sea World the next day, and he told us we could just take the shuttle which would take and pick us up to-and-from the hotel.
The next morning, Tim drove us and we were the only people in the shuttle. Out of nowhere, he handed us some papers.
“Well, my friend works in Sea World, so he’s entitled to free passes; I asked him and got these last night,” he said.
“Eh? For us?”
“Yeah, yeah, so just show those tickets in the entrance..”
“Eh? So we can get in for free?”
Seriously, we asked such dumb questions!
“Yeah..” Tim-the-driver smiled, looking like an angel.
We were probably making a scene by laughing and screaming loudly, “Thank you soo muchhhhhhh, Timmmmmmmmm” like fifth-graders. But we don’t care. Heck, the entrance ticket was supposed to be like 60-70 bucks each! He completely made our day.
We also went to Coronado Island in a ferry with our high heels (quite a scene) and had an awesome fancy dinner by the seaside. That was the first time I had sake and got pretty drunk.
San Diego was beautiful. Throughout our stay, we made a bunch of new friends and had a lot of fun! It’s a place filled with good vibes and memories!
Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
My relationship with the animal kingdom is a complicated one.
We started out as friends, but not until one of you (a dog) decide to chase me down when I was cycling as a kid, that I decided to go my separate way as you have scarred me for life.
So imagine my surprise when I found myself actually enjoying my trip to Nara and making friends with these adorable deer!
If you are in Kyoto, this is definitely a place you should check out! Nara was wonderful, it was an big open park with wild deer roaming around amongst humans.
You would sometimes see them crossing the main street, even, and cars would stop patiently to wait for them to cross.
Japanese people are so zen with life, I’m jealous. I can imagine myself coming here one afternoon to just walk around and enjoy the outdoor.
You can see that I was a bit scared even being very close to the deer, but they were very chill!
Look at how pretty his antler was!
At the park, you can buy these biscuits to feed the deer, and boy, they loved it! As soon as they smell the biscuits in your hand, they would run towards you in a flock and keep following you until you show both your hands as if saying, “I have nothing left! See? See?!”
Damn, they are smart.
The biscuits were in a round shape, and they were brown. On first glance, they looked like ham, and I impulsively asked my boyfriend, “Are these ham?”
He looked at me, his brows furrowing.
“DO YOU THINK DEER EATS HAM?!”
Err.. okay. It just dawned on me that deer is herbivore, but HEY THE BISCUITS REALLY LOOK LIKE HAMS OKAYYYYYYYYYYY.
(Tina’s bimbo moments #255)
Believe it or not, I am a responsible kid.
(Okay, some people may disagree – then again, I once got super drunk I passed out, only after breaking some glasses, hugging random people at the bar, and slurring “I want moreeeeeeee” to the bartender. I digress.)
But hey, everyone goes through THAT phase, right? Don’t tell me you suddenly transformed into your mature, adult self without making a few ridiculous mistakes along the way? And trust me, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, especially in my past haircut choices. What was I thinking?!
I don’t know why I always get sidetracked every time I’m about to get to the story.
So back to being responsible. What I meant was that I was a hardworking kid. I was so hardworking that I took up 4 internships between exams during university. My uni courses were such that we only took 1 subject at a time. We took classes and there would be a final assignment and an exam before we moved to another subject. After each class was completed, we would have these breaks while we were supposed to be working on our assignment and studying for the exam. After the exam, there would be a short break as well before the next subject.
So being a restless kid, and someone who wanted to earn a bit of pocket money so that I could afford to buy pretty dresses to party (ahem, 22 year Tina had so much to learn about priorities), I decided to try taking up some internships out of my own initiatives and see what it would take me.
Also, I aspired to be a journalist, or a successful working lady that I always see in the morning. (My friends and I used to pass by those bars where guys in sharp suits and ladies in pencil skirts drink after work, and pictured us being there when we entered the workforce, sipping champagne and talking in big words. We loved it.)
I had a lot of funny and (sometimes) awkward situations in these internships that I thought I would write about it. So this post is going to be about the first internship I have ever had at a Google marketing company.
I don’t recall much about interviewing for this position, aside from the emails exchange I managed to find in my Inbox between me and the boss and that it was so cringe worthy! I actually called him Sir.
Who does that?! I’m so awkward and old-fashioned! *hide underneath a rock*
The office I was interning at, was located in Raffles Place (in CBD area of Singapore) and I was so excited feeling like a grown-up every morning! The company size was quite small, I recall that I mainly just dealt with the big boss and there were probably only about 3-4 other people working there, and another intern who would join a few months after I did. I sat in an open working area, and my boss’ office was just right in front of me.
My job consisted of calling companies to offer them google marketing services, and no joke I had to use Yellow Pages to look up the phone numbers! Yes, the thick Yellow Pages book! I also had to update and key in those companies’ details in the excel sheet!
I TOTALLY FEEL YOU PEOPLE WHOSE JOB REVOLVE AROUND CALL CALLING! I’M SORRY FOR ALWAYS REJECTING YOU AND HANGING UP THE PHONE!
The boss also would ask me to research various websites, and provide my feedback and suggestions on what I would do differently. In the beginning, things were alright.
After a while, he would ask me to buy him coffee and lunch almost every day! Yes, that’s the epitome of an intern life, right?
Me: Yes, Sir.
Ahjusiiiii, you only pay me $400/month, why are you making me buy you lunch too?!
If you were to know how it was like during lunchtime in CBD area, it was mayhem! You have to always queue for a long time to buy anything, and I remember one vivid memory when I was queuing to buy chicken rice.
Me (in my mind): “1 boneless chicken rice, please.”
Me (what actually came out of my mouth): “1 brainless chicken rice.”
Seller (in a loud voice): “WHAT? BRAINLESS CHICKEN? WE DON’T HAVE THAT. ALL OUR CHICKENS HAVE BRAINS.”
Everyone in the queue: Hahahahahahahahahaha.
Sigh. Mouth, why weren’t you cooperating with me? And uncle, must you yell it so loudly that people all the way in Jurong could hear it and laugh at me?!!!!
I was also given a strict lunch hour and tea break. I were to go for lunch at 11.30am sharp and I had to be back by 12.15pm! Not even a full hour! What is this. For a slow eater like me, I wouldn’t even have finished chewing the appetiser.
Okay, a tad dramatic, but you get what I mean.
After a while, I started noticing that the other staff were not always in the office, and sometimes the office would be entirely empty except for just the boss and one lady. She was a senior staff, but I have never spoken a word to her; she always walked around with her chin up so high I wondered if her neck wouldn’t be sore.
She always hung around the boss and I’m not joking, she and the boss would stay inside his room, locked, for hours. It happened regularly that even I noticed! I started speculating this theory that they must be having an affair!
Otherwise, why stay inside a locked office almost every day for hours? Ahem.
WHOA WHOA WHOA DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.
I finished the internship without many other challenges. Honestly, it wasn’t the best internship, and a lot of times I would be quite bored, counting down the hours. The boss wasn’t really nice to me too. And I didn’t know if I gained much useful experience from there (aside from hey, AFFAIRS IN THE WORKPLACE IS REAL OMG OMG OMG).
Anyway, many years later, I was browsing through the newspaper and I saw a photo of someone that looked familiar! I was like hey, who is this person. The news was that this person in the picture was convicted of some sexual crime involving prostitutes and he was sentenced to prison.
I read the caption of the photo and saw the name…
LO AND BEHOLD. It was the big boss from that company!
IS THIS REAL LIFE. DID I REALLY WORK WITH THIS PERSON AND WHOA THOSE MOMENTS IN LOCKED OFFICE SUDDENLY HAUNTED ME AGAIN.
So that was the highlight of my first internship. Whoa. So uneventful and unmemorable.
Yay, Tina, go you and your luck!