Intern Life: Part Deux

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.

Don’t ask.

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.

Intern Life: Part Uno

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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.”

(silence)

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!

WHATTTTTT.

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!