- The most dreaded part of the consulting...
Confessions of an InternWhen you’re new to the cubicle world, mistakes are bound to happen. It’s all about taking your gaffes stride, learning a lesson, and chuckling about it in retrospect.
“When I was a college intern at a radio station, I worked for a not-so-nice marketing director. One afternoon, I made the comment to one of the radio personalities that she was a ‘witch.’ I later found out that they were dating!”
Lesson: Avoid workplace comments about your boss. Period.
“Although I had held many internships, I had gotten away with not making coffee, ever. Then my supervisor asked me to make some, and I pressed the wrong button on the coffee machine. Water started spewing everywhere and I flooded the entire break room.”
Lesson: Ask if you have no idea how to complete a task.
“I was interning at a magazine, and was assigned to accompany a reporter covering a premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House. Since I’d be standing on the sidelines, I didn’t dress up. The reporter ended up having an extra ($15,000) ticket to the show, so he took me. I was wearing flip flops at a black tie event.”
Lesson: Dress professionally when you’re on the clock.
“While interning at a law firm I accidentally pushed the alarm button when working at the front desk. Since I hadn’t fully learned the phone system, I accidentally hung up on the cops when they called to confirm they were needed. Minutes later, they called back and demanded I exit the building, which I did, only to be surrounded by cops with their weapons drawn.”
Lesson: Master the phone system on day one.
“I accidentally CC’ed my entire office on a email chain circulating with my family. The email was about a government conspiracy article, and my very conservative family kept hitting ‘reply all’ and sharing their explicit opinions.”
Lesson: Don’t use your work email for personal messages.
“We had completed a big project, so our department went on a celebratory lunch cruise. Everyone got a drink ticket for one free drink. Since there were interns under 21, I decided to ask one of them for their ticket. Turns out, the intern I asked was talking to the department head, whom I didn’t know. I looked like a lush.”
Lesson: Keep it classy when boozing at work events.
“I had to order and pick up lunch for a partner at my company, and she wanted a turkey and cheese sandwich. She started to eat her sandwich and got a disgusted look on her face—the restaurant had forgot to put in the turkey, so it was just mayo, cheese, tomato, and lettuce.”
Lesson: Double—or triple—check all assignments.
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