Oh my

My intern is in the other room right this second telling my boss about how the girl who is going to be my intern’s roommate for the coming year does not know what a bank is.

“Is that my card?” she asked my intern.

If this is an example of the great meritocracy that brings young minds to this place… well… I got nothing.

27 thoughts on “Oh my

  1. whaddaya mean “does not know what a bank is”? is this some sort of scam, like when that poor little rich girl on her “reality” tv show pretended not to know how to pump gas?

    see, if she’s old enough to be an intern, she’s old enough to have seen banks along the roadside. either she’s so poor she’s never had a bank account — in which case she ought’t’ve been told about the things, as something to strive for anyway — or she’s so rich she’s been insulated from all of real life all this time — in which case she’s certainly heard about banks, as the magic boxes out of which money (and credit cards) appears on demand. so she certainly must know about banks in some sense or other, unless she’s younger than maybe seven. or she’s flat out lying to somebody.

  2. I’m with NN here… wtf?

    And better yet, what other worthy person did this dolt beat out for this position? What a shame.

  3. I just want to reiterate that this is not my intern, this is the girl who’s going to be her roommate next year. Apparently Daddy has always taken care of the money stuff, so she never had to worry about it.

    I’ve seen this over the years here, and I think that’s why people who expect to make $40,000 right out of the gate with a BA in some small field consider themselves middle class. They go to school with kids who never have to wonder where their money comes from.

  4. 40k? Most of the college kids I know are expecting a much higher starting salary, and they certainly don’t want to start in an entry level position.

  5. 40k? Most of the college kids I know are expecting a much higher salary…”

    Bwaa ha ha, welcome to the real world lil’ darlins.

    Unless they have some sort of engineering degree, then they might get it.

  6. oh, thanks for the clarification, B… I got stuck at “does not know what a bank is”

    Regardlless, I imagine someday this person will have a job, and will take that position away from someone more qualitifed, needy and more deserving. I imagine nepotism will be the culprit in this case as well.

  7. they certainly don’t want to start in an entry level position

    yeah, good luck with THAT. entry level positions are what one, in fact, gets when one is straight out of college with no prior experience.

  8. @beth – Yes, they will. I’ve personally seen some very spoiled (and brain dead) kids given lucrative summer “internships” by friends of their fathers. One I witnessed was 40k for eight weeks…in which they had no responsibility, no work hours, nothing to do, and played golf almost every day.

    Good work if you can get it.

  9. @nomen – I agree. Today’s culture of fame and fortune is breeding little vultures who expect the world after getting a measly BA/BS.

  10. Oh, no, this is bringing back memories of our intern last summer. Not incapable, exactly, but somehow not getting why if she had no key to the office and she waltzed out to lunch without coordinating with someone who did, the office might be locked when she got back. Or why if she was locked out of the office and consequently not doing the work others were waiting to follow up on, this might cause some problems. And the concept of letting the boss know when she had finished working on something was a little tough for her to grasp. To the point that I don’t think we’ll be taking on an intern this summer.

  11. Today’s culture of fame and fortune is breeding little vultures who expect the world after getting a measly BA/BS.

    AMEN! Most kids just think their Hummer or palatial estate in the country is going to be handed to them. I’m 33 and still “paying my dues” so to speak.

    And, NM, wow…. that sucks.

    But, ya know, the whole lot of kids shouldn’t be punished because of a few bad apples… I know there are actually a lot of hard working people out there just chomping at the bit to get their foot in a door and work hard. (I was one of those people) – Please don’t count them out, yet.

  12. Beth, the intern in question, over the course of this year, decided to take next year off to ponder her future (good job, I say) and called to ask whether my boss needed full-time help. Or, failing that, whether she could get a recommendation. Clueless.

    We’ve had other young’uns around here in the past few years (none quite that young, but young enough) and all the rest have worked out at least pretty well, and most of them very well. No, it was just the combination of obliviousness and intern in a single paragraph that got to me. But I think we’ll stick with folks who have proven that they can graduate from now on.

  13. Mack, oh. Well, it was an unpaid internship; are you sure you want me to be able to boss you around and not get paid for it?

  14. Being in a field that is attractive to younguns, I’ve had some doozies. My favorite recently was the father who wrote trying to secure a summer internship for his son.

    “His Adviser informed me that he Is an exseptionally talented Writer,” the father wrote, in an e-mail that was badly spelled and creatively punctuated. (OK, so why doesn’t HE write to me, so I can see for myself?)

    I wrote back that I’m not in the habit of deadline with job candidates’ parents. His response? “I don’t appreciate your tone.”

    I’m sure that kid is going to go far.

  15. Regarding situations like nm’s, I second what Beth said about young people in general hopefully not being punished for one clueless young person. It sucks that one person’s shortcomings might translate to employers being gunshy about taking on other interns. Not all young people expect unrealistic compensation and positions straight out of college, including (some of) the ones who are enrolled at the place to which Aunt B is referring in her post (I think). But I confess to being sort of clueless myself about jobs and the workforce and, err, sometimes even expectations in the workplace.

    I mean, I definitely know what a bank is, and I wouldn’t go for lunch without some idea of how to get back to work, but I sometimes feel pretty clueless about work and career stuff. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but it’s frustrating to feel like I have certain unrealistic ideas about work (and I don’t mean re: compensation and positions; I’d be grossed out at myself if that were what I mean) as a result of how people my age have been encouraged to think about stuff. That’s not a great way to explain it, but I feel like there are reasons for why people my age have expectations about work that don’t quite jibe with reality, and it can be frustrating trying to suss out exactly why, and how to counteract it.

    I think this might have more to do with my own personal anxieties about careers and the job market and such. But I’ve been thinking about this stuff in general a lot lately.

    Also, Aunt B, is your intern cool with being roomies with someone that reality-impaired? I’d be afraid it’d drive me craaazy.

  16. And, of course, graduating from college in the traditional timeframe doesn’t necessarily mean that one is lacking experience, especially if one has to put oneself through college.

    I didn’t have to, thankfully, but I’ve been working since I was 12. (Yes, I know, child labor laws and all. I was just doing things I was good at for my grandparents. But it was real compensated work with transferrable skills that I’ve been using ever since, and it does show up – and is accepted by employers – on my resume.)

  17. …and you know, it’s not just young people who are clueless.

    Once upon a time when I had a 9-5 gig, I had a female co-worker who was creeping up on 40. She obviously had little training or job experience because she was hired as a receptionist at under $25K per/year. (I AM NOT saying that being a receptionist is slacker work in any shape or form – it’s not – I would just expect that a single female of that age would have enough work experience to put her in another salary and/or job bracket).

    Anyway, the poor girl couldn’t handle more than one phone line, took constant restroom / miscellaneous breaks and couldn’t be bothered to show up for work five days a week – her favorite days to take off were Monday and Friday. She usually blamed female issues (probably to freak out my male boss into not asking questions), but wouldn’t go to the doctor to have those things resolved.

    In general, her main problem was she was lazy. After about a month of dealing with her, I realized why she’d not made it any farther in life. Bless her heart.

    I couldn’t figure this one out because she obviously knew better. I just think she had gotten away with it for so long that she just took advantage of the situation.

    She didn’t last more than 4 months.

  18. Jblank, I think it became pretty clear that her new roommate’s dad would just put her on a list of people who need paying every month. The daughter might not have a clue, but the dad takes care of things.

    And otherwise, don’t mind us. It’s not like I had a clue when I graduated from college either. I think, for me, a lot of that had to do with class. I perceived myself as middle class, but I wasn’t and I didn’t have the connections to get job interviews when I graduated. When I first started work here, I had like three outfits that were appropriate for work.

    There was just a lot of cultural knowledge about how to do things I just didn’t have. And since we don’t really talk about class, since we’re supposedly a mostly classless society, it’s not like people are going out of their way to be sensitive to different cultural backgrounds.

    I could tell you stories, but it doesn’t matter. The thing is that I’ve been in the working world on and off since 1992 and the people who were best about laying out expectations were my bosses at Dairy Queen. And no one makes a living working at Dairy Queen.

  19. Weell, Aunt B, good luck to your intern on that. : )

    And thanks for the rest of your comment. I’m just realizing that I’ve started to do a bit of internal freaking-out lately concerning jobs and careers. A lot of my anxiety comes from spending a sometimes-depressing amount of money on college that should technically give me a leg up on laying out some sort of career path that fits my abilities, and yet I feel like I’m lacking the ambition and the savvy to actually accomplish that. I think part of it for me has to do with class/cultural background, and part of it comes from my timidity toward getting out there and trying to make connections for myself.

    Also, where you’re talking about and the portion of students there who seem to come from such crazy-rich backgrounds, it can start to mess with your perceptions of what’s within reach or should be within reach for everybody else. It’s kind of strange.

  20. jblank – Student loans are just part of life for a while. I’ve got at least another 20 years before mine are paid, but banks don’t really care about that kind of debt as long as it’s current. So it didn’t stop me from getting my house, cars, etc.

    Freaking out is normal.

    As for the rich kids, they’ll be going for positions that you wouldn’t be eligible for anyway (because of who you know). It happens to all us “normal folk,” and that’s not a bad thing. I wouldn’t want to be working around a bunch of rich kids anyway.

  21. Thanks for the reassuring words, mtbrooks. It helps to be reminded occasionally that this is standard stuff that most people deal with– lessens the tendency for me to go into panic-mode over it.

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