As an intern one faces quite some challenges from those who come to consider themselves superior to you, mainly in the form of dehumanising tasks and activities. One could claim that it is simply part of the workforce, but personally, I think it has something to do with the “inferiority complex”.
During my third year holidays, I was an attaché in one such organisation, and as with all other students, I was so eager to find out what the job market held for me. Literally, I was blooming, and like all mornings before the day turns gloomy, I was excited and full of energy; I didn’t realise my life would be turned upside down.
Of course, all the receptionists in private organisations give you an illusion that the company you wish to join cares about you as an individual, and it is that feeling that I carried to work on my first day, first of all, I was quite eager since I was sure my grades alone would earn me some respect within the organisation.
So I walk into the office to receive my instructions, and the first thing am requested is to serve my ” boss ” some coffee. Of course, the proud me was not willing to accept such “mediocre” chores, so I proudly stated my position proudly explaining that I was an attaché from quite a prestigious university.
I expected at least an apology and reassignment of duty so that I could quickly join the workforce. However, what followed came as a surprise, something I’d not expected, something I could not have even imagined. My boss giggled and asked me what I expected when applying for the position. In fact, she further reinforced her statement and said I was lucky I got the opportunity.
‘Lucky’ is not really what you would call it. For starters, I was more or less additional labour and I was doing what I was for no pay, so I felt quite insulted. However, as the world is what it is, I was powerless at the moment and I could do nothing else but swallow my ego, and I proceeded to serve the coffee that as was demanded of me.
I have to say, as I was going to serve the coffee, I thought of multiple ways I’d end the life of the “miserable prick”, but those were just thoughts, in this world, if you have nothing to give, then you’ll give everything you have, and still, you’ll give a little bit more.
I contemplated quitting a few times through the day when I was humiliated in far much worse ways. I was hurt more than once, not physically, I would have preferred that, but rather emotionally and mentally. At the end of the day, I was so exhausted, and my hope with society had completely faded. And already I had been introduced to the bored workforce that dominates this country.
Just like that, I realised how quite insignificant and how little it mattered to most individuals whether or not you were an academic enigma or not, they just want workers.