Saturday, 7 April 2012

I Hate... Lies / “Hi, I’m [insert name here] the new intern”

Made in Chelsea is of course not representative of reality in any way. In fact it barely resembles what most humans refer to as “life.” The London that the Chelsea crew populate is, bafflingly, forever bathed in sunshine, each week is structured around launch parties (in the past two series there have been “launch parties” for a blog (WTF), a line of home printed t-shirts (WTF) and even the inception of a book idea, not a book itself, but just someone’s desire to write one, I repeat, WTF) and days are long enough to accommodate the luxury of painstakingly analysing every insipid conversation that has been had in the last week or so.

But above all of these warped images of human existence, there was one violation of real life in Monday’s episode (the first of season three – watch it HERE, if you have an hour of your being to waste) that I cannot let pass by unaddressed. It was the portrayal of the magazine intern.

The new story line for Millie Mackintosh, girlfriend of mockney rapper Professor Green and awakward posh totty of choice for FHM, is her role as an intern at Glamour magazine. Please now allow me, as someone who has been a magazine intern on 10+ occasions, to now decimate the Made in Chelsea interpretation of the internship.


 (Timings taken from the 4OD link, above)

13:55 – Your identity
Ms Mackintosh starts her internship by stating, via intercom, “Hi, its Millie the new intern.” First things first, no one cares what your name is. No matter how many people you have spoken to in order to set up this internship (without the help of an E4 TV crew) your name will not ring any bells. All that matters is that you are the intern. Secondly, she is swiftly buzzed into the building. Again, totally misleading as getting into publishing houses, generally, is as arduous as getting through airport security; phone calls need to be made, security passes need to be issued, health and safety regulations and procedures need to be covered. You can’t just breeze in and out, Millie.

14:10 – Your desk
Millie is warmly welcomed and shown to her desk. Warm welcomes are a rarity for interns, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few but I’ve also had my fair share of haughty glances and cold, blank stares. Desks too are an uncertainty for interns. On one placement, not only was there not a desk space for me, there wasn’t a chair either. I had to store my personal belongings next to a bin and either work cross legged on the floor or shut away in a poorly ventilated cupboard (I preferred the cupboard FYI). Whilst on another occasion, so frequently was I moved from workspace to workspace in order to accommodate the friends and drifters of editorial staff who, like, really needed to check their email, that I felt like I was playing an office version of musical chairs. I disappeared from the vicinity for two hours, and upon my return I was awarded with a semi-permanent work station.

17:15 – The desk (again)
Holy crap - look at the quality of Millie’s desk! A working computer, paper, pens, a stapler and she tops it all off with a chair! If you are lucky enough to be granted a desk it will not be tidy like this one. The intern’s desk is where previous interns leave their refuse and the place where anyone and everyone else will dump unimportant paperwork, documents, empty mugs and duff electrical equipment. It’s also the place reserved for computers that are not fully functional (i.e. no internet and not hooked up to a printer).

17:25 – Security (again)
Wait! Now Millie’s BFF Caggie has subverted the strenuous security system too! And she’s brought a bottle of champers to congratulate her friend on being a “working girl”? Does she not realise Millie is not making any money here? And how BLOODY UNPROFESSIONAL this is making her friend look?

17:55 – Lunch
Okay, this part is true: the nervous anticipation over when to go for lunch. Do you wait for other people to start making lunchtime plans? Do you wait for someone else to invite you to join them since you don’t know another human being in this building and eating alone makes you self-conscious, which gives you a dry throat and makes it difficult to swallow your sandwich? Do you go to the in-house canteen? Do you venture out of the building? Do you bring something to eat back to your desk (if you have one)? Wait, who am I waiting for to extend this invite to me? I’ll just wait until my commute home and eat a carb-orific snack on the go in order to make up for the lunch break I missed whilst milling over all this anxiety.

I cannot wait to see what other nuggets of fact and (mostly) fiction will be woven into Millie’s sham of an internship in the coming episodes.  

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