Hey there, to all those out in fan-land,
As many of you may know, I have a job. It’s here in beautiful Norwalk (Motto: “Getting stuck on I-95 since 1847.”) working at a company, which, for reasons that will soon become clear, shall remain nameless. It’s convenient, since it’s pretty close to Stamford (Motto: “Hey, at least we’re not Norwalk.”) Other than that, though, the job doesn’t have much going for it. My local taskmasters call it an “internship”, from the Latin roots int, meaning “a job,” and ernship, meaning “in which you are given a series of mind-numbing tasks, each worse than the last, by cruel, heartless, and balding men, who likely had troubled childhoods and choose to take it out on you rather than on fellow motorists, the way any NORMAL person would, and you are paid next-to-nothing. And circus clowns regularly laugh at you.” Believe me, there is nothing on God’s green earth that is more humiliating than clowns laughing at you. Nothing. Except maybe turtleneck sweaters laughing at you. So, as the name implies, for my internship, I am paid a grand total of (drumroll please) ten dollars a day. Why do they pay us at all, you ask? Good question. I did some pondering, and came up with this: “Cornhusker’s delight.” Then I sobered up, and came up with the following scenario. Imagine a boardroom where executives are meeting:
[Note: all names have been changed (to Albert) to protect the guilty]
ALBERT: So, Albert, how’s that unpaid internship project coming along?
ALBERT: Just swimmingly, sir. (He holds up a report. In one of those shiny covers that impress executive-type people so much.)
ALBERT: Let me see that (Grabs the shiny report, a scans through it, stopping to admire each pie chart for at least 2 seconds. Murmurs to himself.) Hmmm…slavery…troubled childhoods…menial labor… clowns… turtlenecks. (Looks up.) I like it, Johnson.
ALBERT: You’re supposed to call me Albert in this story, sir.
ALBERT: Oh, right. I like it, Albert.
ALBERT: Thank you sir.
ALBERT: But what sir?
ALBERT: It’s just not humiliating enough. What can we add?
ALBERT: Monkeys, sir?
ALBERT: How are monkeys going to help us?
ALBERT: I don’t know sir. I just like monkeys.
ALBERT: (Leans back in his chair wistfully.) So do I, son. So do I. But that doesn’t make them effective.
ALBERT: (Forlorn.) No, I suppose not.
ALBERT: (Jumps up from his seat.) I’ve got it! When you go to a restaurant and the waiter is bad, what do you do to REALLY let him know that you’re upset?
ALBERT: I rip out a few of his less vital internal organs with a fishhook, strap his ragged still-living body to the underside of my car, drive over really rocky terrain, then tie him to an anthill full of fire-ants to let them finish off the job, sir?
ALBERT: No, I mean, what would I do to let him know that I’m angry.
ALBERT: Oh, that’s simple. You give him a penny as a tip. That way he knows that you haven’t forgotten a tip, but that he isn’t worth more than a cent.
ALBERT: Exactly. Let’s give these snot-nosed college interns just enough money so that they know we have calculated their value to us at lower than minimum wage.
ALBERT: Brilliant, sir. Just brilliant.
ALBERT: Thank you Johnson.
ALBERT: Albert, sir.
ALBERT: Whatever. (Pours himself a martini.)
So there you have it. I’ll just let you ponder that one for a while.