Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bitter baristas, disgraced designers, and unpaid interns

-There exists a blog entirely made up of the nasty thoughts a barista (well, ex-barista) has about his customers (seemingly written in real time). Even the customers who do seemingly innocuous things like order decaf or soy milk. It's not as clever as it could be, but if you're someone who appreciates being judged unfavorably by the person making your cappuccino, you'll get a kick out of it.

-Galliano-the-Hasid-gate. This is so my beat, but I'm late to it, and have nothing to add other than that it sure is something that Galliano dresses like a Hasidic Jew, and that Abe Foxman has no idea what he's talking about.

-Oh, and then this just happened! My thing about gender and unpaid internships is out there for all to see.


caryatis said...

Do you think that maybe the industries that favor unpaid internships are intentionally seeking the rich girls? Offering unpaid internships not just to save money, but to exclude applicants outside a certain class? I was just reading about a woman who worked for women’s magazines and felt she was the only non-rich person around. I don’t know much about fashion, but it seems like an industry where the rich might fit in better, where people are expected not to care about the price of clothes.

Phoebe said...

Fashion journalism might be a bit of a red herring (if I'm using that expression properly...). It's an industry that has always been insider-ish, where pedigree has long been a, if not the, qualification. As I understand it, back in the day, these jobs just paid very, very little, yet one was expected to already arrive with the glamorous wardrobe. While a few good writers would make names for themselves at places like Vogue, jobs at such places were kind of assumed to be reserved for those who were born into that world. And by 'that world' I don't mean children of professionals. I mean the absolute height of posh - socialites, heiresses, etc. There was no presumption of that world being a meritocracy, nor any assumption that the only people excluded were working-class or poor. Long story short, not a whole lot has changed.

Where a lot has changed, from what I can tell, is in fields like non-fashion journalism or publishing, where the entry-level salaries were never high, but there was some presumption that those working these jobs were living off what they made. And now non-payment extends to other still-less-glamorous fields as well.

And I suppose, to get back to your point, I don't think, in every office that takes unpaid interns, this is about preferring rich kids, the way it is in fashion-writing. I think it's far more likely to be about businesses preferring not to pay workers.

As for whether, in journalism and publishing, this all in turn has an impact on what gets reported/published, maybe? It really depends a) how much editorial responsibility unpaid interns are given, and b) whether unpaid interns are at a great advantage in getting hired. I'm not sure re: either of those.

Britta said...

I am a crotchety old person at heart annoyed by hipster baristas with attitude, but I found that site surprisingly innocuous. The take was clearly someone who hates their own life (broken dreams and despair) and the making fun was pretty mild. Even if I did want splenda in my breve 20 oz latte, I wouldn't be offended by how it was made fun of on the site.

Phoebe said...


The main thing people seemed annoyed by was the gluten-allergy remark. Which, well, fair enough. But the overall tone did seem to be that of a guy annoyed that other people exist, which makes it tough to take his annoyances personally, even if they match with something you yourself do/would do in a coffee shop.