Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quote of the day

"Our [unpaid] interns are learning how to [...] blog [...]."


WWPD Industries can do one better. We will graciously allow you to pay us to teach you how to blog. An unpaid internship is more prestigious than a lowly paying job, so surely this arrangement is better still. Your first task: sort out the tax situation of such an arrangement. Your second: think of more posts for WWPD that will infuriate sub-communities (?) on Reddit, thereby driving up traffic, thereby permitting us to "hire" more paying interns. 

In exchange, we will direct you to a website called Blogger, and will teach you html so rudimentary that you could never in a million years put that as a skill on your resume.

8 comments:

Petey said...

I am very very interested in applying for this tuition-based unpaid internship in html and google skills.

I am particularly interested in learning how to use the strike and blockquote tags in Blogger comments.

I am also hoping this tuition-based unpaid internship will provide me a smooth path to gaining tenure for a Medieval Tapestry Studies position in the subjective state of Burma.

Phoebe said...

You'd be the first pseudonymous intern!

Petey said...

"You'd be the first pseudonymous intern!"

No. I'd be the first unpaid pseudonymous intern.

I actually had a nice gig as a paid pseudonymous intern at the Met, working in the Medieval Tapestry department, creating new tapestries and artificially aging them. It all ended up in a show billed (externally) as "Newly Discovered Medieval Tapestries", and referred to (internally) as a performance art piece "Pushing the Boundaries on Gullible Audiences".

It actually paid pretty well for an internship, 85K per annum, though with minimal benefits, and while the Met's Human Resources department initially had issues with the whole pseudonym issue, it decided it was OK with it all when I told them I was willing to accept cash.

fourtinefork said...

I need to learn how to add GIFs to comments. And I could use some remedial tutoring on embedding links...

But, if I may address Petey: I once applied for a part-time research assistant position at the Met. The job requirements: PhD, French & German reading skills, plus some other things to work on baroque tapestry. The salary was $22K.

It was only part-time, but 30 or 32 hours a week (just under what the Met considered full-time, and thus benefit eligible.) I think after 6 months you could get health insurance. Plus, it's difficult to juggle a 32-hour/week job (which effectively meant going in 5 days) with any other substantive employment.

The HR person actually called it a "trust fund job" in my interview.

Petey said...

"I once applied for a part-time research assistant position at the Met. The job requirements: PhD, French & German reading skills, plus some other things to work on baroque tapestry. The salary was $22K."

Yeah. The Met's research assistant positions aren't too tasty. You really need to apply for the paid internship program. Fewer requirements and better pay.

"Plus, it's difficult to juggle a 32-hour/week job (which effectively meant going in 5 days) with any other substantive employment."

A nation of slackers. You'd still have plenty of time for a shift driving a yellow cab. Sleep is overrated.

"I could use some remedial tutoring on embedding links"

The WWPD Industries tuition-based unpaid internship can definitely help you here. (I think you need to get hired to a full-time position before you can get trained on GIF's, though. So be sure to make a good impression during your internship.)

Phoebe said...

Fourtinefork,

The idea of the "trust-fund job" is kind of fascinating. It seems like a lot - but not remotely all - of the current entry-level jobs that are now unpaid internships are in fields of that nature. So a lot of the conversation about certain fields 'becoming' just for rich people isn't entirely accurate - some of them already were, or at any rate were never much of an engine for social mobility. The only caveat is that sometimes a *woman* taking such a position would end up quickly meeting a man who wanted to bring such a woman to his investment bank Christmas party, and the rest would be history.

fourtinefork said...

Phoebe,
Yes, absolutely. My field (art history) has long had a reputation for being filled with ladies biding their time until a rich banker came along.

(Considering the places I've worked and the jobs I've had, clearly I am doing something wrong and am extremely off-putting to the wealthy.)

What struck me about my interview at the Met oh so many years ago was that the HR person was so open that there's no way anyone could really live off that salary: it was pin money. Another incident at the Met: one of the volunteers posted a notice about a summer sublet, with the note that it'd be great for an intern. The rent was over $2,000 /month, which is more than a lot of paid staff in that department made and certainly more than the stipend received by interns. (The Met does pay its summer interns.)

The demographics of museum work/art history are changing-- or at least the grad students and entry-level people trying to pursue these careers are-- but on one's own, it's pretty hard to live something approaching a middle-class life, especially in a city like New York.

Phoebe said...

Fourtinefork,

Which is weird, right, because grad students living in NYC often make that salary. That may have been my exact fellowship first year, now that I think of it. It can be done, but not comfortably. And it helps if you're already living in a rent-stabilized place in Brooklyn.

But man oh man do I hate the housing announcements for places that don't make any sense. This happens all the time on the French-history listserve. The housing emails will be a bunch of places for 500 euros a week, followed by a bunch of grad students seeking housing for 700 euros a month. Doesn't quite add up.

More on this topic soon...