One of my favourite Seinfeld episodes was on last night, the one where Kramer gets a intern. Kramer’s intern serves “Kramerica Enterprises” by setting up coffee shop trips with Jerry (“Do you need directions, Mr. Seinfeld?”) and assembling chicken wire. The scam comes to an end when the internship supervisor notices the tasks are mainly menial labour in a single guy’s apartment that “may or may not contain a chicken.”
Hmmm, I could use an intern myself. Someone to walk my dog, sort my mail, Dewey decimal my bookshelves and CSS the heck out of my website, while I focus on the strategic goals of Christine Inc. Er, I mean, write stuff. Along the way, my intern would gain valuable career experience into the world of professional writing. Benefits would include attending literary events with me, meeting my writer friends (contacts are valuable), and let’s not forget the free coffee (Folgers, but its free). Did I mention my dog is really cute?
Aah, but its a competitive world out there. Every day I go to my local Craigslist (Vancouver, BC, one of the world’s most liveable cities) and see that hundreds are already beating me to the punch in hiring all the good interns. They’re offering opportunity and free coffee, too. Sometimes a little money if the intern already has experience and their own equipment.
I don’t want to insult anyone by paying minimum wage (or an insulting piecework wage, like $5-10 for custom-written 500-word articles), so maybe we could work out a revenue sharing arrangement. It’s not exploitation; it’s an opportunity! Exploitunity!