I’ve always wanted to be a Bitch intern – I imagine it like a summer of fact-checking articles, some light filing, answering the phones (“Ms. Levit’s not available right now, can I take a message?”), processing donations and subscription requests, handling long-term office admin projects like indexing the library or something, and generally being available to do anything people need. You know, along the lines of “Do you take sugar with that, Ms. Zeisler?” (I also imagine myself to be an intern in the style of Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock.) I’d offer my opinion if asked, and would try my best to do a good job on the assignments I was given. In short, nothing like the hilariously-inept interns at Marie Claire on my new favorite reality TV show, Running in Heels!!!!
Running in Heels is by the same people who do the This American Life TV show, and clearly was originally just supposed to follow the production of Marie Claire behind the scenes but ended up resorting to following their three summer interns when the Marie Claire production team failed to produce enough drama to support an entire season of a candid reality TV show. (It’s not so much like Stylista, which was a competitive reality show about magazine internships, and therefore a little more obviously contrived in its drama.)
So can I just say: These interns are terrible!!! None of them seem particularly interested in magazines, magazine writing, or publishing at all – nor do they seem particularly interested in doing any actual helpful work around the office. Instead, they seem to spend most of their time scamming comp tickets to events and then bragging about getting the tickets to the other interns that didn’t get invited. When they actually do work, it always seems to lead to disaster – one intern turned in a piece with so many typos, the editor told her “this hurts my eyes to read.” Another intern took three hours to get from the Marie Claire offices on West 57th Street to a bridal dress store on West 20th Street. Did you try the subway? Plus, when the interns are given tasks, they completely blow their significance out of proportion, work themselves up into a frenzy about them, and furiously say things like, “CAREER MUST COME FIRST” when one of the other interns leaves the office before a two-hour all-staff free beauty product benefit sale is finished, because she has prior plans.
Truly, if this is the talent pool that mainstream glossy magazines are pulling from, it is no wonder the industry is going under. Isn’t Marie Claire supposed to be the supermarket magazine that focues on international women’s issues? Doesn’t anyone want to do an internship about that?