Thursday, March 24, 2005

Interns: A History (part one)

It seems that lately I've talked about New York itself more than interning. That's because interning just isn't the glamorous life that virtually no one thinks it is. Comedy Central is a great place to work, but it's a lot like any other workplace. New York, on the other hand, is a zoo and much more interesting to write about.

Therefore, I'm dedicating the next few posts to interns. Today, I'm going to begin to give a history of the position known as intern. This is part one. The next will likely be part two, but it might not be. It may be part three; you don't know. I'm sly like that.


INTERNS
PART I: The Early Years

The word intern comes from the Latin internus, meaning "to fetch" or "hey, you, do this." It was said that in ancient Greece, Socrates was often over-heard saying of Plato, "Fetch me fresh olives and a fine bathrobe!"

Of course, Plato, being the proactive intern that he was, eager to please, would return post-haste with all the items requested. Socrates would usually then complain that the olives weren't fresh enough or that the robe was "starchy as hell" and would "chafe [his] ass." Obviously, I'm paraphrasing. It is well known that Socrates, as wise as he was, had the mouth of a sailor and would never use expletives as tame as "hell" or "ass." But I'm getting off-track.

In ancient Egypt, the dedication of the modern intern was truly born. Usually outliving their masters, interns were buried alive in the tombs right alongside the sarcophagus. But, as torturous as that sounds, most interns at the time considered it to be a small price to pay for the chance to land a sweet job in the afterlife.

This era also gave birth to intern networking. Given that each Egyptian upper-class citizen was likely to have many interns working under them, the interns were all buried alive within the tomb together. With so much time on their hands, it was only natural for these young Egyptian go-getters to make connections with their fellow interns before reaching the afterlife. Because you never know when a reference from Ptahhotep will come in handy. Sure, he's the obnoxious, dorky intern and he's always carrying around the jug filled with his embalmed cat which makes the tomb smell like ass, but it's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and you've got make friends wherever (within the twenty square foot tomb) you can.





Then came the Romans. Often associated with power and dominance, the Romans were a warrior culture. They were first to force interns to engage in battle with one another as a way of proving who was the more qualified for the job they may or may not get sometime in the near to very distant future. The intern least dead by the end was declared the victor. Or eaten by lions if he was too dead. It is this era where the intern's tenacity was born.

Interning is a cutthroat world; let's be honest. In modern times, however, the word "cutthroat" is merely a metaphor for tenaciously besting your opponent in the career world. Whereas, back in the Roman era, it was still a metaphor, but a much more violent and gruesome metaphor. I believe it was also the name of a blade used to kill interns.


INTERN

I don't want to kill him.
Can't we just say he lost and
leave it at that?

ROMAN EMPEROR
No! This is a cutthroat
world, intern. Now, take
that metaphor and cut his throat!




FUN FACTS ABOUT INTERN HISTORY
Did you know that even the Aztecs had interns? Well, they did. They also ate the hearts of sacrificed interns. It's believed that by eating the heart of an intern you absorb all of that intern's job skills. Mmm, skill-tastic.





Next time on Interns: A History...
PART II: The Awkward Years


51 Comments:

At 3:14 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

i'mfirsti'mfirsti'mfirst

 
At 3:50 AM, Blogger X said...

You're funny as hell, man.

I interned at a court once. My job description may as well have been "file bitch".

---X

 
At 4:58 AM, Anonymous babs said...

hey!
i recently discovered your blog, you're very funny, i like the way you write and everything...
But where 's your profile, i mean how old are you? where are you from? bla bla bla

bisous de Paris

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger Nikki said...

I never did an intern...WHOOPS...I think I mean internship!! Love your blog, I keep coming back!!

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Found your blog thanks to a friend...very funny stuff, man!

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger AgeofAquarius said...

*sigh* So much has changed since the ancient Greeks. Well, no, not really. We just like to think it did. The turth of the matter is: we are every bit as idiotic as they were (even worse for some).

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger Scott Alan Miller said...

Andy, if it wasn't for my total devotion to the great overload Scientor, I would come to NYC and worship you. You rock.

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Actually, the ancient Egyptians only killed and buried their servants (or "interns") with them in the early dynasty. The practice was short lived and small statues were made of the servants for a symbolic burial thereout.

But, great blog! ;)

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger pt10c said...

I've had my share of internships too. One of them REQUIRED me to lick 100s of envelopes; we had no sponges (or running water, for that matter, minus the toilet).

Love your blog. Keep it up!

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Ripsy said...

So true. So true.

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger Josie said...

I do hope you won't forget to mention that interns will often gleefully cut each others throats, fetch starchy bathrobes, and collate until their fingers bleed for free. I'm sorry: for "R" credit.

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so THAT'S why my old internship supervisor kept following me around with that special blade.

damn, i knew i should've worn more scarves around the office. :)

nicole
http://elocin.typepad.com

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger StephTexas1976 said...

I love my intern - I feel bad about yelling at my dog, but my intern takes it like a man. ;)

 
At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi... this is Mom. I know how interns get started... their parents sell them into it... only because they have too much money laying around. This creates boredom and brings out their natural satircal side (which creates interns in the first place). The interns are sent out to mess with everyone elses' minds (i.e.-make them think; not necessary to agree... just put up a reasonably intelligent argument for your point). Keep up the good work.
Love, Mom
PS: If you happen to find out anything more about the women who have proposed marriage to you, please let your father and I know.

 
At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Mad said...

Monica Lewinsky couldn't have said it better!

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger - Jimmyjay said...

Much is said of the Euro-African history of internship yet the Chinese had interns 3000 years ago. Internang Province was originally founded when Stapling led a revolt against emperor Shonuff after being forced to spend 10 years in the Xiang C'hinao (rough translation: The Copy Room on the fourth floor). Stapling's reign, however, was cut short when his intern, Bringmai Lattay-Nau, in turn usurped the crown. Kinda makes one ponder.

 
At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Bush seems to be interning well for Dick Cheney...

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger jazz said...

This message is not for you, it's for your mother. Mom, I'm asking for your son's hand in marriage. I'm a cute almost-lawyer who can cook. Pretty please!

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger A Poor White Man said...

Oh, how I loathe you with your witty posts and funny graphics!

Damn you intern! Once again I am outmatched!

Great stuff as usual Andy.

 
At 11:59 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

i recently discovered your blog, you're very funny, i like the way you write and everything...
But where 's your profile, i mean how old are you? where are you from?


I tried putting my profile on the front page of the blog, but I just never liked the way it looked. But if you click on my name in this comment, you can still see my profile.

 
At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Blender said...

Hi Andy,you should always be handy, because you`re an intern!

BTW,your blog is funny!

 
At 2:21 AM, Blogger Flyingwaitress said...

Your blog is funny. Funny on many different levels, makes me laugh really loudly. Witty - one you!
Yep, I loves it lots!

Keep it real - on the high flip side...as you stay Rad!

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger MH said...

The way you write reminds me of Stewart's America. Good times.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Cynic said...

VERY interesting views bro. I loved the little comics in between, it definately gave your blog some flavor. You got a good sense of humor starched in sarcasm it was halarious. I'll keep your site locked and check up on this from time to time. If there's anything i learned from doing my medical internship, it has to be: Intern for good looking people. They usually feel better about themselves and are easy to please. People with shitty attitudes will ofcourse make your internship shitty. Good luck man!

 
At 12:59 AM, Blogger michelle said...

i havent interned so your blog is kind of an insight for me.. after i stop laughing.. this is really funny stuff..hope i could write like you do..anyway, great job!!

 
At 2:03 AM, Blogger mexicanmartini said...

So do you ever get tired of people posting about how funny you are? What about the serious side of Andy the Comedy Central Intern?

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, one obviously has to feel as if one's views matter somewhat; but then there are others with an overdeveloped sense of their own "matterhood."

about your internship, etc., the question is begged, "who gives a flying fuck?"

adios.

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

Having recently severed my ties with the mighty machine we know as Viacom (except I worked with noggin/The-N -- or two of the inner rings of Nickelodeon hell), I understand where you're coming from. There is an art to being a New York intern: that is, learning to do shitty work for no pay.

I'd like to think we're better people for it.

Oh yeah, and your blog is incredible. Keep it up.

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger Dave said...

This blog will only get better once you start complaining on how shitty it is that your girlfriend dumped you. Oh, and keep making references to emo - the kids love emo.

 
At 2:34 AM, Blogger Jane said...

There are silver ships and there are gold ships, but there's no ship like internship.

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger theguest said...

Interesting reading, thanks for sharing. I used to be an intern in New York myself, so I know where you are coming from.

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger avrgjoe said...

Ya'll have seen the commercial on TV about the bad phone reception and the guy who bought the snake right? Cracks my ass up! But I don't know why...

That picture in this post with the pyramid the "Egyptians" did the same thing. Funny as hell... but I don't know why.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger ChardonNaysayer said...

Amazing, simply amazing. Where did you find those historic depictions of ancient intern life? I thought they were lost in the great fire... of... blamerera...niner...seven.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Lea said...

Tenacious.. lol. he he he...hmmmm

 
At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is one internlicios story...
Keep it up, keep it up..
Go andy...

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger puffer_ said...

Mmm....that is one internlicios story...
Keep it up, keep it up ..
Go andy...

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger Ja said...

wow, IDOL! loved your blog! :)

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger A Poor White Man said...

Just checking in to see if "Part Two" has been posted yet. The image of the intern shouting "I CAN NOW COLLATE!" is killing me.

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

It should be up in a bit, but Blogger really sucks sometimes.

I think everyone here understands what I mean. This comment took me 5 hours to post.

 
At 4:33 PM, Anonymous J Lo said...

interning is not such a bad gig - here in dc, interns get pretty decent treatment. we've all been there - if you haven't interned then you probably don't have a cool job.

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger stephenb2 said...

Funny as hell, well written. I share the same wonder as "babs"
about your profile now though...

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger Callina said...

As someone who interns teaching a mythology class that involves roleplaying...

Wow, I am so not showing the teacher I intern for this site!!!

(I love this blog.)

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger Patricia Ferguson said...

INTERNING SUCKS. But, you will survive. It's kinda like being a teenager again. Not quite grown up, so you can blow them off and they can't do anything yet. Hehe. I'm a clinical psych and I've been there. You are very funny, and I love your site. BTW, you popped up with David Duchovny, and have over 55,000 posts yourself, so hows that for being in good company?
Patricia Ferguson, Redding CA

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger chrisana said...

you crack me up! but where do you find time to write suck intricate blog entries....aren't you supposed to be doing interning work?

 
At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Cuong said...

http://hongcuong.info

This is a nice blog, huh?

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger Katie said...

I have to say, just briefy...

You ruined the "Temple of Doom" for me. When the Thugie leader ripped out his sacrifices heart, all I could think was "I can now collate!"

::Shakes head in shame:: A potentially terrifying scene ruined by my inability to stop laughing.

 
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