Thursday, August 16, 2012

Intern Redemption

Now that I'm back in school, I get to be an intern during the summer between my two-year program. It definitely has not easy being a 29-year-old intern. There was a time when I ran projects or played an integral role in large, multifaceted projects, but now I have to do a lot of grunt work (necessary for a project's success) and sit in on meetings, but do so silently and in the corner.

Yesterday, I sat in on a meeting for two BRT lanes that will be implemented along the Ashland and Western corridors. In attendance were a bunch of people from agencies all over the city. Near the end, when the formal presentations were finished and discussions were winding to an end, I made a comment. Yes, a lowly, data entry, know-nothing intern spoke up! My comment was promptly ignored and the discussion continued without acknowledgement of my comment. *Cue sad trombone*

But I wasn't going to give up! I had a question! And I asked this question! And it was answered, but the other people in the meeting began talking over the answer because evidently it's not important to know the answer to a question asked by an intern. Duly noted.

I left the meeting, completely discouraged. Changing careers sucks! Just when I was at a point in my last job where people respected and heeded my opinion and suggestions, I was knocked back down to intern status.

Then today, out of the blue, my boss says, "Thanks for speaking up yesterday! It's unusual for interns to speak up, but I'm glad you did. You had some important things to say, that needed to be said."

YES! Score one for the intern.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nobody Walks in LA...

....which sucks when you move back to a city where walking is normal.  I'm back in Chicago for the summer, interning for the City (unpaid), waitressing (due to unpaid internship), and trying to maintain some sort of social life. But that's old news...

Now that I'm back in Chicago and after a weekend in New York, my feet hurt. Really hurt. I'd gotten used to walking around campus and the local shops near my quaint little place in Los Angeles, but it did not keep me in shape for real city walking. Just today, I took a very, very, very long extended lunch and went from City Hall to the new City Target, to Nordstrom Rack, to Old Navy, to Pot Belly's, and back to City Hall. That excursion was a mile! And that was just lunch! So, part of my lunch trip was buying new, comfortable shoes. That, and my other flats are so dingy and gross I actually get whiffs of the stench while I sit at my desk. So now I can continue to walk, walk, walk, walk...