All Work And No Play Makes Tash A Dull Girl

In the last 6 weeks, I have had 4 days off. (Bloody hell I can’t believe I’ve been an intern for so long!)

The reason I have been doing so much work is because while this job doesn’t pay, I’ve had to complete my summer job at Lord’s because after September there won’t really be much work. So I’ve had to earn enough money that I can make last until I get another paid job.

Which means I’ve had to sacrifice my spare time. My boyfriend came down to see me on the 1st of September and stayed until he went back to Uni on Tuesday (he’s from Liverpool, and I’m from London). In the whole three weeks he was here, I had one day off. And I was so tired on that day, we just sat in bed and watched films.

I feel so bad on him being my house without me for three weeks, like I’m letting him down. He came all the way down to spend time with me and only caught glimpses of me in the evening. I am so lucky he has the patience to stay, because I know so many people wouldn’t.

The amount of work I’ve been doing has also made me feel so unwell, and on Wednesday I had to have the day off because of it. My body was just so run down, and aching in every place and I just could not face sitting on the tube for over an hour. Having Wednesday off gave me just enough strength to get through to the weekend, which has been amazing.

Luckily, now the cricket season is over, I have regained my weekends! I only have like 5 dates lined up over the next 2 months, which will be a lot more civilised. Now what on earth do people do with this thing called ‘time off’?

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The Exploited

As an intern, I work Monday – Friday, 10-6, doing overtime every night. I basically run the social media accounts, as well as writing and researching scripts for our presenters. I am not an understudy to anybody nor am I really being taught how to use social media. Essentially, I am in charge.

What this means, is I can do or say anything , and it is the voice of the company. I could say some really horrible stuff, racist, sexist, homophobic, even that Miley Cyrus is a slag, and it would be the opinion of them. (But I don’t, obviously.)

Essentially, what I mean to say is that most Social Media Managers are paid not to do that. They are paid to  be the responsible voice of the company. And that’s a worthwile job to do – I mean its free publicity, it’s how your company engages with the public.

Yet I’m not paid.

I have found  that a lot of the older generation are shocked and appalled by this, whereas people my age see it as what you have to do to get a job nowadays. Most of the over 40’s are angered by this (mainly because they didn’t think of it first), complaining that it is exploiting young people (which to be fair, it kind of is). One man even said to me, ‘When the revolution comes, these people will be the first to be shot‘.

And it’s fair enough. I mean, our company is getting all its digital marketing for the price of my train fare. And there are millions of people out there who need well paying jobs, when so many companies are getting their labour so cheaply.

But then again, its what I have to do. I need the experience. And it is good experience, it will do no end of good, having professional experience on my CV. I feel so helpless. I hate that this is able to happen, but yet I allow it to. I am sorry.

(God I hope I don’t get sacked now.)

Mission Impossible

The company I’m completing my internship at is pretty new, and as a result they are learning just as much as I am. If I’d only realised this sooner, I would have saved myself a lot of stress!

So last Friday I finally received my tasks and targets, to find that on top of running the social media account, I had to research and write three scripts for the online music channel. Now a script is made up of 5 shows; i.e. Pop, Rock, RnB & Hip Hop, Afrobeats, unsigned etc. Each show should contain 10 stories about musicians in the relevant categories.

This sounded like a lot when I started, but I thought, ‘It must be do-able, I wouldn’t be given the task otherwise’. Luckily, my first show to write for was Pop. Pop, as you can imagine, is pretty easy to find stories for because it’s pretty much celebrity news. I wrote about Miley Cyrus in the VMAs, Lady Gaga arguing with Azealia Banks, Example being abducted by serbian gangsters, and another 10 stories. It took me 2 days to finish.

In my mind, I started fretting. I was meant to be doing three shows a day, but just one had taken two days. I even stayed late to try and finish it off, and also I tried taking it home to finish off – by my brain was frazzled by that point. On Wednesday, when I had calmed myself down, I checked the word count for the Pop Show. It was 1,700 words. And I was meant to write three of these per day?! That would be about 5000 words every day! But when I checked with the two other interns how much they had done, theirs were also around the 1,500 mark. With research, it worked out that I was supposed to be doing 22 hours work per day, where I spent 10 minutes per story researching and 5 minutes per story writing.

By this point, I’d convinced myself I’d read my tasks and targets wrong, not even the best writer could do 5000 words a day, with research. It must be three shows per week? 

But when I checked my tasks and targets, my original understanding of them was right. Fuck.

As it happened, yesterday my boss asked me to have a chat about how my first couple of weeks had been. He congratulated me on how well the twitter account was going since I’d started running it (to be fair, I’ve gained them 1,000 followers in 2 weeks) and we talked about social marketing strategies. Then he asked how I was doing with the research and script writing side of things.

It was scary. I had massively underperformed on the researching side of things. I mean, to write three 1,500 word shows a day didn’t even seem possible. It was a target I felt I would never reach, based on the work I’d done this week. Everyone else seemed to be doing ok. I couldn’t admit that I was so far behind.

But I had to, I knew there was something wrong, whether it was with me or the system. So I told him how impossible my tasks seemed.

To cut a long story short, he listened. Now I only have to write 3 shows per week, as opposed to per day.

I’m so glad I said something. I don’t know if they realised how much work it was to produce that amount of shows, because I don’t think anybody had tracked the word counts of these things. But now it’s sorted, I feel so much happier, like a weight has been lifted. And it’s definitely given me the confidence to speak up.

This whole thing taught me that just because I am experiencing a problem, doesn’t mean I am the problem.