It took about three hours for the manager to finally call me, and when I answered, I was relieved to hear a hint of cheerfulness in her voice. She reminded me of our interview six weeks ago, and she said that something had come up with one of her assistants and that I was next in line for the gig. If I accepted the position, I would need to report to her office every afternoon, from 2:30 to 8:00, and she needed me to start training with the other assistant on Monday morning (in four days). Thinking back to the conversation that I had had with the CFO two days before this phone call, I was elated to hear that people were indeed willing to hire me for an internship position even though I didn’t have an uncle who was an executive at Warner Bros. Without giving it much thought (that’s how I run most of my life), I accepted the position and told her that I’d see her Monday morning. After I hung up, I realized that I needed to inform the CFO that I had accepted this new position, since I’d be only coming in for half-days starting Monday. When I relayed the news to him on Friday morning, he initially tried to criticize this opportunity by saying that unpaid internships seemed like a step backwards. Once he eventually realized that he wasn’t going to talk me out of taking this position, he congratulated me and told me that he’d be fine with half days as long as I stayed on at the company for a few extra weeks. I agreed, and I was excited that my hours as an accountant were going to be cut in half literally overnight.
When I woke up this morning for my first day of work, I was beyond exhausted. I had only gotten 2.5 hours of sleep at The Chez, and I still had to wrap 150 sugar cookies in individual cellophane bags to take to my offices (now plural). I got on the road around 5:30 AM, but I only moved about ten miles over the course of the next two hours. My cousin had warned me that the commute from Murrieta to LA was a bit of a mess, but I had no idea that I would be in bumper-to-bumper traffic at 6:00 AM. I texted my new boss around 7:30 AM to let her know that I was running late, and she very understanding; this was a good sign as I tend to “run late” most days. I finally showed up sometime around 9:30 AM, and I was surprised to see that the “office” only consisted of me, the other assistant, and the manager. When I had initially interviewed for the “intern” position, I assumed that I’d be assisting the actual assistants with items that they didn’t have time to cover (AKA the bitch work). It turns out, we are the assistants, but we are just not getting paid. On one hand, I was thrilled because it meant that I’ll get more experience and exposure into the industry than I initially expected. On the other hand, it meant that the basket of cookies that I brought into the office was a bit excessive for two people. I quickly hid the basket underneath my jacket and just threw a handful of cookies on the desk to pass out.
My training with the other assistant commenced immediately after my arrival. He was very nice, and while I did my best to take in everything that he was saying, my lack of sleep started to catch up to me. At one point, I completely dozed off while sitting in the chair next to him. He must have been giving me instructions on something because I woke up to him asking, “Does that make sense? Does it?” I looked over and said, “Oh sorry. Something was in my eye. Yes it makes sense.” Hopefully it wasn’t anything too important. Apart from the fact that I was suffering from severe sleep deprivation, I quickly realized how draining this internship was going to be. During the five hours that I sat with the assistant, we must have placed over thirty calls and sent over fifty emails. By the time 2:30 hit, I was more than ready for a nap, but instead I was onto my next job. Before I left, I gave the manager and assistant a few more cookies to share and again apologized for my tardiness. I assured them that “I’m usually very punctual.” Lies.
When it came time to pass out my Easter cookies at the production company, I was a bit apprehensive. I had noticed a few weeks ago that the majority of the office probably didn’t celebrate Easter (aka they’re Jewish). Also, it just so happened that I was passing the cookies out on the first day of Passover. I was worried that I was going to look like some religious fanatic trying to spread the Word through cookies. In an effort to remove the Easter association with the cookies, I had added flower cutouts to accompany the egg cutouts. I figured that I could call them “Springtime Cookies,” as opposed to just “Easter Cookies.” This might have gone smoother if I hadn’t opened my mouth. In typical Jamie fashion, I kept saying way too much when I passed out the cookies. For example, whenever someone thanked me for the “Easter cookie,” I responded by saying things like, “No. It’s not an Easter cookies. It’s just a springtime cookie.” Oy vey. When I handed one of the Jewish executives a “Springtime Egg,” he thanked me and asked, “Are you excited for Easter this weekend?” I replied, “Umm…I’m not like super Catholic…I just really like the commercialism of Easter and wanted an excuse to make cookies.” Oh if only my grade school religion teacher, Mrs. Esch, could hear me now. Believe me when I say that I cringed right after I said this, but keep in mind that I was running on 2.5 hours of sleep.
I took the leftover cookies with me to Groundlings this evening. They already like me over there, so it seemed like a waste. Totally kidding. But overall, the cookies were a huge success. I received several emails telling me how much everyone enjoyed them and people have finally started to acknowledge me in the hallways at the production company. I still don’t think many of them know my name, but that’s what “Memorial Day Cookies” are for!
For any of you who are keeping track, I now do the accounting for a production company in the mornings, intern at a management company from midafternoon until the evening, and then I review financial aid files for Notre Dame with whatever energy I have left. Oh, and I also attend Groundlings classes on Monday nights and the writers’ workshop on Saturdays. Since the internship is unpaid, I’m not really in a position to give up one of my paying gigs, so for now, I’m workin it! Yeah, just cringed after I said that, too! I really need some sleep!