Posted on December 19, 2012
An Intern’s Lament Pushes Me Further Down
Is there a malaise going around? Do things just seem not as good as they used to be? I hate to admit that but I am truly feeling that type of a feeling as I proceed in my 54th year of life. I have always been such an optimist, always the guy with the methods on how to feel great, and lift yourself up. But lately I have had a hard time doing that.
Today for example, was kind of sad. I met for one of our last meetings with a bright and cheerful intern from UMass. She’s taken our internship this semester not needing any more credits. She works two jobs and was taking four academic courses. Yet today she was sad, sad at age 20, and it made me sad too.
She told me about how high her hopes were when she entered UMass, that after she graduated she’d find a fantastic job in an exciting field. Now as her final classes and exams tick away, she only has these two service jobs here in Amherst. I’ve realized that for most UMass students, being in Amherst is like Siberia, it’s the sticks, it’s not Boston, and it’s not NYC. It’s a let down.
I tried to help her by offering to set up some meetings for her in NYC. She told me about some friends of hers who moved to Queens and work in the city–they got internships and are having a lot of fun but working as waitresses. She is willing to move wherever she has to to get a job. But it’s sad because the job market is so bleak. It’s damn hard finding a job as an English major. Journalism? Don’t bother. And in PR, it’s mostly filled with great writers who used to work in news media.
My malaise started when I closed my cafe, and then a series of deaths took a lot of the vigor out of our family. I am sad to not have my work mates around me any more. Now I toil alone, one of them is in the hospital and another is retired. And a third just recently passed away.
I hope that things pick up and that I find the spark that has led me far in this world. I should be inspired by the intern, who said that I had a great business and that she admired me. I need to begin again to admire myself.