Diary of an Intern: Don't stop drinking about tomorrow

I thought of one thing when Sen. John Kerry conceded the election Wednesday morning to President Bush: I'm still high from last night. Of course, I wasn't actually high because I had used up my rubber cement supply when making my Halloween costume over the weekend, and also because I saw Bush's victory coming a mile away. Congratulations, America! You're about to get the nation you deserve.

Needless to say, Wednesday was rough. Of course, any day without my rubber cement supply is a rough one, but the withdrawal symptoms were only compounded by the image of Bush's poo-eating grin. (No, The Eagle didn't censor the word "sh*t-eating," but like the majority of Republican voters, the most important issue for me these days is "moral values." I like to keep things G-rated for the kiddies.)

OK, so back to using rubber cement to get high. I needed something to dull the pain. The one problem: I was at my internship that day. This election really challenged not only my faith in the American people but my opinion on substance abuse at the workplace.

If there has ever been a day to get smashed at work, then Wednesday was the day. I know plenty of interns who sat at their desks, staring blankly at CNN.com and resisting the urge to collapse on their keyboards in blubbering heaps. Wouldn't that have been a perfect time to co-opt a temporary bout of alcoholism? I'm telling you: All the smart interns were drinking straight-up vodka from a Nalgene bottle while making flight reservations to Toronto on Priceline.com.

Of course, drinking on the job would probably have landed you in trouble. And there would be nothing more shameful than getting fired the same day President Bush was rehired. Other shameful possibilities: passing out by the water cooler, urinating on your boss' computer, uttering a racist joke during a conference call, trying to hook up with a co-worker, being rejected by said co-worker. The list goes on and on, and my friends and I would know.

You see, we've made the mistake of combining business with pleasure. Perhaps not between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., but at work-related social events or when running into your boss at a bar. My dear friend "Jasmine" offers a Cosmo-style confession of a recent co-worker encounter of the drunken, distasteful kind:

"I'd been eyeing this guy at my office; he wasn't incredibly hot, but he was SOMEONE, you know? I feel like I always need someone to lust after or I really just can't be happy. Anyway, so I'm at this bar for a Halloween party, and I'm tanked like Thomas the Tank Engine. All these guys keep buying me drinks, and one of them (not the one I made out with) finally wants to introduce me to his friends. I recognize one of them as the guy from my office that I want to get with, and I yell to his friend, 'I wish he didn't have a girlfriend because he's so hot!' I was so nervous about going in to intern again but I kept catching my crush checking me out!"

Things didn't end too badly for Jasmine. But her co-worker's longing glances will result either in sexual harassment or a disastrous intra-office relationship. If only alcohol hadn't lowered her inhibitions, Jasmine's secret love for him could have festered deep inside her heart where it belongs.

Drunk stories are fun, so here's another good one: My friend went to her internship's Christmas party, and we all know what happens when you combine an open bar with something so socially awkward as an office party. She got so wasted that her boss had to drive her back to the dorms, guide her to her room, and tuck her into bed. All that's missing is the bedtime story and a kiss on the forehead. I'm sure there was eye aversion ? gogo the following Monday.

Still, one must weigh his options. Either you get a little tipsy at your cubicle and thus calmly rationalize four more years of Bush, or you openly sob in front of all your co-workers. While you think that over, I'll fetch the gin.

Michael Vallebuona is a senior journalism and CLEG major. Diary of an Intern runs every Thursday.


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