Diary of an Intern: Constant tunes, weird coworkers speed the day away

Drinking heavily seemed like an excellent idea last night. Well, to be fair, drinking heavily almost always seems like an excellent idea. But as I cower in my cubicle under the agonizing (and unflattering) flurescent lights, I'm starting to think that "Consume alcohol" should have been struck from last night's itinerary.

I did not have time to shower this morning. My hair looks dull. My skin is oily. I have an excruciating headache. And I unknowingly put on my boxers inside-out. Oh! And I'm wearing linen pants! And it's, like, 14 degrees! This is what happens when you wake up late and are unable to make it to the dry cleaners to fetch your clean clothes.

This otherwise gruesome workday has been marginally improved by heavy rotation of Lindsay Lohan's "Rumors" on Winamp. Other songs I've shamefully downloaded onto my office computer: "Fly" by Hilary Duff, "Toxic" by Britney Spears, and, inexplicably, "Separate Ways" by Journey. I'm extremely paranoid my headphones will suddenly unplug themselves, exposing my poor musical taste to the entire office as Mariah's "Fantasy" blasts out of the laptop's tiny speakers. Ah, shame - a cruel mistress you are.

I guess I forgot to mention that I wear headphones during my internship. I never asked permission to do so. I just sort of started doing it, and so far no one has said anything. This goes along with strolling in late, strolling out early, and no longer responding to "Hey, Mike, I have an assignment for you." It's not like my co-workers are going to say anything, especially when one cubicle-mate spends all his time on eBay and the other creating new nature-themed desktop wallpaper in Photoshop.

Yeah, my co-workers are weird. Consider their reaction to the emergency kits located in every desk. I came back from lunch the other day to find a vacuum-sealed plastic bag on my desk. Contained inside the bag were a pair of latex gloves, a SARS mask and a small bottle of water. My boss cryptically explained to me that I was to open the bag only during an "emergency situation." My cubicle-mate later told me that they distributed the bags to everyone in the office sometime after 9/11. He also told me that he lost his face mask at this year's Halloween party and that another staffer drank from her bottle of water because she was too tired to walk to the break room. Magnificent.

This doesn't beat the experience I had with emergency kits on the bus ride to my internship the other day. While en route downtown, these three people sat in their seats clutching 72-hour survival kits. Survival kits! They explained that the "terror level" (um, OK) was high. Should an incident of terror actually occur, they would apparently live off their kits until help arrived. These kits were not exactly what I would describe as savory. I think I caught a glimpse of a Slim Jim.

Listen, if you are going to be one of those paranoid freaks who wears a SARS mask when not in the comfort of an office Halloween party, at least be discreet about it. Not only will you avoid the condescending stares from sane and well-adjusted individuals such as myself, but when crazy terrorist-y things actually do happen, the sane and well-adjusted individuals won't know to knife you for your 72-hour survival kit. In other words, don't sit on a high-risk Metrobus with a survival kit on your lap. If we get bombed, the first thing I'm going to do is punch you in the face and steal your Slim Jims.

Speaking of survival kits, I could really use a 9-to-5 survival kit. It'd contain Ritalin, some of those bottle-shaped chocolates with alcohol inside, maybe magazines. Oh, and, of course, Slim Jims.

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

badintern@gmail.com

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