The Intern Diaries: day 3

15 07 2010

I love the publishing industry.

I suppose I’ll live to regret those words. It’s just hard to be pessimistic – for now, at least – while I’ve been spending the most part of the last three days at OUPSA. I wake up between 06:30 and 07:00, get up, get dressed, get in the car, and sit in a bit of traffic during the drive to the office. I arrive at work at 08:10/ 08:15, then leave at 17:00 (although I was there until 17:40 on the first day). Upon arriving home (usually at about 17:45), I check the cupboards and fridge for what’s edible, and commence to prepare supper. After that I watch a little bit of DBZ, go over the day’s work, ensure that I finish everything I wanted to accomplish for the following morning… only then do I commence to take a bath and take the time to check Facebook, respond to non-work related e-mails/messages, perhaps read a bit – that sort of thing.

Before you know it, the day is over. It’s just before midnight. Turn in, only to sleep badly, then wake up early, feel restless, and then the cycle starts all over again. And today was only my third day!

I’ve been having ‘fun’, though, or at least what constitutes ‘fun’ when you’re busy reading Word documents, doing research, and typing out ideas for a strategy. I have already learnt that I am great with e-mail correspondence, and was even commended for the way I handle said communication and the tasks I have either completed (small) or am currently working on. I’ve had a few meetings; I’ve dogged the people from PASA to get the skinny from them regarding what exactly is going on with the programme; I’m busy working on a strategy that I am flattered to have been included in; tomorrow I have a meeting regarding another project (this time proofreading, and perhaps a bit of editing) they have decided to bestow upon me, much to my delight and great honour… and there is still a lot more to come.

I do believe, however, that my skills are being overplayed, if I may put it that way – as if they believe that I am far more skilled and intelligent than I actually am. It is better being overvalued than undervalued, I’m sure, yet at this point in time it doesn’t really feel like I deserve the praise. Yes, I’m good at typing e-mails. Yes, I’m focused and diligent and conduct my research thoroughly in order to satisfy certain expectations/ deliverables. And yes, I suppose I will be a great asset to the company, and help them learn a thing or two, enabling them to grow while I myself am humbly happy just to be there. But I’m not wonderful, I don’t know everything, sooner or later they’ll realize that they’ve been putting me on a mini-pedestal for no reason, and then I’ll trip over the few steps and feel foolish for allowing myself to think, “hey, maybe they’re right”.

But enough of that; that’s the only bit of negative thought I’ll allow myself

Sufficed to say that I now know not to tell my ‘mentor’ (although I’m not sure whether she’s my mentor or not, yet that’s what I’ll call her, because she – the publishing manager – has guided me for the last three days) that I don’t know what to do with myself. That happened yesterday. PASA hadn’t communicated their expectations regarding the internship by that time (and they only did late this afternoon), so what was I supposed to do? Sit and twiddle my thumbs, simply waiting for the time to pass in order for me to be able to go home? I think not. And that’s the way I was allocated to the task (quite a large one, in essence, truth be told) of dealing with what OUPSA is calling their ‘language strategy’. I’ve been doing research, typing things out, working through the current draft while checking for errors and making suggestions, setting up a table of contents which, under my proposed headings, I included some of my suggestions, and I’ve even brought a reader home with me to work through for tomorrow. Two fat files are lying on my desk, just waiting for me, and I’ll deal with that tomorrow. Plus there are a ton of files and notes and you-name-it still in my mentor’s office, so that’ll need perusing, as well… and most of what I’ve been doing (and what I’m still busy with, naturally) has to be in the file I set up and presented to my mentor by the end of Monday!

No pressure, right…? … right?! … Never tell someone that you don’t have any work to do…

Despite that, it’s been great. The people are very intelligent, from what I’ve seen and heard, they all communicate well, they’re friendly, the work is interested and satisfactory (what I’ve dealt with, that is), and my mentor is so excited to work with me, and to have me doing all these projects for them, how can I not feel a certain degree of enthusiasm?

I’ll just have to take some coins along tomorrow for the vending machine, because I was craving a KitKat all day long.

Oh, and my Significant Other jokingly said I should quit. Because he misses me too much… and because he doesn’t seem to be feeding himself while I’m not here during the day, then I have to hear how hungry he is during the drive home.

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