War with Hello Kitty

In addition to being at war with Hello Kitty, apparently I am now also at war with every HR department in the world. To tell you the truth, it's been a cold war up until now anyway, and it's nice to get everything out in the open.

I'm getting sick of how the term 'internship' has become so broad in meaning that it now seems to cover everything from slave labor on up. I respect internships, I am in fact technically interning right now, but this is getting ridiculous.

Okay guys, I understand that you can get away with it- I understand how, in this day and age, you can get away with offering nothing but "experience", especially if you're a publishing house or magazine with a degree of name recognition, to people who aren't even necessarily college students- just people you don't want to have to pay. I can dislike it until the end of time, but hey, I understand.

But do you have to be so brazen in your claims that your interns will do the exact same work as your staff? Do you have to make it sound like working for free is a privilege, that people should be proud to merely have the opportunity to send their resumes to you? Why do you make it sound like I should be thanking you for offering to cover my metro card for transportation, like this bountiful gift should reduce me to tears, speechless in the vastness of your magnanimity? Why do you have to go on endlessly about how I must adapt to your "fast-paced, professional environment", when you're the one who needs to call in what's basically a slave laborer in order to meet deadlines? It sounds like if anything, it's you who needs my fast-paced, professional ability to get the work done that I signed up to do.

Then there are the internships with "stipends", where it's a paying job that they call an internship so they can get around the fact that they're paying less than minimum wage, but you know what? I'm not even complaining about that; more power to you, you guys. The situation seems to have gotten so bad that you have to give your respect to the people who still feel morally obligated to pay something, anything at all. Also, in those cases I've noticed that they usually don't make a huge deal out of the stipend in the listings, and instead just make it obvious that they respect your time enough to at least cover your transportation costs and maybe a cup of coffee.

And then, there are those few who offer paying internships that are actually right and proper paying internships, and then I have to wonder what they're doing in the internships section. Hey, you could get away with calling it a job at this point and move up in the world, you know? Sure, even the proper paid internship offers nothing that even vaguely resembles health coverage, but who expects that anywhere? I'm not crazy or anything.