How are you supposed to act in front of an employer, whether for a job or internship? It’s not always clear.
Desperation leads to acting. Just wanting a job sometimes makes people act strangely. Michele Paiva left the first day of her internship shocked, “with my tail between my legs, over an hour on a crowded train, choking back tears combining bitterness and humiliation” (michelepaiva.com).
Paiva was young, in her 20s. She’d spent most of that day playing up to a leading television personality she’d admired while growing up. Her awe had backfired.
“I guess by the end of the day,” Paiva says, “she had had enough of me. She looked at me and said, ‘You want to make it in this business? Get tough! Don't agree with everyone. Have an opinion. Don't run to do things for me. I have enough of that around here and I need someone I can depend on, someone real.’”
The next day Paiva went in to work. When asked for coffee, she looked at her boss angrily, saying, “Do I look like your mother? Get your own coffee. The walk is good for you.” They both burst out laughing.
“Never underestimate the power of being human,” she adds.