Today, let’s take a moment and reflect on how far we’ve come. Once, we were all sticky-handed frog interns, walking around asking ourselves: “Am I blowing this???!”
Spoiler alert: We were. And it didn’t really matter.
Charlie’s bumbling incompetence is in stark contrast to his previous title as editor of the Harvard Lampoon, and he is not equipped to deal with things like answering phones or using the copy machine. We’ve all been there, Charlie! College was the warm, safe womb in which we grew fat and sluggish (gross, babies are gross), while learning absolutely no skills.
You still sometimes greet callers by saying “Telephone!”
But don’t feel too bad for Charlie. Charlie has green male privilege: his dad is a bullfrog voiced by Stephen Colbert, and his running tie show just got picked up by NBC.
Guess all those UCB classes have paid off, Charlie! And for us, as well: we are no longer the sticky-handed, unpaid amphibians of our youth! We are now adults, and we use soap and moisturizer and let other people answer the “Telephone!” It turns out our parental figures just wanted to test us; to see if we had the mettle or moxie to make it in the real world. How quickly we were all rewarded for our troubles! How lovely life is now!
Charlie is a good reminder that internships are basically bullshit for doing anything other than “making connections” (i.e. “getting coffee for”) with people who will come to resent you when you surpass their own career goals in like, two years. You will see these people and they will always laugh a little too hard when they slap you on the back and tell their friend at the bar, “You know, used to be my intern! Soon I’ll be getting coffee for them!” And inside their heads, they’ll be thinking: “Am I blowing this???!”
But lest we forget where we came from, I’d like you all to go up to the Charlie Witherspoon in your life–your assistant, your intern, your pet toad, whatever (as long as it’s one of those three things)–and tell them what a great job they are doing. Even when they are not.
Because if there’s one lesson to take away from Charlie, it’s that you never know who might have a really influential parent in the office. And that one day, you might just get an intern yourself, and god help you when his Running Tie show gets picked up.