8 tales of cringeworthy internships

management, retaliation, harassment
It’s summer, which means you probably have some fresh-faced interns around your office. Sadly, not all internships deliver a rich experience, as some Redditors can tell you.

One user posted a question to the r/AskReddit board, asking fellow users to tell about their worst internship experiences.

Boredom, attacks & port-a-johns

We’ve collected some of their cringeworthy stories below:
“In high school me and two of my classmates all interned at the local zoo/animal shelter. The zoo was made up of reject animals from other zoos that had too many. The first day, we randomly were placed under different supervisors, I was the lucky one. I spent time with iguanas, giant tortoise, and miniature horses. I was even able to get ridiculously close to a tiger. My one friend worked with the area that handled the cats and dogs up for adoption and got really badly attacked by a cat. My third friend ended up doing odd jobs like construction and taking the carcasses of dead dogs to the one site incinerator.” – bergertree
“I shot a commercial for a Chinese company last month. Half of the time on our shoot was spent on them rearranging people in the office so you could only see the white people.” —machzel08
“I did an office internship for a small comic publishing company. It was supposed to be to learn how a company like that runs, but it was basically just grunt work. I had to fold 600+ shirts in dead silence in the back room (to make sure I hear the doorbell), and had to do things like oil hinges.” — PlasticGirl

“I’m doing an internship where my boss has tried to, in the past week, teach me how to do a Google search, copy and paste something in a Word document, and enter information into an Excel spreadsheet. For real. During an event that the office was doing, she had me go tell the caterers to put out more tiny water bottles. Apparently after I spoke to them they still didn’t put enough out, so she came over and yelled at me. Now I’m required to carry around a notepad so I don’t ‘forget anything else.'” — eliaviv

“I worked in the IT dept at the corporate office of a large convenience store chain. Much of my job was random drudgery and I was often given nothing to do and would browse reddit for entire weeks at a time. In the beginning I would ask for work when i had none and either had to wait hours or days for someone to give me anything, or on one occasion I was given a perl textbook and told to play around with some programming. In the end I found out they “purposely gave me little direction to see how I would handle it” and that I needed to “keep asking for more work”. Basically they hired me with the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle and finding someone who would work for less than what they pay their convenience store cashiers to provide great value to the IT dept. Oh well, I’m not bitter about it, but both parties probably feel it was a waste of time.” – shooler00

“Good parts of my internship: It’s led to a part time job during the school year, and they have said they want to hire me full time when I graduate.
Bad parts: An ex business partner is apparently going to try and attack us, so my coworkers are armed (illegally) at all times. One of the armed coworkers is going through a messy divorce, because his soon to be ex wife is currently with the ex business partner that’s supposedly going to drive his truck through our front door. Also, they are accusing him of being a pedophile. The same coworker has stated that all religions other than Christianity are archaic and need to be eradicated. He prays out loud before we eat, even in public restaurants, and often prays for the destruction of his enemies (verbatim). I’ll think of more. I think that same coworker is a compulsive liar as well, he claims that he was an Army Ranger and fought in Rwanda in 1995.” – deleted

“Not my experience, but pretty horrific nonetheless. I was in NYC for a few days, and being that there are no convenient public bathrooms in Times Square, the good people at Charmin had seized upon this opportunity and rented some space on the second floor of a building where they installed a couple dozen premium port-a-johns. People were lined up down the stairs waiting to take a shitpiss, and between uses, each stall was quickly cleaned up by one of many early college-aged marketing interns at Charmin … One had been assigned the task of wearing the Charmin Bear suit and bouncing around jovially, taking pictures with kids like they were at an excrement theme park. Hopefully it dissuaded some of them from a career in marketing.” —LanceCoolie

“I was interning at a Sports physical therapy place for a project in high school. Basically, all I did was A) laundry and B) put towels on the benches.
Except for the one day I was asked to massage this woman’s swollen, bulging, red, cherry-stained post-surgery kneecap while the therapist “ran to get ice.” Did he run to Antarctica or what, because I was forced to massage that lady’s kneecap for like… 15 minutes, all the while hearing “I just don’t know why it’s so swollen” over. And over. And over.” — DiverGuy