Diary of an Intern

Once a week, I’m going to post an essay on a random topic; it may be fiction or non-fiction. This week, the essay is about a day in the life of a fashion intern.

                                                                                                                                       

Wake up at six thirty in the morning. Hop in the shower, excited for the day. Slip into your carefully crafted outfit that functions as both chic and comfortable; you want to be ready for anything but you want to look good doing it. Grab your Metrocard, head for the door, and arrive at your building at a little past eight. You get yourself some coffee and make your way to the elevators. The doors open on your floor and the day begins.

You venture into the office to find racks and racks of luxurious clothes crammed together while other interns and harried assistants run past you. Your jacket gets thrown haphazardly on the nearest desk chair, which is already stacked with look books waiting to be sorted. You trip over several pairs of Louboutins as you get sent back downstairs to get coffee for the editors. What are you doing, fixing your tights? They NEED their coffee NOW.

You come back with the coffee and one is too sweet for one editor’s liking, you go back and get a new one. You come back with a new coffee and thank god this one’s right because you really want to sort those look books. But wait, you didn’t label all of the racks?  Why is there a black hanger? You should have changed it already – they shouldn’t have to ask you. Why weren’t you paying attention to how the racks looked while you were getting coffee?

After changing hangers and double-checking the racks, you’re sent to a PR company that’s completely on the opposite side of the city. And yes, you can use a metro-card – no sense in you taking a cab, you’re only picking up one garment bag. You go to get the bag and it weighs the same as two small children. You lug it back to the office and you’re sent back out to go pick up safety pins. The office is in DESPERATE need of safety pins. You return with safety pins in hand only to find an editor yelling at an assistant. Something about the cover look. Then, they see you walk in.

They ask you about a garment you handled last week, you barely remember it but they’re asking you everything short of the serial number on the inside tag. They both start getting huffy with you and one walks out muttering about how you were even hired. Another editor walks in almost immediately and remarks that you’re shirt is nice, followed quickly by a scoff. She then asks you to go grab her salad from across the street.

You return with her salad in hand and you realize it’s almost two pm and you haven’t eaten since breakfast. You sit down in a desk chair and grab your sandwich, only to feel your feet throbbing. One bite into your sandwich and an editor whose just walked in comments on the smell emanating from you side of the room. You knew you shouldn’t have made an egg salad sandwich this morning but you couldn’t resist. That same editor asks you to pick up jewelry from a place all the way uptown so you leave your sandwich neglected on the table and your stomach empty.

Jewelry in hand, you return back to the office with the urge to use the bathroom. You deliver the desired goods to the appropriate editor and you look at yourself in the mirror. Hair is a mess, shirt is wrinkled, and your tights are ripped. You silently hope to be home by six o’clock but you know you won’ t be dismissed until well after nine. You fix your hair and stifle tears while repeating the mantra “It’ll be worth it later on when I make it.” It’s that shining optimism that makes these nonstop and unpaid thirteen-hour days bearable because getting lunch, taking care of clothes, and running errands is paying your dues, right? “WHY HAVEN’T THE LOOKBOOKS BEEN SORTED?,” you hear being yelled from the bathroom. And you suddenly chuckle at this being the opportunity of a lifetime.

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