Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Disappointment and Desperation

All through school I was a straight A student, with continual acknowledgement that I was "keen to please".  I still am, ofcourse. When offered placements or freelance work, I am always eager; ready to work for anything I am offered.

During the summer I took a placement I just knew wasn't going to work out. I wasn't interested in the type of design they did, and if I am completely honest, I was desperate to get out of the house. The summer was a tough one, I couldn't get any work. I signed up with countless agencies and had many interviews for work, but in the end I took the placement because I had to - there was nothing else.

Sod's law is ofcourse, that once you are busy and settling in, something else comes up. I had an interview with a place I have been freelancing at since and I love it. It is the type of design that sparks the fire behind my eyes, and makes me sit on the edge of my office swivel chair. I knew it would be better and the interview went so well, that when she offered me to start the following Monday, I decided I would have to leave the placement and wander into greener pastures. Besides, the pay has been incredible - when you are at the bottom of your overdraft, one step from signing on, money really does speak to you and it's time to say good bye to being nice.

It was Thursday, and in an office where no one speaks a word all day and you eat lunch at your desk, reading bbc news, I had left it too late to say anything. I was bored there, the work they gave me was patronisingly easy; I was unchallenged and unmotivated. After an awkward Friday meeting of forced fun (with wine and crisps), I left for good. I put my door access card on the table and never returned.

I felt awful. I had let them down. The first week of a 4-week stint and I had bottled it for a better deal. I hate being a disappointment and I could just imagine the Monday morning meeting that followed... the bitchy remarks and what they might think of me. I am not that person, but I had to put myself first. If you have a gut feeling you have to follow it, and I did. I don't regret it, but ofcourse it means I can never go back there again. I have burnt that bridge, and if anyone person from that office talks to a potential employer of mine, I will be in trouble.

It is a risk worth taking, though. So I guess the moral here is not to take a placement unless you are truly "feeling it" but if an internship disappoints you, don't feel scared to do the same to them.
Internships are like relationships, sometimes you just have to be the one to call it off.

What I do regret, though is my awkwardness about it. I was frightened they wouldn't let me leave. I felt that it was too late to say anything and that my next opportunity would pass me by. I literally just slipped away without a word. I offered to finish the work I had started at home, and I apologised hoping I would be understood, but I never heard from them again. I didn't get paid either. But maybe I deserve that.

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