As a university student the summer means a delightful break from school (unless one happens to be taking an online class), and the chance to work and make some money. As January rolls into February and no “real” jobs get back to you (if you’re in an arts degree the number of “real” internships is almost zero, especially if you are not willing to work for free) you lower your expectations and hope that somebody, please anybody hires you. Fortunately I am not a member of the unemployment club (yes a group of my friends have one of these, no they do not earn badges like boy scouts do). I have a job as a summer student: performer of mundane tasks. I have done a) data entry b) scanning documents.
Today as I stood next to the photocopier as it spit out page after page I couldn’t help but think I am a semester away from completing a bachelors degree. It is not possible that I have some skills that could be used for something more than this? This was quickly followed by me calling the photocopier a less than kind nickname because it had yet another paper jam.
I wonder where they come up with the stuff that we are doing? I have heard of someone who spent an entire summer doing an inventory of all of the works of art owned by an oil company. Fun, fun.
Truth be told I am lucky to have a full-time summer job, even if the work I do isn’t mentally stimulating. If phrased properly I may just be able to make the work I do seem useful to a future employer. There are many things that can be learned from performing mundane tasks in exchange for a decent hourly wage. You also get the benefit of knowing that if you mess up or fail to get your work done it likely doesn’t matter.