A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: Interns

Let Tom Ford Explain Why Not Getting Paid Wages Is Good for You

by evanmcmurry

Shane Kuhn, whoever he is, has a list of Seven Essential Books for Interns up at Simon & Schuster’s business books blog, which I guess interns can purchase with their pluck. His first recommendation, Tom Ford by Tom Ford, is on there because Tom Ford is a success story who rose all the way from the middle class. Price of the book: $85, or as interns call it, one week’s worth of food.

What wisdom is worth so much ramen?

He also believes EVERYONE should be an intern and shares my views on the topic: “I think this is the problem today, people come out of school and think they should immediately be a star. In this world of course you can make a sex video and you can become a star. But I think everyone should be an intern – you should sweep floors, you should pick up pins. You should run errands because you learn so much.” 

Most businesses that don’t pay their interns* at least do so with a whiff of regret, a “We’d pay you, but [the market, this industry, we’re a startup, etc].” These are just excuses, but they’re excuses that preserve the idea that a person’s time is worth money, and that not paying them that money is a situation that, in a better world, would be remedied.

Ford’s explanation is the first time I’ve heard someone say that not getting paid is in and of itself a reward. It takes some serious chutzpah for someone whose suits retail for $7,000 to tell you that not getting paid wages is good for you.

* This is ignoring for now that making internships no-pay all but guarantees that only privileged people can get them, thereby structurally mandating that they’re made up of people whom Ford says need them to puncture their privilege.

The NFL Is Looking for Unpaid Interns to Perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

by evanmcmurry

The NFL is seeking experience-hungry artists to perform for byline credit at the Super Bowl halftime show. Repeat, this position is UNPAID, but a great opportunity for exposure:

So why does the Super Bowl have such a history of messing up what should be a simple thing? In other words, why isn’t Jay-Z making halftime an Empire State of Mind — after all, he has time for the DirecTV party in Manhattan on Super Bowl eve?

The simple answer is that the NFL doesn’t want to pay performers, and a lot of stars apparently don’t want to play for free, even if the NFL is technically a non-profit enterprise. Instead, artists use the opportunity for exposure, or to up their profile, maybe revive their careers.

Interested applicants should demonstrate a strong Twitter presence and a willingness to learn on the go.

Interns Interning Internships

by evanmcmurry

Christ on a mule:

ProPublica has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $22,000 to pay for the salary of one intern for the fall 2013 semester. The lucky intern in question will be contributing to their ongoing investigation into internships, paid and unpaid, by traveling to college campuses, interviewing past and present interns, and helping to build an interactive news app based on the data collected from reporting and through an online questionnaire.