AIBU to want to push this intern out of the window

(150 Posts)
Rosamund1 Mon 08-Aug-16 12:47:40

I've got nice shoes older than he is but that's not why I am annoyed.

He is the son of one of the owners friends and he will finish uni next year. This is a small firm so excellent opportunity to get some experience.

I am looking after him and to get him started I asked him to write a couple of pages of the impact a change of legislation may have on our clients. I gave him a full day to produce something. I told him that I acknowledge that at uni you may have days or weeks to write and research, but on the ground clients want answers quickly so it was an excercise in speed as well as content. At the end of the day he said he's not ready. And the next day. FFS.

Then I asked him for a list of for example dentists in a five mile radius because we are going to write to them. A whole day later he produces a handwritten list. My local dentist is not on the list. I told him that the job is not glamorous, there is a lot of admin.

Next, we are having a meeting with a big client. I said he could sit in on the presentation. As preparation please read the file and prepare a one page summary of the background, clients needs & where we are to date. He didn't do it. He just attended the meeting, no prep. Obviously he would not be presenting but come on.

He is scruffy and he mumbles instead of talking. He gives the impression he does not want to be here - forced by parents perhaps. I have looked after other interns before but none like this.

Sometimes I walk past his screen and he has some random internet page open. I ask if he has anything to do and he says no. I told him at the beginning that we can't babysit him, if he is at a loose end he can ask anyone in the team for something.

I'm not going to point out his general lack of interest and uselessness to the boss, who is his mum's friend. I am not going to stick my neck out and say 'You need to stand up straight, tuck your shirt in and look lively.' I will just memorise his name and try and avoid him in a professional context. Or just push him out the window.

dementedma Mon 08-Aug-16 12:51:10

window. definitely

Edhilaria Mon 08-Aug-16 12:51:53

I'd be tempted to push him too. But for his own sake would some brutal honesty work? I've just done this with a new assistant and she's like a different person. It's like she genuinely didn't know what I was expecting.

Paintedhandprints Mon 08-Aug-16 12:52:35

Next time you see him will be when he's dropped out of uni and his parents have set up his own practise for him and provided him with some clients (Family friends).
Or he will disappear off skiing having realised the world of work isn't for him.
(bitter emoticon)

weirdsister Mon 08-Aug-16 12:54:08

' He gives the impression he does not want to be here - forced by parents perhaps.'
Most likely scenario!

NatureCreatesFreaks Mon 08-Aug-16 13:00:49

He sounds like 14yr old on a work exp from school! Not a uni student.

Unforrunately I agree with painted angry

NeedACleverNN Mon 08-Aug-16 13:06:45

No don't push him out the window!

You'll traumatise innocent pedestrians.

Tie breeze blocks to his feet and push him in the river

Binkermum29 Mon 08-Aug-16 13:08:13

Good internships are like hens' teeth; there must be thousands upon thousands of young people who would kill for one but who don't have the necessary contacts or clout to find such an opportunity. What a waste.
I would be inclined to mention his apathy to your boss, or at least not to fudge the issue if she asks how he's doing. When he comes out of the internship the other end, none the wiser, you don't want the fault to be laid at your door.

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Mon 08-Aug-16 13:08:16

That's really irritating - what a waste. My DD would have loved an internship this summer but despite dozens of applications didn't get a single one. She's done work experience before and always had really positive feedback, presumably because she's friendly, keen and enthusiastic, and willing to start at the bottom.

We've had some bored interns here too. All ours are DC of Director/VIP/Royalty/celebrity/whatever. If a mere mortal like myself asked for my DC to be given an opportunity, I'd be told we don't offer internships. angry

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Mon 08-Aug-16 13:10:50

Is he on mumsnet by any chance??
I'd probably have harsh words with him, but maybe a word in your bosses ear might be in order first.
The window will only be any good if it's at least three storeys up

HermyOne Mon 08-Aug-16 13:14:11

Sack him and have me instead  only half joking

Honestly he has no excuse. I'm 23 and looking for work at the moment and if I got an internship I would be working my butt off.

HermyOne Mon 08-Aug-16 13:18:47

It actually makes me a bit angry when I hear about people like this.

I graduated from a redbrick university last year with a very good grade. I'm now finishing a masters degree and I'm on target for distinction/first. But because I have zero connections I am finding it so difficult to get a leg up in my field. It's extremely disheartening.

Meanwhile, I'm watching the children of extremely wealthy people get internships/jobs handed to them on a plate. And they really don't appreciate it.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Mon 08-Aug-16 13:23:50

I'm suffering with something similar at the moment OP - my intern had 3 days to complete some (very specific) research ahead of a call with our boss on the Thursday. Despite giving him ample time and checking how he was getting on twice, he ended up not completing it for the call and I had to do it instead.

That was 3 weeks ago and would be annoying enough but this morning he sent me his completed and now entirely irrelevant research which I'd already done myself (and better) and which was no longer needed...

He's also been sending emails that are misspelled and grammatically incorrect to people around the department who then come to ask me whether he's on work experience! I only wish he was because he'd have left by now.

5Foot5 Mon 08-Aug-16 13:24:25

Will you be expected to give him an appraisal when he finishes?

Could you arrange some sort of mid-term one-to-one with him and point out that his performance to date has been less than satisfactory point out in words of one syllable what he needs to do to improve?

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Mon 08-Aug-16 13:28:30

It pisses me off further because I know some people work their arses off at internships for no pay (or expenses which is pretty much the same thing) and he's getting accommodation and a really bloody decent salary for his time and doesn't seem to give a damn.

amusedbush Mon 08-Aug-16 13:28:58

I've recently moved departments but the modern apprentice in my last office was like this. Constantly internetting, chatting and distracting everyone, taking days to finish work that should have taken a few hours, sitting with nothing to do and not asking for work.

He makes it clear that he's in it for the money and doesn't give a stuff about the work or the department. Having him there was actually a hindrance and he got a free ride because it was quicker and easier to do his work for him than hold his hand through it angry

Muddlingalongalone Mon 08-Aug-16 13:29:10

Does he actually want to work in your field in the future or is he just cv filling?
If it's the former it might be worth an expectations in a professional environment "discussion"?
I have done this once with an intern after about 2-3 weeks of a year long placement & she was like a changed person.
Wouldn't work for everyone - we had someone leave after 3 days because the md told him he would have to make his own way to the office from now on. (had the job because family friend of md)
Or give him busy work for the next few days

pasturesgreen Mon 08-Aug-16 13:29:53

I feel your pain.

I had similar earlier this year when I was assigned to look after a brand new, very green trainee.

Straight out of university, thought he already knew all there was to know in the field because, you know, he had degree. Er...so does everyone else in the office!

He was on time for about a week, then started swanning in at 10, 10.30. Couldn't understand what the problem was: he was tired, had been out drinking partying all night, he needed his sleep. Was never ever on time for anything. Needed two afternoons off a week as he was a kids' football coach and couldn't possibly let the club down.

He was forever munching on a banana as he needed to "keep his potassium levels up" for when he went running. There was a memorable time when he discarded the banana peel in the wastepaper basket of one of the senior partners and got the most almighty bollocking.

He didn't last very long after that, but he still had time to come into the office one day dressed in a white underwear type t-shirt and baggy shorts, as a suit and tie "felt too stuffy". He was sent home and told not to come back.

He seriously couldn't see what had gone wrong in his training, left thinking he would end up becoming hugely successful in our field confused

BitOutOfPractice Mon 08-Aug-16 13:32:03

I would be tempted to say something like "You do realise I will be giving an appraisal of your performance to <dad's mate> don't you? So if I were you I would stand up straight, tuck your shirt in and look lively"

It's so annoying that he's not taking the opportunity

WistfulReflections Mon 08-Aug-16 13:33:03

Is it a paid or unpaid internship, out of interest?

Babetti Mon 08-Aug-16 13:33:35

I've had interns that aren't a bit bothered and who I would have happily thrown out the window but more often, I've found that the intern is so used to very specific instructions that they struggle to get started and then struggle again that what they have at the end of the time I've given them isn't perfect. For the couple of pages on the impact of the policy change, I'd tell them that it typically includes X, Y, Z headings and then insist they just send me what they have done by the deadline. All that's more for the start of the placement and they tend to need a less hands on approach as they progress.

Mr Handwritten Dentist List doesn't seem to be struggling for perfection though grin

Rosamund1 Mon 08-Aug-16 13:34:06

I'm fairly new here and I don't want to make waves. The director is friends with his mother and it will be awkward for her to report her kid is useless. I don't want to be the messenger. I learnt a long time ago no good deed goes unpunished. One of his tutors at uni can tell him he needs to buck up his ideas.

Benedikte2 Mon 08-Aug-16 13:39:48

I'd drop a note on his desk every morning with a list of stuff to do and then just forget about him. That way he can't complain he wasn't given anything to do. Surprising (to the rest of us) how entitled the other half feel themselves in o be. Unfortunately s lot of this ilk end up as MPs running the country and totally ignorant about what work really is ie it is NOT just the number of hours you spend at work.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 08-Aug-16 13:40:16

I am not going to stick my neck out and say 'You need to stand up straight, tuck your shirt in and look lively.'

Why not? I would do exactly that.

I feel your pain op. It's 50/50 whether the ones that get referred from relatives/family friends are utterly shit and you know someone who really needs and would value the experience is missing out while you indulge some over grown child.

I could tell you some stories that would make your hair curl but I can't because of confidentiality.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Mon 08-Aug-16 13:40:28

<Opens the window in Rosamund's office as it's quite warm today...>

Don't worry if you accidentally knock him out of the already open window; he'll be ok. People like him are like cats - they always manage to land on their feet <cats bum face emoticon>

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now