Diary of an Intern, Episode 1: The First Day

10/15/2013  8:30AM

I can’t believe it. It’s 8:30AM, and instead of being in the office, on the my first day of my internship, I’ve been stuck on the subway at Atlantic Avenue for the last thirty minutes.

That soft female voice repeats for the fifth time, ”There’s train traffic ahead of us. We apologize for any inconvenience.” Inconvenience? Seriously? Inconvenience? My whole future is stuck here, between stations! I remember talking with my friends how important the first impression is, and that it starts with being on time. Now, I myself am late. It is even more upsetting because I actually did all the things they recommend to do before the interview or the first day of work. I mapped my company’s location; I even made a trip there to time how long it would take me to get there from home. I left the house twenty minutes earlier today, and now these twenty minutes don’t matter any more. It is 8:45, and the woman just announced that there is an accident and all trains will be delayed. No phone service, no Internet. I can’t even let my employer know that I am running late. I feel the sweat on my face. So hot and crowded here. The people around me start fidgeting and complaining about the constant train delays. Ok, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!  Please! I want to get out of this car and push it. But the doors are closed.

8:55AM. We are finally moving!!! With a speed of a turtle, the train is bringing me closer to work. Now I’m 40 minutes late; that whole everlasting 40 minutes. What should I tell my employer? Will they think that I overslept and am making all this up as a stupid excuse? Will I automatically get a reputation as an inaccurate and irresponsible person? My first day, first moments, and I’m such a failure.

My stop. Run, Forrest, run!

-Bob The Intern

4 Comments

  1. Avatar of Jason Ioffe
    Comment by Jason Ioffe:

    Bob the Intern could always use advise from his fellow students! Please feel free to help him out or share your similar experiences by commenting under our “Diary of an Intern” blog posts. All feedback is highly appreciated and may even affect the flow of Bob’s story.

  2. Comment by Maggie Zhang:

    After reading this post, I can totally relate myself to Bob because I actually had a similar situation before except that I wasn’t late for 40 minutes. I think Bob should just tell his employer about his long commute to work. I mean it happens, and I don’t think his employer will see it as an excuse. Even if you are late, you can stay a bit longer to finish up what you were assigned to do for the day.

  3. Comment by Christina W:

    I don’t think it is the end of the world. We live in NYC and everybody knows how unreliable public transportation can be. I was once stuck on train for 20 minutes and was late to work. But it came up that my boss was stuck on the same train. We just laughed about it.

  4. Comment by Jiaxin (Karen) Lu:

    I can relate to Bob’s experience because I had a similar experience in which I was late for an interview due to an unforeseen police investigation on the train ahead. The traffic in NYC seems to face occasional delays, and it is inevitably an upsetting experience for a person who has an important event to attend on time. My suggestion to Bob is to try to go even earlier, say 30 minutes earlier, on important dates like interviews, job fairs, or any other career-related events. And if things still do not work out as planned, explain what occured to the employer, and a sensible employer will understand that you have no control over such incidents. On the other hand, if there is a major delay on that day such as a police investigation or construction, there should be notification readily on the train’s billboard. In this way, you have the proof if ever you need it to explain the circumstance.

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