Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year Resolutions 2009

So the first resolution of the New Year will be that we will not be taking on any more 16-year old interns. No more. It's official, I'm cynical now.

The 2 16-year old guys that we accepted late last year were well-behaved for the first 24 hours. I believe I got some decent work out of them. For the rest of that week, they were ... less so. At one point, they locked the 21-year old intern out of her office. Then they went through her phone and sent text messages to her boyfriend. They also shredded a tonne of rough paper and stuffed it into her drawers and handbag. I think the only thing they didn't do was jack off in her office mug. Well, at least I hope they didn't do that.

And that's what they did to just one person in our office. I won't elaborate on what happened to the rest. Suffice to say that at some point, I heard the office manager screaming.

After that, we instituted a policy that we will not accept more than one 16-year old intern at a time, in the mistaken belief that one 16-year old by itself will actually behave. So we just had a 16-year old female intern for 2 weeks. She behaved herself for the duration of her stay, and only arrived once in casual party-wear. Then (at her request) I arranged for her to spend some time in another law firm where they handle high-end criminal work, so that she could have a more well-rounded experience and probably get in on some really interesting cases.

She didn't show up on her first day.

She showed up on her second day and asked to be paid for her internship. I'm not sure why she did that, since we didn't pay her either.

She didn't show up on her third day. In her view, if she was not going to be paid by the law firm for the opportunity to sit in on some meetings and court hearings, then she wasn't going to waste any more of her time, which could otherwise be spent sitting at home, chatting on the phone, shopping or watching movies.

I can't believe I actually called the head of their criminal department myself to ask him, as a favour to me, to take in this 16-year old intern for 1 month, and to make sure she learns something interesting. What the hell. I am embarrassed. I need to send him something really nice as a gift. I have no more credibility. He must think I am some dumbass.

Under the Children & Young Persons Act, we are restricted from hiring or employing anyone younger than 16 years. I think they should extend it to include 16 year olds. It's not to protect young people from being exploited - it's to prevent employers from being exploited. Also to prevent employers from killing them.

15 Comments:

At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually did not know that 16 year olds go for internships....what do they do and what do they need to know? you guys were too kind

 
At 12:24 AM, Blogger k@Ye_ said...

One word, "Irresponsible"... Guess hv to spend time & Effort to educate our kids these days.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger -ben said...

Not showing up for work, now that's unprofessional.

BUT office pranks rule!
Here's one from my ex-housemate:

Yo car iz protected!

The firm?

Oh, myspace.

:-P

 
At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thought that only students from Polytechnics and Uni go for internship?! No?

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought generally most 16 year olds would have only completed their secondary 4 education and awaiting their O level results the following year whereby most would be 17.
Couldn't think of any 16 yr old doing internship... be it Poly or Uni!? Should be 18 or older lah!

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger gremlin said...

Yes, everyone - blurt her blur-ness. No one takes in 16 yr old interns....but one. Harlow sukker.

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh, u must have wound up with some asses for interns. showed ur blog to some of my 16 year old students who did internships at law firms last holidays and there were quite horrified! take heart in knowing not all of them are bad eggs! :)

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger michelle said...

Wells, as for me, i don't think that all 16-year old interns are bad since I'm 16 and looking for an internship now and i would not have done that. It was totally irresponsible.

 
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