DENVER — After a recent workday as a paid summer marketing intern at a local software start-up, Jeremy Mallow realized office life wasn’t for him.
“When I was in high school, my parents didn’t let me get a job. They told me to focus on my schoolwork.” Mallow explained.
Jeremy, having read numerous business books about “passion” and “entrepreneurship” thought the drudgery of work had been left in the 19th century owing to the introduction of open office plans, cool start-up wall art, and conference rooms named after sci-fi characters.
“It turns out having a 2-hour meeting on deploying cloud-based scalable enterprise software solutions in ‘Chewbacca’ isn’t very fun,” Jeremy adds.
Mallow’s co-intern in the sales department, Jessica Gonzales, has a similar take. “I’ve spent so much time in Salesforce I caught myself mentally converting the cute cashier at Grassa to a Sales Accepted Lead from a Market Qualified Lead after he said hi to me. If his Pardot score jumps any more, a Sales Development Rep will give him a call so we can move him down the marketing funnel and close on an opportunity won.”
Friends of Mallow report that since taking the internship, Jeremy has grown increasingly depressed. “He’s been a bit off lately,” says Mallow’s close friend, Ryan. “He used to enjoy books and having spirited conversations with us. Now all he does is talk about how Silicon Valley culture is a form of social control, and how the ‘Dilbert’ comic strip is comparable to scripture.”
Yet, Jeremy seems grateful about the entire ordeal. “I understand it now. After working 8-hour days at a desk staring at a screen, I finally get it. I can see why working professionals are so emotionally distant, how divorces start, why so many adults have back pain, why there’s such a large market for self-help books, and why Elon Musk probably weeps himself to sleep every night.”
Mr. and Mrs. Mallow knew this would happen all along. “We were trying to preserve the fragile viscera of his soul by allowing him to cultivate interests and social relationships during the summers,” says Heather Mallow. “Then, we pulled the one-two punch and forced him to work a desk job this summer with no time for anything else. Welcome to the real world, Jeremy!”
Meanwhile, Pedro Gonzales, Jessica’s 26-year-old cousin, had just finished his 14-hour shift gutting salmon in the canneries outside of Anchorage, Alaska. “Eh, it’s an O.K. gig. Puts food on the table, no?”