Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Snowflakes: they endure into the dog days

Outside of my adjunct duties, I have a full-time job at a big public agency.

Each summer we bring in many summer interns, and pay them decently (unlike some of our counterpart agencies, who have them work for free). I get to select about a dozen of the many dozens we host, and then make sure my dozen has meaningful work to do in the offices that agree to take them in. We have far more high quality applicants from great schools than we could ever hope to select. Even the ones that aren't in great schools are often hyperachievers whose drive and focus makes up for the deficiencies at the schools they attend. The best performers can parley this experience into a job offer in their hands as they head back for their senior years. Which can make for a pretty final two semesters.

But one fooled us this summer. Even with a stellar academic record, this summer snowflake is a total slacker. Thinks what we do is stupid and has said so almost those exact words. Fair enough. We appreciate the opportunity to figure out we're not right for each other. Better 12 weeks of misery before graduation than x years afterward.

We're a big place and have more than the average bear's share of administrative burdens. One thing we ask is that they submit for review any resumes that want to address their association with us for review (a policy even us full time employees are subject to). This is actually a legal issue for our protection (and, whether they appreciate it or not, it protects them too as their resumes later circulate through the online job hunting ether).

I discuss the review requirement on their first day. We created a wiki page with a link the to the office that does the review. When the procedures changed two weeks after they arrived, and I sent them an email about that (to pile on to the email they all got separately from the review office...and a series of announcements on our daily news intranet page).

Do I even have to tell you what this driven, hyperachievement-oriented slacker sent me last week?
  • email subject line: question (yeah, I'll file this with the dozens of emails I have from self-absorbed millennials containing "no subject", "help" or "hey" subject lines)
  • email attachment file name: resume.doc (yeah, like I don't have dozen of those, too)
And the text of the summertime special request:
-"what is it I need to do for a resume again?"

Poof. I'm immediately transported from big-public-agency-and Dean's-list student workplace bliss to community college classroom, when a student who was in high school 12 weeks earlier has just asked me about something featured prominently in the syllabus...more than once.

It hasn't been under 80 here in a month...but the snowflakes endure. And next year at this time, this precocious one will be inflicting this on the workplace....or be established as a gradflake.

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