Things I Learned From My Internship, Part Eleven (or And So It Led to This) / by Adrienne Hess

Photo Apr 16, 10 47 18 AM

Things I Learned From My Internship, Part Eleven (or And So It Led to This) Words of advice in the event you are offered a job:

You can, in fact, negotiate for a higher salary.  This is something I learned literally an hour after I accepted a job, mediocre salary and all. Don't get me wrong. It's a great salary to have coming out of college, but there is the possibility (which I will never know) that I could have had an amazing salary coming out of college. I get the job, text my friend from Martha about it. He asks me what my salary is. I tell him. He then proceeds to ask me if I had tried to haggle for a higher one. I was all like "uh. No. I was unaware this was a legitimate option."

His response was "you can always negotiate." And i was dumbfounded. And slightly angry with myself.

Make sure you ask questions during the interview about your benefits, how they will be doled out, and what they are exactly.  Otherwise you will be walking around in a cloud of confusion for the first three months, thinking to yourself, "What exactly have I gotten myself into, and what were the reasons I got myself into it other than my weekly paycheck."

Rejoice in that weekly paycheck.  A large portion of people who graduated with a photography degree (or any degree for that matter) in the last few years do not have that amount of stability and are crying on the inside while openly worrying about where they will find rent for the next month and eating one packet of ramen a day.

Figure out if your employer takes out taxes or if you have to do that for yourself.  There are pros and cons to both.  On one hand, you have exactly as much money as you think you do. On the other, you have to make sure to set aside about thirty percent of each paycheck, a painful and at times dangerous thing to have to do.  On one hand, you can barely write anything off.  On the other, lots of things could technically be written off when you are an independent contractor.  I would not; however, take my word for these things.  I would consult an accountant.  I still have not quite gotten to the part where I file my own taxes. In time, young padawans, I can give you advice on this as well.

Make sure you are going to like what you are about to plunge into.  It is not a great feeling when you set out to do something and then realize it is not exactly what you were hoping.  This cannot always be avoided.  In the case that you are duped and stuck with a job that is slightly off kilter, be sure to learn all that you can before you skip out of there. And, you know, make sure you skip out of there in a nice way so that those people still like you when it comes down to it.

In other news, More Adventures of Mumsy, Naughty Nicki, and I then I will fill you in on some things that Camille and I have been getting ourselves into.

Sunday was my mum's last full day in NYC. So we went to Hillsong. It was packed. Mum, Nicki and I were way back in the back by the door and we could not see anything because of all the people standing in front of our short selves. They did bring mom a chair, while we were back there and then they went in search of actual seats for her. WHICH THEY FOUND. Some nice lady gave up her seats so that my Mom could come up to the front and sit in a chair where she could see. I was lucky enough to get in on this as well. I did say that I would sit on Nicki in the aisle, but that didn't seem to be acceptable. So Mum being a gimp paid off. People are all kinds of nice to the injured.

Then we came home and made lasagna! It was delicious and yummy!

Monday morning, we packed mom all up and went on a bus adventure (I am now a pro at buses) to Kitchenette. The mecca of brunch food on the Upper West Side. I had delicious strawberry french toast and delicious strawberry sangria. They go surprisingly well together.

Then we went on back to the apartment and I had to sadly put my mum into a cab. Then there was post vacation depression. Don't laugh, you all totally know what I'm talking about.

That Wednesday, I went out to a release party with Camille. Camille and I have taken to going to random MeetUp group events and gallery openings that come into my works email box simply because we can.

We did not know who this girl was, just that there had been an email inviting us and we had our minds set on going. Who cares if this girls music was good or not (it was so not awesome). We got there, FREE hors d'oeuvre! This was great as I had come from work and had nooooooo dinner. We then decided we should at least by one drink if we were planning on staying a while and sip that thing for hours. FREE vodka drinks! Sure, they were watered down, but they were still delicious. We did not go crazy though, because we are responsible adults and did not want to have to go to work with hangovers in the morning.

So we are sipping out drinks on a nice couch by the stage when the girl releasing her CD comes out to sing and shake her thing. Everyone immediately stands up and crowds to the front so us short people are incapable of seeing. This is okay though, because I notice other short people standing on the couches so they can have a higher vantage point. We immediately follow suit. So does a tall guy trying to take photos with his point and shoot. I ask him if he would be so kind as to move his head to a lower level so us short people can see. Which he actually does, so I had to stop being snippy with him.

He starts talking to us and asking if we are enjoying ourselves (which two free vodka drinks in, of course we are) and it turns out he is in charge of the whole thing. This makes me laugh on the inside and try not to look scornful. I think I managed it because he tries to give us his card. He handed me one directly, hand to hand. But apparently Camille was not paying enough attention to him (there was a girl singing and dancing on a stage ten feet in front of us), and he starts moving his hand like he is going to slip the card INTO HER BRA. I shove her so that she notices this and has the opportunity to stop that from ever happening. Apparently I made a very horrified face at her, which she still remembers exactly a week later. She took the card from his hand and was very polite about it. She said "Uh Thanks," and did not mention his blatant disregard for personal space as I would have.

This incident is something I will remember for months, possibly years, to come. He was taking pictures the whole time too. Of us as well. I looked on the website later and I did not apparently make the cut, but half of Camille's face did. O the funniness. Camille and I at le party!