12 Sep 2012

Interning at the IHT: PART TWO


So today was the first day of rain.  And today was the first day I actually felt like part of the IHT family.  During one of the meetings I was sat in the corner with my little strappy top on as the “important people” discussed the weather and the overly air-conditioned building (which, FYI, I was loving), and then suddenly someone turned to me (the lowly intern) and showed a smudge of pity.  “You must be freezing” he exclaimed, insinuating that I wasn’t wearing much.  “I’m loving it”, I replied, “I’m from England”.  They all laughed.  There’s something about England and the weather together in one sentence which just makes people crack up.  I smirked slightly.  I’d proven to a bunch of Americans that the English actually have a sense of humour.  Even if it is self-depreciating, and about the weather.

So what is it exactly that I do each day?  Well, I’m not writing articles if that’s what you were thinking.  No, they leave that to the pros.  I’m the email-sender, the post-sorter, the pro-printer and the pro-photocopier.  In fact, I’m pretty much a walking beacon of knowledge when it comes to printers.  Well, that’s the idea anyway.  If you knew me, you’d realise that me + printers is a slightly risqué combo.  You know those movies where you see the dumb blondes sitting on the photocopier or trying to scan their faces?  Yep, that’s pretty much me in a nutshell.  Today I was actually approached by the editor of the IHT in Paris to “turn on the television” in her office.  It was expected that I, being young, would know these things.  But if the “on” button doesn’t work, I’m pretty hopeless after that.  I’ve got just as much experience in fixing televisions as an unborn slug.

So apart from all the printing and email sending, I also have to attach URLs to articles for iphone users, send playbacks to the journalists (finished and edited copies of their articles for them to check over) and answer the telephone and attempt to give the person on the other line a satisfactory answer…(this, by the way, is very infrequent.)  Hence why the calls have un(coincidentally) been diminishing.  I think this may have something to do with the fact that they’ve realised how hopeless I am at sorting out their queries so they’ve simply stopped phoning altogether.  You don’t see me complaining.

It’s actually quite funny that I should compare myself to an unborn slug because slugs are very much part of my day-to-day lingo at the IHT.  A “slug” is basically the name journalists use to refer to an article.  For example:  Joe Bloggs has written an article about the beautiful flowers growing in his next-door neighbour’s garden (thrilling, I know).  Joe therefore decides that the slug for his article is going to be “flowers” so that when he’s discussing his article over the phone to a conference room in Dubai, the journalists over there immediately know which article he is referring to from their list of many slugs.  It basically saves confusion and time.

As far as location is concerned, we're right in the business district of Paris.  Sky-scrapers galore; random eye-sores.  Last night on my way back from work I even bumped into a good hundred people salsa dancing in one of the squares.  Talk about random.  Oh, I do love this city.  Nothing beats Paris by night.

Watch this space.

Montana

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