I didn’t really think about postgrad life until right around my first internship. I never gave the real world much thought because I was scared shitless about what I was going to do with my life. I had a dead end baseball career, and there was also the economy and Haiti and all those other problems.
One of my biggest reservations though, was that I, for some reason, thought everyone in the professional world was some kind of capable semi-genius who knew something that I didn’t about living in the real world. My undergrad life was filled with a steady stream of alcohol and some bullshit classes, that if anything, actually make you dumber. I was pretty sure I’d come out of undergrad drastically unprepared for any type of postgrad life.
As I mentioned earlier, that changed when I took an internship for a large paper company. It only took me about 25-minutes on my first day to realize that at least 70% of these people were not only dumber than me, but that it was a miracle that they got through life without falling out of an open window somewhere. One of my first assignments was to compile some employee bios where they write some general information about themselves. Some of these people were writing in such a primitive form of English, I was tempted to ask for a copy of Rosetta Stone. It was absurd how incompetent the general workforce actually was. Sure, I would occasionally meet an elderly veteran that could actually throw some applicable wisdom my way, but for the most part, I felt smarter than I actually was. I’m not even saying that to toot my own horn, but it was like I was Luke Wilson in Idiocracy (if you’ve never seen that movie, watch it).
I actually witnessed a man wreck a fork lift because he tried to turn a corner at top speed with the lift all the way up. You don’t have to be a physics expert to know that center of gravity is rather important when operating a machine of that nature. You almost have to feel bad for that kind of person. I walked into that office with a basic knowledge of Microsoft Office, and all of the sudden I was likened to Steve Jobs. There aren’t many things in life more humbling than having someone explain how to create a new Word document.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for those who do the shittiest of jobs, no matter their education. As Congressman Cam Brady would say, Filipino carnival workers are this nation’s backbone (or something like that). My point is, no matter how bad I thought that I was going to suck once I got out into the real world, I was wrong. Maybe that philosophy did me some good, after all.
Now, things have a changed a little bit. I’m in law school and those familiar feelings creeped back up. Being a lowly law student can make it scary to think about being in the legal real world. However, here I am at an internship with the district attorney and what do I see? I see public defenders falling asleep during court, lawyers stuttering their asses off, and I’m back to feeling fucking awesome.