While I was very curious and cautious, as I explained in my previous post, I also knew that I couldn’t truly find out if I would enjoy this internship unless I put all of the necessary time and effort into is, and more. I got to the office early every morning to network through 1:1’s, I put in extra hours whenever needed, I searched for ways to be creative and contribute to the business on a larger scale, and I used all of my energy every single day.
At the beginning of the internship, my supervisor gave me a 4-week checklist that was supposed to guide me to a promotion for a leadership position. I committed to this position so much that I actually finished that checklist within 2 weeks, so I cut the expected time in half. Although I finished that checklist so quickly, they waited until the full 4 weeks was completed until they promoted me.
Naturally, the next thing that all of my family and friends asked was if this promotion came with a raise, and what my responsibilities changed to. Unfortunately there was no raise, just more responsibilities. I started training people, conducting on-site interviews, and conducting 1:1’s for new entry-level employees. It seemed fun. I kept diving even further in, making sure that I was giving 110% of my effort.
At this point in the internship, I think I might’ve been too deep in that I was drowning. I was working over 40 hours a week, and on top of that 40 hours I was planning networking meetings and attending team building events. I was so drained, having very minimal time to relax at home, and get a proper amount of sleep.
To make all of that worse, I also have chronic stomach issues that I have been going through testing for throughout the past 3.5 years. The symptom is pain. We have not been able to find any patterns, things that help, things that hurt, etc. I was diagnosed with GERD about 3 years ago now, but the medicine hasn’t seemed to help the issue as it should. With that said, my stomach issues were acting up very badly. For 2.5 weeks, every single day, all day I was experiencing unbearable pain. Since I am still going through testing, there is really nothing I can do for this pain besides push through it.
While I was experiencing this pain, I felt like I was getting very minimal understanding of the severity of the situation from my boss. I was still working my full shifts every single day, but I was in pain so I wanted her to understand that if I was not performing as well, it was probably because of the unbearable pain that I was experiencing.
Toward the end of that 2.5 weeks, I was pulled into my boss’s office and yelled at because I didn’t sell enough product in the store the day before, and I set too low of a standard for the guy that I was training. I was scheduled to have the day off after a morning meeting, and since I was not feeling well still I planned on going home to rest as soon as the meeting ended. My boss continued yelling at me and said that I needed to go into the store to train the guy better. When I told her that I was not feeling well enough and needed to go home and rest, she said I was not allowed and that I HAD to go into the store and set a better standard. It continued for about 10 minutes, with her brutally yelling at me, and in the end it was basically her yelling at me for my health problems. After pushing through the pain for two weeks every single day for 10-12 hours a day, she said that if I wasn’t willing to go in on that day and push through my health when I was scheduled to have the day off, maybe I shouldn’t be working there.
I ended up leaving and going home to rest, but the rest did not help my pain go away as I hoped. I finished out the rest of the week, then went home with my family so they could check on me. After talking with them, we decided that we thought the stress from the internship with ridiculous hours and expectations was worsening my symptoms. As a result I decided I needed to resign from the position.
Luckily another position that I was offered a couple weeks prior after I already started the position with Proof Management was still available. I called them and they said I could start as soon as I was available. More updates will come with this new position in the next blog posts!