Tag Archives: interns

Slaves.IE is born

Slaves.ie Screenshot

Warning this post contains fowl language …. DUCKS … GEESE … CHICKENS … it may also contain some foul language so depending on your views it may well be not safe to read any further.

Ended up launching slaves.ie this morning and I just can’t believe the response to it I must be honest. I thought it’d get a few ReTweets and a few negative/positive comments and that would be that. I’d hire an intern and live like a king on the money they earn me … erm hang on that’s what I’m complaining about. Why am I complaining about it? Cus you’re FUCKING over the Intern. Taking on an intern is about maybe giving a little back and figuring out if they are the right person for your organisation no? In my previous post Internship = Slavery 2.0 I probably said many of the same things. I was taken on as a placement student. I was paid a decent enough wage … and I was on my summer holidays in second year 11 weeks of a self found placement where I learned all about perl and revision control systems. I learned a hell of a lot … ended up getting a 3rd year project not mission critical stuff for the company but fun all the same. I ended up back on placement with them for 6 months in my 3rd year ( more of my previous 2nd year project and also embedded C++ error logging for a HDSL2 modem … at the time seriously .. WOW) and in my final year while they couldn’t actually think up a project for me they ended up offering me a full time job. Sweet … Dude!!!

Times have changed though and well there aren’t amazing jobs like that out there anymore. Unfortunately there is the whole internship thing doing the rounds and we’ve ended up with companies taking on skilled / semi skilled people and well not exactly giving that much back. There is the carrot held out before the interns eyes … oooh look a potential job at the end of it all. Yes folks … a potential job there’s no guarantee you’ll end up with one. You may end up putting your heart and soul into it and what will you end up with? Work experience and probably a hole in your pocket .. lunch / socialising with work mates (an integral part of any job I feel yes I mean heading for a few pints) / travel … rent for where you’re living and so on = OUCH!

BUT they are creating jobs so fair play to them. No … hang on they are not. Creating a job would mean paying a wage and they aren’t doing that are they?

So tax payer to the rescue I assume once again … if it’s not a bank bail out it’s funding someones business ( on this I’d probably agree I’d prefer to fund a business but that’s probably a rather naive take on things )

So we’re onto other arguments about potentially being able to create business with the intern and hence hire them afterwards .. hang on so you mean they are doing a normal job and bringing you in business? Ouch again a no no.

So what type of joys are we seeing

Receptionist (since removed from JobBridge graphic over on slaves.ie)
Pizza Chef – 9 Months making pizza? While I think training to be a chef is not something that happens overnight this is something people generally get 1 – 3 weeks training in. Unless of course I’m missing the point and there are extra layers of complexity I’m missing – I’ve had friends working in 4star / dominos )
Business Development Intern Vacancy (not advertised on JobBridge so don’t even qualify for the social welfare allowance? The comments you may find interesting)
I’ve also seen a shop assistant advertised hell head over to JobBridge.ie and see what you do and don’t agree with as being an internship am I completely wrong in my thoughts on it all?

but please don’t get me wrong I do think an internship can be a great place to learn and I’m most definitely not against them (I’ve semi been there in the past only I got paid) what I’m against is people being exploited in a normal wage paying position where on the job training is an expected part of every day life in most professions these days.

So Slaves.ie is born like it or hate it #SlavesIE it :)


Internship – Slavery 2.0

Internship / Slavery 2.0

Looking at the picture of the man and the woman you could be forgiven for thinking the post was maybe going to be about Valentines and kinky bondage of some sorts. Read the poem however and hopefully it will become a bit clearer.

When I started out in webdesign “professionally” (I’ll use that term loosely as I started without any qualifications in webdesign) around 10+ years ago I was young and very much naive. I … I … I did things for money I’m not proud of … yes I did websites for 20quid and a 6pack of red bull ( a reference to my post on what to charge for webdesign ). I was young I wanted to make a name for myself I wanted to build a portfolio and I really didn’t understand how the world worked. You’re told things by people and because they have so much more experience you think they must be true.

  • I’ll tell all my friends you did my website (WOW you mean I get to do more cheap websites for your friends)
  • It’ll look great on your portfolio ( A couple of hundred in my wallet wouldn’t hurt either you know )
  • If this works out there’s the potential for a lot more work

I think the last one here is key. What exactly do they mean by that. More work at a crap rate is generally what it means. We just need this next bit of work done and we’ll get the money onto you. Can you sort us out with this it’s hurting our business.

I’ve personally learned this just doesn’t work out. People generally don’t respect you and you end up getting screwed over. I’d love for it to be different it’s generally not. While the sites you end up doing here may end up looking good on your portfolio so would potentially doing some websites for charity or something similar and probably pay just as well. ( See http://24theweb.com/ as an example of what I’m on about but it doesn’t have to be a competition and you could approach a charity yourself … sometimes they’ll have money / grants available who knows. )

Flash forward to the present day. The Irish / World economy is … well … not in a happy place to put it nicely. What do I see … I see all these people who in the past have been huge advocates of the advice you never do work for free seeking out interns. So what’s the pay like? Well as far as I can tell it’s pretty **** and it’s not really pay. It’s a stipend 400 or 500 quid a month which lets face it if you’ve got rent to pay isn’t a hell of a lot. Now if they were looking for a student I might be thinking ok it’s placement it’s not always guaranteed to be well paid and if it’s part of their course they have placement then so be it suck it up get graded for the work/project and so be it (in my year a lot of our class ended up in fairly decent summer jobs with companies). These companies however are looking to recruit fresh graduates out of college for the offer of a life time. 6 Months work … 3 grand over the course of this time WOW … and we might just hire you at the end? erm hang on this really seems two faced.

It reminds me a bit like all these business people I’ve seen lauding the advantages of outsourcing their website development to elance and so on as yes it can be much more cost effective and then expecting people to buy their Irish product cus it’s an Irish product and supporting their Irish job? erm… a bit hypocritical.

Anyways just a rant I needed to get out of my system … while I know times are tough they are tough for everyone not just your business so if looking into taking on an intern please think about paying them something to make it at least worth their while. You’ll no doubt tell me of the great advantage having the job on their CV will be for them and how much time and effort you’ll have to put into training them up but half the time it just seems to me you’re out to make a quick buck from your free worker.

I would however love to hear from any Interns and actual positive experiences they’ve had.