Tuesday, March 30, 2010
You know you work in France when lunch conversation focuses on wine and...socks.
Maybe age has something to do with it.
Remember the 2000 movie The Intern? The film about a girl paying her dues in the shallow world of fashion magazines?
Here’s the 2010 version: La Mom’s Interns. It’s a film about a woman who works with shallow interns.
While having lunch at the company cafeteria last week with two stagiares on my team, it dawned on me that they don’t make interns like they used to. Here’s the deal: my interns have a better life than the other young professionals on our floor.
Oh, who am I kidding – these scions of French banking families have a better life than La Mom.
Here’s how the conversation went when I was a student intern back in the ‘90s:
La (Student) Mom: I’m getting such great experience working here.
Kim: What are you doing after college?
La (Student) Mom: Looking for a job that will send me to France one day. In the meantime, I’ll join the Alliance Française for access to French movies and French guys.
Kim: Seems like a win-win situation! Plus you get to practice your French.
La (Student) Mom: Oh,it is! J’adore foreign tongues. Especially when they’re attached to hot guys with cute accents.
And here’s what a 2010 intern conversation looks like in La Mom’s office world:
Intern Philippe: I can’t believe the cafeteria is serving 2007Bordeaux wine. Everyone knows that year had a bad grape harvest.
Intern Luc: That’s why they’re serving it – it’s cheap.
Philippe: Speaking of wine, La Mom, do you mind if I take Friday off? My dad’s having his birthday party in Tuscany this weekend and his private jet is leaving Paris with the family in the morning.
(Sidebar: I couldn’t say no. Philippe was parachuted into my team via the company CEO who’s BFFs with Philippe’s papa. You get the picture, right?)
Luc: Pheel, what’s up with your socks? They’re so ugly!
Philippe: Mais non, tu déconnes, you’ve got to be kidding! These are pure cashmere socks. A few of these cost more than my iPhone.
Luc: Do you realize they are bright orange – and ugly? Where’s your taste?
Philippe: They’re from Hermès! Where do you buy your socks?
Luc: The Cashmere Shop, Brompton Road, London. They only sell genuine Scottish cashmere socks that are délicieusement soft.
And that’s the very fine line between interns and their bosses. Their socks.
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An American Mom in Paris
at 8:22 PM