Work for free? Suck it up!

So you’re about to enter the job market and you’re told that things have changed and that nowadays, your first job is called an “internship” and it means you’ll work for free? Sarah Caldwel has some wise advice for you:

In any case, my message to students facing the call to free labor: stop moanin’ and groanin’. Suck it up, read the scripts and answer the phones in your heated/air conditioned office, and go blog about the injustice of it all

I can’t start to say how wrong this is. Would Sarah Caldwell give this advice to anyone facing an injustice? “My message to women who are paid less than their men counterpart is this: suck it up, you’ll make enough to make a living anyway. Go complain about it a the knitting club!” Or maybe “My message to kids who are bullied is this: suck it up, you’ll get your degree anyway and it’ll make you tougher. Go cry to your mother about it.” The dismissive and paternalistic tone is as upsetting as the advice that’s given.

Students facing unfair internships have every right and a civic duty to denounce them. Apparently however, this situation will be a fact of life as long as a fairly powerless and divided section of the population is affected. And Sarah Caldwell will have done nothing about it.


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