When I began my internship at the company in September, I never expected to end it by walking out.
The boss wanted to inflate page hits for the web site so he could convince other companies to pay to advertise.
He planned to do so by implementing a button game on the home page.
The concept? A button on the home page reads "do not press this button." Press the button and a pop-up window opens with another button you're not supposed to press. Press that button and the window reloads with another button you're not supposed to press. Et cetera.
I failed to see the game aspect of this button game.
The boss asked me to write "entertaining storylines" for the button game
"Storylines?" I thought.
He suggested that characters from company assets react to pressings of the button.
"Do you want the world to end on your monitor?" [click]
"I guess you do, sicko!" [click]
"Were you dropped on your head as a child? Don't touch!" [click]
"Eh…" I thought.
He had already paid a company to code posting software for the game though, so I wasn't allowed much creative flexibility.
After struggling for a bit, I decided to code my own version of a button game and present the final product to the boss in hopes of winning him over. I felt like I could connect with Internet users better than a guy who still thinks TRL and Barney the Dinosaur are relevant.
I conceived an elaborate choose your own text adventure, retaining the button constant and incorporating company assets.
Even if my game wasn't brilliant, at least it involved actual game elements.
The boss caught on to what I was doing and removed me from the project. A contentious conversation ensued in his office.
"I'm assigning the button game to someone else. You went way off course."
"All right. That's fine. Before I leave, however, I just want to know your logic behind the button game."
"Why? You're off the project."
"I want to know why you think people will keep pressing the button for no reason, because I don't think they will."
"I don't care what you think!"
"But I insist on telling you so you don't continue fostering this terrible idea! Yes, the button game is a terrible idea! Everyone else in the marketing department agrees! You don't think people will quickly realize what a futile endeavor pressing the button is? I can't imagine anyone pressing it more than twice!"
"Why didn't you tell me this beforehand?"
"Because in my time here, I've seen nothing that suggests that you're receptive to other people's ideas! I mean, you commissioned the posting software for the game without consulting anyone!"
"Professional game designers coded that software!"
"But you told them what to code!"
"Look, you're an intern. You're supposed to do what I say. It's clear to me that you failed this project and you've failed as a person."
I've failed as a person. Good one.
Needless to say, I probably won't be asking the boss for a reference.