A Strange Unpaid-Paid Internship

My high school expects that every student is to complete a total of one hundred and sixty hours of internship hours at an approved company before the end of ones’ senior year.

Personally, I am an intern at a small business just a few towns over. I have been working there since August.

I spent the day working alongside one of my fellow co-interns and we put together an adoption video for a dog that our boss is fostering!

The more I think about it, the more I realize just how crazy this job really is. We have worked SO MANY HOURS and we were told we would be given eleven dollars an hour. He still hasn’t paid us. To be fair, he said we would receive our first payment after the completion of our eightieth hour (note: I’m at 79) but doesn’t that seem a bit odd? Why would you wait so long!? Eighty hours at eleven dollars an hour is eight hundred and eighty dollars that he now owes me. That is a massive amount of cash to fork over at one time. Especially when you have four interns. Why would you want to run your business like that? Wouldn’t it be easier to pay on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis?

At the same time, I feel funny complaining! We are interns… not exactly real employees. We technically don’t have to be getting paid at all. Rather than making nothing, this guy now owes a little under four thousand dollars to his four interns.

Truthfully, he did promise us this money and now he technically does have to give it to us. It just seem unethical to have a bunch of sixteen and seventeen year olds volunteering their time in hopes of making some extra cash to put gas in their cars and then to give them nothing…?


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