Johan Goes to the Movies: Summing up a one month internship in surprisingly few words

*TWEEP* *TWEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEEEP* the computer console shrieked loudly. “Cuntinggoddamnsonofabitchmotherfucker,” I mumbled under my breath as the sound echoed through the reasonably crowded café, raising a few heads and startling a few smaller children. “Anything?,” Heidi enquired. “Fuck all,” I replied, tossing the hand held barcode scanner away with a sigh of resignation.

I’d spent an entire hour trying to make the blasted thing communicate with the ticketing terminal and all I’d gotten in response was an increasing number of increasingly loud error beeps much to the frustration of myself and, more importantly, the paying customers of the Café/Cinema that is Nicolai Bio in downtown Kolding. You may be a little confused, dear reader, as to how I wound up in this particular place, trying to fix this particular problem.. And, frankly, I am, too, so why don’t we rewind a bit and take it all from the beginning..?

As I have mentioned earlier on this blog and in various other social media outlets, I’ve started an internship at a local arts cinema. Well, in fact I’ve both started and nearly finished a one month internship, but things have been a little crazy so you’ll have to excuse me for not updating till now.. Anyways, yes, I started an internship! It came to be rather randomly, really, I was walking around downtown one December morning and just happened to bump into an old connection, Heidi, who I worked a lot with during my time at the Student House years ago. She enquired as to what I was doing and when I told her I was unemployed looking for work, she told me that she’d accepted the job as general manager of the local arts cinema and that if I ever needed an internship and some practical experience, I should come seek her out. I thanked her very much and went on my merry way, contemplating the offer..

Not really being one to let an opportunity go by, I (true to me philosophy of “if you can’t get paid to work, you may as well work for free”) called her up not long after and took her up on her offer. She invited me to drop by the next day and have a tour of the place and see if I’d be interested in spending time there. To make a very long story very short, I dropped by the next day, had the tour, fell smack dab in love with the place and signed up for an internship within about a half hour. As per our agreement, my title was to be marketing coordinator with emphasis on the younger segment, web and social media advertising..

And how then do you get from that to me trying to fix computers and handheld barcode scanners? Well, I suppose it had something to do with me falling in love with the place.. I realized from day one that my marketing responsibilities would in no way cover the 8 odd hours a day I was supposed to spend at the cinema.. So I figured that since there was so much to be done and the place was in dire need of a helping hand, I might as well do as much as I possibly could in my time there. Heidi, my boss for the month, picked up on this and (being aware of my coordinator experience from the past) let me manage more and more tasks of an increasingly important and diverse nature, and allowed me to pick projects of my own as well as being her sparring partner on some of her ideas and projects.

What ended up happening over the course of the first half week or so is that my emphasis moved away from marketing related tasks (which Heidi and I could easily cover together in a reasonably limited amount of time) and more towards a coordinator/assistant manager type role with all the great fun, strange situations and responsibilities it involved. I still did marketing related tasks such as press releases, web work, social media voodoo and PR work. But I also assumed greater responsibilities such as putting on my own private screening of “The Social Network” marketed by a small scale viral campaign, assisting in the execution of two other special events and in the planning of even more which have not yet been pulled off.. And I never said no to a challenge or a request for a helping hand which as led me into some downright strange situations as I did everything from IT support related jobs over crowd control to playing sound technician during a presentation from a known writer and computer technician during a nationwide live streamed documentary screening. I’ve even eaten sushi with foreign correspondents, drunk Champagne with local executives, and accidentally insulted top politicians by introducing them as “Propagandameister” which is apparently only funny if you understand my warped sense of humor.

Last but not least, it’s what ended me in the rather peculiar situation where I, as the only person in the house with an above average grasp of IT, was the natural choice for the person to try and make the handheld scanner in the ticketing office communicate with the computer terminal to which it was connected. It wasn’t a very fruitful attempt. In fact, it got me pretty much nowhere and earned me nothing but a headache, an edge of frustration and a great opportunity to annoy anyone in the café area located just behind the ticketing office with the array of error beeps associated with every failed attempt to scan a barcode and get it decoded.. Lovely!

In short, it has been one hell of a ride which started off in one direction, changed directions a couple of times along the way and then sorta skyrocketed as everybody suddenly just accepted me as an authority on every topic imaginable from IT support to strategic planning.. And, as I mentioned, I lost my heart somewhere along the way. Working with art cinema has really rekindled my love for movies which has suffered a lot over the last couple of years due to the constant stream of shit produced by Hollywood. This probably goes to explain why I jumped headfirst into the pool of responsibility offered to me and why I’ve spent so many of the nights of the last few weeks at the place either watching movies, presentations or lectures, or helping out behind the scenes.. Or a combination of both. I must’ve watched like eight movies in the past two weeks and loved all but one, and I still have another four I need to watch.. And I’ve but one day left of my internship.. In which to watch them, wrap everything up, say my goodbyes, have lunch with the new work gang.. And get the blasted hand scanner referred to earlier working.. Sigh, I may have to become a volunteer for the second time in my life.. If for nothing else to get another shot at getting the scanner working, I mean, it taunted me for an hour and I hate to admit defeat! Plus, I think all the nice people that I met would be really sad to see me leave.. Hmm, decisions, decisions.

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