The Battery Farm
They’re always so new and shiny when they arrive, perfect and unbroken. I prefer them to be fresh – they’re full of ideas, often good ones, pathetically keen to progress (they’ll do anything) and sweetly naive. This last is really important and, believe me, it doesn’t last long so I have to take advantage quickly; they hatch out into cynical little creatures before you know it.
Divide and rule is best, I always make sure every single one of them is pitted against all the others at any one time. You can do this easily with interns – they know there’s not going to be a job for all of them at the end of this so they’ll fight tooth and claw for my approval. It’s easy to take their ideas, I set them brainstorming tasks and presentations, cherry-pick their best concepts (it’s surprising how good some of them are. If I’m honest, I couldn’t produce anything half as good – but then I’m not really much of an ideas person) and present them to the board as mine. They are mine really – these kids wouldn’t have a clue without me.
They usually wise up a couple of months in, when they start seeing their work appearing under my name and wondering why they haven’t been offered a permanent role. But that’s the beauty with interns, you can just get rid of them without a moment’s notice or a second thought. And no one questions me. It may seem tough but, the way I see it, in business, if you want to get to the top but you don’t have the talent, you’re going to have to break a few eggs to make that omelette.