Authors: Roman Koidl
The Eternal Intern
All rights reserved.
© 2013 by Roman Koidl
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
Thank you for encouraging me to follow my dreams
This book has been long time in
the making. Not that it was hard to write but it was hard to find the motivation to write. A lot of people want to write a book and leave a legacy. But many, including me, don’t like the idea of working hard for it. For that reason, I want to thank my mom, as you can read on the previous page, for pushing me to write and my dad for not pushing me into any job as I was unemployed and waiting on the right gig. I also want to thank the never ending competition between my brother and me to be the first to publish a book. I want to thank Theresa Harding and Cliff Kuehn for taking time to edit my final draft and give it the needed flow. Many thanks to Linda Akesson for reading an earlier version of this book and not falling asleep doing so.
I am grateful for the wealth of feedback I received from family and friends to enhance this book with ideas.
By writing this book I learned, that the enjoyment of living your dreams instead of just dreaming them make the struggles and hard work worth it.
The chosen one
2 0 0 8
It is your choice,” the man said laying his arms on the desk in front of him.
“I cannot say right away,” I replied worried and continued “this is a big decision. By when do you need an answer?”
I knew this question could backfire on me. A lot of people were waiting for this chance. It would be a dream job. Maybe not for everyone but for me it would be. I was looking puzzled at the woman sitting next to the man.
“We need a yes or a no now,” the woman pitched in looking at the man like she was seeking allowance to take over the interview.
“I understand,” I replied rubbing my thighs nervously.
When I initially
applied for this position I never thought that I would be the chosen one. It all started with a crazy idea after reading a newspaper ad.
“If I take it, when would I have to leave?” I asked
considering the offer.
“In 14 days,” the woman replied sharp.
Many thoughts flashed through my head. I was turning my head to the window. A plane lifting off into the air caught my attention. I wondered where the plane was heading to. Always when I see a plane I imagine it going to a tropical destination. People living in hot countries must be thinking the opposite. If I took this job I would be sitting in one of those planes heading to a new life.
“And?” the man pitched in
interrupting my day dreaming.
Please walk me through the next two years,” I asked trying to buy more time.
“Well, I believe Marsha would be the best
person to answer that question,” the man said looking at the woman.
She nodded, took a breath and smiled at me.
“In two weeks you would fly to Tokyo where you would meet the rest of the team,” she started to explain.
“Once there you would be living in a corporate apartmen
t with three other teammates. For the next six months you would be trained in Japanese and learn the in and outs of the job. After that you would work from our hub in Tokyo for the following 18 months. Then, after the two years have passed, your contract would be reviewed and either renewed or terminated," she explained dry.
"I see. When would I be able to return ho
me and work from here?" I asked.
"After the two years are over and you and we decide to renew the contra
ct, you would have the privilege to either stay in Tokyo or come back and work from our hub here," she said.
I was feeling doubt and fear.
Maybe I would never get this chance again. I always wanted to work abroad, learn a new language and become familiar with a different culture. But I am not sure if I am willing to take that risk now after slowly getting my life in order.
The next plane was preparing for take off as it was rolling
out onto the airfield. The weather looked grim and grey. I felt that it was about to rain at any moment.
9 9 1
s a very young boy I had many, many dreams. Pilot, President of the United States, or astronaut was never one of them. No wait. Astronaut, do I have to intern for that?
I hope you see my dilemma. I just wanted to follow my dreams and get paid for it. Isn't that what everybody wants? A regular life with a
house, a car, maybe a dog (I'm not really crazy about cats), and eventually some kids. Well, sure, I do want a wife as well. Otherwise it couldn’t be fun if I didn’t have someone complaining all the time. My dad somehow made it and lived his dream. He went to school, studied and got a job straight thereafter. He actually could choose among three jobs. If I look at myself, all I can choose is if I want milk or water for breakfast. Choose a job? I wish. And the best of all, my dad sincerely loves his job. He is an electrical engineer. It doesn't sound too sexy, but it fulfills him and essentially that is what we all want, doing something that fulfills us.
then does it have to be so hard for me?
I always knew I wanted to become a TV host. But with me, about three billion others shared the same dream. And there are not that many TV stations out there let me tell you.
I was about eight as I realized that becoming a TV host must be extremely cool. I have to blame “The Smurfs” for that idea.
I loved “The Smurfs”. I got up every single day at seven o'clock in the morning, even on Sundays. I stumbled out of my bed, walked down the narrow stairs and opened the glass door of the living room
, and there was my daily occupation, waiting for me. The TV. I literally sat right in front of it. A reason I must be wearing glasses now.
At that age I didn't realize the seriousness of daily life. I actually still don't.
I grew up in Germany. The economy was booming in the late 80's and like most others, I had a very fulfilling childhood with all the toys and love and support of my parents. As I grew a little older, I was about fourteen, I still didn't give up on my dream of becoming a TV host. But my dreams have developed since then. I also wanted to become an actor. Well, I never really did anything for it despite dreaming of it.
One Thursday night my dad was eating his soup
and he called me over to him. I set my Game Boy aside, jumped off the old brown leather couch and walked over to the dining table. He asked me what I wanted to do in the future as I was taking a seat opposite to him. I looked at him as he was shoveling his spoon into the dish.
“I want to be an actor
,” I said not mentioning the TV host dream to him. My father – a humble but very direct and honest man – slurped his soup, looked me directly in the eye and said “Patrick, you are fourteen years of age and you were never a member of the theater group at your school. You haven't even seen a theater from the inside. Honestly, you will never become an actor. It’s too late”.
My eyes opened rapidly out of shock.
That comment went straight to my heart. It actually still hurts me today. I looked down to the ground, ashamed about the fact that I couldn't stand up and say “Yes, I am a member of the theater group. I am the best in the group”.
He was right. I just talked about it but didn’t follow through on it. Now, years later, he refuses to believe that he has ever said anything like that. But as he said it I thought to myself that I have to become one now, only to prove him wrong. I dropped that grudge quite soon. The dream of becoming a TV host was still stuck to my brain like a chewing gum to a shoe sole. And the chance to start that career was just waiting for me. A year later, we had a school project that
required us to intern with a company of our choice for three weeks. Most of my classmates didn't really care about it and interned for the carpenter or at the local grocery store. I thought that was boring and sooo normal. I wanted something that would make me the main topic in class; that would make me stand out. The kid everybody admires. I thought that I had to do something cool.
My dad loved the radio. He listens to it every minute of the day. If you enter the house after he has been there alone for a while you would have the radio blaring in every single room that had one. And thanks to his radio affinity
, there was one in his office, all three bathrooms, the living room, and my parent’s bedroom. A room without a radio didn't exist in our home.
One day, after knowing I want
ed to try my luck at one of the local radio stations, I summoned all of my confidence and called a local broadcaster.
“Hello, do you
- ahem, we have a-a-an internship program at school and I wanted to ask, that, ahem, maybe, umm, can I do it at your station?”
,” a pleasant and deep elderly male voice replied. “Send us a cover letter and we will get back to you.”
I was so excited. Not only that I made that phone call. They even wanted me to send them my cover letter. But how in the heck do you do that? At 15 you don’t get to write that many. Luckily enough my school teacher showed me.
I can still remember the moment as I stood in front of the letter box ready to mail out my first job application, and sadly enough, not my last. It reached up to my hip. I was standing there with the envelope. I closed my eyes and started to send a little prayer up to the heavens. At that moment, I noticed my Catholic upbringing.
After a few seconds I opened my eyes, kissed the envelope and shoved it down the opening. A weird feeling. At that point I felt already like a winner. The world was mine. To celebrate the day I went to the store and bought myself some sweets with the money my mother gave me. What a life.
From that day on I was looking at our mail box every day. We didn't have internet at that time, yet. So the answer had to come by mail. About three weeks after I applied for my first internship in my life and sadly enough not for my last, my mom came in and put a little white envelope on the kitchen table right in front of me. I looked up from my biology school book. Nervously, I pushed my homework to the side and reached for the envelope. She smiled at me. “Go on, open it!”.
I was nervous
, as I wasn't sure of what to expect. Did they accept me or turn me down? Would I be able to compensate such a failure in life? I was bragging for weeks in school about the upcoming internship. Even though I didn't know if I would be getting it, I was telling everyone that I had it already. I was Mr. Cool Guy.
I was shivering out of excitement. I ripped open the side, tearing the letter slightly, pulled it out and read
Dear Patrick. We would like to invite you to start your internship with our radio station on Monday the 15
of March. Please report to Ms. Miller in room 305 by 9 am.
We are looking forward to working with you.
Looking at the big grin on my face my mom knew what happened.
“Congratulations, Patrick. I never had any doubts
I thought I was the luckiest
, and for sure the coolest, kid in class by having this internship lined up. In my eyes all my other classmates were losers that would never make it in life. In fact they did. Most of them own a house and two cars by now and can afford to have children. I can't even afford a bike. I should have gone for the carpenter internship. Looking back on my life, I made a lot of mistakes.