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Letters: Unpaid internships and fake flowers

Kai Ryssdal May 4, 2012

Kai Ryssdal: Picking up once again with the early theme of this program — jobs — we talked about interns yesterday, unpaid interns who’re suing their bosses.

A lot of you wrote to tell us about your days in the intern trenches, including Jennifer Szambecki of Wichita, Kansas.

Jennifer Szambecki: I had seven internships between middle school, high school and college — all unpaid. These experiences were priceless: They showed me what I did not want to do for a living, meaning I didn’t waste any post-college years on career paths that sounded like a good fit in theory, but weren’t really good for me.

Seth Levi from New York City says like it or not, putting in your time as an intern is inevitable in this economy.

Seth Levi: There are no longer entry-level jobs. There are jobs with entry-level pay. And these jobs require that you have one to three years experience. So if you’re starting out in the workforce, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid doing an unpaid internship.

Finally, Mother’s Day and the recognition thereof. Stephen Dubner was back with us this week discussing the Freakonomics of the second Sunday in May. And even though Dubner corrects me all the time, a lot of you took him to task for saying we shouldn’t buy fresh flowers for our moms, because most of ’em are grown overseas and shipped here in a not-environmentally friendly way.

Debra Prinzing from Seattle actually started off on Dubner’s side.

Debra Prinzing: My first thought was: ‘Oh, this is great, Stephen is going to advocate for consumers to support locally-grown, domestic cut flowers.’ Instead, my jaw dropped when I listened to him offer the ill-informed suggestion that listeners give their mothers plastic flowers — petroleum-based and certainly not sustainable. Happy Mother’s Day.

Mom, if you’re listening, real flowers this year — I promise.

Write to us, send us flowers, whatever you like.

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