Announcing Whatever’s First Ever Summer Intern

I decided this year it might be fun and useful to have an intern here at Whatever, and after a highly selective application and interview process, I have selected who I think is the right person to help me out during their summer break from college. Everyone, meet Whatever’s first ever summer intern:

Whatever’s 2018 Summer Intern, Athena Scalzi

“Nepotism!” I hear some of you cry, and well, a) you’re entirely correct, and b) nevertheless she’s entirely qualified. She’s well familiar with Whatever, having been a close observer of it literally her entire life. She’s also very adept with blogs and social media, having run her own blog in the past and having a popular Twitter account in her own right, as well as assisting me in the running of the Scamperbeasts Twitter account. Also, she comes with good references and writing samples. Basically, an ideal person to kick off an internship position here at Whatever.

What will Athena be doing as the Whatever intern? She’ll be assisting me with Big Idea posts, putting up posts under her own byline, and helping me develop some new features around here. She’ll also be helping to moderate and manage the site at large. In return I’ll be teaching her how to work her way around the software and applications I use to manage and post on the site, be editing her work, and working to help her develop her writing and other related skills on and off the site.

(Also, before anyone asks, and consistent with my philosophy about internships, this is, in fact, a paid internship. No free labor just because she’s my kid. That would make me a jerk.)

I’m excited about this — it’s something Athena and I have talked about formally doing for a while now, so the fact she’s going to be a presence on Whatever this summer is pretty cool. We’ll be working out her exact starting date soon, but expect her to start posting late May/early June. This should be fun.

66 Comments on “Announcing Whatever’s First Ever Summer Intern”

  1. A quick note: If for some reason you might think it’s a good idea to hand-wring about nepotism in the comments here — really don’t. Thanks.

  2. Nepotism or not, paying your intern is a great thing. Kudos.

  3. This is going to be fun! You guys are fantastic. Nepotism isn’t always bad, sometimes you already know the right person for the job!

  4. Congratulations to both of you! Welcome, Athena, I am convinced you will be an excellent padowan! John, train her well in the ways of the force. Perhaps wait a while before she wields the Mallet…. or, let her start right here, I don’t mind!

  5. I look forward to hearing her voice expressed on your site. I think it would be neat to have a feature where you two have an exchange back and forth about a topic, be it silly or serious. At any rate, I hope you both enjoy the experience!

  6. Now seriously, I’m sure Athena is the best choice for the job. As you say, she already knows the drill.

  7. Nepotism is awesome! Why bother having family, otherwise?

    Anyway, will your new intern be authorized to wield the Banhammer? Or does that require specialized training and certifications?

  8. I’ve enjoyed Athena’s twitter feed and I eagerly await her columns! Always nice to see a tradition continued, not to mention freeing up your time to focus on the books.

  9. That is awesome. Congrats to you, Athena, on landing an internship in such close proximity to your summer residence! ZERO carbon footprint as far as travel is concerned…very responsible. Hope you can get along with the boss!!

  10. This sounds like so much fun. I’m looking forward to her posts.

  11. Very cool! I look forward to seeing more of Athena’s writing. :)

  12. angeliquejamail – Writer, artist, and teacher in the Houston area. Author of several books of fiction and poetry, including FINIS., THE SHARP EDGES OF WATER, and HOMECOMING.

    How wonderful! Welcome, Athena! Looking forward to reading your posts. And way to go to your dad for paying you, too. John, that’s awesome.

  13. This is excellent decision-making, both in personnel choice and payment. Given the, let’s politely call it social awkwardness, of some of your critics, I hope she is prepared to dismiss their nonsense as the stupidity it is. Can we expect Thor-level mallet-wielding in such cases?

  14. If I was able to, I would totally employ my kids. It’s not nepotism when it’s a family business, in any case. Good for you, and yay for paid internships!

  15. My only problem with this is I could have sworn I *just yesterday* saw the post about her going off to college. This year is going by much too fast.

  16. Why is she not working at McDonald’s or the groceries store alongside high school students and 60+ years old retirees trying to make ends meet? Huh, I think I answered my own question.

  17. Huehueteotl – Austintatious, Tejas – I'm an elderly tech analyst, living in Texas but not of it, a cantankerous and venerable curmudgeon. I'm yer SOB flaming-liberal grandpa who has NO time for snot-nosed, bad-mannered libertarian twerps. At one time or another, I’ve been a bureaucrat, bassist, writer, photographer, bus driver, usher, drummer, secretary, disc jockey, book scout, cemetery researcher, roadie, book dealer, yard-saler ... and I’ve probably forgotten a few things more. I have an atavistic fondness for old technologies, including clocks you have to wind yourself, steam trains, typewriters, and Aladdin kerosene lamps.

    I’m extremely pleased to know that you’re bringing Athena on! And this is not nepotism, it’s a family-run business, which is quite a different matter.

  18. Did you check your intern’s family history? I’ve heard rumors that her father is a little sketchy. Ask her about the burritos…

    Congratulations, Ms. Scalzi!

  19. I have to say that I am very pleased that child labor law has age exclusions for family members helping out with the business, as that means my middle schooler can get paid to do excel etc. work for “[My name] consulting” which is basically helping me with my research work. He’s better than a lot of college-aged RAs I’ve had in the past.

  20. Well done on the paid internship. I look forward to seeing some of her writing!

  21. Hope Griffin Diaz – North Carolina – So, to borrow from a popular shirt, I love Jesus but I cuss a little. Well, a lot. In fact, I just don't believe Jesus really gives a shit about the word fuck. He does care if you say f you or go f yourself. But a general adjective? Nah. I am married to the love of my life, Louie (aka Luis) and have an adult child, Christy. My mum, Nancy, is still with us and active in our lives. I love to read, I fancy myself an amateur gardener, I am owned by a large black purr machine maine coon cat named Samwise aka #SamSam and a Border Collie/Australian Cattle dog mix named Daisy. I knit. I craft. I sew. These are at my leisure and are hobbies. I don't take commissions nor do I do alterations. I'm an aspiring human being. I battle several mental illnesses including depression, major panic disorder, agoraphobia, germaphobia, claustrophobia, and some other assorted illnesses. I also have fibromyalgia and have had numerous traumatic brain injuries (into the double digits now). I am not able to drive at night. I don't know where this blog is going ... if anywhere.

    I’m thinking about hiring my cat to run my social media. Maybe Sugar & Spice coups help.

  22. Alternatively, Athena is getting new farm chores but an increase on her allowance.

    Of course, that doesn’t look nearly as good on a resume, so let’s go with your version.

  23. I know father/daughter relationships are different than father/son. I worked for my dad one summer and it was extremely tough. There’s no way he would have treated another employee as critically as he treated me. He wasn’t mean, just extremely tough to please. I otherwise got along great with him, so it was just a work thing.

    Good luck to both of you. I hope to see some of Athena’s writing here.

  24. 1) Did she have to talk to HR? “So, Athena, tell me your biggest flaw.” “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”

    2) How did you determine what fair pay for your daughter’s internship would be?

  25. So, given that you are paying Athena for her internship (seriously, good for you for doing that), and presuming that she is living in your house for the summer break…
    How much are you charging her for rent/laundry/meals? Poor girl could still be out of pocket.

    Hope you and Athena have a great summer, have lots of fun together, and that she learns lots of useful skills.

  26. Listen, man, it’s your site and all, hire whoever you want. I just want to know one thing.

    Did you even give the cats a chance to interview? I mean, a genuine fair shot? If not, to hell with you. And good day.

    I said good day!

  27. Not that either of you need *my* approbation, but this sounds fantastic. Congratulations to both of you. I look forward to getting to know Athena. The picture you’ve given us has been interesting, but, you know, it’s always been through the lens of you as a father and also that she’s a kid. Kids do many great things, but unless they’re out there saying and doing it independently I think of what we hear about as mostly off-limits for engagement. I’m excited that we’ll be able to engage Athena here as an independent agent.

  28. Wonderful news! Very glad to hear this is a paid gig for Athena. Hoping she proves to be so successful you’ll need to keep her on part time once the summer is over.

    Congrats Athena, I’m sure everyone is looking forward to what you’ll bring to Whatever.

  29. Excellent! Athena and you could collaborate in the creation of a series of novels for adult young people. Something similar to “The Hunger Games”, but with the quality of John Scalzi’s novels.
    Quantum explorer

  30. Honestly I can’t think of a better intern for the blog. I only hope if my dad had been in a similar position that I’d have gotten that job. Good dads f***ing rock. (No, my dad didn’t become less awesome, but he died in 1993, and blogs were kind of not a thing at all yet.)

  31. Yay! I’ve enjoyed Athena’s Twitter feed, and it’ll be great to read her at greater length.

    And John, allow me to cosign the general praise for paying your intern.

  32. I suspect Ms. Athena will prove indispensable. Hope she held out for a 401-k plan, paid sick leave and vacation time.

  33. That’s something like an 18 year interview process. If that’s what it takes to be your intern I’d hate to see the requirements for a Personal Assistant.

  34. @ Josh: “Does that mean no more Athena picture posts on the blog?”

    Some of them will be selfies now. And it probably means more photos of Scalzi in embarrassing situations.

  35. Awesome idea. So awesome, in fact, that I’m stealing it. (Or borrowing it,) Just hired my daughter as a paid intern for my freelancing business.

  36. Donna Leonard – Southern California – I like to write, read, knit, crochet, watch movies, watch way too much television, listen to music and play Drawsomething 2 somewhat obsessively, not necessarily in that order. You can find my irregular blog at: 3 kids: Twenty-three-year-old boy/girl twins, and a thirteen-year-old girl. 3 cats: fourteen-year-old female, three-year-old female, and a two-year-old male
    Donna Leonard

    Yay! I’m excited to see Athena’s contributions!

  37. I think it’s great your daughter will be able to work on the blog with you ! Also can’t wait to see in Troy. I live about a block away, and grew up in Bradford.

  38. I worked for my Dad after school at the front desk of his medical practice in the early 1980s. My brothers and my sister went to work with my Mom who taught them to take x-rays at the hospital across the street. They even took on-call shifts, so if the phone rang in the middle of the night and my 17-year-old sister got up and left in the car, no one paid any attention. One brother went on to be a doctor. The other went to radiology school. My sister went into computers, but recently decided to become a nurse practitioner, and is back in school in her mid-50s.

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