For someone who performs more than 80 hours per week of unpaid labor for a company that can afford to give its executives seven-figure salaries, Charlie Thomas sure is proud of his office perks, according to his friends and Instagram followers. The rising senior, who is just finishing up a summer internship with prestigious investment firm Westman Porter & Associates, reportedly fills his social media accounts photos and videos of the goodies his company gives to him.
“Probably four times a week Charlie posts a picture of the free lunch in his office,” said Ellie Baker, high school friend of Thomas. “I love Chipotle too, but I don’t take a selfie every time I eat a fucking burrito bowl. Plus I get paid ten bucks an hour as a camp counselor so I can afford to buy it for myself.”
But Thomas, who spends most of his summer poring over complicated datasets in an overly air-conditioned cubicle next to a mouth-breathing software developer, doesn’t seem troubled by the fact that thousands of other employers pay living wages for less difficult and more fulfilling work. Instead, friends say he brags constantly about the fact that he is allowed to wear jeans to work and that the office fridge stocks his favorite flavor of diet Hansen’s soda.
Nor does Thomas report being concerned about the fact that his housing stipend doesn’t even cover his share of the rent in a three bedroom apartment, which he shares with six other interns and an immigrant family.
Another intern explained that the benefits of working for Westman Porter & Associates range from goody bags full of memorabilia with the firm’s logo to bounce houses and the occasional event with a piñata. When a reporter asked Thomas whether it bothered him that these benefits were reminiscent of what one might get at a child’s birthday party, he countered that children’s parties usually don’t have free craft beer.
Thomas’ parents were unavailable for comment, as they were too busy working triple shifts at their own jobs so they could help their son pay his rent.