Roundup No. 52: The Dear Intern Thread We All Needed


Welcome to another Weekly Roundup, Remote Work Tribe! If you’re new here, the Weekly Roundup is your go-to resource for everything happening in the world of remote work, dispersed teams, and global management. If you weren’t active on Twitter this past week, you likely missed one of the best shows of management we’ve seen in a while — the “Dear Intern” trend inspired by a recent hiccup from HBO Max.

In case you missed it, HBO Max mistakenly sent out a blank test email Thursday evening with the subject line “Test 1.” While some on the mailing list were quick to mark the email as spam and move on with their day, others began to speculate that somehow, somewhere an HBO intern had dropped the ball.  

It didn’t take long for the HBO Max Help account to issue a response:

Turns out it was an intern after all! However, HBO was sure to assure those poking fun at the situation that the intern was in good hands. Hopefully, rather than shame or fire the intern, the management team over at HBO was using it as a real world learning experience.

What followed was a wholesome (and hilarious) thread of professionals sharing the instances in which they messed up as an intern, dubbed Dear Intern. 

And let us tell you, it was phenomenal. 

Dear Intern… 

Think the HBO intern had it bad with a blank email blast? Check out these other “Dear Intern” horror stories that had a happy ending. 

Even some brands, like NBC Sports Chicago, got in on the fun. 

The Lesson Behind the Laughter

It was honestly impossible not to laugh while scrolling through the “Dear Intern” trend. Taking down Spotify? Or the entire Golf Channel website? Turns out the HBO intern wasn’t in as hot of water as we thought after all! 

But laughter aside, there was also an incredibly important lesson behind the “Dear Intern” trend. More than anything, the trend showed how crucial supportive management is after instances such as these. 

Imagine being an intern at the receiving end of dozens of Internet jokes? It was probably awful! But like the professionals above mentioned, mistakes happen. They’re part of life, and a natural element of business. And fortunately, mistakes such as the HBO Max email can actually reveal hidden issues in the current framework! 

So, it’s paramount that managers and leadership don’t place shame when instances such as this occur. Instead, treat them as learning opportunities — and in this case, as a free marketing tactic that absolutely increases impressions for the brand. 

Now that you’ve gotten through this wholesome section of today’s Weekly Roundup, let’s dive straight into what else was buzzing on Twitter!

Man jumping in pool of money

The Tribe’s Weekly Vibes 

1. This newfound way to meet engagement goals. 

2. This reminder that rest comes first, then inspiration. 

3. This example of the power of storytelling. 

4. This incredible thread of how to overcome “creative paralysis.” 

5. This helpful thread of lessons learned in emailing.

6. And speaking of emailing, this example of subject line faux pas.

7. This pitch to rename employee perks at Twitter.

8. This rundown of startup inspiration.

9. This crowd-sourced thread of recruitment tactics. 

10. This piece of clothing we’ve all adopted. 

11. This anti-thread.

12. This thread of tactics to take back your time and energy while remote.

13. This thread arguing against Slack as an async too. 

14. This relatable cringe-worthy moment.

15. This financially-savvy thread for those starting a new direct-to-consumer business.


What do you think deserves more buzz from the remote work community? Tag us over on Instagram, @TheRemoteWorkTribe, or on Twitter, @RemoteWorkTribe, for a chance to be featured on our next weekly thread!

Man blowing a kiss and saying goodbye
By Grace Trumpfeller