Dear Intern: We’ve all been there.
HBO Max subscribers received a baffling email on Thursday night with the subject line “Integration Test Email # 1,” and a body that read, “This template is used by integration tests only.” Some thought it was spam. Some thought it was a scam. And some mused that perhaps an intern or entry-level employee had messed up.
Turns out, an intern did accidentally send the empty test email to a portion of HBO Max’s mailing list, the streaming service confirmed on Twitter.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, and as the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern,” the statement read. “No, really. And we’re helping them through it.” It closed with a heart emoji.
And the disclosure did something amazing: It actually brought out Twitter’s softer side.
The term “Dear Intern” began trending with 4,500 tweets and counting on Friday afternoon as scores of professionals showed solidarity with the anonymous HBO Max newbie by sharing their own embarrassing stories from early in their careers.
Monica Lewinsky was among the notable verified accounts tweeting support, writing, “it gets better.” And then in a cheeky nod to her affair with former President Bill Clinton during her internship that led to his 1998 impeaching, she added, “ps. don’t wear a beret for a while, k?”
The amusing anecdotes came pouring in. “It’s an email. At least you didn’t erase the entire Community Access TV station’s chyron graphics archive on accident,” wrote one reader, signing it with, “A Broadcast Engineer who once erased all the chyron graphics at a Community Access TV Station by accident when he was an intern.”
“I once globally took down Spotify,” said another, who admitted that this almost happened twice.
Another confessed to accidentally emailing every staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee with, “I’m bored; is anyone doing anything interesting?”
And a principal engineer at Amazon Web Services revealed that they’d once dropped a production database — and this happened after they had already risen to become a senior engineer.
Here are a few more confessions of former interns, assistants — and even some veteran staffers.
Some others praised the intern for inadvertently giving HBO Max a successful viral marketing campaign. “Sending out Integration Test Email #1 (It passed btw) might be the best marketing that @hbomax has ever done,” wrote another. “Congratulations! Get yourself a beer, or two.”