On the Origin and Nature of Viget’s Summer Scramble

To this day, the origin of The Scramble eludes us.

Sometimes, over a cold beer on a fine evening, we look back upon the years and consider the events leading up to The Scramble.  I maintain that it was all Emily Bloom’s idea, back in the foggy days of the internship program’s emergence, and that a paper cutter and pale blue card stock were involved.

Intern holding Scramble card made of pale blue card stock, circa 2012, when paper prodcuts were already something of a rarity.

But Emily, who, as our People Director, speaks for the Spirit of the People, says it started long before that, with an intern whose name nobody remembers. All anyone can remember is the gorgeous peach cobbler that was silently deposited on the kitchen counter the morning of said intern’s last day.

I say, if you want to take a broad view of the thing, you’ve got to consider the word itself. If you check the OED, which is widely regarded as the definitive record of the English language, you get a choice between the noun and the verb, and multiple definitions thereof, and it’s all a little wordy. But if you go with the noun’s first definition, you get the following:

***

scramble, n. A struggle with others for something or a share of something; hence, an indecorous struggle, a confused or disorderly proceeding.

***

And so, the question arises: do we ask our interns to struggle? And can that struggle become indecorous, confused, or disorderly? All in the name of something dubbed The Scramble?

Well, when you consider that, in addition to the wholesome, career-advancing, learning-of-things that we ask of our interns for ten, hot, summer weeks, we add a set of so-called “challenges”;

and when you consider that, as interns complete those "challenges," a body of unnamed judges, referred to simply as the Committee, awards points and, ultimately, fabulous prizes;

and when you consider that those "challenges" range from the athletic to the social to the earnest to the absurd, including:

  • decorate your desk
  • go running/hiking/biking with a fellow Viget
  • challenge a Viget to a game of skill
  • cook or bake something for the office
  • pull one harmless prank
  • write and submit a blog post for viget.com
  • attend a non-Viget industry event
  • teach a Viget (who’s not on your team) something new and non-work-related
  • learn a fact about Brian or Andy (our co-founders) that is not published on the web
  • initiate a remote conversation with someone from a different team in a different office location

​... and, when you consider that, over the years, those "challenges" have given rise to such historic moments as:

that time an intern beat our CEO in a footrace:

... and that time the interns showed up with home-made sweet treats each day for an entire week:

... and that time the interns conducted science experiments with dry ice:

...and that time an intern taught Laura how to make the perfect mashed potatoes:

... and that time an intern was devoured by a bear:

Image captured moments before Intern, right, was devoured by bear.

... well, then, I am proud and pleased to issue a resounding yes.

Yes, we do make our interns struggle. And, yes, that struggle can become indecorous, confused, or disorderly. And I’d venture further that, when we give this madness the name of The Scramble, we say what we mean and we mean what we say.

For more legend and lore, go hog wild and follow #scram15 on twitter and instagram.