Katharine told me I have to write this story as a post. I was evading it because I was embarrassed, but then I realized that I have this habit; I wait a few days after something embarrassing happens to me, then I tell one person in confidence, and when they laugh I realize it’s okay so I tell it over and over and over and over. This will be no different.
I applied to be an editorial assistant at BODY Magazine, a trade magazine for lingerie retailers. They called me for an interview shortly after I sent my cover letter. Needless to say, I was PUMPED. Not only was it a career move in the right direction but I imagined I would be going to a lot of lingerie fashion shows. I didn’t really care that the company also owned two other trade magazines; one for school uniforms and one for medical scrubs. I was just so excited to interview for something that wasn’t part time and in a stuffy mail room.
The interview was on Friday and I wore a very nice dress and heels. Had I known that the interview would be on a DOCK next to OIL RIGGERS I would have worn my boat shoes, but that was a fashion mistake, what are you gonna do?
I got off the subway and walked a mile to my destination. On the map it looked like this place was on the upper east side, but this was a part of the upper east side no one talks about, much less knows about. I stepped through steam filled alleys and over sleeping bodies There weren’t even any shady Chinese food places nearby, as if the area was even too shady for them. There were only burly men with beards and sunburns. Pirates.
When I stepped out onto the dock I had to make sure I hadn’t missed the building. A sign clearly told me I was on the right street, and if I wanted to drive my truck onto the dock I had to put my hazards on. The heels were a horrific choice. Finally, I found Fashion Market Managing among a few oil riggers. I knew it was the right building because there was a post it note with someone’s chicken scratch indicating that I ring a door bell. I absentmindedly kicked the frayed wires that lay on the stoop like dead bird feathers. The door was unlocked so I went inside.
Wow. I can’t believe I went inside. The guy from I Know What You Did Last Summer could have been waiting for me upstairs with some sort of collage of pictures of me stealing Snapples from CampCo. Plus, the building was a gigantic ABANDONED WAREHOUSE. And I knew this from the outside. When I walked up the steps, the staircase was lined with torn cardboard boxes, the kind people live in. I would have turned around had I not seen stacks of the actual magazine at the top of the staircase. I really wanted to go to the Victoria’s Secret Angels Show, so I turned the corner.
There were no lights on in this building because I don’t think they were paying for electricity. I said “Hello?” And someone named Nanu came to shake my hand and introduced me to the editor. She didn’t look much older than me and was wearing green eye shadow. This made me trust her.
With only windows as my light, I did an edit test. They sat me at an old Mac, the kind we were really excited about in Junior High, and asked me to write articles from press releases. Two of them were easy, but one was just a sales report for Maidenform bras. I had no idea how to read it. It was just numbers. I started to reach for my phone to text Daria so I could get help (cheating), but then the power went out. I figured this was the moment where they would all leave their computers and sacrifice me to their scrub-wearing god, but they just sighed as Nanu went to fix it. He took a box of tools. I immediately offered to get the fuck out of there and finish the articles at home, but the editor insisted I finish there. I prayed the sun would take a while to go down.
Once the power came back I half-assed the sales report article and booked it across the dock and back to civilization. I barely gave the editor time to say “we’ll be in touch” before I got out of there.
I do regret not taking a picture of that post it note on the door, because I know most people don’t believe me when I tell this story. But I swear it happened, and I’m wondering if I should nix Craigslist from my job searching process.
If they offer me the job, I’ll probably take it. It would be an adventure, right?