Still broke though. NYC is an expensive beezy.
Life—or that abstract, all-knowing being above—likes to fuck with me. I truly believe that in my soul. Which is why I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about the last five days I’ve spent in New York, not as a traveling gnome passing through but as a freshly inaugurated newbie-resident, with big, bushbaby eyes (well, as big as Asian eyes can get without looking creepy à la little boy from The Grudge) full of wonder and naiveté.
December 1. Something in me snaps, and I think, “I can’t do this anymore.” It could’ve been that my two internship opportunities in San Diego, both of which put me on the backburner for a month, finally evaporated. Whatever happened that day, whatever insignificant, miniscule event, it compelled me to return to the grind of the jobhunt with inexplicable voracity. I think I was just tired of feeling purposeless. So, I looked at jobs on LinkedIn, found two opportunities in New York that I found terribly interesting, copied-and-pasted a mosaic of past cover letters, and sent off my applications in under half an hour. A few hours later, both had responded, and one of them wanted a phone interview the next day.
December 2. My phone interview went well up until the very last second. I totally fucked up. “Well,” I thought. “Time to apply for more jobs!”
December 4. I apply for another job (“What ho? They’re a British company?”). I hear back within a few hours. A phone interview is set for the next day.
December 5. My sister: “Try not to fuck up the same way you did before.” Golden advice (‘twas pretty bad, the details of which to be saved for another post). After my phone interview, which I thought went swimmingly, I get an email—from the prospective employer whose interview I’d botched a few days prior—asking me to come in for an in-person interview the following Monday (Today is Thursday). I had told them that I lived in New York, so I couldn’t negotiate travel logistics. After a game of tag with American Airlines operators that spanned a few hours, I booked a weeklong trip to New York. Then the company I’d just had a phone interview with (the British company) sent me an offer of employment, with a start date of the following Monday. I soiled myself. And had a spontaneous hernia.
December 8. The morning of my flight. En route to the airport, maybe half an hour away, my flight was canceled. My dad and I waited for two hours in line at Ticketing, and by the grace of the almighty Olympic gods, I was able to catch a later flight in the afternoon.
December 9. Midnight. I arrive to my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn.
December 9. I have the interview with the other company (I’d asked the British company to give me a few days to consider the offer in exchange for my commitment to start the following day). The Co-Founder/Managing Director (of the other company) is a douchebag. A Madmen ad-world type who would definitely force me to turn into a mega-bitch were I to work for him and put up with his shit. For $15 an hour as a freelancer (to avoid certain tax stipulations, apparently), I wasn’t ready to forfeit my soul and buy into that illusory promise of fortune that brings so many people to Manhattan before turning them into … ringwraiths(?)
I email the British company and tell them that I want to come into the office and meet the team in person.
December 10. I buy a Michael Kors coat (which I’ll most likely be paying off for the rest of my natural-born broke-bitch life) on sale at Macy’s–I ransack the place as soon as it opens because I’m freezing my little Panda balls off.
I meet my future boss. He’s adorable. This quintessentially British man, with his darling British mannerisms. Reminds me of ‘home’. “Where do I sign?”
I go back to my friend’s apartment and spend two hours with an American Airlines representative to change my flight home for the holidays. Cleopatra comin’ atcha Christmas Eve, Cali!
My friend (whom I’m staying with) invites me for celebratory drinks at her boyfriend’s bar in DUMBO. She’d told her mom that I got a job, and her mom told her to pay for dinner as a congratulatory present to me (I love her family). I don’t know what her boyfriend made for me, but I swear I was roofied.
December 11. I start my first day hungover. I’m sitting in my poisoned misery, unable to hold down any food or hydration, and my new boss tells me that I need to record a 30-second video introduction to send to their headquarters in London. So, somewhere in London, there is an office stronghold that knows me as the Britney-Spears-circa-2007-ratchet new hire in their new office in America.
I go to Reuters HQ at 3 Times Square. Pretty amazing.
December 12. Day 2 of work. How am I still hungover? What the hell did he give me? But I manage to have a productive day. I meet some of the attorneys who share the floor with us. We now shoot the shit in passing.
At 6pm on the dot, I hoof it to East Village to have dinner with some friends, and then we walk to Union Square and commit to 6 HOURS of fantasy film, watching the double feature of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey followed by the midnight showing of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Personal verdict: I was jealous as hell of the sexy-awkward love triangle between the hottest dwarf, Evangeline Lilly, and a more robust, older (but not supposed to be) version of Legolas, my most beloved version of Orlando Bloom (all about dem golden locks, dem braids, pointy ears, and bromance with Viggo Mortensen).
I get home at 3:30am and to bed at 4.
December 13. I wake up at 7am and head into Midtown to work. I’m coding their email newsletters. I don’t know how to code. I don’t know shit about HTML.
I close out my first week of work and my first week in New York. I end my first day of not feeling jetlagged (3 hours going forward is more of a bitch than you’d expect).
I go to a holiday party in Carroll Gardens, where the host is looking to sublet her apartment for the month of January. I look around at my first apartment in New York (as temporal as it would be), for $850.
I realize that my UK Tier 1 Post-Study work visa expires today. And I’m not suicidal. I’m actually hopeful.
A girl at the party asks me if I’m a journalist (mostly everyone there is a Columbia School of Journalism alum).
“I’m actually in global investment banking and asset management.”
December 1. I can’t even spell ‘global investment banking’, and I sure as hell don’t know what a hedge fund is. They didn’t teach that in my Italian Baroque course at university.
Flashback to June 2012. Hoxton Hotel, Shoreditch, London. I’m sitting on a couch in the lobby with a ‘mentor’ (so to speak) from the football (soccer) industry, a man whom I’m still ardently in love with, to this very day.
“Frances, you’re what we call a ‘headfuck’.”
Sounds about right. Life is strange.