Just like the many different buildings throughout the grids of Manhattan, New York City is all about highs and lows. Good days can be really good and bad days can be really bad. I had a mixture of both this week. I was talking today with the VP of digital adverting sales, who I assist at the media company, and she mentioned that New York is funny like that; she isn't really sure why New York just works for some people yet other people just can't catch a break. No real super lows for me this week fortunately ... and fortunately I had some super highs. Here's the recap.
Monday: Monday wasn't a super low, but it was definitely not the best day out of the week. I assist a sales manager and her sales associate at the media company and the VP of Digital Ad Sales, to whom I shall herein refer as the "boss." Last Friday, I was given directions by one the sales associate to ship some boxes from the 42nd Street office to the company's West Side building on the Hudson River. The boxes contained items for Tuesday night's upcoming event. So Monday morning, without confirming that the shipment orders still stood, I went ahead and shipped the boxes. Well, the sales manager and her associate had not really communicated with each other very well regarding the shipment, which had later been determined should not ship until Monday afternoon. The change of plans had not been relayed to me by Monday morning and I proceeded with Friday's orders. Who know there were dire consequences for not confirming the shipping plans after the weekend and prior to the interoffice shipment? The sales manager commenced to telling me what a bad job I had done on the shipment and scolded me about never second guessing her, even though it was her associate who had given me distinct orders. The rest of the day, I tried my best to look and be positive, though internally I was lamenting over the fact that I should probably kiss any possibility of a contract extension (or a permanent position) good-bye. The associate never came to my rescue or explained that I had sent the boxes in keeping with his request, and I did not want to put him on the spot nor did I want to initiate a he said, she said battle within our corporate trio so I just sucked it up, took the blame and tried to apologize for misunderstanding. Plus, she had already scolded him for a lack of attention to detail, and I could see that he was stressed out enough. As embarrassing as it was standing there while she made countless phone calls to the other building, inquiring about the shipment to which she adamantly referred as "the boxes that Katie was not supposed to send," I accepted full responsibility for the erroneous shipment for the simple fact that I am experienced in event planning and I know that details can change at the drop of a hat. And knowing that they can certainly change over a weekend, I should have called the sales rep on Monday morning to confirm the shipping orders. My determination to be viewed as quick and efficient by completing my to-do list before everyone got into the office later that morning had hindered my accuracy and attention to detail. After several hours of periodic condescending comments from the angry sales manager and random reminders eluding to my incompetence, I sat at my desk for a few moments staring at my computer screen thinking to myself, "Oh my God, I am Anne Hathaway, she is Meryl Streep, and I am in the Devil Wears Prada (without the fashion perks)," except there was no empathetic movie audience with whom I could share my degrading experience. And I suddenly felt very alone in this huge city.
Tuesday: I didn't lose sleep over the previous day's incident. Instead, on the subway ride back to the Bronx after work on Monday, I focused on my resilience and reminded myself that I am smart and not as incompetent as I had felt that afternoon. Everyone makes mistakes. All I could do was learn from it, bounce back, be professional and be ready to work hard the next day. And that is what I did. I returned to the office Tuesday morning without allowing myself to whittle a chip on my shoulder and continued assisting with the set-up for that night's event. I am not the kind of worker who needs a pat on the back, a gold star and continuous verbal praise, but it did hurt my ego a little to ruin an opportunity for a good first impression. Ah well. Got over it. I spent the entire afternoon at the West Side building on the Hudson River, where I had been the night before until 10:30 with the sales associate helping with set-up. At the event that evening, I assisted with registration and check-in of the guests and directed them down the corridor to the roofdeck, where an impressive spread of fine food, beer and wine were being served and where the CEO waited to greet and mingle with the Internet ad clients. That is where I met my new favorite person in New York City. His name is David, he is an executive assistant to a big wig within the media company, and he is adorabely gay. How cliche is it for a twenty-something woman in New York City to have a flamboyantly gay friend? It is as cliche as reiterating Frank Sinatra's famous statement, "If you can make it in the New York City, you can make it anywhere." During a break, I went up to the rooftop and had a beer while I watched the Hudson River turn orange in the dusk, and the guests of the exclusive business party mingled with the sophisticated signature style that is characteristic of New York City. Following the event, David invited me to have drinks with two other coworkers. We went to a trendy bar, where David proposed a toast to my successful relocation to New York from North Carolina. Immediately afterward, I leaned over and said to him, "That was my first toast in NYC." He smiled and replied, "I love it."
Wednesday: The week continued to get better over Hump Day. I assisted with event breakdown at the West Side building and conducted inventory of left-overs from Tuesday night's event, met the "boss" for the first time - the VP of Digital Ad Sales who I learned I was also assisting and decided almost immediately that I adored her. She is not only stylish and fabulous (which her salary certainly helps), but she is business savvy and very sharp. Got to leave work at 5 p.m. since the sales manager and her associate had an evening meeting and there was nothing else I could do for them that night. I went to 23rd and 7th, where I had my first-ever New York City pedicure at an over-priced spa. What the hell, I thought. Might as well go all out for my first pedicure.
Thursday: The highlight of my week came when an excited woman came rushing into our office to announce that Michael Kors was having a sample sale in his offices on the 20th floor of our building. The women in our office made a stampede for the doors and crowded onto the elevators as if we were in Grand Central at rush hour. The sale was exclusive to building employees as a pass is required to even enter one of the 18 elevators. I was excited to learn that a sample sale is a more than just 10% off of extremely expensive designer collections. He was selling gorgeous left-over samples from his winter 2005 and summer 2006 lines for less than $30 and as the afternoon began to wind down so did the prices. I went back to our office with two bags full of Michael Kors clothing - 32 items for a grand total of $60. I also learned that day that other famous companies' offices reside in the 42nd Street building, including Valentino - who also has sample sales for the building about every six months. And Hugo Boss has a floor in the West Side building on the Hudson River. After work, I went to David's house for a small cocktail and wine get-together among coworkers at his apartment on the Upper West Side. The apartment that he and his boyfriend share is in a fabulous location (at the Manhattan price of $2500/month for less than 1000 square feet) and gorgeously decorated with the trendy decor that is only typical of a gay man or a contemporary, stylish woman. Around 10 p.m., I returned to the Bronx, where I presented Tokii with her own large bag stuffed to the brim with clothing that was practically courtesy of Michael Kors.
Friday: I headed down to Manhattan early, stopped by Starbucks on the corner of 6th Avenue and 42nd Street and then crossed over 42nd and entered Bryant Park to watch Christina Aguilera perform live with the Good Morning America "Friday Morning Summer Concert Series" before reporting to work at 9 a.m. At about 8:55 a.m., following three songs performed live by the former Mouseketeer herself, I crossed back over 42nd Street and entered the office building as Robin Roberts and Bill Weir were telling the nation to have a good morning.
I have now lived in New York City for two weeks.