An ambitious student, Brittany had an interview for a dream internship at a high profile magazine. She had prepared everything for the interview and she was ready…until New York City pigeons decided to put a kink in her plans. Read Brittany’s Office OMG! moment here and learn how she handled this unexpected surprise.
Ever since I saw The Devil Wears Prada I dreamt of walking into a publishing tower and interning for a major magazine. I would pour the coffee, run errands, and just watch the magic unfold around the office. As a junior in college I had this very opportunity to interview at a publication in New York City.
Within a few blocks of the building you see the chic-ness start seeping in the normal crowd of 57th street. I picked out my best outfit and heels and arrived an hour early. I sat at Starbucks poring over the magazine to make sure I knew every last detail, and at quarter of nine I headed over to the building. As I was waiting to cross the start and starring in awe at the astonishing building, I felt something land on my head. I looked up to find a pole full of pigeons looking down at me smugly. I ran over to look in the reflection of the McDonalds window behind me and to my horror saw a big plop of pigeon poop tumbling down my hair and onto my trench.
With just a few minutes before the interview, I had no time. I had been prepared for anything! I had a mini make up bag, an emergency sewing kit, and even a spare pair of flats! However, I was not ready for pigeon poop raining down from the New York City sky. So I pulled a page out of the magazine and tried to rub it out of my hair. I reluctantly used my fingers like a brush and once I had most of it out and tried to make my hair look normal. It had rained that morning and I dipped my fingers in a small puddle on a bench and wiped off my jacket and rinsed my fingers. I had no more time I had to run across the street and check in.
As I walked into the Hearst building for the first time, I looked around in awe at all the beautiful people and the stunning 3 story waterfall lit by the full size windows. I knew this was where I had wanted to be so badly. As soon as you enter the revolving glass doors the smell of hot dogs and smog fade and you feel as if you’ve suddenly found where shoes die and go to heaven; in my fancy Steve Madden’s I walked over to the check in desk, with poop in my hair.
I sat for a few minutes in the entrance hall, far too grand to be a simple foyer, and chatted with other intern applicants. After a few minutes I confessed my situation to the girl next to me. After she rearranged her utterly disgusted face she assured me that she couldn’t see it. As I walked into the elevator with full mirrors in the back, I tried to get a glimpse of myself but it was too crowded. The ride to the 36th floor was the longest moment of my life. The interview went seemingly well, I sat adjacent to my interviewer with the stained side away from her and faked my confidence as well as I could. As I left the office, I caught my reflection with a bright white streak on the side of my head.
I was shocked when a week later I got an email saying I’d been one of the seven interns offered the position out 68 people they interviewed. At the end of my internship, I told my boss what had happened. She laughed and said she didn’t even notice.
I am convinced that it was my confidence that got me this internship. I was poised and spoke boldly about my work ethic and dedication to the job. Having pigeon poop land on your head minutes before the interview for your dream internship is nothing that you can plan for. But what I took away from my experience is that it doesn’t matter what happens – what matters is how you react to it.
Do you have any Office OMG! moment to share? Submit it to us at OMG@nextforwomen.com.
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Brittany Bass is a senior Visual Communications major in the UNC School of Journalism and an Entrepreneurship minor. This summer she interned in the fashion department of O, The Oprah Magazine in NYC. She has also interned at the Durham Herald-Sun Newspaper, and as a multi-media producer for the UNC Foreign Language Department and School of Education.Brittany enjoys scuba diving, snowboarding, rock climbing and all things to do with the beach.