Why Humble Pie Is Good For You

October 21st 2016

Story originally written and experienced: May 20th 2011

Oprah made me do it.

Sort of.

There I was, 2 weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for the  interns.

Like:

Sprinting

all

over

New York City

with just a post it in hand with sCrIbBlEd directions explaining where to pick up the goods needed for the photo shoot that night.

I was happy to do it.

you got it dude

I had to be.

My friends, my family, and my new bosses all told me I should feel lucky to even be there.

And it was that notion that made me remember this day in particular.

There I was, 2 weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for interns.

Like:

W

       a

l

        k

i

       n

g

 from one assigned building  – – – – – – –  to the next picking up everything the fashion editors said they needed by 5 PM that night.

I won’t lie.

I was proud to drop the line “I’m here for Oprah,” every time I walked up to a counter and watched them grin as they scurried to the back to retrieve exactly what I asked for.

And also.

I was proud that this errand was going relatively well.

Until.

I reached my final destination.

Banana Republic’s corporate office.

The photo shoot was at 5 PM.

And it was now 3:30 PM.

“No problem,” I thought as I moseyed up to >>> the receptionist’s counter. “Plenty of time.”

don draper gif

And how mistaken I was…

Suddenly I heard:

tumblr_o54wy6c00x1uvva9wo1_500

Shit.

A thunderstorm hit right as I walked out the door.

There I was, 2weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for the interns.

Like:

Braving an absolute downpour in the middle of New York City with a paper bag full of expensive clothes…and only 45 minutes left to get back to the office.

25903973-cry-gif-_zps93e72747

 

No taxi would take me.

And all I had was an umbrella in one hand and the brown bag filled with $600 worth of clothes in the other…while the clock read 4:15 PM.

OH_SHIT_!

Time to go on a run.

run forest run gif

No more than 5 blocks later, the paper bag

completely broke

in       half

nooooooo_elf

I screamed as I desperately caught all the clothes in my    e  x   t  e  n   d   e   d   arms, rescuing them before they landed on the rain-drenched concrete.

Out of the corner of my eye

I saw a Gap.

“Gap! They’re a brother brand of Banana Republic…” I quickly thought. “Maybe if I run in there and ask them for a free bag…they’ll give one to me.”

So I made (another) run for it.

I'm comin for ya, baby!

Mind the Gap.

 

And sought shelter inside, simultaneously informing any employee that would listen that I needed a new bag—immediately.

“We can give you a new bag,” one employee offered,…”but we only have paper ones. If it keeps raining, you’ll probably last another 5 blocks at best.”

sigh

Cathy with the words of encouragement.

I looked at the clock.

4:35 PM.

OHSHITRUNAROUND

“I’ll take it,” I yelled, snatching Cathy’s offer out of her hand and stuffing the broken bag inside the new one.

2 blocks later…

The bag broke     in      half    again.

nooooooo_elf

There I was, 2 weeks into my Oprah Magazine internship, black dress, black boots, curled hair, and doing something no one else wanted to do.

The bitch work—designated for the interns.

Like:

Juggling two broken, sopping wet bags and a heap of expensive clothes.

4:46 PM.

OHSHITRUNAROUND

And then I saw it:

accessorize-store-nyc

My last resort.

I sprinted in as an amateur juggling act, black dress

d

r

i

p

p

i

n

g

with rain, black boots squishing with every step and uNrAvElEd curled hair telling them I was with Oprah Magazine and I needed a bag.

And I needed it now.

“Oprah Magazine?! Say no more,” they stated to my relief as they scurried to the back to retrieve exactly what I asked for. They gave me a black plastic bag with hot pink letters that spelled out, “A-C-C-E-S-S-O-R-I-Z-E”.

good-enough

I expressed my gratitude:

K thanks bye.

Bye Felicias.

 

And bolted for the door >>

I noted my editor’s surprise when I showed up. It’s one I’ll never forget. There was one minute left on the clock, I was soaking wet, and I was clutching a bag that said “A-C-C-E-S-S-O-R-I-Z-E” in hot pink letters containing the goods.

“I told you go to Banana Republic’s office. What is this?” she irritably inquired.

“I did. I swear. It’s all in there. It was raining and I – “

“Forget it. Photo shoot is starting now. Thanks,” she snapped and walked away.

good-talk-gif

I called my mom later that night and told her the whole story. The bitch work. The rain. The broken bags. My boss’ response.

“Is what I’m doing making sense?” I asked her.

“What do you mean?”

“Doing this unpaid internship without any gratitude…am I wasting my time?”

And then she said.

“You know, when your aunt was just 5 years old, she was the youngest out of us 10 siblings, and when we were growing up in Argentina, my parents needed all the help they could get. So your aunt used to regularly take long bus rides to go to the grocery store to buy milk just so the whole family could have something to drink that week. We all had our errands—things designated to each of us.

None of it glamorous.

But all things that had to get done.

And in the end, my parents, my siblings, and especially your aunt, never took a gallon of milk for granted, because we knew what a feat it was for her to get it, and how grateful we were to have it.

Even if we never said it.

Thing is Olive, you have to go through humility to get to where you want to go, and to truly appreciate what you have.

And that’s a great thing.

Whether it’s your career, a relationship, or even a gallon of milk, things like this humble us, now, and even years from now when you think about where you are, how you got there, what you have, and why.

So no, you’re not wasting your time. And yes, it is worth it, as long as you’re lucky enough to realize that humility breeds appreciated happiness later down the line.”

And it was that notion, conversation, and feeling that made me realize why I’d always remember this day in particular.