Interning at US Weekly (Part 1)
(Entry below was hand written on 12/25/2002)
The other day at US Weekly was sort of everything: trying, hard, interesting, boring and fun. I had to run a few errands in the morning which was when I was most busy. The first was the running of some sort of food basket/Christmas gift for the people at the gym where the editor-in chief is a member. It was on 57th and 5 I think, or almost at 5th. I walked down from 52nd Street and luckily it wasn’t too cold out. Once I got there, they had me pick up two heavy bags to bring back to the editor-in-chief. Her assistant, J, said to only bring one if they were too heavy but I picked them both up to try to impress them by bringing both back at the same time. It was killer stress on my arms though, which I didn’t realize until the next day.
After that errand, J gave me a box from Tiffany & Co that had something of the editor in chief’s that she wanted to return. He said they might give me a problem because they might want the editor there in person to give the store credit to, so he left me his phone number to give them to call him up so he could explain the situation- that this is the editor in chief of US Weekly and she can’t just leave her office.
I took the bag with the box in it and went all the way back down to exactly 57th and 5th where Tiffany’s is located. There was a small line of tourists and shoppers to get into the revolving doors and there were crowds inside shopping and browsing because it was the last few days before Christmas. I tried to find an employee who didn’t look too busy or snotty and I got to a watch counter where a woman was on the phone. She smiled at me and said she’d be with me in a minute. She was kind of heavy, with straight brown hair pulled back into a ponytail.
When she was finally ready to help me I told her I had to return something for the editor in chief of US Weekly (I said her name) and she asked if it was a watch. I said I didn’t know because they had only given me the box without saying what it was. She took out the box and said it looked like crystal, so I had to go up to the third floor where the crystal is and where there is a returns desk. I headed to the elevator and waited a few minutes with a crowd of people. The store was stuffy and hot and the elevator was not coming.
Not wanting to be crammed into a packed elevator should one ever arrive, I saw where other people were going through a door and taking the stairs. I decided to do that too. I walked up about 3 short flights and only got to some other main floor door. Then what seemed like three more flights only got me to the 2nd floor. Then a couple of more flights and I was finally almost at the 3rd floor. By this time, my legs and back were aching from my previous errand with the two heavy bags from the gym and carrying my purse also which held this big, heavy journal. I have to make it a point to stop carrying this journal around when it is not likely that I will write in it during the day.
Anyway, by the time I hit the 3rd floor, all my leg muscles were tender and I could not catch my breath, every deep breath I tried to take was painful and my heart beat hard and fast. I spotted the customer service counter but there was no way I’d be able to utter a word yet so I walked around the 3rd floor, waiting to catch my breath. God, I thought, I am really in terrible shape. Running out of air, I pretended to browse around but I can’t remember really looking at anything, except for a little closed off area that had a sign explaining that it was the wedding registry or ‘bridal’ registry, I don’t remember which. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a bride whose wedding guests can afford such extravagant gifts.
I finally caught my breath and got in line at customer service and an old man walked in behind the desk slowly behind another employee and asked who was next. I walked up reluctantly and afraid that he wouldn’t understand and would give me trouble with the store credit. I said I had to make a return and he asked me “Was it a gift?” I thought “I wish!” But said no, that it was a return I was doing for the editor in chief of US Weekly. He opened the box and carefully removed its contents, which looked like two little crystal votive candle holders engraved with very intricate, beautiful linear patterns. He was so careful handling them and then setting them down on the counter and out of their paper packaging. He said that he just had to go and get a stock number for them and I said OK.
The two beautiful crystal pieces just sat in front of me and I touched the top of one, turning it slightly and running my purple, glitter-polished fingernail over some of the deep cut line patterns. The crystal sparkled and shimmered as it caught the light, and I was dying to take one of them home with me. I am never materialistic by any means, but a beautiful piece is still a beautiful piece. The Tiffany’s man returned after a while and asked me under whose name did I want to put the store credit. I said her name and spelled it, but then he asked for her address. I pulled out the packing slip that J had given me and luckily it had her full address on it.
The Tiffany’s man went back and printed up a receipt. He bought a card back to me with a balance on it and explained that it had no expiration date so it could be used at any time. He said he needed me to sign the editor’s name on the receipt and I did, which felt really weird- signing some important woman’s name on the third floor of Tiffany’s on the day before Christmas eve. He gave me a copy of the receipt which he said explained everything for her. I thanked him and left for lunch.
I got back and got to J who put on a relieved face when seeing me. I guess he expected Tiffany’s to give me more trouble for doing a return for someone else, as he said other places weren’t going for it- like Barnes & Nobles, which is really strange. He said, “and they gave you that?” almost a little surprised that they had given me the card for the editor with her balance on it. I, very matter-of-factly, told him that it had no expiration date and she could use it anytime. He said thank and I said “no problem” and smiled. It feels good to know that I helped people.
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