Losing an Icon and Gaining some Chutzpah
On Sunday morning, January 26, I woke up planning on having a relaxing day. I slept in and ate breakfast at “Barney Greengrass,” a restaurant that is a legend in New York. It has been around for over 100 years and it shows. The staff was very abrupt and to the point, and the food was out of this world. It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. In the middle of breakfast, I realized that I forgot that the restaurant was cash only. I got up and walked three minutes to the nearest bank. On my way back, I overheard people talking about Kobe Bryant. I didn’t think much of it because I figured they were talking basketball with each other. Then I sat down to finish my meal. Two men in a corner mentioned Calabasas, CA. I thought that was a little strange. Why, in the middle of New York City, are two New Yorkers talking about a city outside of Los Angeles? Calabasas isn’t a well-known city outside of the west coast. When I left the restaurant, I headed towards Central Park, which was a good 10-minute walk from where I was. On the way there, I opened up one of my social media apps. That’s when I saw the news. That morning, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. I didn’t believe it at first and thought it was a joke. After some scrolling, it became real. On my way to the park, I became very sad and reflective. I also thought it was interesting that on the day that Kobe died, I was 3,000 miles away from the city where my husband and I had so many memories watching Lakers games. Guy and I both admired Kobe so much. I think that Guy admired him more. My husband and Kobe had a lot in common. They were both driven, razor-focused, and lived by philosophies that helped them succeed. Both of them stood out in a crowd with their charisma and genuine care for other people. I think these are the reasons why Guy enjoyed watching Kobe so much. This is also why his death hit me so hard. I felt like I knew him from watching the Lakers games. Most of all, when he died I felt like a piece of Guy died too. During my Sunday afternoon walk in Central Park, I walked, wrote, and reflected on my grief from Kobe being gone. I also felt so much sorrow for everyone who lost their lives in the crash, and for their families who were dealing with their loss.
The Central Park walk was very therapeutic, and on my way back, although I still felt sad, I felt refreshed from dealing with my feelings while surrounded by nature. Before I settled in my hotel, I picked up some wine and prepared to watch the Grammy Awards that evening. While at the store, a homeless man followed me around the store and asked me to buy him something. I assume that I looked like an innocent tourist to him. I said no several times but he didn’t get the hint. When those who need help approach me, I have to be cautious and smart about it, especially in New York. I did not have a good feeling about this man. When I was in line at the register, he bothered me again. I finally stood up for myself and said, “No! Leave me alone!” A clerk saw my interaction and asked the man to leave, then apologized to me. Leaving the store, I thought to myself, “What a New York moment! One minute I am walking in Central Park, reflecting and enjoying nature, and the next minute I’m at a store and a homeless man is harassing me!” I had to laugh. In this city, you never know what will happen day to day. It is one of the many reasons why I love it so much. That evening, I settled into my comfortable hotel room, poured myself some wine in a plastic hotel cup, and turned the TV on to watch the Grammy Awards. After an enjoyable and emotional show, I fell into a deep sleep, grateful to be alive and make the most of a new day.
Monday morning, I woke up ready to get a job. That was actually my first thought when I woke up: I am going to get this job! There was only one problem. The President of the company needed to call me first. I decided not to wait for her, but instead look for other jobs, as a backup in case my first choice fell through. I got ready that morning, and left the Hotel, armed with a mission and a folder full of resumes. The first place I went to was a publishing house. Their office was in a huge skyscraper with a fancy lobby. I walked into the lobby and boldly walked up to the security guard. I said, “I am here to see the hiring manager of the publishing house, and hand her my resume.” The guard replied in a very New York style. He said, “you can give it to me but it won’t go anywhere. You will need to send it via email.” I asked him what their email was, and all he said was, “it’s on the website.” I thanked him and left the building. I stopped at a diner nearby to have some lunch and compose myself. During lunch, I researched the company and couldn’t find an email anywhere. After some more research I found a phone number and asked the man who answered. He gave me an email. However, when I emailed the resume, it came back undeliverable. I let it go. I figured that since I submitted my resume to the company through a job board, if they were interested, they would contact me. After lunch I headed to my next destination. It was a small start up. On the online job description, they did not include an address. I looked them up and found one. After I navigated to where the address was supposed to be, I couldn’t find it. When I called the number to the company, it was disconnected. After looking for the address a few times, I noticed a place of business with glass windows. I looked inside and saw that the business was full of employees at their computers. It was next door to where the start-up was supposed to be. I walked in and a man said, “Can I help you?” I asked him where the address was. He said, “that should be a few numbers below us to your left.” I told him I couldn’t find it, and he said, “sorry I can’t help you.” I turned around to leave after thanking him, but then I changed my mind. I turned back around and asked, “by any chance are you this company I’m looking for?” and told him the name. He said no. So then I left, feeling defeated and discouraged. At this point it was around 3pm and I felt that I got nothing done. The company President hadn’t called me either. I thought to myself, “what the hell am I doing here?” I began to think that the whole trip was in vain.
Before deciding on my next move, I stopped at a coffee shop to relax. Throughout the day I was also having a disagreement over text with my roommate in LA. I decided to ask her to call me so we could straighten things out. She called and we had an argument. After we made up, I told her about my frustrating day. She suggested that I call the company President and tell her how much I wanted to meet her, and fight for the job. At first I resisted because that was not something that I was comfortable with doing. By the end of the conversation, she convinced me to make the call. I got off the phone and thought about it. I mustered up the chutzpah and dialed the President’s cell phone. She answered. I said something like this: “I know this is bold but one of the main reasons that I made the trip here was to meet with you and tell you how right I am for this job.” She barely paused and replied with, “Okay, let’s meet around 11am tomorrow.” I thanked her and hung up. I then smiled to myself, grateful that I got enough chutzpah to call the company President and fight for my dream job.