Subject: Evian and Elevators
Before you start reading... Elevators for us english lot means lift. But if we said Evian and Lifts it wouldn't have sounded as good.
This is a true story.
An average July day in New York can be unpleasant for anyone having to spend time in the city running errands, what with the suffocating heat that seems to stick to your skin almost as much as the pollution. For a fashion intern, an average July day in New York might have your sneakers (trainers) melt into the concrete while you wait to cross the street, juggling fourteen Starbucks cups between your two hands, all of which are for your co-workers – and that’s just the morning errand, if were thinking drastically.
But a fashion intern in New York will also experience the unexpected, and on one such sauna-like July morning, that’s exactly what happened.
I was rushing to the office, having only had time to grab a small Boxed Water to keep hydrated on my 10-minute walk. At the office building, I jumped into the elevator (lift), out of breath and deeply regretting the fact that I chose to wear jeans that day (always a huge mistake). A hand reached out and caught the elevator door, just in time. I bit my lip, feeling nervous that this delay of mere seconds might make me late – an unnecessary worry.
Suddenly I felt very frumpy as he walked in, looking breezy and fresh, and nowhere near as sweaty as me. I looked down uncomfortably at my hands, which were holding the Boxed Water container. It had condensation running down the side that had taken on a disgusting greyish hue from the smog in the air. Yuck.
“That’s a very cool looking water – wow! I’ve never seen that before!” the man’s voice jilted me back to reality, to what felt like the longest elevator ride in human history. I looked up at him and back down at the container, discreetly trying to wipe away the dirty drops of water. I looked up at him again and nodded, unable to stop the flow of words that were about to leave my mouth – this tends to happen when I feel uncomfortable.
I told him the water was really great, and yes, very unique and the container is great for the environment, and before I could stop myself, I rambled on about not liking the taste of Evian water, in fact, I really dislike it, but for no specific reason – I took a breath, swallowed and finally cut myself off. He looked at me, slightly perplexed – perhaps we were both wondering how I’d managed to speak so much between the ground floor and the third floor – but he nodded, smiled, and told me he also didn’t like Evian, and he’d be sure to look out for Boxed Water. Phew!
I felt a bit better and much more relaxed. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the elevator door opened and I asked, “Oh, do you work at Steven Alan?” The stranger looked at me, cocked his head to the side and nodded, “You could say that.” Unfazed by this rather cryptic answer, I went on to ask him his name. He looked at me, grinned slightly and said “Steven.”
The doors closed and slight mortification began to creep its way up my body and through my bones. I bit my lip again and looked at my hands again. “F***ing Boxed Water.” I thought to myself.
I have since managed to live this experience down and look back on it fondly with a chuckle. Not being a native New Yorker, I was in a completely new environment and completely intimidated by my surroundings at the time, but I have since learned that you can’t let it get to you. No matter how cool and successful your coworkers and the office may be, they are all people and they all started somewhere. It’s best to be yourself and be at ease – don’t worry though; it’s a work in progress!