I sat on a plush leather couch in an office too large for comfort gazing at the Los Angeles skyline. Ten minutes prior, I stepped off the elevator and onto the 20th floor, a different world it seemed. It was a secret space accessible via access card only, a space where only the elite deign to walk. *Lady X led me to her office, opened the door then pointed to the couch. I assumed that meant I was supposed to sit. As she followed behind me, I noted how her breasts popped through her deep V blouse. I half wondered if I should cue her to the fact that her bra was exposed, not through the V but through the spaces between the buttons.
She took her place across from me, crossed her legs and said “sell me on you. ” There was an air about Lady X that put me on edge. She was like a principal waiting to catch you cutting class or a friend who gets his jonnies by saying I told you so.
I begin first with my educational experiences, going through great pains to provide accurate of examples of my organizational and administrative skills and yes that definable trend of being one-step head. Lady X was quiet, too quiet as she looks through me with contempt. “Let me tell you about this position,” she began, cutting me off not one minute into my pitch. “Yeah, I’m not going to hire you.” She puts down my resume, takes a sip from her water and reclines even further into her seat. At that point I should have laughed, offered my hand and headed back towards the elevator from whence I came. Instead I sat like a deer in headlights, prey to the inevitable crash that headed my way. “I’m telling you this as a friend…” (for the sake of an accurate memory I will only summarize what followed.) As a “friend” she told me that no one gets to the top without first paying their dues. Shocking, I thought, is this not an assistant position I’m applying for? She then proceed to tell me that she had to get a lot of coffee to get where she is and beat on a lot of doors. “So what is it you think that I can’t learn?” I said. Hell the interview was a dud, why not?
She stopped, nostrils flared ready to attack.“I know 90% of the good people in this industry,” she said with a smile. Yes I’m sure they’re in your iPhone, impressive. “You can’t teach that. I don’t want to teach that.”
I stood up confused… because that’s what you do when someone tosses you a bomb and says go play. “Okay,” I said, “Well it was nice to meet you.”
Truth moment, I cried as I drove home. I was crushed, beyond crushed. Lady X had just spent 10 minutes of a 15-minute interview trying to destroy me and with a smile! I realized days later that if I didn’t pick myself up this one moment would forever shape my interview experiences and more importantly my ambitions to conquer L.A. I reminded myself that no one can take away my power, not even busty blonde women with important connections. No one can make me feel like my experiences don’t matter. I know my worth and what I can bring to the table. And most importantly, I know that the ‘no’s’ don’t matter. I am determined to press on.