Hello beautiful people!! It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted, and man, lots has happened. My whirlwind weeks started by getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth out (thanks, mom, for spoon feeding me my lunch after the surgery when I couldn’t feel my mouth<3).
During my recovery from the surgery, as I spent hours on hours hopped up on pain meds, icing my face, and binge watching The Office, I got an email from a recruiter at Macy’s telling me that I was referred by a Macy’s employee for a copywriting position.
(If you’ve been keeping up with my blog this summer, you know I’ve been job hunting, and a couple weeks prior went to the city to network. I was connected with a friend of my sister-in-law who is a buyer at Macy’s who then referred me for the position.)
ANYWAY, loopy Becca was very excited about this interview; although, when I received the email a day after my surgery, I could barely open my mouth, it was so swollen, not to mention painful to move. However, unemployment might be more painful, so I decided to take the phone call.
Pain meds in full swing, ice pack resting on my cheek, I chatted with a Macy’s HR rep for about 10 minutes, mumbling my way through my prior work experience and skills. After the brief phone call ended, I went straight for the couch and fell asleep (like you do post wisdom tooth surgery). I didn’t have the mental capacity to over-analyze how the phone call went, the way I usually do.
A couple hours later (I’m still asleep on the couch), I get a phone call from the HR rep. Confused and a little (a lot) dazed, I answer the call. She tells me that the team wants to bring me in for an interview in the next couple of days.
I guess my phone interview went okay then.
She called me back the next day with details regarding my next interview, and before I knew it, I was on a bus back to the city.
My interview went great at their corporate office, and the next morning I was given a copy project to complete for the team. I turned it in two days later, and the following week, I was offered the job.
Your girl is officially employed in a big girl copywriting position!!!
Somehow when I took a step back from the job hunting (because I had to for my surgery), everything fell into place. Nothing was forced, my HR rep was amazing, the interview process was smooth and easy; it was unlike any of the other jobs I had applied/interviewed for.
Okay so here we are, job offer in my inbox, and they want me to start in 2 weeks. It was Monday morning when I got the job offer, Monday night when I accepted, and by Friday morning I was on my way back to the city to apartment hunt with my dad, my best friend from college, and her dad. It’s kind of a lot of pressure knowing that you have 2 days to find an apartment that you will be moving into the following weekend.
But, that’s what happened.
Let me tell you, hunting for an apartment in NYC is crazy. Not only do they get snatched up quickly, but these brokers are nothing short of movie characters.
During my apartment hunt, I experienced 3 very different agents. For the sake of privacy, I’ll call them Robert, Morgan, and Jim.
The first was Robert– a man showered in perpetual sorrow, hopping around Manhattan on his crutches. When we got to the apartment, I called him to tell him I was there, and he spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to buzz us into the building. (Seems like a broker should know how to work the buzz button?)
When we got up the stairs, he greeted us at the door, awkwardly, leaning on his crutches.
“Well, here is the apartment.” He said in a monotone voice.. “It’s not like those TV shows, so you can show yourself around.”
Ummm, okay Robert.
There wasn’t much to look at. This apartment was teeny tiny and cost an arm and a leg. Robert goes on to tell us that the broker fee for any of his properties will be around $6,000. Obviously he could sense the shock in our faces because he proceeded to dive into a speech about how hard he works and how difficult his job is and how he needs that broker fee.
After hearing him ramble for a couple minutes about how hard his life is, he tells us he has another apartment for rent a couple blocks away, and asks if we would like to see it. Since we came to the city just for apartment hunting, we said, sure.
We walked while he hobbled to the next apartment, which was right next door to a construction zone.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “the construction is on hold. It’ll be at least a year until anything gets going.”
We walk through the doors into a narrow, beat-up hallway, leading to an equally torn up staircase. We walk up the narrow staircase until we get to the 6th floor, and he opens the apartment door.
This apartment is everything you’d imagine for a college grad with little income living in the city. It was a literal shoe box. One room couldn’t even fit a bed in it. Robert swore you could fit a full size bed in the bedroom, but after counting feet and literally laying down on the floor to prove that we couldn’t fit, we agreed to disagree.
As we were arguing with Robert about whether the closet/”bedroom” could fit a bed, we heard a jackhammer going to town at the construction zone next door. We looked out the window and saw a whole group of construction workers, hard hats on, clearly moving forward with the construction project.
“I don’t think the construction is on hold anymore,” my dad tells Robert.
“Yes it is. That’s impossible.” Robert says defensively as he walks to the window. “I don’t know what they’re doing.”
Needless to say, Robert didn’t exactly scream “experienced broker”.
Morgan was different. Which brings us to the next broker: A friendly, chill man with kind eyes and an inviting smile. He met us at an apartment in Brooklyn, leaning against the railing outside the building with designer sunglasses on. He talks just an octave below what you’d expect to hear, but laughs 3 octaves too loud.
Morgan shows us the property, obviously very knowledgable about the apartment and area. He oozed with broker knowledge and confidence, and rightly so– Morgan had been in the broker game for over 10 years. He knew whether a room was actually an office and couldn’t fit a bed, and when a construction project would really begin.
He chatted with us about the property with ease, and let us know that he had no broker fees. He wasn’t interested in making money off the tenants, he is secure enough in his job title.
We all loved Morgan, and even though the apartment was A. not in the best area and B. completely trashed from the previous tenants, we actually considered moving in.
Then we met Jim. Jim is in his own category. A 60-something, Jewish man with a thick accent and even thicker attitude. The moment we met Jim, we were both charmed and terrified with is amount of charisma. He’s loud and aggressive and passionate and friendly and kind. He’s been selling/renting apartments in the city for 30 years. He’s had the same office all 30 years (across the street from our apartment), wears the same blue flannel shirt everyday (no really, he has 5 identical shirts hanging in his office), and loves to chat business.
“I go to synagogue just to make my mother happy. But I’ll talk business the whole time.” He tells us.
Regarding the apartment Jim showed us, it was absolutely perfect. Great location, right amount of real bedrooms and bathrooms, and a terrace with a view you could die for. It’s everything my best friend and I wanted in an apartment, and it only took us a 45 minute lunch to realize that.
I called Jim after we finished eating lunch, and he picks up, without saying hello, says, “so did you look at all the other trash places in the city and realize Jim has the best property?”
In a way, yes.
We met Jim in his little basement office with stacks of papers and blue flannels hanging on the wall, and negotiated our lease. I offered him a $2,000 broker fee (which, as you know, is way lower than what is usually is). He looks at me, sass strong in his face, and says, “are you kidding me? You’re kidding me, right?”
I look at him straight in the eyes and say, “No, I’m not kidding you. We’ll pay $2,000 and nothing more.”
He looks at my dad with a side smile, looks back at me and says, “You give me cash, we got a deal.”
And that was that. We secured our dream apartment! It was a whirlwind two days filled with lots of personalities and anxiety, but everything worked out.
I move into my new apartment on Friday and start my new job on Monday! It’s crazy how fast things take off after waiting for months.
I know this is cheesy, and you probably have heard people say it, but everything will work out. You will get that job. You will find that apartment. You will find the perfect roommate. I spent the summer living in my parent’s house, wondering when I would finally get to start my career and move away from my hometown (again). 3 months feels like a lifetime when you’re in it, but now that everything is speeding up, it feels like it went by in a flash.
I’m excited to start the next chapter of Zany Lady in NYC.
Stay tuned: Zany Lady takes on Manhattan!