Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The "It" Intern

Hello darling interns,
I apologize for my absence,  I have been super busy!   As I promised myself last week, I packed my schedule with meetings and gatherings in an attempt to jump-start my career (haha!).  So far so I good, I suppose!  I am not sure if anything will come of my "career advancing meetings" but at least I am getting out of the apartment and chatting with interesting people!   I feel so popular when I see all the engagements in my Smythson planner!  haha!

My most enjoyable meeting to date was an utterly fabulous lunch date with Norton (a dear friend of the Blazers) and his friend Ivan (who happens to work at a top-notch fashion magazine!).  Norton is a New York expat who, tired of the non-stop demands of the city, embraced his inner Parisien and made the move (sound familiar?)!   He is the ultimate date because he always has brilliant suggestions for all of life's little problems - in my case, my perpetual lack of a job!

We met at a delightful brasserie in the 7e arrondissement and over escargots, steak frites and a 2008 Sancerre, we discussed potential career contacts and traded tasty tidbits of fashion gossip!  Ivan confirmed just how small the global fashion community is when he told a story of a fashion tyrant who, it turns out, was once my former boss!  Le monde est petit, as they say!

On the agenda this week:  An apéro with a former colleague recently hired at ELLE (Lucky girl!), coffee with a friend of a friend who just moved to Paris and a dinner chez moi with a swell couple I have know for years... and I'm cooking!

In other news, I am off to New York in one week!  Get ready America, Ophelia is back for an entire month!

Bisous xx Ophelia

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect?

Like everyone else, watching all the footage from Japan was devastating.  Having lived there for a year, I felt like a little piece of my own history was in ruins.  Definitely puts a few things into perspective.

Flora, don't let the haters bring you down!  This person sounds like bad news... just keep your distance.

Work is work.  Grinding through life as an eternal intern is never easy, but I do learn something new everyday... well probably every week ;)  This week I was introduced to Hollywood phone demeanor! It's not rocket science or anything, but many assistants would probably disagree!

It all starts with memorizing a few lines:  "____ 's Office" to which someone will undoubtedly explain who they are and that they want to speak to your boss.  To that you respond "Let me see if I can get him"  or "I don't have him right now, can he return?"  You then record the call on a master phone sheet and is updated after each call.

The funny part is when you get someone who is not completely familiar with the routine.  It is then that you realize how absolutely ridiculous you must sound.  " I don't have him?"  "Can he return?"

Such a trivial task, but if you don't get it right you are ridiculed for poor phone manners.  For some reason, one of the most employable skills in Hollywood is to be able to handle busy phones.  What people refer to as "rolling calls" is vital.  If you don't have experience with that on your CV you might as well not even apply!

No wonder I have been having so much trouble!

xxx Rose

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trouble in Paradise

Hi Girls,

Oh my god - can I vent a second?

So, work has been going brilliantly...everyone is awesome...I've totally gotten used to my BlackBerry (and especially the off button at night!)...even my boss has just been so nice lately.

But no story can ever be perfect can it? Well, clearly no! It turns out I have an enemy at work! Yes, someone who's out there ready to pin me down! The reality is (and this is true) I've never done anything to this person. I've never screwed this person over, or criticized this person, or anything! It turns out this enemy is someone who sits 2 cubicles away from me; she's been with the company 11 years; she's clearly in a very "comfortable" position and she has NO desire for some young, ambitious, 20-something, driven new employee to come impede on her guessed it: me!

In my defense, I really haven't done anything to M, other than be super responsible, follow-up on everything that needs following-up on and yes... perhaps impede a bit on her work territory...but that's because she herself never does anything right, or 100%. She's been her so long that she doesn't really care, she super comfy in her no-stress position and is not ready to add any pepper to it. So seeing me arrive has clearly flustered her big time. Especially since my boss is now handing me over a bunch of responsibilities that used to be Ms...and...the worst boss regularly makes me the intermediary between her and M...I'm the friggin middleman!

This situation has gotten so out of control, that M. has now gone to my boss and expressed her insane discontent. And she's putting the blame on me (of course in the most hypocritical of ways ... this is NY...and this is an office with 99% female occupation remember). Luckily my boss actually came to ME to rant on M and explained how petty she found her arguments and her sass story...

But still, a super sour atmosphere has now floated over our cubicles...I can't help but be hypocritical myself around M. and put a fake smile on...Knowing someone genuinely doesn't appreciate me, however, is a total bust...She clearly dislikes me...and honestly I'm having trouble finding a way to appreciate her...

Ah la la...trouble in paradise!

Flora xoxo

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Intern's Guide to Networking

Hello lovelies!
Flora, you are absolutely right, hearing about such catastrophic loss really does put our "problems" into perspective.  I feel bad dwelling on my minor personal problems when hearing about others losing homes, loved ones, everything!  I'm even more horrified to hear that someone could talk over a news report about the devastation to talk about herself!  Some people!  I suppose the best one can do is to take advantage of every minute and realize just how lucky we are.

There is no smooth way to transition from such a serious topic to the completely insignificant tale I wanted to tell you this morning.   It is a chilly and rainy morning in Paris and I don't really feel like doing too much today but my friend texted to invite me out this evening and I cannot say no because she is a Queen... the Queen of Networking!  I have never seen anyone (net)work it like her!  L has mastered the art of meeting interesting people and parlaying it into yet another fabulous meeting!  I have no idea how she does it.  And the best part?  I am often called on to be her date!  Her weekly social schedule is full of cocktails, galas, fundraisers, for every cause under the sun.  Honestly, it is so fascinating to go out with her because she always ends up chatting with someone!

And so tonight your friend Ophelia will pull herself together for the opening of a chic St Germain boutique.  I'd say I'm already too lazy to get dressed and go out but who are we kidding?  I could use a lesson or two in making potential work connections.  I have a bad habit of only talking to people I know at soirées, but tonight, I'm transforming into... The Networking Intern!

Bisous xx Ophelia

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Across the Pacific...

Hi girls,

I've been cruising off and on of all day... What is happening in Japan is absolutely heart-wrenching. I still can't believe that in less than a week such devastation and catastrophe has occurred, and worst of all, it's not over. As if the earthquake and the devastating tsunami hadn't terrorized Japan enough, the radioactive threat is strengthening day after day.

I'm sitting at work... people are buzzing around...continuing on as if everything is normal. The phone keeps ringing. The emails keep coming in. My office neighbour's big preoccupation right now is the late delivery of a Fedex package. How can everything be so "normal" when in a country just across the Pacific everything is in chaos, people fear for their safety and their world has been overturned?

Just last night a girlfriend - who's currently looking for work - came over and was complaining about how she kept getting negative answers after every job interview she goes to. She had called me an needed to vent I guess, so she came by my apt and just slopped herself onto my couch and started complaining. I had been listening to CNN and it was still on in the background. The more she complained the more I tuned out...My eyes were on her but my focus was on the news. It got to the point where I was so sick about her petty chatter and told her to shut up. I told her to look at the tv and open her eyes. Her problems - our problems - were nothing. Nothing in comparison to what is happening in Japan.

Listening the the pettiness of her arguments, I realized how selfish we can be but also how trivial certain things are in the grand scheme of things. A job is important, but it is nothing to complain about when you see what is happening across the Pacific.  Nothing. Our worries, here and now in NY and anywhere outside Japan, are dusts of pennies in comparison.

My heart and prayers go out to all those in Japan.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

An Assistant's Work is Never Done!

Hello darling interns!

What a crazy week it has been!  As my family left Paris, my crazy boss returned and thus began a week of mayhem!  Paris was a whirl of editors and fashionistas in town for Fashion Week and my boss (and therefore yours truly!) was right in the thick of it.  If you ask me, he had no real reason to come back to Paris, he just likes to hobnob and take in the odd runway show.  And who could blame him? You should have seen me scrambling to get him last minute seats.  I mastered how to plead (while maintaining my own dignity) with PR girls to squeeze by boss into shows and how to delicately break it to him that X designer was "unable to accommodate him"!  It was a very carefully coordinated dance and I didn't miss a step!  haha!

So you must be wondering how many shows I attended?  Zero!  How many dinners at La Société?  None!  haha!  I am convinced that my boss just likes having an assistant so he can say "I'll have my assistant set it up" or "call my assistant to confirm the appointment."  By the end of the week I realized exactly where I stand:  Who needs a Birkin?  Who needs a iPad?  An Assistant is the must have accessory of the season!   Basically, I am payed to be one step behind him (physically) and one step ahead of him (metaphorically).  Ha! That said, I have no complaints.  He is the true definition of a fashion diva, but luckily he never stays in Paris for more than a week.  I put him in a car to the airport at 6am and now... I'm free!!

Well ladies, it is a gorgeous day in Paris and I am off to enjoy the weather (and my freedom!)

Bisous xx Ophelia

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Take That, Intern!


While you guys are gallivanting around the globe with your jobs, I have been stuck in internship rival hell! 

Here is what happened...

The production office was having a generally easy going day.  Everyone was laughing and joking around with each other and to my delight the interns were included!  Anyway, the other intern and I have been butting heads recently.  I don't really know what his problem is as I have done nothing but be extremely pleasant with him.  

Well, he decided it would be hilarious if he "facebook raped" my account and starting posting incredibly UNfunny comments on my friends walls and updating my status.  HA HA HA, hilarious!  OK, I went along with it as everyone was joking around.  So in return I flicked his ear and that is when he stopped laughing.

"Don't flick me."

HAHAH- ok?

"No really, don't f**king flick me!"

Wow, I couldn't believe it.  I mean, he "fraped" me!  It was a flick... a gentle flick!  Mother of God!  

So I sent him a casual apology email and said "sorry I flicked you"... well that didn't help the situation.  He responded with the most ridiculous email about office conduct and about how what I had done was so completely inappropriate and unacceptable behavior for an intern... blah blah blah... 

I swear it took every ounce of strength in me not to punch this guy in the face!  

Deep breaths...  Now excuse me while I calm down over a smooth Marlboro!  

xxx Rose

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Colourful Confusion

I can't wait to see you O.! It's been grim and cold in the city, it's gonna be amazing seeing you again!

I actually forgot to tell you chicas, but last week I went on my first ever business trip: to Miami! It was awesome...nice to get away from the NY winter cold, amazing to throw on my Calypso sandals on and even better to fall asleep in the insanely comfortable Soho House beds!! 

All was brilliant...but of course, as always, there's gotta be a glitch no? Well the 1st 2 days were glitch free. My boss and I roamed all throughout Miami with back to back meetings from one end of the Beach to Brickell and back to another end of the Beach again. It was tough but fun...I felt like a complete and utter business woman, polished from head to toe, blackberry in hand and of course. 2 days, 15 meetings, 4 events booked. Awesome feeling! 

On Friday, we were finishing up the trip with a small event we were running for the magazine at the Delano. Everything was going super smoothly, everything was perfect. That is until a guest of the party comes over to me and hands me their glass...Not a full empty glass!

I guess my black on black outfit for some insane reason made the colourful people of Miami Beach assume I was wait-staff!  As soon as the gentleman handed me his glass, 10 more bombarded me like a flock of flamingos! That was it, my luck had had it! I was an honorary waitress Friday night! And NO tips I may add.... That's what you get when things just go too too well! And clearly that's what happens on your first business trip as a friggin full-time employee!

Luckily the next morning I was on the 1st flight out back for cold NY...NY...where black on black is actually a fashion statement!

Flora xoxo

Friday, March 4, 2011

Public Intern # 1

Hello les filles!
I am so sorry for disappearing yet again, it has been a busy few weeks!  My family has been here (my dad was working on a project for almost a month and my sister came to hang out!) and I was actually working two jobs.  Yes, I went from no jobs to two!  I was doing a bit of pre-fashion week work for my nutter of a boss and my dad got me a job working with him!  What a juggling act that was!  Luckily, I was able to take a long weekend to visit the Blazers in the Southwest of France and then spent an amazing week with ma petite soeur enjoying Paris!

One night chez the Blazers, we decided to watch Bonnie and Clyde and since then I have become completely obsessed with Faye Dunaway's style!  I just spent the week visiting all the sights of la Capitale decked out in a beige beret!  The reference was not lost on those arriving for Fashion Week!  ha!   My sister and I managed to take over 500 photos each during her two week visit.  I forget just how fun it is to see Paris as a tourist.  Not that there was trouble in Paradise, but my love of this city has been reaffirmed!

I must say, despite the loss of my sweet little Felix, it has been a lovely month.  So great having the fam around for so long!  My sister is packing now for her flight back to New York and it is dawning on me just how bored I am going to be tomorrow!   I do have something very exciting to look forward to...  another business trip!  This time I am off to New York!  Get ready Flora, I'm heading your way!

Bisous xx Ophelia

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

To Laugh or Not To Laugh

Hey ladies,

Haven't heard from you guys in a while... hoping that it is not all work and no play in your lives'. 

I absolutely hate Mondays, but today was particularly painful! I had stayed up late to watch the Academy Awards at a friend's house and I had a few too many glasses of wine... no surprise there!  The biggest surprise of the evening for me was David Fincher not winning Best Director.  Everything else was pretty dull and predictable, unfortunately. 

So why was my Monday so painful?  Not because I was slightly hungover, but because of a mini crisis:  Do you guys laugh at your bosses' jokes even when they are terribly inappropriate and incredibly NOT funny? 

Today I found myself having to make that decision.  My boss made a crude, but mostly awkward sex joke that made me want to just turn around and ignore her!  Most people did just that, but most people do not have to work under her!  So I did what any eager eternal intern would do... let out a nervous laugh and turned tomato red.  Then all of the attention was on me for 1) the awkward sound of my laughter 2) turning bright red and 3) for being such a kiss-ass ! 

What was I supposed to do?  What would you have done?

Time to pass out and forget about today!




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