I haven't done anything all day other than watch twelve episodes of Gilmore Girls. But whatever. I should have been more aggressive and job-searchy, but yesterday's scary almost-interview / almost-murder slightly disheartened me.
I found an internship on Craigslist on Monday. It was for a small Chicago magazine doing exactly what I wanted to do (be an editorial assistant). I didn't realize it was an unpaid internship until after I sent my resume and received a reply from this guy, Avi, who told me that interviews were being held on Tuesday between 1:30 and 5:00. So I emailed him back, saying that I would be free anytime between 3:00 and 5:00. I figured I could at least see what the hours were like and see if they had any real job openings at the same time.
So then I get a reply saying, "Great, see you then!" I was confused, because not only did I have a two-hour window to just "drop by" for an interview, I also had no idea where the office was. I sent another email and got another reply, giving me the address and saying to ask for "John Doe" (I won't use a real name for reasons that will become clear - sort of).
So yesterday I was getting ready for the interview and just didn't really want to go because it felt like a waste of time. It was unpaid, and already the contacts at the magazine seemed really weird. I just had a strange feeling and even referred to it as "my fake job interview" in my head. Janna and Laurie, however, told me that I should go, so I left a little before three.
I walk about a block from the El to the building, which from the outside looked like a generic high-rise office building, which is what I was expecting. I go into the lobby and was immediately confused, though. Instead of an huge open lobby with elevators and a directory of the offices, I found a small room occupied only by a black man sitting at a desk.
"Can I help you?" He asked, and I told him what suite I'm supposed to go to (because I was told to go to suite 1101). He asked me my name, then picks up the phone. I told him that I was to see John Doe, and he snapped, "I know!" Oookay. Then he says into the phone, "Hi, John. Tyler is here," and then tells me to go up. As I ride the elevator I think about how even the lobby doorman was so unprofessional on the phone.
I get to the eleventh floor and turn to the left when I walk out of the elevator. Curiouser and curiouser: I find that the hall in front of me is made up of just plain, green, bare doors. None of them look like office suites like I'm used to seeing in office buildings. I turn around and go around the corner, thinking that suite 1101 must be the other way. Alas, I find the same thing: just plain doors. I immediately sense something is wrong, because the hallway looks like something you'd find in a hotel or an apartment building. As I start looking at the numbers on the doors and find 1101, I realize that I am in an apartment building.
Immediately I start to panic, because I'm really creeped out. There's nothing on the door saying that it is an office, not even a sign saying the guy's name or the magazine's name. I try to think of what to do, and I quickly decide to get the hell out of there. I run back to the elevator and push the button, but then I run to the stairway, thinking that I really don't want John Doe to walk out into the hall to find me. Meanwhile, I'm dialing my Laurie's cell phone, and I start to tell her how creepy it is. She starts to tell me that maybe this magazine is so new, the publishers don't have an office yet, but I can tell she thinks it's kind of creepy, too.
So there I am, running down flights of stairs, my heart about to jump out of my throat, and I'm thinking, "I'm not hanging up just in case someone attacks me in the stairwell." When I get to the sixth or fifth floor, I push a metal screened-door open in the middle of the stairwell, and it locks behind me. Then I start to get even more nervous, and as I continue down the stairs, I realize that every door leading to the hallways on each floor are locked from the other side. At this point I'm convinced that I'm going to die in the stairwell. In hindsight, it could have been worse; I was dressed very nicely that day and looking very professional.
Anyway, false alarm: the ground floor door was unlocked, and I nearly ran out of there, noticing a sign on wall of the parking garage that I was just about to be trapped in the Gold Coast Condominiums. Yes, it was an apartment building.
Even if that was a legitimate interview, I'm not embarrassed that I ran out because a. it was super sketchy and b. if the interview atmosphere is awkward - which it would have been if I went in since I probably would have expected to be stabbed at any minute - then the job atmosphere would probably be weird, too.
But the good thing about the situation is that I can say that I was almost kidnapped and murdered once. You never know - it could have happened.