“And it might be good if you worked from the New York office for some time”
my boss said in early April.
My brain instantly started spinning, two concurrent tracks:
1. What to wear when strolling the streets of Manhattan during warm summer nights?
2. Will I, Sofie 24 years old from little Täby, be able to deliver any value to Spotify’s New York office?
As always, black and white thoughts, joy and fear, expectations and pressure. It is just life when being an epicurean high performing retard I guess.
I didn’t how ever dare to dream any further about the big apple until it was actually decided. As part of my internship for the Design Team I’m working out of the New York office for 2 weeks.
In a classic Sofie manner I’ve collected some learnings worth sharing:
1. In order to concur jetlag
– Make sure to get a seat in the center point of a circle of approximately 5 screaming babies.
2. Having stamps form Iraq in your passport will lead to an extra amount of questions from US customs
– Prepare next time and try not to answer every questions with a 5 second “uuhm”, it decreases your trustability significantly.
3. In order for the reception to believe that you actually work for a company
– Do not wear flower power pants, no make up and the “I haven’t slept for 23 hours”- expression when checking in. The Radisson staff simply didn’t believe that I worked for Spotify and hence didn’t let me check in. Two options came to mind:
– Lay down on the floor and cry (most likely option after travelling for 23 hours)
– Give them cash
Thankfully I’m not a cryer, left a 200 dollar deposit and quickly ran to my room. Came down the morning after in straightened hair and a more suit inspired outfit. Then all of a sudden it was “Welcome miss, here are your 14 breakfast tickets, let me know if you need anything else”
4. Do not stop on 6th avenue around 9 am to take Instagram pictures
– People will kill you. Like when Mofasa gets run over by a billion hyenas in Lion King.
5. What ever way you intuitively feel is uptown
– Will be downtown 9 times of 10. Turning around means being Mofasa in Lion King again.
6. When you ask the staff at Forever 21 if they close at 9 pm and they raise their eyebrows and say “we close at 2 am”
– Play cool and say you’re just joking, of course you know they close at 2 fucking am. Shops in Sweden do too, all the time!
7. When leaving a bar in Brooklyn at 2 am don’t
1. Get hit by some sort of “I’m an independent woman and will take the subway home “- vibe
2. Lose yourself in your phone and accidentally going downtown instead of uptown
Story ended with me having to take an even more expensive cab, independent woman vibe for the win! But not alone at 2 am in a new city.
8. When attending a concert with new cool friends and you get offered ear plugs at the entrance
– Just trust them and accept the bloody ear plugs. My ears are still ringing. Kind of worth it though, the base made you heart jump.
9. In order to not be Mofasa everyday
– I apply the classic defence move used in soccer “ta rygg” on some speedy office worker crossing those 13 intersections without even looking up from their phone. Decreased walking time to the office from 20+ minutes to 15 minutes by this approach. I highly recommend it.
10. Don’t forget the bloody tip at restaurants and bars
– People have probably spat in my drinks. I don’t mean to be cheap, I just simply don’t think about it since it is not a Swedish thing to tip when someone pours you a pint.
I’ve done so many similar stupid mistakes.
But it’s all about having some distance to yourself.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish! Right?
Soon I will be a true New Yorker, you wait and see Scar!
It’s on my todo list to write a bit more about what I do at Spotify, stay tuned!
Big Love from the Big Apple!