I was sitting in the waiting room at Bad Boy Records. Someone from the finance department was supposed to meet me for an interview for a summer internship.
My palms were sweating. I was thinking about all of the interviewing techniques I was taught at FAMU’s School of Business and Industry. “State a few facts about the company, then ask your question.” That’s what I kept trying to repeat to myself, but all I could think about was how my mom took me to the Puff Daddy and the Family concert when I was in high school…and now I was at the headquarters!
A thin lady with dark brown hair walked over to the receptionist. I heard her ask who I was.
“You’re Stacy Graham-Hunt?!” she asked laughing. She was Diddy’s assistant. I recognized her from the MTV show, “Making the Band.” She was expecting me to be more animated – or perhaps crazy, she said. After all, I was the person who sent her and the entire Bad Boy management team copies of my resumes in the shape of bookmarks and another time folded up inside of greeting cards. However, I was quietly sitting on the couch in the waiting room, wearing my charcoal grey business suit, with my legs crossed at the ankle.
Finally, the person from the finance department came and got me and took me back to his office. He asked basic interview questions, like “Why do you want to work here?” I got to tell him about the concert I went to with my mom. After the interview, he introduced me to the rest of the staff. “This has to be a good sign,” I thought to myself.
“I’m working Bad Boy!” I screamed when I was offered the internship a day or so later. I couldn’t believe that just months ago, I was in Florida, watching these people on television. Now I was going to be working with them!
Every day of that internship felt like a movie. I hand-delivered checks to rappers, I learned how to be a bookkeeper, I went to parties with celebrities hosted by Diddy himself, I deposited big checks at the bank, I learned how to use fancy accounting software, I worked at a movie premiere and ushered my favorite musicians, actors and athletes into a movie theater.
I made friends quickly with other Bad Boy employees. Almost every morning, I visited almost everyone’s desks and cubicles and we laughed about things that happened the day before. I even had a lunch crew, and there was a producer there that flirted with me too. He would creep up on me at the copy machine and yell “Boo!” or do stupid stuff like hold the revolving doors shut while I was in them so I couldn’t get out. He flirted like a 9-year-old, but we always laughed hysterically.
I also turned 21 during that summer. On my birthday, the staff gave me a cake and cards and sang “Happy Birthday” to me. One of my co-workers, that I didn’t even know well, put a huge bottle of green Pucker on my desk.
That night, I met up with more new friends that I met at earlier that summer at a college program hosted by Harvard Business School. They took the subway over to Times Square, where I was, we went to a nearby Gap, and I put on my party clothes. When ate, drank, danced and laughed. I got back home after the sun came out.
It was a perfect summer ever. I had fun, I learned new skills, and I made new friends.
I still missed my ex-boyfriend, Michael, but I loved that he still called me during the work day. His calls usually came between singers and rappers calling about their checks or aspiring musicians literally rapping in my ear, hoping that I could get them some kind of record deal.
“She’s pregnant,” Michael said, one day during our calls. He was talking about Jessica, his new boo.
My heart felt like it was going through a paper shredder. “This guy is the devil,” I said to myself. Only the devil could make me feel like this. He cheated on me, he wanted me to have a baby and I didn’t, and now he got another girl pregnant?
“Is she going to keep it?” I asked him.
“I told her that I didn’t think she should, but it’s up to her,” Michael answered.
I had no words – just thoughts. How could he get her pregnant? How could he do it so quickly? How was he able to move on already? How could he just pick up where we left off with someone else? Maybe he just wanted a baby. Maybe he just wanted a girlfriend. Maybe it wasn’t really about me at all. Did he love her? Did he really love me when we were together? Why was he even calling me? Where was his pregnant girlfriend – or whatever she was to him?
I just thought. And thought. And thought. It was a heartbreaking riddle that I just couldn’t figure out. There were no hints, no cheat codes; no answers. During my three years at FAMU, I fell in love, then went through a break-up, got pregnant, then had an abortion, had a great GPA, and then had a horrible GPA. I felt like I didn’t have any friends on campus. I didn’t have a car. I never felt like I had enough money. I owed $1,500 on my tuition bill.
My experience at Bad Boy felt like the exact opposite of what my experience at FAMU was like.
The summer was quickly coming to an end. I teared up every time I thought about my internship coming to an end. I went into my boss’s office. I asked him if I could extend my internship. He gave me a job instead. I applied to Fordham University, got accepted, and I would be able to stay on campus. It was settled…just like that.
Now, finally I had some news for Michael.
“I’m not coming back,” I told him on the phone.
“I’m staying in New York,” I said.
“Why?” he asked.
“I want to stay here.”
“Are you leaving because of me?” he asked.
To be continued…