“To be honest Mom, they’re all just a little bit weird,” that was the only phrase I could muster when my mother asked me how I was getting along with the other interns after my first week here in Vegas. I had just left all of my closest friends in New York City, and here I am on the other side of the country with a group of strangers who would comprise my new social circle.
“Mom, they’re all from weird places like Canada, Alaska, and like – Michigan. One of them is obsessed with nail polish, one of them was born a conjoined twin, one has deformed fingers and there’s even a girl with a cat.” At first I was bewildered, I thought to myself, how did they pick the 17 weirdest people in the country for me to work and live with? But, then it hit me, that’s the beauty of Zappos, that we get to work in an environment that embraces and encourages weirdness. It’s even one of our core values. A place where it’s completely OKAY to be yourself, where you can wear WHATEVER you want to work, and put up as many Justin Bieber and Edward Cullen posters at your desk that’ll fit. I feel like one of the luckiest people on earth. I’m immensely proud to say that I work with a “stone-cold pack of weirdos,” and that I’m one of them, and that I may even be the weirdest. And yes, that was a quote from Bridesmaids; the interns are obsessed with quoting that movie.
I was super nervous at first to trade in the gritty streets of NYC that I called my home, for the sunny lanes of Las Vegas. Like I said before, in NYC the weirdos are all on the street, here in Vegas, they all work at Zappos. I realize now that it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. I thought I would constantly miss NYC, but the Zappos family is so welcoming, I feel like I’ve lived here forever. One of the things that initially struck me about living and working here, is how in NYC it’s unheard of to hold the door for the person walking behind you (I’m guilty of this). You only crack the door open a slither, that’s just wide enough for you to slip through. Here at Zappos, we fight to hold the door open for one another, no matter how large the procession, no matter how long you have to stand there. Even better, while you do it, you smile and greet every person that comes through; it’s quirks like this that make Zappos an amazing place.
I have my fair share of internship horror stories. There was that time I was working at that magazine, and I had to walk the Editor-in-Chief’s aggressive toy-SharPei every day through Soho. There was also that time my boss made me pass out fliers in the grueling sun of Midtown. And let’s not forget I even worked for someone on the Lower East Side who didn’t know my name. But, so far here at Zappos, everything is smooth sailing. Horror stories like that don’t exist at Zappos. No matter what this zany and scorching Las Vegas summer has in store for me, I’m glad I’ve got a family of 17 Zapponians (who are all just a-little-weird) to experience it with.