I will call this “The Brazilian Incident.”
It sparked one of the worst and troubling periods of my public relations career and nearly led to me finally, once and for all, leaving this heartbreaking profession for good.
The Brazilian Incident all started rather innocently.
Our agency, as had written in my previous posts, brought in a lot of interns from the local colleges and for a while, this included a lot of foreign exchange students.
Two Brazilian interns in their early twenties — Emmanuella and Tristessa — joined our team for several months.
Like Millennials in general, they had no courtesy or manners and were strangely standoffish and smug but didn’t know anything. I had known a number of Brazilian women in work and in my personal life through the years. Unfortunately, Emmanuella and Tristessa possessed none of the warmth, kindness, and passion of the Brazilian women I had known and worked with.
Emmanuella had a strange low voice and laughed at dumb shit on the internet. If you tried to say hello to Tristessa, she would give you a strange suspicious look like you were trying to pick her up or something. She even gave me a weird look after my boss introduced us after her first interview. Later, I found out she as a public relations major, but she never once tried to learn anything from me, someone with a lot of experience in the business. Not surprising, though.
Frankly, neither one of them were as cool or as hot as they thought they were. But their attractiveness or coolness is hardly important, as it is their attitudes that proved more than troubling.
The problem all started during a long work car trip to Silicon Valley for a new business presentation to a large Chinese tech company. Rather than fly some of the team up there and do the rest via Skype or phone, my boss cheaped out and rented a van to take the whole team up to the meeting. It was a long and grueling drive for nothing. We never did get the client, but that is another story.
On the tedious and tiring drive back from Silicon Valley, Emmanuella, who was sitting next to me in the middle seat of the van with Tristessa, fell asleep on my arm for a short while. I thought about waking her up, but I didn’ t want to disturb her. This proved a costly mistake that I would regret over the next few months.
When Emmanuella woke up, she was startled, said excuse me, and abruptly moved away from me. She didn’t initially act strangely — like I was trying to molest her or something — until later. I swear I never touched her, or had any intentions of touching her, but that didn’t matter in her eyes. She slept on my arm. What the fuck?
In fact, I had a similar experience while on a plane a few years ago. A woman — who was closer to my age — fell asleep against my arm for a brief while as she sat next to me during the flight. When she woke up, she was very apologetic and nothing ugly ever came from it. She didn’t think I was trying to molest her or something. Crazy.
So, after we stopped at a gas station to fuel up and go to Starbucks, Emanuella moved to the very back of the van and avoided me like I had the plague. When we finally arrived back to the office that night to go home, Emanuella ignored me as did her friend Tristessa.
The next day at the office, Emanuella avoided me like I was some kind of old sexual predator. Her friend Tristessa did the same.
Then it got even worse. For weeks after the van incident, I was shunned from their so-called team lunches they had with other creepy Millennials and others around our office — namely Lydia, Code Boy, and their creepy social media manager friend (who I will write about in an upcoming post). They would invite everyone right in front of me like I was invisible. They also did this when they invited the entire office — except for me — to an after-work party for Halloween.
Still, I wondered if I was imagining all of this…
Sadly, I wasn’t. However, I didn’t realize how bad things really were until Emmanuella and Tristessa rudely warned one of their friends against me – right in front of me!!!
One of their friends, an attractive, tall woman with long black hair, visited our office and greeted me in a friendly manner. I actually saw Tristessa and Emmanuella immediately get up from their desks and pull their friend away and take her out of the office like I was some kind of a sexual predator to be avoided.
The horrible looks of hatred and fear on the faces of Emmanuella and Tristessa when they warned their friend about me haunted me for weeks. I was beyond insulted and hurt. I was furious. I debated about telling my boss about it, which I didn’t.
Now, I have been treated horribly at PR firms through the years, but never quite as rudely as that. I had to leave the office for a while I was so shaken up.
Who were these fucking creepy interns to feel they could treat me like this? In a work environment, no less.
I never spoke to them again after that.
When the Brazilian freaks finally left our agency after their internship was over I was so elated.
Lydia’s final message to Emmanuella and Tristessa on their last day was to “stay beautiful.” Of course, they (and Lydia for that matter) were anything but beautiful, as I believe beauty is truly skin deep, but not in their case with their ugly, unfriendly, and immature attitudes.
In the end, I, unfortunately, discovered through this crazy Brazilian Incident…that the rudeness and cluelessness of Millennials truly cross borders, and sadly, is an age and generational thing.