July 24, 2012 by Erin Spencer
Last week, I had a very unusual Tuesday morning.
It started like any other morning. Promptly at 8:15, my alarm jolted me awake. Then, after 10 minutes of wrestling with the snooze button, I dragged myself from the warmth of my bed and shuffled to the bathroom. As I waited for the shower to warm up, I lazily browsed my emails and Twitter, checking to see if anything exciting happened over the night.
Suddenly, my stomach jumped. Right there, sitting alone in my inbox was a message from the Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine. And not just any message; he was asking me, Erin Spencer, to help him with a few things while he’s abroad.
I must have stood there in my towel, mouth gaping, for no less than five minutes. My thought process was something along the lines of this:
Why is Keith Bellows asking me for help? We’ve never even said two words to each other.
Maybe he noticed me at the last Traveler staff meeting. I did chime in with an idea for our Best Fall Trips feature. Granted, I was just agreeing with someone else’s suggestion. Not that profound.
Crap. I don’t know what he’s talking about in this email. He asking me to send him the schedules for tomorrow? What schedules? I don’t even know my own schedule. And he wants me to send him that book we talked about? We never talked about any book. And where am I supposed to send it?
Wait, this seems fishy.
After realizing that the shower had been running for about ten minutes and that I was going to be SO late for work, I hastily put the phone down and continued my morning routine. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the email. I was thrilled, confused, and terrified all at the same time. What kind of intern gets to work with the Editor-in-Chief of Traveler magazine? This is the real deal… getting to know Keith Bellows could do wonders for my career. Of course that is assuming I didn’t screw it up, which seemed like a real possibility considering I had no idea where to start with his email. But that seemed like a minor detail, and by the end of blow-drying my hair I had convinced myself that this was my big break at National Geographic.
Then it hit me. Keith Bellows has an assistant named Erin.
He was trying to email his assistant when auto correct inserted my email address instead. Which would explain the casual tone of the message, and why I didn’t understand anything he was asking. And that meant this was definitely not my big break. I carefully crafted a reply letting him know his message was sent to the wrong person, then forwarded his original message to his assistant. My brief emotional roller coaster had come to a screeching halt, and the rest of my day continued on uneventfully.
But at least I got a good story.