Andy Sachs: She hates me, Nigel.
Nigel: And that’s my problem because… Oh, wait. No, it’s not my problem.
Andy Sachs: I don’t know what else I can do because if I do something right, it’s unacknowledged. She doesn’t even say thank you. But if I do something wrong, she is vicious.
Nigel: So quit.
Andy Sachs: What?
Andy Sachs: Quit?
Nigel: I can get another girl to take your job in five minutes… one who really wants it.
Andy Sachs: No, I don’t want to quit. That’s not fair. But, I, you know, I’m just saying that I would just like a little credit… for the fact that I’m killing myself trying.
Nigel: Andy, be serious. You are not trying. You are whining. What is it that you want me to say to you, huh? Do you want me to say, “Poor you. Miranda’s picking on you. Poor you. Poor Andy”? Hmm? Wake up, six. She’s just doing her job. Don’t you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century? Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta. And what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it. Well, not you, obviously, but some people. You think this is just a magazine, hmm? This is not just a magazine. This is a shining beacon of hope for… oh, I don’t know… let’s say a young boy growing up in Rhode Island with six brothers pretending to go to soccer practice when he was really going to sewing class and reading Runway under the covers at night with a flashlight. You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work you only deign to work. And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart.
This is probably one of my favorite scenes in “The Devil Wears Prada,” when Andy, the novel’s protagonist, goes to Nigel in tears because Miranda Priestly has yet again stepped on her with the heel of one of her custom Jimmy Choos, without any hestitation. Because Miranda keeps her magazine running.
And because after years of working her way to the top, Miranda Priestly has earned the right to do so.
Every intern or recent college graduate stepping into his or her first job out of college needs to watch this scene, and then needs to shed any sort of entitlement that they have when they join the work force.
Because your workplace does not owe you anything. Even if you decide that you hate your job, your boss, your coworker or coworkers, the town you live in, don’t share that publicly – with your competition or, God forbid, on your social media accounts – because it’s not a reflection of them. It’s a reflection of you. And it will be used against you in a court of public opinion.
It’s all temporary. Just keep in mind that you’re paying your dues and cutting your teeth. Your degree and your alma mater entitles you to nothing. When you take the next step, you’ll appreciate it that much more, knowing what you went through to earn that next opportunity.
But if you really hate it, go ahead and quit. Go back home to Mom and Dad and work at the Gap, or move back to your college town and serve coffee at the Starbucks across from campus.
Besides, the people who took a chance and hired you can probably find somebody to take your job in five minutes … someone who really wants it.