Why Ice Cream Makes Everything Better

An end-of-summer reflection

On my first day of work this summer, my boss (Zach) asked if I was going to write a blog about it. Instead, I spent the summer keeping a running list of all of his jokes and have compiled them here, with a few stories and valuable lessons mixed in. This recap is pretty hard to write because, just like the sunset panoramas that people take on the high line, this summer was the kind of experience that can’t really be captured. I’m going to do my best to retell it as well as I can.

This summer I worked at Splash as a Customer Success Intern. This involved moving to New York City which I was pretty sure I would like because I had become so bored in Fairfax in the weeks before I left that I voluntarily attended a reading circle for babies with my 1.5 year-old niece. I also took a quiz called This Hipster Food Quiz Will Reveal Where You Should Actually Live and got New York City, and what BuzzFeed says, goes.

I celebrated my arrival in New York by going to a rooftop bar with my dad, who some like to call Stevie Wonder (by some I mean me. I am the only person who calls him this). We soaked in the view and he pointed to Ellis Island in the distance and said, “A long time ago, your great grandfather Alfonso Olive* came to this country for the first time right through there.” We let the moment sink in, envisioning Alfonso looking down on us and hopefully being proud.

My dad went home, leaving me not with one last piece of advice but instead with his business card, “just in case I needed it.” I usually never cry because I am a stone cold rock with no emotion, but I cried maybe one or two tears when he left. Then I made mac and cheese and told myself to snap out of it.

My first day at Splash technically started before I got into Splash because I got an email from Zach at 8 am. The email had a welcome document with all my projects for the summer, the first of which was: Create & manage a Splash event. When I walked into the office this kid came up to the table eating a bowl of cereal and said, “Yo what’s good, I’m Skyler” and high fived everybody and I wondered if I, too, would get to eat Honey Bunches of Oats.

One of the first things I had to do was fill out a survey with a fun fact. I said that if I could eat one food for the rest of my life it would be ice cream. All I can say is be careful what you share as a fun fact because that shit sticks with you. Luckily, Zach replied to my survey saying, “Me too” so I knew I had come to the right place.

We had a team meeting where we all introduced ourselves and talked about our goals for the summer. Everyone told me that my friend Aaku, who worked at Splash two summers ago, was a legend. I wrote down in my notes: “Become legend.”

Pretty soon I started working on the first event project which was going to be a happy hour for the company. I had to ask a lot questions because I don’t think I had ever attended a happy hour before and eventually Zach said, “I was thinking we could make it an ice cream social.” Then they ordered ice cream from Tipsy Scoop and I knew it was going to be a good summer for sure.

I would like to say that this was my first Splash page ever created but it came from a template that I barely changed so I think I should be honest and show you that this was my first Splash page and I don’t really know what was going on here but I want to be really open and honest in this memoir:

I quickly observed that the work world is not unlike the college world. There are lots of free bagels, meetings, writing assignments, gifs in emails, and parties. Everyone at work became a true pal.

Some Cool People I Worked With (can’t name them all, had to keep a tight list of 2, sorry to all affected)

ZACH

There are two things people told me about Zach when I got to Splash:

  1. I wish I could intern for Zach.
  2. Don’t listen to anything Zach says, it’s all a joke.

With these two mixed pieces of advice, I set out to determine when Zach was joking which did turn out to be most of the time. On the first day, he said we were going to go to a great place for lunch called “Just Salad.” This turned out to not be a joke. But when I heard him say Tove Lo was his spirit animal, I knew we weren’t too different from each other.

Some of Zach’s favorite jokes:

  • Whenever I make a dumb mistake: “I remember the first time I did that”
  • Whenever I say I have an idea: “This oughta be good”
  • Whenever someone new visits the office: “I know a really great place. It’s called Sbarro”

Things I learned from Zach:

  • Schedule all your emails the night before
  • Don’t eat carbs
  • The power of a good one-liner

Things I’d like to thank Zach for:

  • Congratulating me on my writing while simultaneously rewriting the entire piece
  • Softball questions
  • Giving me the tools to be great
PETE

Pete requested that I tell everyone he is my favorite. Just kidding but I have Pete to thank for quite a lot of things, including being my life coach and making me this cool logo that flashes:

Do you have your own logo that flashes? Yeah, most people don’t.

I got to work with Pete on a project called Splash School: Summer Sessions and he designed ice cream icons for it and made it yellow to support my new passion for the color yellow and patiently taught me so many things about designing despite me having no design skills.

Other Things I Have to Thank Pete For:

  • Laughing at my jokes
  • Telling me to be confident about my design skills even though I have none
  • Leaving without saying goodbye to ease the pain

Other People I’d Like to Thank:

  • Aaku for introducing me to Splash
  • My roommate Tiffney for bringing me a Levain cookie one time and also being a fantastic roommate at all other times
  • Maya for letting me blow out the candle at Soul Cycle
  • Grant for keeping us updated on the important stuff like when the shipment with the good variety of cheesesticks came in and also for taking out his headphones when I talked every 2 minutes
  • James for his photoshopping skills
  • All the interns for the good times we had, modeling and eating tacos
  • Chill Thread for being the funnest people

Things I Will Miss Most About Splash:

  • Slacking people that are sitting 2 feet away
  • The sweet ding of a recently created gif on CloudApp
  • Those really small packets of reduced fat Cheez-Its
  • Small dogs running around
  • Sploffsite

My Top 3 Favorite Splash Features:

  • Hover states on buttons
  • Email inbox preview sentences
  • Linked blocks

Cool Life Skills I Learned:

  • How to write Help Center content
  • How to make gifs of my computer screen
  • How to sign for packages

Not in Virginia Anymore

I have never lived anywhere other than Fairfax, Virginia or Charlottesville which is basically Fairfax 2.0 considering 99% of my best friends from high school went to the same college as me. So on my first day on my own in the city I was looking around for faces of people I knew and then I remembered that there were none. I also realized that I have apparently relied on other people to get where I needed to go for the past 21 years of my life. Not sure if I had ever actually read a street sign before this summer.

The feeling I felt when I got off the subway after my first trip alone and reached my first destination was a feeling I can’t quite describe but it was a little bit of mixture of a half cup pride, 2 tablespoons tears of joy, a teaspoon of walking on sunshine, and a pinch of salt.

One time I asked a security guard if I could bring him water because I am all about southern hospitality and hydration. He said no.

Some Highlights of the Summer:

  • Seeing Macklemore on the high line
  • People visiting New York and asking if they could sleep on my couch every weekend, coming to find that I don’t have a couch and that they instead have to sleep on an inflatable mattress that deflates midway through the night because it has a hole in it
  • Blockheads and Los Tacos №1
  • All the interesting people I met through Uber pool (could potentially be rebranded as a speed-dating service. Might capitalize on this idea after college.)
  • The embarrassingly long list of Ice Cream/Gelato/Custard places I went to multiple times each: Ample Hills, Ice & Vice, Van Leeuwen, Davey’s, OddFellows, Eataly, Shake Shack, Baskin Robbins, Tipsy Scoop, I think others and definitely a lot of Ben & Jerry’s pints as well
  • Outdoor movies
  • Crocodile Lounge
  • Topshop
  • Rooftop parties
  • Eating frosted flakes for dinner

Overall, I had the time of my life. I only saw like 2 rats the entire summer and everyone was really nice to me and I have no complaints. I’d like to thank everyone at Splash for being chill even when I beat the ice cream theme to death and had lots of questions. You are all unforgettable and I miss you already.

*No names have been changed in the making of this post. Alfonso Olive was my great grandfather’s real name.