It was one of my first tasks upon joining the ranks of University News.
Biljana Mancic, one of our students at the American College of Management and Technology in Croatia, was named Miss Croatia and would be competing in the Miss Universe competition July 23 in Los Angeles. It was my job to interview her.
My reaction? ‘Sweet gig. I’m gonna love this job.’
I should have known better—especially given my luck with the ladies.
School wasn’t in session, so ACMT initially had no way of contacting her other than her school e-mail account. Some students barely check their school accounts over the summer anyway and your typical student doesn’t have close to the social schedule that Miss Croatia must keep.
A couple weeks later, with the help of some of the staff at ACMT, I got a response from Biljana—with her cell phone number—telling me that she’d be available for a phone interview that Sunday.
My reaction? ‘Awesome. Wait ‘til my buddies hear I have Miss Croatia’s digits.’
And my friends were impressed. Right up until they called me that Sunday afternoon to see how the interview went. That’s when I had to tell them Miss Croatia never answered her phone.
Their reaction? ‘Shocking.’
They know all about my luck with ladies.
Biljana got tied up with other engagements that afternoon and e-mailed me to apologize. We set up another interview time. I called again. No answer.
My reaction? ‘Why does this feel so familiar?’
Biljana e-mailed again to apologize. She was leaving for Los Angeles the next day to prepare for the competition and suggested that I try to reach her there. The problem was that her phone doesn’t work in the United States. I figured I’d try to arrange an interview with her through the Miss Universe public relations folks.
Their reaction? ‘Access denied.’
Now I was in trouble. The pageant was quickly approaching and so was my News & Events deadline. So, being the resourceful senior news specialist that I am, I dug up an interview Biljana had conducted with the ACMT newsletter, On the Spot, and pulled a few quotes (giving credit to On the Spot, of course), filled in with some new information, and hit my deadline.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see how RIT’s beauty queen fares in Sunday’s competition.
My reaction? ‘I’ve already set my TiVo.’