Working for Time magazine really is something else. We cover all sorts of exciting news and meet incredible people that have changed the world. One of my most memorable encounters was with Elon Musk, the legendary CEO of Tesla Motors and Time magazine's 2021 Person of The Year.
As an editorial assistant, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Musk during an interview for this particular issue. He had a certain glow about him that was indescribable. It wasn't just mere confidence nor was it arrogance. It was self-assurance. He knows that every time he walks into the room, everyone will take notice. He understands the influence of his presence alone. And now that he's been named Time magazine's Person of The Year, it's as if he's a walking icon. Well, he is an icon and he knows that.
I wasn't around for most of the interview but when I did hear some of his answers to our questions, I found him intelligent and deep. He was also pretty nice too. For a multi-billionaire with big dreams, he certainly wasn't as arrogant as many of the other rich men I've met before on this job. But whether he was putting an act in front of us is another matter entirely. He could've been faking it the whole time and we wouldn't have known it. It's possible people of his stature are experts when it comes to those kinds of things. In any case, spending time with him was pleasant.
He even entertained many of us who were there. He didn't just pay attention to the big bosses, he interacted with the assistants, the crew, and more. It was almost as if he viewed every single individual as equal. Now, forgive the skeptic in me but I highly doubt he's like every single day of his life. A person of his status talking to the little people? How I wish it were true! But since we worked for Time magazine, it's likely he was aware that we could easily ruin his reputation by writing about him in a negative light. After all, not all our Persons of The Year were chosen because they were good people.
I was just about ready to dismiss him as another big-headed bigwig when I took the risk of asking for his autograph. I had my friends at the art department make poster versions of the cover for the issue we'll release later in the year. When I finally saw an opening, I politely approached him and asked if he would sign the posters. Yes, posters because there's more than one of them. I highly doubted he'd have the patience to write on each and every single poster. I expected he'd just sign the first one on top and he'd be done with it.
But no! To my surprise, he signed all of the posters. Each one had his autograph and he even placed it in the same place every time. He left me totally speechless and I could only thank him faintly when he was done. I was just so shocked. Elon Musk put in the effort to sign every single poster in the stack I put right in front of him. I never would've thought in a million years that he would do that. Be he did!
To be honest, that moment changed my view of him. I don't see him as a totally nice guy yet, but I definitely don't think of him as the rich supervillain that everyone's making him out to be. He's not the best guy in the world but at least he's one that'd put in the effort to sign a stack of posters even when a nobody like me asked him to.
Please note: Our inventory is limited as we may have only received a few posters in total. Most of our items are obtained from film premieres, studios, and from autographed hounds such as the one in the story above.