“It’s been a weird day.”
That’s the first thing Vanessa Hojda, a 20-year-old student at Toronto’s York University, says when I reach her by phone. It is an understatement.
In the past 24 hours, Hojda’s accidental sending of a bizarre Nicolas Cage photo instead of her résumé has gone viral online, putting her in an Internet spotlight she did not intend when she innocently e-mailed her university’s career center about an administrative assistant position.
We’ve all been in Hojda’s place; we’ve forwarded an e-mail we didn’t mean to forward, or attached a file we didn’t mean to attach. But Hojda’s job application error achieved such an epic level of hilariousness that it has turned her into a bit of an Internet star, one who will forever be associated with the image of Cage on the verge of spontaneous combustion. (See image below, then try not to spew chicken salad all over your cubicle walls.)
I blogged about her mistake, which Hojda originally acknowledged on her Tumblr. Uproxx blogged about her mistake. Gawker blogged about the mistake. The mistake bounced all over the social media stratosphere; even Elizabeth Banks tweeted about it. But fortunately, Hojda — a psychology major who is still searching for a summer job, by the way — is taking all of the jokes about her attachment screw-up with a sense of humor.
“This whole thing got my name out there,” she says with a laugh while chatting by phone from a Toronto coffee shop. She adds that she’s already gotten two job offers via her Facebook page. She’s not sure they are legitimate, but it’s a start.
Naturally, we all have some questions about how this incident occurred in the first place, which Hojda was happy to answer.
How the heck did she accidentally send such an insane photo?
The jpeg had a vague file name that she confused with her résumé. Hence, she sent it to the York University career center by accident before she could correct the error.
Did the potential employer respond to this e-mail after he or she stopped laughing?
“She said, ‘Vanessa, all I see is a picture of Nic Cage looking terrifying,’ ” Hojda says. The hirer in question ultimately followed up and said the position was filled, but Hojda thinks sending the wrong attachment was what really shut down the conversation: “She was probably thinking, ‘She can’t even get the attachment right.’ ”
So is Hojda obsessed with Nicolas Cage?
She is not, but she follows blogs and conversations on Reddit that focus on Cage’s capacity to amuse us. “He has a hilarious face, his acting is truly over the top and, let’s be honest, his hair is really scary,” she says. But she also says she’s a fan: “My favorite movie is ‘City of Angels.’ People think I’m kidding when I say that, but I’m not.”
How has the attention affected Viojda?
In the past 24 hours, she’s gained 800 new followers to her Tumblr. She also says a Toronto radio show booked her for an interview and that the Toronto Star got in touch and was in the process of scheduling a photo shoot with her later today.
It’s not the first time something she’s written on her Tumblr has gone viral. She previously received some smaller-scale attention when she posted signs around the York campus announcing that she needed a velociraptor (“I was just bored, really,” she explains, “and I thought it would be a laugh”), and also when she took photos of herself dressed as a pirate to combat criticism of her appreciation of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Does this mean she wants to be a blogger for a living?
She wouldn’t mind that, but says it’s “not a dream.” She plans to go into teaching or working with children, she says.
Lastly and most importantly, did she change the name of that Nicolas Cage jpeg so this won’t happen again?
“I renamed my résumé file to thisisaresumeyoudumba**notaphotofnicolascage,” she confirms.
Uh, but she plans to change that before she send out another résumé, right?
“Yeah, probably,” she laughs. “That’s just for now.”