While promoting her new film “Hidden Figures” on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday, Janelle Monae took us back to the days before she became a successful entertainer.
She once had a job “pushing ink” at Office Depot, but was eventually let go after using a store computer to respond to a fan who saw her sing outside of Atlanta University Center.
“I was living in a boarding house with six other girls,” Monáe told host Jimmy Fallon. “I couldn’t afford my own apartment, selling CDs independently. And I didn’t have a computer – I couldn’t afford it. Office Depot, you guys have like 200 computers on display, and I used one to respond back to a fan who had seen me perform on the library steps of the AUC.
“Long story short, I responded back to someone who was like, ‘I loved you. I saw you on the library steps – I was one of three people. You were amazing.’ …Then this voice of God just came [from] Office Depot: ‘Janelle Robinson to the back.’”
Monáe said her boss treated the firing like it was a favor to her, saying, “‘Listen, we’re gonna make this easy for you: You’re fired. Go do what you love. You don’t wanna be here.’”
(Photo Source: The Tonight Show YouTube screenshot)