Sunday, July 3, 2016

Pretty bummed at life.

I always try to think of everything in a positive manner. I give myself a time frame of what should be happening but as time keeps moving forward and I'm not really progressing, I feel so discouraged. Never do I want people to take pity on me, so I never really put my struggles out there unless I really need to let it out for the sake of just blowing off some steam and not letting that stress cover up my face in pimples. However, times are getting a bit tough so I'm trying ever harder. My first big job interview in a long while and it didn't work out.

During my long absence, my mom got laid off of her job of 7~8 years and my good-for-nothing brother couldn't even get his FIRST job without my help (as in, he works with me now but I really hate having done that since I see him buy stupid shit instead of saving money). My dad has a steady job for now, but there's a possibility that he may have to find a new one soon because there are far too many competing businesses blocks from one another. I don't work full-time and I don't work all that much right now because I told my boss that there may be a possibility that I might not be able to even work during the summer program, but I don't mind because it gives me time to really focus a long term job and not just pushing out resumes out of sheer desperation. At the same time, I worry that I'm going to face even tougher hardships because my mom doesn't seem to be really trying to find a new job and is fine with that unemployment income. She did try this casino job since all my relatives seem to work at one but she basically got her ass handed back to her because she can't comprehend how casino games work.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my uncle (I don't know the specifics because the family tree in Asian families is really complicated and specific) died and I felt really bad because I never really got to greet him for the longest time. He was just fine (even though he had been using a cane) and visited my home a week prior. And then not too long after his funeral, my mom was finding the stupidest places to clean and tidy up because she has all the time in the world now, and ended up falling on her back. THAT REALLY FREAKED AND STRESSED ME OUT because she lost her health insurance almost a month before that and it wasn't like I could just apply for health insurance and get it the next day. My mom is fine now with no broken bones but I was at a point where the gym was the only space I could gather my thoughts and try to be at ease, only to end up with super watery eyes in between workouts because of all that was happening. 

Moreover, you can physically see how it has been affecting me because my acne hasn't been so apparent for a long time. I use to get the usual one or two every couple of weeks but I'm pretty much finding a new one daily. The pimples could also be found all over my scalp (behind the ears, back of my head, etc.). Recently, I got so fed up that I bought a new Clarisonic after going without one for quite some time. I wanted to try this other one, but the price is almost double and I don't think it's worth investing in it right now due to these job instabilities and financial insecurities. I got the Mia 2 this time, an upgrade from the original Mia that lasted me about 2 years. The Mia 2 was 97 bucks in total and hopefully it'll last longer than my original Mia. The brush changing isn't a problem for me since I only change it when the bristles get really bent and out of shape. I don't follow that recommended every 3 months or so, mumbo jumbo.
The Foreo Luna...or whatever.
So anyway, on with the details of my job interview, I guess. I thought I ought to just type it out rather than make a whole video about it because I'm not really in it for the views. I just want to jot down my whole experience since no one really reads these days and I don't really want people to read my junk anyway, but if someone really wants to know, then here it is for you to dig through.

To start, I've spoken about trying to become a diplomat but that flopped since I was about 30 points off from passing the test. Even if I did pass, there was an interview and who knows, maybe I won't be cut out for it. The test was three hours and I don't even know if I want to go through it again. So anyway, after flopping on that and looking for the usual marketing or web related work, I was snooping on an Instagram follower of mine and noticed he went from working at Starbucks to becoming a flight attendant for a European airline. On a whim, I was curious to see whether there were any openings around my airport and did some researching. The occupation is pretty sought after and the pay is pretty decent (like twice the amount I'm currently paid). You don't even need a college degree to apply. The job is similar to a diplomat in a sense that I get to travel but instead of living abroad for 1+ years, it'd be a day or so.

I saw that American Airlines was looking for Cantonese speaking flight attendant trainees, so I started my application with them since I saw there was a closing date for their application. Gave myself a deadline which was like before June 1st, I think. After more research, I saw that United Airlines was also looking for Cantonese speaking flight attendants, but the listing is still up, so I'm going to get going with that application now that I got American Airlines done with.  I noticed that United Flies to Taiwan while American doesn't anyway.

But back to the application process, I applied and got a reply within 48 hours asking to confirm whether or not I spoke Cantonese (which I was a little offended by because why would I lie?) and could write and read it fluently, so I confirmed and wrote a snarky message back in Chinese. Within another 48 hours, I got the invitation to do a video interview and was given 5 days to complete it. I got done with it around the 4th day and within another 48 hours, I got an invitation to do a face to face interview in Dallas. I put off replying with my passport information for a day and a half, so my originally scheduled interview for June 15th got pushed further. I ended up choosing the 30th after asking my boss which date worked best for her.

When the 30th was coming up, I ended up going to the gym during the afternoon on the 29th and tried to sleep from 6pm to 2am before showering and getting ready to head to the airport. Those intentions didn't exactly happen since I got home from the gym around 6 because I made a boba pit stop and walked my dog and stuff. I ended up trying to sleep around 11pm and basically got like a two hour nap in. I showered and got ready. I ate in the car and got to the airport pretty briskly. I got my ticket with relative ease and the TSA line wasn't that bad since it was 4am. Pretty much nothing in the terminal was open though. I ended up just sitting at those charging station tables and studied interview questions until boarding time came near. I regret not taking my bluetooth headphones with me because my wired headphones suck nuts.
During my flight to Dallas, I had the most difficult time trying to study questions since I had the chairs that were directly in front of the divider that separates first class with economy, so the teeny little table is far worse than the usual fold out one. The flight was about three hours with a two hour time difference. During the last hour, I took out my concealer and oil blotting paper and started covering up my acne scars and any noticeable inflammation. The lady next to me was probably judging me and the other dude beside me basically slept the whole time. Upon landing, I never got a glance of downtown Dallas or any noticeable skyscrapers. I did see a water park and some lakes. Other than that, it wasn't very exciting. As soon as I got off, I went to the restroom and called the number to tell the airline that I have landed and was instructed to wait at the arrival area of my terminal for the shuttle.

Initially, I didn't realize I was at the departure level of the terminal until this airport worker in a hijab helped instruct me to go downstairs to wait for my shuttle. While waiting, the only other person going to the same place as me was this black girl from Atlanta. We were the final ones to arrive at the training facility/hotel/dorm. We promptly rushed to the room and everyone was already socializing and being watched. If you happen to arrive earlier than I did, then you would be filling out this scenario question about meeting the CEO of American Airlines and numbering what you would do according to what is most important. After that, you would answer the question why do you think doing whichever you put as #1 to be most important.

Once everything gets settled down, you watch this introductory video which wasn't of any real significance. I guess it was to set a mood but it was mostly moving text and dramatic music. There was like 6 or so veteran flight attendants who all had served 20+ years. The irony in that part was that according to their website, they strive to create a diverse and inclusive workforce but the people deciding that were all white (on my day anyway). I was only one of three Asians in the room of maybe 30. Our tables basically did this ice breaker thing where we had huge white papers that showed 3 of what we had in common and then 5-6 things that was unique to each of us. Every table got a chance to present and introduce themselves and then the other tables would try to associate the unique fact with the correct person. The veteran flight attendants would leave after observing and come back to begin splitting the tables up for the group interviews (5 interviewees to 2 flight attendants). I definitely fumbled a bit when it came to speaking but I stayed true to myself, smiled a ton, and listened diligently to what everyone else had to say during that. That part was pretty short. It was only about three questions and the last one was one where you draw a random card and answered that question on the spot. I wish I got the role model one during that one but I thought I handled mine okay. I got something along the lines of "what do you think would be the most challenging part about being a flight attendant?" or something. After those three questions, we got walked back to the conference room and then people would be called one by one to either get a one on one, fingerprinted, or walked to the exit. I got the latter and got the "thanks but no thanks" e-mail the next day.

I don't know if it was shade or something but the lady that walked me out instructed that I should wait for the terminal C shuttle when I should've taken the A shuttle. I should've just kept checking my phone. Google is so amazing at keeping itself up to date with your flights. I ended up at terminal C and got my ticket home where the plane would leave from terminal A. I thought I could just walk to A but the layout of the Dallas/ Fort Worth airport is not a giant U like how it is at LAX and it's freaking 99 degrees outside. I ended up finding the free shuttle that would drive you to the correct one, and this was after I had changed from my dress shirt and tie to a polo because I couldn't stand looking so formal for nothing. I wish I had brought running shoes in my bag though, but it'd make my bag looks strangely fat.

The whole fiasco didn't really end there though. After arriving at terminal A, my ticket said that my flight would be leaving from gate A13, so I sat near it for about an hour before noticing that the screen never changed destinations. It just said Fort Lauderdale so I looked at what my Google Now said, and it changed from A13 to A33. I asked a desk person for some clarification and she said to trust my phone because the gates are always changing, so I walk all the way to A33, WHICH WAS QUITE THE DISTANCE, only to see the monitor's destination say MEXICO CITY. Later, I hear over the speaker that the flight to Los Angeles would be at gate A11, SO I HAD TO HAUL MY ASS BACKKK to near where I first started. By that time, I only had about 30 minutes left before being able to board my flight back home.
From the outside, I didn't think my plane would be different but I ended up with a cool plane that had those personal screens and ambient lighting. I sat next to this butch lesbian chick and a latin dude with a Samsung Galaxy Edge phone. I pretty much kept dozing off but I couldn't fall asleep due to how I'm seated and whatnot. I played a very long game of Bejeweled since that game has no timer and I kept nodding off. I, then, tried to play the original Plants v. Zombies but wound up freezing the screen for quite some time (and multiple times) before it crashed and restarted. I also watched an episode of "Agents of SHIELD" before that but I find that show quite boring since the Inhumans they have in it aren't prominent ones I read in the comics and the show is whatevers. Upon landing, the flight back was a bit shorter but we ended up being stuck in the runway for about 30 minutes because there were no open gates for the plane to park. I texted my brother to take his time since I wasn't sure how long it'd take for us to get a gate and I ended up waiting outside for quite a while after being free to get out of the plane. It didn't help that my stupid brother wouldn't reply to my texts and my dumb mom can't use her smartphone to save her damn life. My headphones also still sucked and smokers kept popping up behind me, so I always found myself moving around to avoid the smell. I got off the plane by 9, got picked up around 10, got home by 11. fun...When I got home, I walked my dog really quick since he didn't get walked all day and then ate Costco pizza and took a nap which ended up being full on sleep. My dog sleeps in his crate which is in my room but I was asleep, so he slept in the living room the whole night. Apparently, he woke up around 6am and nudged my brother awake but my brother went back to sleep and so did he until my mom woke up and opened the living room door. My dog is pretty good when left alone inside. He's never had an accident in the house since he was a puppy and nothings ever knocked over or out of place. The only thing is the kitchen trashcan because there's food waste in there, but he's locked out of it. I was scheduled to work that following day, so I'm back in a state of normalcy.
So in the end, I assume I wasn't the right "fit" for American Airlines. Maybe it's because I didn't wear a suit jacket? but it's not fair for people who don't think it's worth investing in one? Maybe it's because I rolled up my sleeves (even though it was like 99 degrees outside and it proves I didn't lie about having tattoos)? Maybe I seem TOO outgoing and that I seem like I party all the time? I don't know. I know I wasn't going to look insanely business-like because I was going to sweat like crazy. It's their loss. I know the other Asian girl got a one on one because I didn't see her outside waiting for a shuttle but from what I saw, she barely spoke and there was nothing engaging about her!!! I speak three languages, have a good grasp on a fourth, and can improve on a fifth. I speak loudly, clearly, and my vocabulary is above average! But whatever, it shows that even though the company may seem liberal through their motto, it's still based in conservative Texas and a good majority of the higher ups are still plain ol' white people. Moreover, it's THEIR idea of what it means to be diverse and inclusive.

With all of the hours of sitting and unnecessary walking back and forth aside, I did get to see the overhaul of American Airlines with their new color scheme, font, and logo. I thought that looked really nice. The first plane I rode was the Boeing 737 which I think is the least fun to ride on because things for the passengers are so poorly laid out. There's no dedicated monitor for every seat and the power plugs for each chair was basically by the floor. It's almost hidden from sight like they don't want you to see it or use it. My ride back was way better because the plane was an Airbus 319 (I think but I remember the safety card stating a different number). Airbus is a French company compared to Boeing which is American. I feel like American designed anything is always lacking and feels less intuitive...heh.
Lastly, I learned that you can get into the Georgia Aquarium for free on your birthday because I asked that girl from Atlanta if she's ever been there (lol). I'm such a geek. She thought it was weird because there's nothing special about the aquarium and I was like "it's the only aquarium in the US with a whale shark tank". WELP! onto the next potential job.
On a random note, I finally watched "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" and I really liked it. It picks up from "Man of Steel" and it's not as bad as what I was expecting. I didn't watch "Man of Steel" prior but I knew the gist of it and only watched it afterwards because I wanted to know how Clark's dad died. The movie leaves me in much anticipation for the Wonder Woman movie set to be in theaters 11 months from now. AHHHHHHHH!!!


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