Sunday, July 26, 2009

NYC Bound has moved!

I've made the decision to transfer my blog to wordpress. Please visit... continue to follow my journey in the city. Please be advised that I am still a wordpress novice, so the page is currently under construction. Nevertheless, my writing is all the same. Don't forget to RSS Feed my new blog as this will be my last blogspot posting. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Office Blunder 1 & 2

In an effort to humor my readers, and also make light of embarrassing situtations, I decided to start updating you all of my many mishaps at the office. Since I am new to the working world, I can foresee tons of naive and mortifying moments ahead. In fact, I was recently told that I had replaced a 25-year-old as not only the newbie, but also the youngest person in the company. So I guess jokes and embarrassment are inevitable. Here are just two lessons learned, keeping in mind I've been employed for only a week and a half:

1. I never really realized how much I sound like a young 12-year-old girl with pigtails and a lollipop in my hand until now. Often times I find myself terribly flushed after saying the most normal things ("good morning", "have a great weekend", "thanks") because of my delivery. I don't know why I associate sounding friendly with a high pitched tone, but I've suddenly become so self-conscious with everything I say at work. So my ongoing goal is to focus on making my delivery sound less like a teeny bopper and more like a business professional that wants to be taken seriously.

2. To make matters worse, perhaps even more mortifying than my girly girl voice is decking out the office with girly girl pink. Yes, I did that. As part of my work, I have administrative rights to a software that everyone in the company utilizes daily. While playing around with the system trying to become accustomed to working on it, I decided to change the "look & feel" of my background. Not knowing I was not only changing my background, but also the entire company's background, I made my background pink. I would have never known that everyone elses changed if I hadn't overheard someone say "Hey, is everyone elses homepage pink? The software must have automatically updated. Wonder why they picked pink though!" Luckily no one (to my knowledge) knew I was actually the culprit. I changed it back a few days later after it was no longer being questioned around the office. No need to elaborate on how unbelievably mortified I was everytime I heard someone mention the pink. It's self explanatory. Perhaps later on down the road, I'll come clean to everyone and laugh about it. Because it is funny on the outside looking in, I suppose.

As much as I hate to admit it, I will keep these funny mishaps coming.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Apartment Hunting & First Work Week in Review

So apartment hunting has proven to be just as difficult as the job hunt. Finding something in my price range, available immediately, and that is a comfortable living situation is tougher than I anticipated. My criteria for an apartment are simple:

1. I need a roommate(s) because I cannot possibly afford a place on my own [yet].
2. I would prefer a trendy neighborhood.
3. I would like a place that is within walking distance to my work.
4. I would prefer a true 2/3 bedroom situation. Though shared living spaces work for some people, I like having a private bedroom with my roommates having a private bedroom, and a living room that isn't converted a bedroom.
5. I would prefer a female roommate(s).

I thought this would be simple to find, but it really hasn't been. The fact that I don't have as much time in a day to focus on apartment hunting makes it extremely difficult. I commute 2-1/2 hours from Connecticut to work. Meaning, I wake up at 5am, get ready for work, hop on the Metro North at 7a, arrive at Grand Central at 8:30ish, work 9-6p, then apartment hunt until around 9p, get back to Connecticut around 11p, go to bed and start the process over again. It is almost as if I have two full-time jobs. Perhaps worse.

And the most disappointing part about is when I would go check out apartments that I absolutely love, I later find out the people decided to lease it somebody else. Or, I would check out the apartment and the posting on Craiglist completely falsified the apartment description. i.e. Parkside Ave subway stop in Brooklyn is not equal to Prospect Heights. Lesson learned. After the first couple of days of work and apartment hunting, I reached out to my parents. With it being my first week on the job and everything, I knew at this rate I would quickly burn myself out if I continued with no help (keep in mind, I had been unemployed for seven weeks, so waking up at those hours working my ass off put my body in complete shock). My Ma decided to help me with the search. While I was at work, she searched for apartments for me, and after work I would visit the places she found. Fortunately, the first day she did this for me I immediately locked a place in. She found a place in Hell's Kitchen for me with two other girls. Immediately, I hit it off with the ladies and knew that we would be great roommates. They said they still had others looking at the apartment so they'd get back to me. Slightly disappointed, I left thinking I would get another e-mail saying that they decided to lease to somebody else. However, not even an hour later they contacted me and told me they canceled the rest of their appointments because they really liked me so didn't feel the need to search anymore. I signed a lease the next day. I'm so grateful my Ma helped me find this place. I wouldn't have found it if it wasn't for her. Plus, now she can sleep safely at night knowing I'm not in a bad area, since she picked it out herself! It's a great location, awesome amenities, and decent size (for NYC, of course). Hell's Kitchen: meet your newest resident! Below is a photo of the area my apartment is in...

As for my first work week, I would venture to say it went well. I am almost certain I am the youngest person in the office, but I can't expect anything else since I am in the youngest age group in the working world. The people I work with are great though, very supportive and willing to help me get accustomed to the processes of the business. The office is amazing. It is the headquarters/corporate office so it is very well designed and in a great location. I also enjoy free coffee and breakfast, and free lunch from time to time. :) But I would have to say my favorite bonus of the location is I can easily take a leisurely shopping trip to Macy's on my lunch break. My least favorite part of the location is I'm certain that I will soon already do loathe all the tourist traffic that consumes the sidewalks.

The first half of my first day was a lot of HR and paperwork stuff. My boss took me out for lunch my first day which was very generous. The second half of the day was some ad-hoc, on-the-job training. Also, something I learned on my first day is the company has a program that encourages integration with the team by allowing me to take people of my choice out for lunch on the company's expense account. I thought that was a nice gesture and a great way to get to know the team. I have yet to do this, I'm still slightly timid. My second day was more overwhelming since I began to actually do work. Since there was no formal training for my position and I didn't want to screw up on my first week on the job, I had to do a lot of problem solving/figuring things out on my own. I don't like feeling stupid for too long, so I immediately knew I would immerse myself in the work. Every job I've had, whether it be an internship or a waitressing job, I've excelled in. I don't plan on changing things up with this job. The third and fourth day of work, managers from other offices across the U.S. came in for meetings. So I took advantage of having all the major people present, sat in on the meetings and took notes like I was in college again (what I am talking about...I never took notes in college!) trying to learn everything they were talking about. A lot of the discussions they had were over my head; they might as well have spoken Chinese and I'd be just as confused. I would later go to my cube and study the notes until they made sense to me. Friday, my fifth day of work, my peddles started to pick up finally. I was going to be alright.

Side note...I was talking to a person I would be working with, and was explaining to him how excited I was to be working. I told him about my job hunt journey. He laughed and said, "You're in the 'control-alt-delete' generation, aren't you? You guys are a bunch of risk takers! You packed up your things, moved up here risking everything, and if things didn't work out, you would just press control-alt-delete and try something new, right? I love it." He hit the nail on the head with that unique description. That was exactly my thought process. Not sure how this relates to my point, but I liked the conversation and wanted to share it. lol!

Anyway, although it is nice to relax during this weekend, I can't wait for next week to begin and continue to learn and grow. I guess that is the beauty of being in the newest age group in the working world. I am eager to work and give 110%. Below is the area I work...

I am finally settled in. My apartment is amazing, work is challenging and I'm loving every minute of it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July

In celebration of my new job, and of course of United States independence, I decided to spend the holiday with the closest person to family I have in the city. Caroline, my college roommate and best friend, moved to NYC a couple weeks after I made my way up here. Unlike me, she already had a job. We hadn't had a chance to really spend time together since she was a busy working girl and I of course was busy job hunting, so it was nice to finally get the chance to cut loose with a familiar face. Plus it only seemed appropriate to celebrate my employment with someone who was equally as excited as I was about being a new New Yorker. Watching my first fireworks in the city with my best friend was the first time I really opened my eyes to what lies ahead.

Growing up a military brat, I've lived in many different places moving every three years of my life. I've become so accustomed to changing locations every three years, moving to a new place was a routine I've become used to. After four years in Raleigh, NC my internal clock was urging me to leave the south. With the frequent moves, losing touch with great friends became something I've learned to accept. However, with this move, I'm grateful to know that Caroline isn't a friend that I will slowly lose touch with. In fact, I only see our friendship blossoming in this chapter of our lives. We've only got each other in this city, and she is the only person I really can trust up here. It will be nice to have my best friend by my side to experience the journey of finding our place in this city. After all, we both are technically "freshman" again (NYC newbies and brand new to the working world).

I have so much to look forward to, life possibly can't any better.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Breaking through the Finishline

Alas, after six grueling weeks of endless job hunting, three temporary location changes, upward of 100+ job applications submitted and countless prayers...


The chase is finally over. And it didn't come easy either, as you can read from my posts below. Even the interview process with the company was brutal by itself. Five rounds of interviews, each very very difficult. After each round, I thought to myself, "Well, they won't be calling me back. I totally blew it." I'm glad they did continue to see something in me. I couldn't be happier with the company I landed. It is a great company to work for, solvent, growing pretty steadily (which is quite rare in this economy), and not to mention offered me a great package. I am very lucky. I read in an article somewhere that the average job hunt right now is twelve weeks. I couldn't be happier that I completed the hunt well ahead of the national average.

This offer came just in the nick of time too. In the beginning of the week, I decided if I didn't get any job leads by Friday, that I would be packing up and staying with My Ate to take some time to pick myself back up. Then I received a call to do a phone interview with a company I applied to back in May. I didn't even remember what the position was since it had been so long since I submitted the application. Though the initial contact took a little over a month, the interview process went by quickly. I did an interview everyday this week. Wednesday, I did two back-to-back, and later on in the evening I received notice that an offer letter would be coming my way. I was scheduled to go in the office the next day to go over the offer and sign some papers. Since Friday is a holiday, I'm scheduled to start next Monday. My boss told me "for the right person, we are willing to expedite the process and get you working asap". I didn't anticipate it would be that quick considering my history with interview processes with other companies I dealt with.

When I received the phone call that an offer letter was pending, in an effort to save face with the company, I disguised my overflowing elation with a simple "Great! I look forward to working with you." But you can bet your bottom dollar once I hung up the phone I broke down. The first person I told the good news to was my Dad. I had been so moody towards my family, especially my Dad throughout the past six weeks. He particularly was the receiver of undeserving rude remarks from me. I took out a lot of frustration on him and he just took it without getting angry back at me. He deserved a friendly, good-news-phone-call from me.

A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and for the first time since I've been here, I can breathe a huge sigh of relief. It is rare that I praise myself for my actions and decisions. I think it is arrogant not to mention I'm never really satisfied with being stagnant. I'm always looking for ways to grow, never sitting back watching life go by. But this is a major accomplishment and I have to relish in this moment. This whole process has been a huge gamble on life--just packing my car up rather spontaneously, driving to NYC for a job interview with no real idea of my chances, and continuing to search for a job when others fell through with no leads in one of the hardest places to make it in the world. I cannot be more prouder of how I've faced the challenges refusing to let go of my dreams. I've done it.

I don't mean to sound like an acceptance speech, but I have so many people to be thankful for. I truly had a great support system throughout this whole journey. Every facebook message, tweet, e-mail, phone call, and text message meant more to me than I can express. I normally have my text messages auto-delete after I read it. However, as cheesy as it may sound, I kept all messages from people that were encouraging and wished me luck. Re-reading each of them really motivated me when I felt down. Knowing how many people believed in me really made me believe in myself. THANK YOU ALL!!! Above all, thanks be to God. I prayed--so hard--every night and before every interview and He answered my prayers. I've never felt a stronger relationship with the Lord and will only continue to build upon my faith since He has given me so much.

NYC Bound. When I started this blog, the the definition of bound in this context meant 'destined; certain'. Now, my blog takes on a whole new meaning. NYC Bound can now be in the context of 'tied to; in bonds with'. Here's to the next chapter in my life. Life in the city starts now!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Survival of the Fittest

I was talking on the phone with my dear friend, Matt, last night. Though I've only known him for four months, I consider him to be one of my best friends. It is rare you find someone in life whom you really hit it off with right from the start and the friendship only continues to grow as time passes without a stopping point in sight. A friendship with a solid foundation built upon unwavering support and complete honesty. I am safely all in with him because I know I have that same support in him. I knew that God planned for us to meet under the circumstances we both were in to help each other. When I first met him, I helped him through a difficult time in his life. As he likes to put it, I "stepped up to the plate when no one else did". I hardly knew him, but felt so comfortable opening up to him. And vice versa. Since I met him, I have already seen his personality change for the better. He is more confident, comfortable in his own skin, and less self-conscious. I'm so glad that I could make such an impact on his life, and influence him to embrace the beautiful person he is-inside and out.

Now that you have the background 411 (I totally just went on a tangent there...sorry), back to the telephone conversation. We were just catching up on each others lives and talking through what both of our next moves would be in life. We got to talking about me-my journey up here, the struggles I've faced since my move that I normally try not to disclose, and my next move. For the first time since I came up here, I broke down emotionally and mentally. I started telling him how stressed, frustrated, emotionally exhausted, and scared I was. Being up here for a little over a month with no income, sleeping over-staying my welcome on friend's couches, applying to upward to 200 jobs, chasing my dream finally took a toll on my normally tough persona. I gushed to him everything I was scared about--my dwindling savings, being literally homeless, and having to throw in the towel and leave the city because I failed.

In the moments of my despair and mentalphysicalemotional exhaustion, he picked me up. He reminded me that sometimes when I feel alone, hopeless and not comfortable talking to anyone about my situation, I always have my faith to turn to. He told me, "Sometimes, your faith is all you got. You know I'm so proud of you doing all of this by yourself, having the drive to chase your dreams as hard as you are. I know you're ready to throw in the towel, but you know, you gotta think of this as a test. Sometimes God makes you go through these kinds of things to see how bad you want it. Don't give up too soon."

His words helped me remember my faith. He helped me refocus my mind. He helped me recall the theory of "survival of the fittest". Only those who are strong enough to make it through the storm are able to see the rainbow at the end.

Matt helped me the same way I helped him. That is the beauty of friendship. You pick each other up when the other is down and out. I'm so grateful to know he will be there the next time I need someone to turn to. And I will be there with open arms to pick him whenever he needs me.

Thank you, Matt. I miss you, and I love you. There will be an M&M reunion soon!

I've got a bone to pick...

Fox is coming out with a new reality show soon. Check out the preview below:

Looks sweet and romantic, right? Well, I actually don't like the way they're promoting the new show at all. Not that these people don't deserve a shot at finding love, I'm sure they do. But I'm concerned more so by the way they describe these women. "Real". So here is the breakdown in my head:

The antonym for Real=Fake
Woman with more curves/fuller=Real
Woman that are slimmer=Fake

So what exactly is it that makes them "real"? Their weight? And if that is the answer, does this mean that women who are slimmer and/or in shape are fake and superficial? That slimmer woman can't/don't encompass the same personality aspects as a fuller woman? It really sends the wrong message out and indirectly takes a stab at women who are slimmer. Granted, women with more curves have not really been included in these type of dating reality shows. They most definitely deserve that, and am excited that they are getting their chance. But why does it have to be promoted as "real women"? Can a "real woman" not be 120 pounds? And can a fuller woman not be a superficial bitch for that matter?

And to top things off, all these "real woman" are vying for a fuller man's love and attention. Does that mean that fuller people always attracts fuller people? That a slimmer woman can't fall in love with a heavier man? Or vice versa? Why does it have to be a common denominator? That is almost just like having a dating reality show just with Asian woman vying for an Asian man's attention. There is nothing wrong with interracial dating, so there shouldn't be anything wrong with inter-weight dating (or whatever you want to call it). It not only singles out the community of curvier people (not sure what the politically correct term would be, so I apologize if I offend anyone), but it also labels slimmer people as shallow, superficial, and unreal/fake. If they wanted to do the show right, they should of had a mixture of all different kinds of woman-all shapes and sizes and color.

Blame it on the current social problems course I took in college that prompted me to have a knack for catching these types of things. Or blame it me being cynical. Either way, this rubbed me the wrong way and still ticks me off every time I see it on TV. Two huge things wrong with that so-called sweet and romantic preview. Though I have a guilty pleasure for trashy television, this will be one I will not be tuning into. Think about the message you're sending to people, Fox. Seriously.