2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Smarter

As OSH’s final days loomed closer, I decided to face reality.

Interning at The 7th Magazine was the right experience that I needed as a journalism major. However, there were still some financial obligations to settle at home.

Before I could think, my body moved on its own. I was already on Indeed, scrolling through job listings and ready to submit another application for retail.

I got a call back within a week from most of the places I applied to this time. One interviewer made it clear that I was underemployed and overqualified for the position she had opened.

For some reason, the thought had never occurred to me. My mind was already fixed on making ends meet, I suppose.

So I went home, hoping for another call – and I got it! Wanna hear more about that experience? Read this if you skipped it earlier and scroll down to the second half.

Safe to say, I ended up working as a seasonal sales associate at See’s Candies during the Christmas season. I made sure to sample and help the team sell high quality chocolates to our clients with a smile.

Of course, I’d have a sample, too.

However, there was one caveat. My health declined and almost gave up during December of 2018. Defeated by my own immune system, I would show up to work only to return home with a sorer throat and even more chills.

To my surprise, the store managers and supervisors were always super supportive and understanding. I still thank our team from the bottom of my heart.

I explained that my body was recovering much slower than usual due to stress. I spent most of my paychecks buying groceries for me and my mom.

However, that wasn’t enough. We were beginning to starve and my health wasn’t getting any better for it.

Stick around for my next blog post where we will dive further into this story. In the meantime, click this! Thank you for your support!

2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Wiser

Freaking out, I applied to a dozen open positions for writing and in retail. Here’s why and here’s what happened after. I also applied to a couple of internship programs during my days off OSH.

Finally, I got an interview with The 7th Magazine during one of my shifts at the hardware store. I left with nothing but encouragement from the store manager and returned an hour later as an intern for the magazine.

As I came back to the register, people kept asking whether I had found a job or not. “I just got an internship writing for a magazine,” I said. Here’s how it started out.

This experience built character for sure. I started out by learning how to design newsletters while managing my time at OSH.

Just when I was getting into the swing of things, I lost access to the Internet for a month. My laptop, currently on life support as my boyfriend likes to say, has to stay plugged into an outlet with an exterior hard drive. You get the picture.

There was one instance when I submitted content via smartphone at a parking lot just to meet deadline.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage a job -under liquidation, mind you- and an internship at the same time, but I didn’t quit. I even got published in an interview with Brendan McGetrick for the Global Grad Show in Dubai in September.

I’ll have to admit that I was starting to feel pretty darn good about myself! Stay tuned for 2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Smarter! You’ll find out why.

2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Stronger

I began searching for a job one year ago to this very day, but didn’t get one until last March.

As an inexperienced cashier, I began to familiarize myself in working with the Orchard Supply Hardware team.

At first, I was assigned to work the indoor registers. Soon enough, however, I was called to the nursery.

It was arguably, the most beautiful department of the store – and the hottest. Palm trees rested underneath the shade while succulents basked in the sun.

“I can get used to this!” I thought to myself.

As scheduled, I headed to lunch, but received a phone call the moment I got back. It wasn’t a normal event. The person calling meant it probably wasn’t good news.

He informed me that someone I loved passed away. I only cried once. Despite my boss’s offer to let me call out for the day, I refused and went straight to work.

“Are you okay?” a client asked.

“It’s just the allergies,” I replied.

I mean, what was I gonna do? Ruin her shopping experience?

For the next few months, I felt depressed. During that time, I honed my ability in providing customer service by watching my team help our community.

Not to boost my ego or anything, but people LITERALLY came to visit me. I began to learn so much more about our products and services. I began to feel comfortable.

That is until one evening before I was scheduled to leave for the day. Usually, we locked the gates as the nursery closed. This time, it was shut earlier to than anticipated.

As customers slowly exited the store, we held a group meeting. That’s when I learned about the liquidation.

Freaking out, I applied to a number of jobs and internships. And that’s where I’ll share part two of my story.

How I Got A New Job TWO Days After Losing My Old One

It all started with a phone call. A week before getting my new job, I applied to five other businesses in retail. I was desperately in need of money – pronto.

I received three calls from employers requesting to meet me. Mid-way during the interview, one them said, “I see that your experience is mostly in writing and that you graduated from a university.”

She was concerned for the right reasons. I realized how underemployed and overqualified I appeared from her point-of-view.

As the interview wrapped up, the store manager mentioned calling me IF there were to be a second interview. I left knowing I’d never get a call.

I arrived home in a saddened state, wondering what I had done wrong in my job search. I declined the other interview because I was sick and never got a reply as to what I should do next. Another location called back sometime later.

If I’m lucky, I’ll hear back from one more employer. I texted my friend, H, to keep her updated on the latest news.

Next thing you know, I opened a voicemail requesting an interview. Overjoyed, I texted my friend immediately and confirmed the meeting shortly after.

I arrived 45 minutes early. Overzealous, I know. I watched the time wind down until it was 5 mins before the interview.

As I finally walked around the dark green safety fence that stood between me and the building, I met a shocking revelation. The building was demolished!

Immediately, I walked toward the mall, approaching a man who appeared in to be in his late-20s. He pointed me toward the north end of the plaza.

I followed his instructions thinking he would know better, quickly realizing that his guess was wrong.

An older woman appeared out from one of the exits I happened to pass by at that moment.

“Get to the point, Diane,” I thought to myself.

Disclaimer: Children, please don’t do this! NEVER get into a stranger’s car!

“Excuse me, I’m late for my interview. Do you know where I can find…?” She knew exactly where I had to go and offered a ride in her car.

“What do I have to lose?” I thought, introducing myself as I opened the door and slid into the passenger’s seat.

We exchanged our names, she backed out of the parking spot and sped toward the opposite direction of the plaza, almost flying over the speed bumps and terrifying a pedestrian if only she had decided to drive any faster.

The vehicle came to a halt in front of the location. Relieved, I thanked her and didn’t waste time rushing to get my interview over with.

I arrived 15 minutes late and stood there as I watched a woman, who I assumed was the manager, work through a relatively healthy line of customers.

As the last person walked out of the door, I went over to introduce and explain myself. We were expecting three more people for a group interview.

After some time had passed, she began to ask me a series of questions that leaned toward hiring me. About an hour had passed when I learned that my assumption was right.

Well, also because no one else showed up for the interview, but I’m not complaining!

Late and extremely fortunate, I got the job along with a very good story to share with my friends!

I will continue this story on my next blog post! Keep in touch!