Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My New Job!

Only 2 posts in, and I've already been a neglectful blogger. But, I have a good reason - I have a new job! I was hired by the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority on July 29th 2010. May that day ever go down in history. Prior to that date, I was an unemployed unhappy bum, searching desperately for ANY job. I had something lined up for myself after graduation that fell through 2 weeks after I started it. Long story short - I was thrown into the job search completely unprepared and unaware of how hard it is to find a job these days. If you have a job, be thankful. If you don't have a job, keep praying and search, your time will come!

So here's the job title (deep breath): Bilingual Call Center Customer Service Representative and Hispanic Community Liaison. (exhale) Basically, it's 2 jobs in one. I work in the Tulsa Transit call center, as a customer service rep, but I'm also bilingual. (Para espanol, oprima el numbero 2 - that's me!) AND I'm the Hispanic Community Liaison, which is the most exciting thing to me. They're starting a new program of outreach to the Hispanic community, which involves spreading more awareness about our services to the Hispanic community, and teaching people how to use the buses to their advantage. In the last 3 weeks, I've been attending meetings with business people who are connected to the Hispanic community. Everyone has been so excited about what Tulsa Transit can do for that community. I've been helping to translate some of our informative literature into Spanish. I've also been manning a booth for the last several weeks at the Admiral Flea market. It's been great to get out into the Hispanic community, speak some Spanish with people, meet new contacts, and find out ways that the company I work for can enrich the lives of Hispanic people in Tulsa.
Not sure if it sounds cool or interesting to any of you, but it's been great for me! It's my first full time job - I call it my "I'm-a-big-kid-now" job. My co-workers are pretty cool, for the most part. They've been very helpful to me with my myriad of questions. I feel like my brain has been completely stuffed full of information since I started the job. One of the fun things I get to do is use a walkie-talkie and say "10-4." But that's just a side note.
I wanted to share some of the funny and interesting conversations I've had on the phones. A lot of the time, I'm on the phones answering calls (alllllll dayyyyyy). Half the calls are from people who use the city buses, with questions about what bus to take from Point A to Point B, what time the bus they want arrives, etc. The other half of the calls are to schedule appointments with our Lift Program. That's our paratransit service; it's a curb-to-curb rideshare for mentally and/or physically disabled individuals. We schedule their trips in the computer system. I've been making a list of some of the things people have called me, some sweet, some weird. I've been called baby, sweetie, honey, sugar, any other term of endearment. Some of them are great, from the elderly ladies scheduling their trips to the doctor and to Walmart. Some of them are from smarmy guys who think that my sweet voice is an invitation for come ons. I have to mute the phone to go "gaaahhhhh!!! Grossgrossgross!" And then politely, "Ok, sir, well you have a nice day now buhbye." I've also had a guy tell me I'm just a white woman who doesn't know how to communicate with black people. I'll have him know that a black man the day before thought I was such a good communicator that he was moved to ask me if I had a boyfriend. In your face.
I know I'm getting totally wordy here, and any readership I had before has now fallen off, but anyway - that's my job, in a really big, weird nutshell. I'll keep you posted - today I went to a luncheon put on by the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and came in contact with a woman who is going to do a televised interview with me this coming Monday! The show is called Temas en Tulsa, which means Topics (or Subjects/themes) in Tulsa. I'm soooo excited and nervous! Not sure what channel it comes on yet. For everyone who prayed for me and encouraged me during my job search, thank you so much. God has blessed me exceedingly beyond what I had hoped for. This is an opportunity for me to serve people who kindness and effeciency, and I really appreciate what I have in front of me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sewing Project

I received a sewing machine recently, but haven't really done much with it so far. When Schuyler's home, I always want to be with him, since we're not together all that much. But last night, Schuyler suggested that we bring my sewing machine table into his office, so he could work on computer stuff and I could sew, and we'd still feel like we were spending time together. Great solution!

The project I'm working on right now is a birthday present for my sister Emily. She bought a table cloth for her dining room table, but when she brought it home and tried it out in her dining room, it didn't seem ideal. So we decided that for her birthday, I will turn that table cloth into several pillows to use in her bedroom. She bought a couple of square-ish soft pillows for me to make pillowcases for, and I bought some cotton stuffing and some black linen to make some smaller pillows with the rest of the cloth. Last night I only got around to one pillow, because ironing the cloth took soooo long! I think next time I'll just cut out my squares that I need, and then iron each one, because this is high-wrinkle material.

So here's what the first pillow looks like.

Here I am squeezing the pillow to show how soft and comfy it is.

Close up of the cool bird print.

Updates to come on this pillow project!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Expectations vs. Reality

Education is important in this country. You go to kindergarten with you're 5 years old, sometimes Pre-K before that. And if you keep going, you're in school for the next 13 years. Then comes college. Four years, if you're lucky. So for the last 17 years of my life, I have been a Student. That has been my official title. I've added a few other sub-titles since entering college, like Part-Time Teacher, and Wife. Those have been good titles. But now, for the first time ever... I am no longer a Student. My life is my own! Or is it...

The reason we go to college is to prepare for our careers. I've spent so much time following my passions, because I believe that's what's really important in life. I completed a double major in Music and Spanish. And yes, I did get the same comments over and over again. "So, what are you gonna do when you graduate?" Or, "How are you gonna make any money??" Valid questions. Questions that I'm still answering, nearly three months after the big graduation ceremony.

What I expected of my life post-grad, and what I've experienced so far haven't quite matched up. I expected to graduate, feel a huge sense of liberation and relief, and start a great job that paid well and fulfilled me as a person. Without going into too much detail, I did have a job lined up that fell through, and I've been scrambling ever since. When you're a kid, the adults tell you that you can do anything you want to do! How wonderful! But when you're an adult, life gets in the way of the things you dreamed about doing. You get an apartment or a house, a car, cell phones, and a myriad of other bills, all demanding payment every month. Suddenly your main job requirement is that your paychecks cover your monthly bills.

This summer I've had my first taste of full-time job searching. It hasn't been my favorite way to spend time, by a long shot. Plus, every employer I meet with acknowledges the fact that this is a terrible time to be a new grad searching for a job. We all know that the economy isn't at its best. But I'm young, and I will prevail. I've gotten a few job leads, and with any luck (and blessings and favor!!) my next post will be about my new job.

What I want from life at this stage is a job that I can feel somewhat proud of doing, that has decent hours and decent pay. I want to come home from work, and enjoy the magic of free time that doesn't involve completing homework assignments. I plan on posting about the things that I end up doing with my free time, like cooking and sewing, which are my main hobbies. (The sewing is a brand new venture, though.)

So here it is - my life post-grad. It's been quite interesting so far, and I'm sure it will stay interesting!