Monday, June 28, 2010

Telephone interpreting...soon?

Well, I finally had two phone interviews with a telephone interpreting company.  The first one was a bit more informal, but also included a practice interpreting session.  The lady who I was talking to, Elizabeth, said I could schedule my proficiency test for another time or do it right then.  But she said she felt I would do fine, even if I did it right then.  So I said I wanted to go ahead and do it at that time.  I passed, as she had said.  :)  We talked about scheduling some, and I explained about Sabbath and classes: I need a schedule that will not include Friday night or Saturday, and also one that will accommodate my classes, since you can't change your schedule in the first three months, and my classes will be starting in two months.  Elizabeth finally mentioned one schedule that would work fine for me, from 5 AM to 9 AM, Sunday through Thursday, but she also said that it wasn't reserved until I talked to another woman, Bo, in my formal interview, which we scheduled for the next day at 10:15.

The next day, Bo called and she asked me about my background, etc.  I told her my experience, and then we started talking about scheduling.  That's where the difficulty occurred.  The schedule that Elizabeth had mentioned was not available.  In fact, there were no schedules available that didn't either go over Sabbath or conflict with my classes.  She mentioned that they had requested some new schedules from the scheduler recently, and said that they would let me know (send me the official offer, etc.) as soon as the new schedules became available.  And that was that.

So now it's a waiting game, as far as that job is concerned.  In the meantime, I'm looking into other options, such as online translation work, more security work, and professional tutoring.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stuff going on

Here's my most recent news:

My first security guard job is coming to an end, because so is the US Open.  Fortunately, as I might have mentioned before, I now have a guard card, so I can work anywhere in the state as a security guard.  So that's something to fall back on in case of emergency.  I'm applying to work for a large phone interpretation company.  I hope that works out, since I think it and my Masters program will be mutually beneficial.

One of my supervisors on the job is a neat guy who has quite a few connections and is willing to share his information, so hopefully that will also be helpful in Job Search Part 2.

I'll be helping out this week with VBS at my local church.  That should be fun, and will fill up my evenings.

I hope all y'all have an extraordinary day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Work, Money, and Love

I've gotten a few hard shifts at work recently, and I'm low on sleep, but overall I'm doing okay.  For the rest of this week (which is all there is to the job), I'll be on the 6 AM to 1 PM shift, so at least I won't be working nights or every other shift or anything like that (like I have been doing the last day or so).  I'm also starting to get ready some more permanent work options, including getting set up to be a professional tutor and going through the application process to be a telephone interpreter.  I'm a little worried about that, since they said you can't change your schedule for three months, and by then I'll be in school, so I want to make sure that my schedule with them doesn't clash with my classes.  Oh, and I heard that I can do the rest of my security guard training (8 hours this month, 16 more within six months, and a total of 40 within a year) online!  That should make things easier.

I finally opened a bank account a few days ago, which has really made a lot of things easier.  For now I've been getting money out of my Mexican bank account at the ATM and putting some of it into my American one.

Just a day or two ago, my wife called me, and we chatted for a while on the phone, and then I got her set up with Skype, so we switched to video chat through that.  It was wonderful to see my wife again, not to mention hear her voice!  I've missed her a lot.  She told me that her police certificate that she needs for her immigrant visa will take about three months to get.  So it looks like it will take longer than that before she can be with me.  It's a very long time to wait, but it definitely gives me something to look forward to!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Work, etc.

I've been working about three or four days already for a security company.  It is only a short-term job (most likely), but I'm already looking at other possibilities.  I hope to be able to work as an interpreter very soon, since it is related to the Masters that I want to get.

Working in security isn't a very fun job, but it's a job.  In fact, I already received about eight hours of training, and with a little more, I could work as a security guard anywhere in the state.  I'm not trying to say that it's what I want to do for the rest of my life, but in this economy, it's good to have something as backup and/or to have options.

It appears that the local church is going to get me involved in music now, I imagine as a song leader.  I've been missing that.

Happy Sabbath, everyone!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

God is good (all the time!)

I am so blessed.  Besides it being my birthday today (well, technically yesterday), I received two great birthday presents: a place to live and a job!  I spent basically the whole day today in training to be a security guard.  I will be working security for the US Open Golf Tournament.  It is short-term, but at least it is something.  And I finally moved into the house where I'll be living.  I've only got a room, but it's enough, and for a pretty good price, too.  I also have wireless internet, etc., so hopefully I'll be able to be more in touch than before.  I'm working on a couple other work leads as well.

I'll be starting work tomorrow for the Pre-Championship.  Oh, and while I'm off-duty, I get into the US Open for free!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Moving forward

Well, now I have a student ID card, a possible place to live for the next few months (I'll find out for sure this evening), and a possible short-term, part-time job (during the US Open). I still can't use the school's wireless internet (so I spend a lot of time at the public library). I'm still working on other job options, opening a bank account, etc. Church yesterday was great. So was potluck. And then yesterday evening some new friends and I went to an AY/sundown worship, with some fun social games afterward. Great times! I hope I can get these housing and job things figured out. They're what have me the most stressed.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Back in the USA

Well, I am finally back in the US, after driving all the way from southern Mexico to California. It was quite the trip, and I was worried that my car would break down part way, but it made it. Though it was due for an oil change, neither Wal-Mart nor Pep Boys would touch it because the oil pan was damaged in the accident I had two weeks ago, and since it was Sunday and then Memorial Day, they couldn't replace the oil pan for me. Pep Boys did tell me that the oil still looked okay for now. They also told me that my catalytic converter was having problems, which is why my check engine light has been on. So as soon as I get the chance, I'm going to have to get my oil pan and my catalytic converter replaced, not to mention the oil changed.

Yesterday I finally got in touch with the local pastor and he is letting me stay in the church for a few days and took me to the local supermarket and bought me food! Really nice guy. Then today I stopped by the local hostel to see how that works (since my search for a place might extend through the weekend) and someone who works there explained it to me. He said it was about $27 counting tax and that six days was the longest you could stay in a 30-day period. I was under the impression at the time that that the $27 was per night, but on reflection I've decided that that was probably the total cost (though I'm going to check that). Then I went to school where I want to get my masters, to the Admissions office. They gave me my acceptance letter and scholarship letter (I got two: a $10,000 Merit Scholarship and a $2,000 Dean's Scholarship, both divided between the two semesters, with the merit scholarship renewable). Then we talked about something on an email I received about weaknesses in my Spanish. The lady told me that the on-campus summer courses are much too low-level for a student in my major, and that I should join the group going to Ecuador for the summer. That was not what I was expecting. Anyway, she told me to go talk to my enrollment manager to find out more. My enrollment manager explained that I had done quite well overall, but that I was lacking in one or two specific areas, and that the person who graded my diagnostic test wanted to just give me some ways to improve my Spanish over the summer, so I should contact her, but that I didn't really need to be in any actual Spanish course(s). She also explained that after I paid my $500 non-refundable tuition deposit, the internal housing database, on-campus job info, etc., would all be opened up to me. Also, yesterday another person who belongs to my church and is in the same program got in touch with me and I asked her for help with my situation. She gave me several pieces of good advice and it looks like she'll help me find a place to live, too! That's great news, since I spent most of the morning looking a classified ads, etc., and trying to plan how I was going to find an apartment and getting really stressed out about it all. Since I was living near/in and working at a private school in Mexico, I wasn't really exposed to the real world completely. Getting here and realizing I had no job, no place to stay, no car insurance, etc., and almost no money was a rather jarring experience: naive young man meets the Big Bad World. And to get a place to stay, you have to prove your income (or at least get a co-signer or something), but to get a job (especially the phone interpreter job I want), I have to have an address and phone # to even be considered. Catch-22. But it looks like things are starting to work out for me. I'm sure God is the one working it out. :)

My wife is still in southern Mexico. We're working on her immigrant visa papers, but we felt it was better that I go ahead of time and get established first. It's rough being apart, but hopefully it won't be for long.