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bizgirl

international librarian of mystery

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Temping

Well, in an effort to catch up with myself, I'm going to skip our Chicago adventures. I'll save them for a rainy day.

Bertel got a call last week from his band's manager telling him that the pre-production sessions were now going to be taking place in New York. We booked airfares and were in the Big Apple the next day, our taste for long-distance cross-country road-trips now well and truly sated by the mind-numbing Memphis to Chicago drive.

My main problem at the moment (well, most of the time, to tell the truth), is a complete lack of funds. I've been living off Bertel's generosity and the seemingly never-ending limit of my credit card for the last month or so, and I don't want to push either resource too far into the red, for fear of irreparable damage.

So, I've decided to get a job. Surely there's something I can do in this city. Land of Opportunity and all that. Unfortunately, the woman at the first temp agency I went to had to stifle a laugh when I told her I was in the USA on a holiday visa. She politely told me my best bet was to leave the country, find a company that was willing to hire me (from abroad), and then get them to apply for working visa on my behalf. In other words: go away. I did.

Thankfully, Mel, the lovely woman I met at the second agency a couple of days ago was much more encouraging and helpful. Having looked at my CV, we sat down together and browsed some of my online work together.

"You've definitely got the skills and qualifications to get something on an H1B," she said.
"I do?"
"Definitely. Only problem is that it will take at least a month to process, and that's after we find someone who wants to employ you. Although, again, I don't imagine that will be a problem. Can you hold out that long?"
"Err, maybe. Although, not really. I'm pretty broke. In fact, I don't even have enough money to get a plane ticket home at the moment. I don't really know what to do."

At which point, for the first time in years, I burst into tears.

Mel was extremely gracious, whipped a box of tissues out of her desk for me to blow my nose on, and came around to me to give me an encouraging pat on the shoulder. After I stopped my blubbing, she closed the door to her office, and sat down on the desk in front of me.

"Natalie," she said, "I know of an opening at a firm downtown. It's a simple data entry job, something well below your station, and only for a couple of weeks, but does pay quite well, and will let you get back on your feet. I know the HR manager extremely well, and he owes me a favour or two, so I'm sure we can fudge the paperwork for a few weeks while we get onto processing your H1B."
"That would be ... amazing. Thank you," I sniffled.
"Don't mention it."

She ushered me into her reception room, returned to her office to make a couple of calls, and then called me back in. I had a job. Just like that. If only things were so easy back in New Zealand. Mel gave me the details of where I was to report to work (the next day!), and bid me farewell, with a promise to ring me again soon once she had a longer term position in line for me.

The job starts tomorrow, and, despite it being 'menial data entry', I'm all a-jitter. Full report to come...

And, on a different tangent altogether, a big 'shout-out' to blog-buddy Zinnia @ Real E Fun who has, along with myself, been deemed 'webby worthy' at this year's Webby Awards. You'll find me on the 'B' page, just down from a plethora of BBC sites, and just above Blogger.com. Yay for us!