Tag Archives: Working in the US

You May Have Your Cake, But You Can’t Always Eat It

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YOU MAY HAVE YOUR CAKE, BUT YOU CAN’T ALWAYS EAT IT

Dear Readers,

I know it’s been a while.  Unfortunately, it’s been way too long, and I do feel bad.  I missed writing and taking the time to be creative.  But, as all of us know, life happens.  My life has been extremely busy these past couple months.  I am not complaining as I love being busy, I just deeply regret that I didn’t have time to sit down, be inspired, and write.

The thing is I probably could have produced somewhat of an article each week- but it would have felt more as a chore than something that I truly enjoy. Busting out an article because you have to instead of because you want to produces (obviously) different results.  But I am finally able to slowly get back into the swing of things.

As I have mentioned in one of my last pieces, I started working with dogs, and I love it!  Being with animals is such a stress reliever, and I met so many wonderful people through it as well.  But besides this opportunity, I also started working as a coordinator for a baker.  One of my friends was doing the job before, but since she started a full time job she was unable to continue the work and recommended me.

The position sounded really great as I was able to work remotely, so it perfectly fit in with my schedule.   But, as this happens a lot in life as well, things came different at some point than discussed.  In theory, my duties consisted of handling e-mail customer inquiries, a fun and easy task.  Of course, it took me a little in the beginning until I got the hang of it, but I eventually was able to spend less than one hour a day working from my computer.

Things started to change about a couple weeks into my job.  I knew that my friend handled some of the pastry and cake deliveries in the past as she was living less than five minutes away from the bakery.  I, on the other hand, live about an hour away from Redondo Beach, where the shop is located.  So I became a little skeptical when my boss started asking me to do deliveries as well.

I might not have minded it that much if it wouldn’t have been on a weekend, but to ask me to come out two days in a row to deliver cakes just didn’t sound too appealing to me, especially since one of the locations included Compton, which I thankfully turned down.  As a compromise though and since I didn’t want to seem entitled, I agreed to accomplish the delivery of an ice cake to Marina Del Rey.

The whole way from Redondo Beach to its final destination I felt like I was on my way to Siberia.  Since it was an ice cake, I had to put the air conditioning in my car on full blast. Even though I ended up with a cold I am happy to report that the cake made it to the party without any harm.

From that day on, my boss figured she could sign me up for more deliveries.  Without even asking me, she concluded that I was in charge of spending one precious Saturday in April driving up to the Malibu Canyons to deliver a wedding cake.  If that didn’t already sound bad enough, let me tell you that the notorious cake was only supposed to be used for photography purposes and not to be eaten.  Anyways, since my boss was supposed to go out of town that weekend, she told me that I have to do this delivery.

I wasn’t very happy, to say the least, especially since it was my friend’s birthday and I would be missing half of the celebrations.  But what was I supposed to do when my boss tells me to do it, even though deliveries were not part of my job description in the first place?  I know, I know, I sound like a whiner and unappreciative.  Well, you might feel me a little more after I tell you the whole tale of that one fateful day.

It was a warm and sunny Saturday morning.  I had come to terms with the fact that I was about to drive the 160 miles round trip to deliver a simple twelve piece cake into the middle of nowhere while my boss was basking in the Palm Springs sun.

To my surprise though, she was still working on the masterpiece when I arrived at the bakery in Redondo Beach.  She told me that she had to cancel her girls’ trip since she still had a couple orders to finish.  I instantly felt bad and selfish, and I swore to myself to bury any feelings of irritation about my interrupted weekend plans.

We ended up sharing some bonding conversation while she was finishing up the wedding cake.  Looking at the clock, I got a little nervous considering that the cake was supposed to arrive in Malibu at 11 a.m. and it was already past nine.  Luckily though, she was almost done.

Since I am a pretty clumsy person, I didn’t decline her offer to securely transport the cake to my car.  She put it in a carton box and carried it over to my passenger seat, where she positioned it in a way to make it easy for me to pick it up and switch it onto the cake board once I arrived at the destination.

We then exchanged our goodbyes, not knowing what unanticipated turn the whole day would take.  But more to that story next time.

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.


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Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle

Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle

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I really didn’t intend to make a whole separate series out of my internship. It just so happened that I went through some major stages I think are worthwhile sharing, and I just wasn’t able to fit it all in one article without having to write a novel. But this one is going to be the last one, and then I will be done with this topic, I swear.

My first few weeks with CBS didn’t go so well for me.  In fact, I was terrified in the beginning to actually go back after my disastrous (as I saw it) first day.  I put so much pressure on myself, trying to perform like a pro when I only had been there for a couple days.  This behavior affected my sleep, my eating habits, my workouts and my friends.

My friends were  true angels in that situation, listening to me whining about possibly leaving the internship.  They tried to lift me up in every possible way.  I really am thankful they didn’t want to rip my head off after I always managed to turn the conversation to how unhappy I was in this position.  I just didn’t feel I was suited for the it.

Until that one week my supervisor was sick and had to leave the office.  That was my time to shine and to step up.  At first, I was terrified when she announced that she had to go home because she wasn’t feeling well.  I hated answering the phone, but now that was my responsibility.  And what can I say; I was actually compatible to do it.  It is really not rocket science to take phone calls and transfer them.  After the first couple times I started to become more comfortable with it and started to lose my fear.

I also got to know my boss a little more during that time since I now had to work directly under here.  We had some good conversations, and she told me how much she appreciated me being there.  That really boosted my confidence, and I became ambitious to fulfill each of my tasks the best I could.  I started thriving and believing in myself.  I actually was capable of handling responsibilities in a gigantic corporation where you are confronted with deadlines and a high-pressure environment.

One day during that week, my boss let me accompany her while she was guiding a television crew around the lot.  This was one of the first times when I saw the perks this job brought with it.  It was fun to not be tied to the desk all day and just walk around and watch the crew film sets and interview talent such as late night host James Corden (love him, by the way).  I happily stayed an hour past my off-time just to be around this environment and observe.  I think I thanked my boss a gazillion times that she let me come with her.

When my supervisor got back, the relationship between us became better, too.  I had a way more positive attitude, and it showed.  From that moment on I knew I didn’t want to terminate the internship and saw it as a great experience and a way to enhance my resume.  Of course there were moments when I hated my job, but that happens in my current position too.  It is something everybody goes through from time to time, as long as the positives outweigh the negatives.

The highlight of my internship actually happened during my last week. It was the week of the LA Screenings, which are happening in May each year.  It is an event where the major networks present their upcoming new summer/fall shows to interested buyers from all over the world.  Working this event was a lot of fun, not only because the interns got to work with A-listers such as Katherine Heigl or Michael Weatherly.  We also got to watch the pilots of the new shows.  On top of that, we had an In-N- Out truck catering the event, which was definitely one of the best things ever.

Yeah, that week I realized how lucky I actually was despite all the difficulties I had in the beginning.  And what can I say, when I had to say goodbye, I started crying.  I knew I would miss the environment and the work.  The only thing that I was looking forward to was to not sit in traffic anymore.  Until I landed my current job, which is located in Culver City.  But that is another story.

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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My Internship with CBS – Part Two

 

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My Internship with CBS – Part Two

I hope everyone had a great, relaxing, fun-filled Labor Day, not worrying about having to be at the office at 9 a.m. and fighting through rush hour.  Speaking of heavy traffic and labor, beginning of this year, I made my first big steps toward a future in the entertainment business.

Even though I had been affiliated with the Newport Beach Film Festival and got a glimpse into the film industry, the doors that were about to open for me in January had a major impact on which route I wanted to approach.  But before that, I had some hurdles to tackle.

The first one was the phone interview I talked about last week.  I was nervous, but I managed to stay calm and professional, and I somehow must have left a good impression because I was invited to an actual in-house interview during that same phone call.

Saying that I was excited about this opportunity is a clear understatement.  I swore myself that this is my chance to lay the building blocks towards a great career, and I didn’t want to jinx anything.  I took the preparation for the upcoming interview to a whole other level.  Don’t get me wrong, I do prepare for every interview properly, but I definitely took it up a notch for this one.

I started studying the backgrounds of the company that same night, thinking about every possible question they could ask me.  I practiced my answers to any potential questions while taking a shower, while watching TV, or while driving.  I also laid out my outfit a day in advance, figuring out that I had to run to the store to get a more appropriate blazer.  I also had to buy a watch to cover my wrist tattoo and got my nails done.

In addition to all this, I rented a car for the day of the interview, just to make sure I would definitely make it without having to worry about my personal, older vehicle to break down.  Oh boy, that interview preparation probably cost me more than what I got paid the first week of actually working at the company.

When the big day arrived, I made sure to leave the house two-and-a-half hours in advance just to avoid crazy LA traffic.  Of course, I arrived way too early, but thankfully The Grove was located right next to the interview site, so I spent some time there.  30 minutes before my appointment, I started driving around the studio  a couple times, being amazed with how complex the lot actually was.  All I kept thinking was: I have to go in there in 25 minutes.  Me, the German girl with the funny accent was about to step into the grand halls of fabulous TV making.  Yeah, I was intimidated.

Reminding me to keep it together, I followed the instructions I was given by my future supervisor and parked the car in the lot after I passed the guard at the gate, who took my information.  I confidently stepped out of the car, making my way toward the grand entrance, where another guard greeted me and asked for my information, before I was guided upstairs to actually meet with my future supervisors who were conducting the interview.

On the third floor, I was friendly greeted by one of the women, leading me to the office of the Vice President of Communications.  I instantly felt welcomed by the two women, and when they started asking me questions, I was most of the time able to hide my nervousness.  After the interview was done, I was being told that I would be notified during the next couple of weeks. I felt beyond relieved stepping out of the building.  I took a deep breath before I had to make my way to join in the fun of driving in LA traffic.

Ten minutes into my drive back, my phone started ringing, displaying a number with an LA area code.  I pulled over onto the nearest available parking lot, when I saw that the person who called had left me a voice mail.  Instantly, I dialed my voice mail, and I couldn’t believe what I just heard.  It was the HR lady from CBS, letting me know that I got the job.

I don’t even know how to describe the emotions I felt in that moment, but I was freaking happy, to say the least.  I actually managed to land a paid internship with one of the most successful television networks in the USA.  And they wanted me, the humble German girl with the funny accent.   At that time, I had no idea how this internship was about to challenge me.  But more about that next time…