Category Archives: The Benjamins

Se Habla Ingles

After my big week last Thursday and Friday with the marketing company, I am now back in the real world of the unemployed, anxiously waiting for the central office in Miami to make their decision about my future.

For the past few weeks I’ve been giving private English lessons to the folks here in Cordoba. I put an ad in La Voz, Cordoba’s major newspaper at the end of August, and posted flyers around bus stops and telephone poles. People started calling soon after, coming to the apartment to “interview” me about my qualifications. A few who said they were interested in learning never showed up, and a few quit after the first class because they were too embarrassed to speak in front of me. So far I am getting by with two students, and one who seems to cancel and who has yet to make the first class.

Most people who’ve contacted me already speak English, but need someone to maintain their level of fluency. I have one student who is originally from Salta who doesn’t speak a word of English, so right now we are barely learning the months in the calendar and how to write a sentence. We’ve met three times and progress is slow, and it isn’t to his benefit that he arrive 15 minutes late. I have another student who comes for the conversation, and so I’ve learnt almost everything about Bolivia.

It’s not a challenge although I have no formal qualifications to teach anything, though I would like a more stable job.

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This Week’s Trial Run

Today I completed my two days of work for the marketing company. Actually, it was more of a series of tests where I had to translate and proofread documents. I went in Thursday at 10:30 AM, the creative director who interviewed me the first time gave me a tour of the office and introduced me to everyone. Not wanting to look all cha-cha’d out, but not going for the early 90’s Nirvana effect either, I wore my black Zara slacks, polka dotted blouse with puffy sleeves from Forever 21, and my silver flats. When I arrived everyone was wearing jeans and dirty tennis shoes, although the ladies seemed to put a little more effort, of course. Everyone greeted me with smiles and hugs rather than shake hands, and offered me some mate. Amy Winehouse and some Brazilian dude who sings David Bowie covers in Portuguese blasted on the stereo. My first assignment was to translate a series of party ideas for a company that sells kitchen appliances. Meanwhile, there were people from the Buenos Aires and central office in Miami visiting to see how things were running, so of course I did my best to smile and converse with who I hope will soon be my coworkers. My second task was to proofread a website for Latin flavored Christmas recipes, and the third was to edit a powerpoint presentation. I was only to be given three tests, but I finished quickly and I was given an additional test, so today I finished the assignments early. After I completed the assignments, the creative director and I had a discussion about how things went the past couple of days, and he told me that he was impressed with how fast I work, but the central office in Miami has the final decision. He told me if it was his choice, he would hire me, but told me I won’t know for sure until a week from now since this week the office is going to be busy with meetings and finishing up projects. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The Argentine flag waving over Downtown Córdoba

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I Think I Got This

So last night while I was skyping with one of my friends from back home, the secretary from the marketing company called me and said the interview and writing tests went well, and that the managers would like to test me out for a couple of days this week. I am hella juiced. Even though this will be only a practice run, I’m still gettin’ paid. I am hoping I will be hired for sure. After observing the environment and meeting some of the employees it is definitely a place I would like to work: Young people working on marketing campaigns, and advertising. I could be the female version of Don Draper. Pretty Soon I’m going to be lighting fancy cigars with 100 dollar bills, and I don’t even smoke. HA! It’s been almost two years that I’ve been unemployed. Back in Los Angeles the only interviews I was getting were for unpaid internships and cafes, and still those amounted to nothing. I searched up and down Craigslist, and a plethora of other job search engines. I even did the old fashioned walking up to businesses and handing in my resume, which I’ve heard from some job recruiters that this bothers some of the folks doing the hiring, because they post available positions online for a reason. I would appreciate further input on this.

I am unsure what to wear, because this office is very informal.

Plaza San Martin

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