In the summer of 2008, I had promoted from 8th grade and was about to make a transition to high school. At the age of fifteen, my only concern was trying to figure out how I was going to do at a new school, however, my mother had other plans for me. She decided that it was time for me to get a job. My mother was considered more as a single mom at the time. Even though our stepdad was existent, he didn’t really do much to help out with having us grow unless it was for personal gain.
My mother also functioned in a similar way. She didn’t want me to work solely for the work experience but rather for her to get some financial help out of me as well. At the time, I was a very quiet girl who kept to herself. I stuck to reading romantic novels and listening to my music while I was swinging in our neighborhood park rather than conversing with others. Don’t get me wrong, I did have friends but I preferred to be more to myself; an introvert.
So as the topic arose, naturally I presumed that based on my personality, my mother would consider having me apply to places where I could do what is necessary and not have to socialize with the customers such as retail stores or fast food restaurants; Places where people were too consumed into buying product rather than taking the time to acknowledge that you were just as human as they are. Of course, your parents always do what is more convenient for them, if not yours, mine definitely didn’t think on my behalf.Order now
Coincidently, the next day after my 8th grade promotion, California’s Great America was holding a job fair. When my mother wanted me to get a job at an amusement park, I was astounded, outraged, and extremely resilient to attending the job fair. I did not want to go at all. My exact response was, “ARE YOU CRAZY! I DON’T WANT TO WORK AT GREAT AMERICA. WHY CAN’T I JUST WORK AT THE MALL? and she said, “What’s the big deal? It’s only a job fair. Besides, you’re not going to be doing much. You could just apply for the rides associate position and press buttons all day. When I took a glimpse through her looking glass of the whole situation, I admitted that I may have over exaggerated and agreed to go.
As we drove to the job fair, I was praying not to get the job. We arrived to the Great America and the first thing I noticed was that it was packed. Floods of people were there as if they giving away free trips to Disney Land. You could tell that people had the look of greed in their eyes, ready to get out there, get their hands dirty and bring home the cash. I, however, was not one of those.
I was one of the few teenagers there who were filling out the application and taking a glance back at their mother with the facial expression that said, “Please, please don’t make me do this, every few minutes and being scolded to hurry up so they can go on with their lives. It took us two hours for someone to come and assist us with the filled out application. I was ready to just go through with the interview and get the whole situation dealt and over with when suddenly, they tell my mother that I can’t go for the rides position.
The gentleman had politely told my mother, “Because she is a minor and is not over the age of 16, she is not allowed to work for rides. You have 30 seconds to decide whether she wants to work for the foods department or games. At that moment, I went in panic mode. I didn’t do well in situations where I was 1) timed and 2) pressured into doing when I didn’t want to do it to begin with. My mother was attempting to encourage me to work for foods so that I could learn how to cook.
As known by most people, when you tell a teenage to go a certain way or to not do a certain thing, they have the tendency to do the opposite regardless if it is good or bad for you. I, personally am really sensitive to smells and thought of how, at the end of the day, I was going to smell either like fried chicken or funnel cakes didn’t appeal to me, so ¦. Naturally, I chose games. I knew that I really didn’t give the decision much thought because then the after effect came over me as if I just cut off the wrong wire to diffuse a bomb.
The whole time I was blaming my mother for making all these decisions to have me get a job and I end up taking the job that had to do the most with talking to customers and socializing. You know how I said I was in panic mode earlier? At this point, I was really freaking out. I just wanted to run out of there and never go back but it was too late. As soon as I told the gentlemen from HR that I wanted the games associate position, he placed me outside on a table to wait for a manager to interview me.
As I was waiting, patiently for the manager to arrive, my palms were clamming up, my breath was irregular as if I was catching my breath from being under water for a long time, and tapping my feet excessively as if my feet were attempting to escape from my body and get me out of this whole mess I got myself into. Without further ado to my panic attack, the games department manager Charlie had finally arrived. Charlie was this Pilipino gentleman who was about 5’2.
He was wearing a collared, maroon, short-sleeved shirt with two thick vertical white lines, one each side of his torso that went from his shoulder to the bottom of his shirt and navy blue shorts that were jean-like material and went up to his knees. He was a really strong looking man with his broad shoulders and his muscular calves. But, he also had a really round stomach that look like he ate a huge bowling ball, the size of a boulder. With that being said, he had on some square glasses that made him look like he was a smart man and had a smile that made you feel comforting and welcome as he approached to greet you.
Once Charlie was done making his introductions and telling me what my job description were going to consist of, he started asking me personal questions that I never anticipated people would ask you during a job interview such as: what kind of hobbies do you have? Or how well do you do when it comes to talking in front of people; Public speaking. It was one of the few things that I never really took the time to explore only because I wasn’t a very talkative person from the start.
I told Charlie, “Well, I have a few friends here and there but I’m not the type of person who likes to draw attention to myself. He then asked me, “Would you announce on a microphone or talk in front of people if you had to? Here’s what I’ll do, I’m going to tell you to advertise for a game called Lucky Cup in front of this crowd (The people who were outside waiting in line at the job fair). Think of a way of how you could attract people to come to your kiosk.
I completely laughed in his face and said; “Wait ¦ are you serious? he just nodded and then explained to me what the game was all about. Lucky Cup was a game where people had to buy a certain amount of plastic balls and throw them at cups. There were clear cups, purple cups, and red cups. If you got the ball in the clear cup, you didn’t win anything. The purple cups got you a small toy, and the red cups got you a giant toy. In 2008, people were still hyped about PokÃ©mon and Sonic the Hedgehog. With that in mind, the kiosk was covered with Sonic characters and PokÃ©mon characters that you had a chance to win.
It was $1 for 3 balls, $5 for 6 balls, and $10 for 20 balls. After Charlie had finished explaining the rules and gave me a few examples on how to advertise for the game by mentioning what prizes they could win and stating the price amount, it was time for me to stand in front of an unknown crowd for the first time in my life and advertise for a game that I was told orally about and had never seen. At this point in time, my heart started pounding out of fear that I might make a fool out of myself and negative thoughts started flowing through my head such as: “Are you sure you can do this?
You can barely talk in front of class, let alone a large crowd? What if you mispronounce something? There is no way you are going to make it in the first 10 seconds of speaking ¦ After two minutes of just sitting there looking at Charlie as he was babbling about who “knows-what while I was scavenging through my thoughts for a reason not to do this, he calmed be down a bit and then said, “You can do this, I may not know you, but I believe in you. After those words had sunken into my brain, I got the courage and strength, knowing that Charlie was right behind me watching me, to stand up, face the wave of the crowd and tell the whole world what Lucky Cup was all about. I had chosen to say, “Hey there people, come on down to Lucky Cup and win some of your favorite PokÃ©mon or Sonic characters.
All you have to do is get your ball in a red or purple cup and you can take Pikachu or Sonic home with you, it’s just $1 for 3 balls, $5 for 6 balls, and $10 for 20 so come on down to Lucky Cup! After I was done advertising at the scene, everybody just smiled and looked at me as if it was so random and they had just finished watching a show. My manager clapped and congratulated me saying that I got the job. He then told me that he had never seen anyone advertise with such enthusiasm and with such a bombastic voice. I, myself, had no idea that inside I was such a loud person. But at that point, I had accomplished something. Not only did I get hired on the spot and started working within 5 days, I got over the fear of talking in front of people and not afraid to be noticed.