When I was in my 30’s I applied for a teller job at a bank in the Philippines. I was required a large amount of deposit to qualify. I could have asked my parents for the money required however, my pride did not allow me.
Fast forward, I was 55 years old when I arrived in America with nothing but a resume. I was surprised that I got hired without any difficulty. My first job was Admin Assistant in Louisville, Kentucky. My boss, Judy was a 59 years old American who owned and managed the small realty company. The minimum wage was $8 hourly but she offered me $12, I didn’t even ask for. It felt so good to have gotten above minimum wage ‘fresh of the boat’. With that salary, I bought a car in installments. It took me an hour and 10 minutes to drive the 60 miles daily from Loretto County where I lived to Louisville, Kentucky. I enjoyed every minute driving along Bardstown Rd. I felt comfortable in the all American, all women office.
In 2007, the US was at the threshold of the mortgage crisis. The first to get hit were the realty companies. We were managing condominium home owners’ associations. When foreclosures hit our clients’ members everything went south. Our company closed. I was devastated.
I started the job search the very next day. The one thing that gave me confidence was the fact that this time I have an update in my resume that says I have been hired in the US.
I found a wanted ad in the newspaper, Executive Assistant in a bank. It said to apply on line. This I felt I could brave. I won’t have a real person in front of me. It would not be too humiliating if I got rejected. I did the on line application. It led to an on line test which I must have passed because I got a call from the bank’s Human Resources. I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t know that call was already the interview. The next call told me to come in for an interview with the Executive I would be assisting. I gave my best answers. HR called two of the bosses in my resume, one of them in Manila. I still could not believe I would get a bank job in the US when I couldn’t get one in Manila so I accepted a lower paying, smaller company offer. After I’ve been working two days, I got a call from the bank’s HR that I got the Executive Assistant job. I didn’t know what to do till someone told me I can quit the 2-day job since jobs here in the US are ‘at will’, which means they can fire me any minute and I can quit any time too, no advance notice required.
Hence the journey of the next four years began, on the seventh floor of a corporate center in 4th St., Louisville, Kentucky.