I will again emphasize my epic fail of keeping this thing updated in a reasonable fashion. I apologize for all of you who creepily stalk me via my blog and have been COMPLETELY unsuccessful at such endeavors. Wow. I just tried to spell endeavors with a ‘u.’ Damn you Kiwis! I miss you guys, though! SO! Where in the world am I now?!?! It has been quite some time. At the moment, (surprise, surprise) I am on a plane on my way to New York! Yes. I am going home for Labor Day weekend! I love my job!
JOB??!?!?! You question? Yes. I am currently employed as an intern for Continental, excuse me, United. And yes, I have another internship! I told you all a while ago (obviously it was a while ago since I haven’t updated in at least a good two months) that I was never going to graduate and I was strongly determined to remain in school and do study abroads and internships for the rest of my life. It’s a good theory, methinks. It’s working out fantastically. Forget this graduating in four and a half years with a bachelors and masters. I’m taking the full five years it’s supposed to take if not longer because I am getting work (not to mention real life) experience! I love college!
So let’s rewind a bit. The last you people had heard from me was when I was in New Zealand and heading to Hawaii. The reason I did not update anything sooner? It was a legitimate excuse at the time. I had typed this LONG (and those of you who have seen some of my posts can only imagine how long a week of a Hawaiian cruise could have been for me describing it) post on the flight back home, but I couldn’t remember some of the details regarding the final nights and I wanted to complete it. Instead of yelling to my mom to ask for said details while on a plane in the middle of the night and a few aisles over, I decided to get some shut eye. Following that, I got REALLY busy. We returned from Hawaii – and FYI for those of you that care, I will be posting that post – which I still haven’t touched since that wonderful flight from Hawaii 😀 – when it is completed at some obscure later date in the future(aka, don’t hold your breath!) – anyway, returned from Hawaii and I attempted to get some REAL sleep before driving down to Florida for classes. Yes, I drove all the way to Florida after some psychotic jetlag and barely sleeping from New York embarking on this journey around 2PM.
I convinced my parents to let me take the Ice puppy, so I had some company on the seventeen hour drive that included a wonderful nap in South Carolina around 6AM. Good times. The dog stood guard! J I love that little guy. I got to Daytona in the afternoon and spent the remainder of the day unpacking. The next day I was still severely jetlagged and woke up at 4:30AM. Sickening. I decided a little later to actually get out of bed and head to school/work. I had told my boss AGES prior to then that I would be there on the 5th of July, but I hadn’t really talked to her since then. I wasn’t even sure if I had a job! When I did get there, though, there was this lady/secretary sitting at the desk I usually sit at demanding to know what I wanted! I didn’t really know who she worked for or what to say since I didn’t know if I even really worked there, but I started with something like I used to work here and I… Before I could say anymore, she demanded to know if I was Lauren. Well who else would I be?! In confirming this, however, there was a small squeak and she popped up from behind the desk to give me a hug. This complete stranger was giving me a hug! She then drags me down the hall by my arm/hand yelling my bosses name and to guess who was there! Needless to say, I felt loved. Turns out in the midst of my worldly travels, they finally decided that the office needed a secretary. FINALLY! And let me say, we found someone who definitely makes the office a much better place (and if you have decided to become one of my faithful blog stalkers, don’t let this get too far in your head… Just kidding! You deserve to let it get to your head – you be awesome)!
Anyway, I did have a job when I got back, but with all new people essentially. It was strange at first, but alas, all things need change here and there. In the midst of working, I took two classes for the second summer semester. My best semester yet (yeah, with the 4.0!) and with two classes I actually both truly enjoyed – Aero II and Thunderstorms for you die-hard stalkers – I feel the last month and a half (and really only part) of my summer was well spent. Much happened during the time I got back to the States aside from that, though.
First off, and I guess here is where we get to the good stuff because I know half of you are probably still hanging on the “Wait, what is this job thing you’re talking about again and why are you on a plane right now?!?!?” so I will finally elaborate. One day on the cruise in Hawaii, I receive a voicemail from a contact at Continental/United (OK, they are “working together,” but they are legally separate until next year when the FAA approves the merger so even though my employee badge says United, it’s still Continental and will thus forth be referred to as “CAL” or some obvious variant of that) asking me if I’m still interested in the position I applied for ages ago and if I could schedule a phone interview. Awesomeness. Of course I’m interested. WHO WOULDN’T BE INTERESTED!?!?! But I can’t tell people because, well, there’s always that possibility that I won’t actually get a position from them. So I schedule this phone interview and apparently that went well because then I am asked to go to Houston for an interview with the manager/director of the department I could possibly be working for.
So I fly out for this interview and since we all know what happens, there’s no point in trying to keep suspense up since I am obviously an employee now. I was under the impression that I wouldn’t have really minded either way if I got the job or not, but when it was legitimately offered to me, I couldn’t help but want to tell the world about it. Hehehe. Of course, I couldn’t make anything facebook (or blog if I ever bothered to update this thing) official until I told important people like my then current boss who was already “mad” at me for taking the internship last fall, but of course she understood.
With me, however, nothing is ever simple. After some of the paperwork was done, I had to fill out some information for a background check and then go for drug tests and fingerprinting. First of all, do you know how hard it was for me to fill out an address summary for that background check!??! I had to go back ten years leaving no gaps! I’ve lived in WAY too many places in the last three years! Way too complicated. I had seven different addresses in THREE countries for three years! Insanity. Then for my drug test and fingerprinting, I had to either go to Newark or Houston. Awesome, right? I decided to go to EWR and inquire about flying in on Friday and leaving Sunday. No problem they say. So I get to go home for a three day weekend and take care of some business at the same time. So my flight on Friday is at this ungodly hour of 7:30AM or something. Leaving Daytona at 5ish was sooo painful, but whatever. Get to the airport, all is good and then… CANCELLED! My flight is completely cancelled! GRRR!! And it’s 6:15 in the morning so of course everyone and anyone in Houston isn’t going to be able to help me because it’s 5:15 there and I should hope no one is THAT obsessed with making sure future employees have smooth rides. I talk to one of the people at the desk, however, and of course they put me on standby for the next possible flight at 10. In the meantime, I make some phone calls and wait for someone to get to the office. Well, my contact for travel arrangements is amazing and managed to get back to me just past 8:30 my time. We rearranged things so that I would stay in NY until Monday and take care of the tests Monday morning since the fingerprinting place closed at 2 and even if I made the 10 o’clock flight, I wouldn’t have gotten there in time. FYI, I FINALLY managed to leave MCO on the 3:20 flight that afternoon (or something to that variation) many, MANY flights later flying standby…
The weekend in NY was nice, though. I met with some friends from high school as always and then caught a show with my parents in the evening. I highly recommend Catch Me if You Can, but beware the music is catchy (although there was some disappointment that they didn’t use the same theme in the movie)! Saw some family as well and just enjoyed it all. After finals, a lot of other fun stuff went down, such as MORE WORKING, driving to Naples (the one in Florida…), changing my relationship status, visiting people who live in a place more depressing than Daytona, and debating whether or not I should bring my vehicle to Texas with me or driving it back to NY, and saying goodbye to awesome peoples in Florida yet again (and still not being able to get in everyone L). In no particular order, of course. Well, I ended up driving my car up to NY with the boyfriend and the puppy who became a fugitive in the state of Florida – more on that in another post. I love roadtrips. J From there, we met up with my high school peoples, meandered about the city acting like tourists when we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge – OK, that was just me and the bf, but yeah – enjoying good old New York.
But again, my luck cannot last that long and I managed to get stuck in the airport closings and not make my flight down to Houston for day one of internship because, well, Hurricane Irene had better plans for me. I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, and this was no exception. I was originally supposed to leave Sunday, but Mom persuaded me to move it to Saturday because of impending doom for NYC and surrounding areas. So I changed my flight, but of course they then closed the airports. It wasn’t too upsetting because, well, yeah, I was at home, we had a family reunion/memorial on Saturday that I ended up getting to go to, and I got to spend more time at home! Did I mention the home bit at all? The best part of home? I got legit Italian craving Brooklyn pizza, bagels, and other amazing food!
Since all major airports within 100 miles of NYC were closed for two and a half days, I was essentially screwed in getting out and was told I would have a flight for Wednesday. Well day one was a Monday, but not much I could really do, but enjoy home more. I must say, NY was amazing on Monday and Tuesday after the storm. With the extra time, we got in a trip to Ft. Tilden to check out my Gold Award project (for those of you unaware, it’s the equivalent of the more well-known Eagle Scout, but for Girl Scouts) which sadly has been slightly neglected in being kept nice since we worked out there, but I do have to remind myself that it’s been almost four years now, and a trip to Coney Island including the must ride Cyclone for first-timers! Boyfriend’s reaction on the first drop = PRICELESS! I even got a candy apple out of the experience (thank you again 🙂 )!
I finally did get to Houston on Wednesday, however, and had no problem with anything. I unpacked my repacked suitcase of more Houston temperature appropriate clothes and had some bonding time with the other people living in the house/ fellow interns. Work Thursday was awesome. As it turns out, since it always seems to take ANY company forever and a day to get new people in the system, etc, people couldn’t really do much since they weren’t in the system yet and didn’t have employee numbers so the other interns spent most of the day reading the GMM, which is apparently a very long and technical manual regarding procedures. I was extremely lucky, because we got our ID numbers within two hours of my arrival so I was able to play around with that. Not to mention I was given real work already! So between all of that, the day went by quickly. Later in the evening, we meandered off to go grocery shopping and some other exciting things before calling it a night.
Today was pretty epic as well. My supervisor wasn’t there yesterday, so I sat down with him today to talk some exciting things and then he sent me to work on comparing doors. Yes, doors. I get to look at the structures of doors for Continental and United to see how interchangeable things are for the merger when everything will become one. I now have a new respect for airplane doors. And airplanes for that matter! We had our staff meeting today as well where my boss threw out the memo to everyone in the Structures department to let me tag along on basically anything that seems cool. So anytime one of them goes out to the airport or something, I will hopefully be able to get to go along. Like today. Before I got on the plane, I went to some of the hangars to check out 757s with my boss. HOW FREAKING COOL! Specifically to look at the doors, but I got a little tour of the rest of the aircraft as well. SO AWESOME! I would say going to the VAB at Kennedy Space Center and walking around the orbiter for the space shuttle was cooler, but I actually got to go inside the gutted airplane and touch stuff and all exciting things like that with the planes, so… J LOVING THIS INTERNSHIP SO FAR! After checking it out, we got some food and then I was dropped off at the airport with good luck of getting on a plane for the evening.
I was originally scheduled to fly to Baltimore, but the flight didn’t leave until 5PM and it was 3ish at this point, so I checked out departures and decided to try my luck getting on a flight to LaGuardia at 3:57. A LOT of standby passengers were able to get on, but there were two seats short of me being able to board. The few of us who weren’t able to get on inquired about the next one and she didn’t give us any definites, but said the next one at 5:30 looked hopeful. I was torn. A direct flight to LGA would be awesome, but there were way more people on standby on an overbooked flight to begin with than there were on my flight to Baltimore leaving at 5. Feeling strongly about my luck, I decided to wait it out to hop on this flight and obviously my gut was right. 🙂
I boarded the plane ecstatic and extremely surprised to be seated in an empty row. But then that excitement died after twenty minutes of sitting here. Apparently a plane with multiple people connecting to this flight was delayed, which was why there were so many empty seats. I was terrified they would make me get off the plane so original passengers could get on, since in conversations with some other people who were on standby for the flight before and whatnot had said that had happened to them before. I thought the plane was waiting for them, but it turned out that there were communication issues and maintenance had to come and check everything out. Well they were able to fix it, but in the meantime, they let the other passengers on the flight. I was freaking out, but then relieved to find us pushing back from the gate after another twenty minutes. Always a story with me, right?
Anywho, I suppose this is more than enough for you faithful readers who have gotten this far. I’m going to enjoy home and then possibly update again!