I WAS NOW OFFICIALLY POOR, UNDEREMPLOYED, AND HAPPY AS A PIG IN S&*%.
I truly felt like I was in way over my head the moment I entered Forum, Santa Ana for my first job interview in Costa Rica. Having traveled a bit and taken a month to at least begin to wrap my head around my new surroundings, I nervously prepared for an interview with a multinational language company called inlingua.
Sporting my new tie and pants recently purchased at Hipermas (Walmart) and an exponentially dwindling sense of direction, I stumbled out of my house at 6am. Though I had extensive business and teaching experience, I definitely would have slotted myself in the rookie column when it came to corporate English classes in such a setting.
Almost as if I was shell-shocked from the tin roofs, dirt roads, and barbed-wire fences I’d become accustomed to, the Forum was a stark contrast in not only construction and aesthetic appeal, but the sense security and serenity. Walking past the fountain along SIDEWALKS (not common here) I ogled the company names on brass placards, HP, Oracle, Earnst & Young, Chiquita Brands, on and on. There betwixt a sea of fortune 500 companies was inlingua, Costa Rica. I was truly intimidated, overwhelmed, and certain I’d be laughed out of the interview. Quite the opposite occurred as I underwent a 30min grilling from the President and Academic Manager. With poise and preparation I presented myself as a serious contender not only for a position, but a long-term employee of a growing organization. With that, I was hired! For a mere 10hrs/wk of guaranteed work at a rate of $7/hr I was now officially poor, underemployed, and happy as a pig in s&*%. My first class would be the following Monday and it was one that set the tone for the next 5 years of my life.