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job hunt

Thoughts

“Women are treated so bad over there”

I was mentally “there” and ready to come back to blogging. With a clear, positive mind. Time to rock and roll!

The day after I wrote my “Back” post I had an interview that threw me down the swirling toilet of negativity.

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The Story:

I walked into an interview at a very prestigious company. Probably the most reputable company I’ve interviewed with. Ever.

Office was amazing. Walls with full glass windows on a high floor building. Not a speck of dust in sight. Business. Money. Boom.

I filled out a 3 page, formal application and shortly afterwords a cute blonde girl walked in to start the interview. She asked me your typical interview questions and then said her supervisor would be coming in to ask some questions as well.

Her supervisor entered with a strong presence. You know how some people walk in a room and you can feel their intense voice when they aren’t talking? They’re going to speak loud. And if you’re me, you prepare to do the same.

That was this woman. She screamed with her body.

I’m a woman power type of person. I appreciate a woman who comes in guns blazing. Ready to talk business. Get rough. So I was ready.

A long time ago I would have pooped my pants. But these days, I get excited.

Let’s do this.

She sat down and skimmed through my resume. Asking about me, to the other blonde girl. As if I’m not in the room. (Intimidation tactics, love it).

Then she said in a very unemotional, matter of fact way : “You went to Dubai.”

Trying to sound neutral: “Yes, I did. For a year and a half.”

“I’m surprised you picked Dubai considering how women are treated over there.”

This is where things went south. Toilet –> flush.

She went on and on and on telling me how women are treated in Dubai. They have to cover themselves <– was her main point of concern. I felt like what she said translated to:  “How stupid can you be, you dumb girl, to go to a country that treats women so terribly?! You must have not done your research”

PS. No, she’s never been to Dubai or to any country in the Middle East. (But she must have done her research?!)

My response after about 15 minutes of this was:

“(Pause). Some women do chose to wear an abaya, so in that way it’s not bad”

This threw her overboard. Wrong answer Katie. Wrong gosh darn answer.

She followed by saying that turning a blind eye to these poor women puts me in the same category as abusers (I guess). She proceeded to make some relation to slavery, uneducated people, and a whole bunch of other gibberish facts that in my opinion have nothing to do with the clothing choice of middle eastern women.

CRAY.    CRAY.

This is where I started questioning life.  While she was rambling I went through a full circle of emotions.

  • Dumb bitch dont know nothin
  • Was going to Dubai a mistake, did it ruin my life?!
  • Don’t say anything, don’t say anything, don’t say anything
  • There’s a million problems over there, but an abaya aint one.
  • Is this happening? Is she for real?

Well it was.

The problem is, my interview BEFORE this one went the same way. Women in the Middle East was the first topic covered. Why? I don’t know.

What happened in that interview? I blacked out. I was pissed off.

I blacked out while locking eyes with the man and then proceeded to correct his facts and educate him on the realty of my experience.

The rest of that interview was extremely awkward.

So my family and friends decided it was best if I don’t say anything when/if that happens again. Which is what I did.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Because not saying anything doesn’t feel like a solution either.

In no way will I ever say I regret going to Dubai. Because I don’t. After hearing this woman speak I’m actually really grateful that I went. That I will never sound like her.

I left feeling bad that there’s still Americans out there that are so judgmental.

I left wanting to take her to coffee, in a non interview setting, and discuss really loud and passionately all the good and bad of the Middle East. Maybe even wrestle or punch each other – if necessary.

Because let’s be honest. The Middle East isn’t my favorite place. I have enough negative things to say that I don’t need to make assumptions about problems that I didn’t see.  But I sure as hell hate when people disrespect ANYTHING in an uneducated, inaccurate way.

You want to talk bad about the region, I’m ready. But let’s do it in the right setting, where we can get loud, and be honest.

You want to talk great about the region, I’m ready. I would love to hear the stories and remember those parts too.

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And my final note…

Why do American’s care SO much about women in the Middle East wearing an Abaya?

Think about it like this—>

Women in Dubai: They wear a black Abaya (maxi dress), with long sleeves, every day as their formal wear. To work or in public, or to a funeral or maybe a business meeting. It’s their formal dress.

Men in America: They wear a suit and tie to work every day. Long sleeves, sometimes with a jacket, in 100 degree weather, often including a tie around their neck that nearly chokes them at any given moment. It’s their formal dress.

Do all women in Dubai apply to the above statement? No. Do all men in America apply to the above statement? No.

But neither is weird.  Both are formal. Both are professional. If we make fun of men in suits and say they’re treated so terribly because of that God forsaken tie that nearly chokes them to their death, will we sound weird?

I know that’s a dramatic comparison.  I’m trying to somehow show that focusing on the clothing choice of women in Dubai is not that big of a deal. There’s so much more to talk about. Promise 🙂

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Personal Updates

Back.

I know. I’ve been M.I.A.

I’m not even going to say it’s because I’ve been so busy and I just can’t think of a time to stop and write OR My life is so boring and there’s nothing to write about OR I forget and time goes so fast and now it’s already almost October!

No.

I have been intentionally not writing.

Kind of ever since being back from Dubai (which is now already almost 6 months) I haven’t really felt super comfortable writing. I don’t know what direction to take.

I can’t keep talking about Dubai, even though I think about it every day.

I can’t talk about my new career, because I don’t have one.

I can’t talk about what I’m going to do tomorrow because I don’t know.

I can’t keep talking about not knowing what I’m doing, because that’s repetitive + worthless.

I also don’t want to act like I have a plan when I have no clue what’s going on. So I decided I was going to stop blogging until I found my next job. (I pretty much said I’m going to stop doing everything and anything until I find my next job). Pressure’s on.

Without a job, I feel without direction. Without stories. Without a plan.

I’m still on that bandwagon, but feel like it’s coming to an end… soon. (Thank God) So I need to get back out there with my blogging because I enjoy telling stories + updates + discoveries and adventures.

My personal purpose was to document my life in order to remember my thoughts and tone through the different years of my splendid existence. But this is the phase I’m hoping to kinda rush through in the story, like hurry up, not important, boring, byeeeee. The quick chapter you skim through.

{Wah, I know, depressing.}

So boom, back at it I am. Hopefully coming to an end on the skimming through chapter and on to the one where the story picks back up.

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Personal Updates, Places: United States

First Impression: Los Angeles

I feel like every time I sit down to a computer I should be applying for jobs. So writing has taken a backseat  – which is unfortunate. But I’m in need of a break, and blogging is a nice way for me to catch people up and help me organize my thoughts a little.

How is Los Angeles?

In 5 words: Dry, Busy, Posh, Interesting, Beach

The same thing is happening to me in Los Angeles that happened to me in Dubai… I’m not viewing the city like a tourist on vacation, therefore I feel like I don’t have interesting travel advice or a way for you to live a vacation through my eyes, because I feel like that’s not what I’m doing. I wish.

{FYI: Let’s just be honest, Let’s just be real..  I’ve been listening to a lot of Gangster Rap and Jazz. (Gangster Rap in the car / Jazz in the house.  I’m too lazy to find another channel)  I’m hoping my personality is reflecting the combo of the two.}

Before coming to Los Angeles quite a few people informed me that Los Angeles was full of stuck up people who are too materialistic. Ummm, maybe it’s because I just moved from Dubai but my experience so far couldn’t be more opposite. Sure, there’s random assholes walking around the streets, but aren’t they everywhere?  Majority of these L.A. peeps seem KIND.  I actually love the people. A lot of them look like they’re really trying to go after their dreams! Appearing positive and ambitious. What more would you want from a community!? I’ll take it!

Another first impression, people drive really badass cars. I don’t know if they’re actually legit badass cars or just look badass –  I can’t say I know the difference. But I’m fairly confident they’re worth a pretty penny. Here’s why I address this, (don’t worry, not just to blab about what other people have and gawk over their materialistic treasures..) for the first time I kind of feel like I can have that. Slash, maybe even want that?

Allow me to explain further.. In Dubai, everyone had nice cars. And nice whatever else you can think of. Lions? Who cares. But they had a lot of nice things. I was never envious of them. I never cared or wanted a nice car or to be like any of these people I guess.  Although they owned everything you could ever imagine to purchase, they didn’t have a life I wanted to live. In order to avoid offending anyone, I think if you read a couple of my previous posts, you can draw conclusions as to why I wouldn’t want that lifestyle.

In Los Angeles, or of course a lot of America, I see these nice cars and I’m excited. Motivated to try and build a career + life that can equal a nice car.  I feel like I can. I feel like American’s, even the nice ones with solid hearts, can earn their way to a nice car. Or a comfortable home for 4. And I hate even saying nice car (if I tinted the windows of our Honda Civic I would call that luxury) what I mean is a nice and comfortable life. Whatever image that is for people. A tinted Honda Civic or a house with a pool in the backyard or a beach home. They can have it in America. People do have it in America. And they can be happy in their soul. I see nice cars and that makes me feel ambitious and motivated. This is a feeling I did not have in Dubai.

Another first impression – the freaking roads are hideous! People drive these posh cars on the pot hole striken roads?! Ludicrous!

But the best first impressions of Los Angeles all come from my adventures outdoors! My heart is warm knowing these options exist.

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One of the first days we decided to hike towards the Hollywood sign so we could get a good picture. Our initial thought was not to hike but to drive up to the sign.. Well, that’s off limits. Duh. So we hiked. In order to get a picture from the same spot in these photos (which we hear is the best place) you have to get a pretty decent hike in. Up a Mountain. But you can bring dogs and there were awesome places to stop and get great views of the city. I loved this adventure.

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Of course as soon as we could figure out where a dog beach was, we had to hit it up! My always and forever favorite place to be in life. We found a dog beach in Malibu and hit the road with Bernice. Best place ever! Coming from the hot, over crowded, sauna beaches in Dubai – this beach was a 10! We spent the whole day there and Bernice even got to run, play, + act cool. This was by far, my favorite day. We even saw dolphins swimming in the distance. I mean my God, is this real life?  Besides the moments I thought I saw a tsunami coming in, this California adventure alone steals my heart.

One thing I’m not going to do, is put so much pressure on myself to love Los Angeles. Get a job so I can stay in Los Angeles. Although right now it’s fun and I’m loving it, I refuse to let myself get as stressed out as I once was in Dubai. Looking back, all that pressure was 100% not worth it. I got shingles for God’s sake. And that was just the outcome others noticed. My whole body and mind was nearly unrecognizable at one point for me, and that’s a place I don’t want to go back to.  Naaaastay!

SO whatever my future holds, where ever it is, no matter the process… I’m throwing as much stress and pressure up to the sky and away from me as possible. That’s why I don’t have a plan. If I make one, eeeeeee. No bueno.

My doggie at my feet, Wafiq by my side, and job applications in front of me –> is the best thing I can do for now 🙂

 

 

 

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Personal Updates

It’s about time. Work.

I FINALLY accepted a job here in Dubai.  In my opinion, not working the past couple of months was not by lack of effort, an excessive amount of money, or no desire..  I couldn’t find a job I felt right about.

I wanted something that I enjoyed going to, at least a majority of the time.  Dubai is an expensive place to live day to day so of course I wanted something to keep me financially stable.  And I wanted a company with a good reputation, that was organized and had an human resource department.  Having worked in small companies with no HR department before, lets just say finding a company with one was on the top of my list.

I never closed myself off to just real estate jobs either. As long as it fit everything else, I was open to different career paths. Follow the plan of God and go with the flow! Anyways, I went on about 9 million interviews. Felt hopeful, felt unhopeful. At one point, I had 5 interviews scheduled the same day…  I felt like a robot. Same questions over and over and over. Same answers over and over.

Until, I finally decided to accept my offer from a company called Better Homes.  Of all the real estate companies I interviewed with, this one appeared to take the cake. Set up and organized well. My fingers are crossed!

In order to do real estate in the UAE you need a license (RERA).  I took the courses last week, and I had my test a couple days ago. Let me tell you something, I failed my real estate exam in the United States the first time. Really bad. It was the most frustrating feeling too. So when I had to take the exam here, I studied SO hard. I had ridiculous amounts of anxiety before the test. I thought I may pass out or possibly vomit on myself while entering the classroom. I even imagined what that would look like and how I would then proceed to clean myself.

So here’s how it went.  I scored a 94%. One would think: WOW that’s great, good job. And that is true, WOW great, good job Katie…. You freak! No one here studies for the test, no one takes the test that seriously, and no one scores that high.  When I told people my score they looked at me with a face that said “…Why?”  Needless to say, it’s fantastic I passed. I hate tests, glad it’s over. But I made need to invest in some chill pills in the near future.

The Classroom.. Understand, I was trying to sneak this photo

The Classroom.. Understand, I was trying to sneak this photo

Currently, I’m starting my training at Better Homes and then I’m out on the field trying to be gangster and hustle some money. I’ll let you know how the hustle is going as soon as I figure it out myself…

For those of you that aren’t aware, my best buddy Juliana is coming to visit in a couple days which couldn’t make me happier. Really. Nothing could make me happier right now than seeing a familiar best friend.  I have lots of adventures planned for her so I’ll be sure to post pictures and fill you in on the stories.. that I’m allowed to share 😉

Toodles for now!

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