notes from the road

07/30/09 Thursday

I’m starting to make headway – at least with my getting up times, as I got up much earlier this morning 10:35! The morning just got better from then too as I finally met with Pablo the manager of the hostel that I’m staying in and he said that he should have a work exchange offer for me by the end of the day or tomorrow. So I had sort of achieved my goal for the day before I even walked out the door, but I decided to pursue some leads that I had from the day before just to be thorough. I went to Jazz in the city which is one of several ‘Jazz’ Hostels in New York and met with the manager Nir who spoke with a European accent and was very nice and friendly. He actually seemed very interested in taking me on as the French woman at the desk was about to leave to go back home. So from starting out with no options I ended up with two. So it is decision time. The Jazz hostels seem to be a bigger operation than the Spot hostels (where I”m staying now) and I noticed that they were advertising a tour which according to Nir is run by an outside organization, but comes with good recommendations. Which suggests to me that it must be a bit of a process to get advertising for a tour done inside the hostel. Also a bit of a downer is that this hostel doesn’t have a community kitchen, but only a microwave, hot plate and kettle in the room of the workers. The Spot Hostel job that I was offered was for their other location, so I went to check that out too. It seems quite nice, but as I later found out, is for doing their laundry. If that was my only offer, then I would jump at it, but talking to people and using a computer sounds a bit nicer than washing linen and making beds. However, I don’t want to burn any bridges by refusing the offer from Pablo as it will be very beneficial to have strong connections with the hostel managers later on. I’m going to have a chat with Nir tomorrow morning (hopefully even before 10:00!) to secure my position there.

To complete an online application I found my self at another library today and who should I see grinning back at me from the shelf as I waited for the computer, but my friend Magic Johnson again. So I picked up the book and continued on from where I left off last time. Now I got a bit annoyed this time upon reading it as Magic recommended anyone interested in starting a business to get a degree from Business school or the like. ‘Bummer’ I thought, “I’ve missed that boat”. Magic said that he got by without one because he was fortunate enough to have access to all the brightest brains in business during his much lauded basketball career, and was able to use them as mentors. Initially I felt even more bummed out as that was just one more thing that I didn’t have but a few hours later, once I had let it sink in a bit I changed tack. That was just one more thing that I could attain. I jumped on the net at a different library (what a great tool the local library is) and found a government organization that is dedicated to setting up entrepreneurs with business mentors. So once I’ve got stage one of my plan complete I will get in contact with them and find someone who I can run my idea by and get some suggestions from.

One prickle in the palm of my plan is that Nir didn’t want to hire anyone who currently had a job as it was too hard to organize a schedule around it. So it would actually be best if I held off getting a job until after I’ve started working there and we have planned out the roster which is just three shifts a week. However one thing that I will already have to make allowances for is that from the 22nd to the 25th of September I will be busy as I got accepted to be a volunteer at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. This is where Bill Clinton and many international leaders gather to discuss issues affecting the world, and make agreements to make a change for good. I have said that I’d like to be a part of the communication, marketing, or questioning of the leaders for press purposes. I think it’ll be a great opportunity to try out something new, a nice change of things, and it could well look good on my resume.

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