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I received the e-mail that I have dreaded for the past two months. I just had my first full-time job offer abroad temporarily rescinded because the legal paperwork I’ve been desperately trying to expedite took too long to process. After shaking off the initial wave of disappointment, I distracted myself by driving an hour down the freeway to rock climb with some friends. I borrowed strength from my pent-up frustration to top over the wall on a new route, but the ecstatic feeling of accomplishment didn’t take my mind off my future job prospects, nor did it change how upset I still felt. I slouched against the wall while sitting 3 stories off the ground wondering how I could be so high up and still feel so low.

I’ve learned to keep my expectations low, just because there are no guarantees in life. I dedicated my entire summer to learning a foreign language and made so much progress that I scored a full-time job offer in the heart of Taipei City with a starting salary higher than the average college graduate in Taiwan. I came back to the US to have my legal documentation processed, but as luck would have it, the new cadet who took my fingerprints me at the police station smeared it. A US government agency took over six weeks to mail me a letter asking for a re-submission instead of utilizing modern day technology, such as the *telephone* or even electronic mail, to tell me their machine couldn’t process my fingerprints. I guess even the “best” country in the world has its inefficiencies.

I also needed my college diploma to start working because most employers in Asia take university credentials very seriously and having just a transcript wouldn’t suffice. The advisor I e-mailed about having my university credits transferred simply forwarded my e-mail to the other campus handling my case, and was never heard from again. I directly e-mailed and called the other campus multiple times, but nobody ever picked up the phone or responded. I decided to contact my college counselor, and asked her to check up on my situation noting that I was about to lose my job if I couldn’t get my diploma in time. It turns out that despite all my correspondences with the university throughout the summer explaining I needed my diploma expedited, nobody even looked at my case until they knew I was about to lose my job. I’m not sure if people are just swamped with work and understaffed in the midst of a bad economy, or if people don’t take their jobs seriously.

What was originally a disheartening situation actually made me realize the importance of everything we do, especially when our actions have a direct impact on someone else’s life. I still don’t understand how some people who don’t have common sense still keep their job and continuously screw over other people, but now I know that if I’m ever in a position that impacts someone else, I’ll hold myself to a higher standard. While I’m still disappointed that things didn’t work out the way I had originally planned, I’m also glad that I have all this time to spend with my loved ones at home during the holidays. I still have a good head on my shoulders, a roof over that head, and the best people in my life.

November 2012

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