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Thread summary:

Recap of New Jersey to Florida visit, forum members very helpful in planning trip, job interviewing process did not go as planned, flight difficulty and cancelation

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Old 02-18-2007, 07:15 AM
317 posts, read 1,169,028 times
Reputation: 167


Part 1:

Hi buds from "iced in" NJ! OK. I didn't get the job...yet. But first, I just have to share with you some of the thoughts and experiences I had during my trip that kept reminding me of my "team" here on the board...and sometimes I just burst out laughing.

First of all....you know that Verizon commercial...where all the thousands of people are lined up and move wherever the little Verizon man walks to???? That's what I felt like as I walked in the building for my interview...thinking about all of you...it brought an amusing smile to my face!

OK....here we go. (You Floridians will love this). I arrive at 1 in the morning. Of course the flight was late from NJ. I hadn't been able to find a hotel online before leaving....everything was booked? No way, I thought. (Well at least everything was booked that was under $300 a night!!!!....except for the Oceanfront Spas/Resorts/Whatever...that wanted anywhere from $350 - $700 a night! ) I'm thinking, hello?...this isn't Hawaii! I'm just going to Fort Myers! So I figure I will just get there and drive up to the closet hotel I find at the airport. NOT! Everything WAS booked! So I keep driving from hotel to hotel as I made my way down I75. Finally, I stumbled upon a no name hotel and went in. "Sorry, we are totally booked ma'am. But, there is a hotel down the highway that has one room left. It is the only room available in any hotel from Ft. Myers to Naples". You have got to be kidding me! "Is there a convention or something going on", I ask? "No, ma'am, it is just the height of the tourist season". OK, so I pick up all my stuff and make my way to this "roadside motel", "ring" the bell...and wait and wait...until a "kid with headphones" comes out...who I BEGIN to try and communicate with. "Yes, I want a room. No, I don't have a reservation", but yes, they have one room left. I'll take it! Yipee! And that will only be.......$150 plus tax ma'am! I need to know if they have internet access. "No ma'am, we don't". So I make my way to my room, which is accessed from outside, climb the 3 levels of stairs, and there I am, staring at a huge nasty looking truck stop. No problem. Open the door..........ewwwwwwewwwww....the room is nasty! No problem. I gently pull down the bedspread with one finger and put it on the floor. I put a towel over the pillow, put on my sweats, my socks....anything I could find, and sleep on top of the sheet with all my clothes on! Ewwwwww....I didn't want that bedspread to touch my skin. Ewwwww. I use my sweatshirt as a blanket! Next morning I go downstairs where they said would be a "continental breakfast" in the morning. The first thing I see..........................................is a guest......using bodily gestures....to try and communicate to the "help"/hotel workers....that he was looking for butter for his toast! LOL! I hear him saying BUTTER/TOAST, BUTTER/TOAST...as he is pretending to have a piece of toast in his hand and pretending to spread butter on it.!! LMAO as I thought of this board and having to speak Spanish in order to live in FL. I look for the coffee. There is a urn but it is empty and there are no cups. I, too, start "acting out" what I am looking for. "Cougggggghhhhhhfffeeeeeeee", I say, as I pretend to be drinking something. "Cuuuuuuppppppppp", I say, as I pretend to hold something in my hand that I drink from. OMG! I was laughing so hard just thinking about what ya'll had said about this.

Time to go. Thanks to those of you who advised me that wearing shorts and flip-flops to the interview would not be a good idea....just because I was interviewing in S. Florida. So, I put on the ol' black biz suit, PANTYHOSE!!--it's been years!, high heels, etc. I actually look somewhat like my old self! (After hiding under sweats for 2 years). Just like someone said.....high cut blouse, skirt just below the knee, little make-up, etc., ....again, it was like I had that huge Verizon team of people behind me!
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:18 AM
317 posts, read 1,169,028 times
Reputation: 167
Default Part II.

OK. Time to drive to Naples (I am in Bonita Springs). According to GPS it should take 20 minutes....is about 14 miles. Cool! ONE hour later I arrive in Naples!!!!!!!! OMG! The traffic! ....I see what my Florida friends mean! This is wild! I liken it to driven in Manhattan, minus the taxi cabs and minus the people walking all over the place! I mean you go a block. stop. go a block. stop. go a block. stop. ....and the nasty old snowbirds with their big white Cadillac’s!!!!!! What? Did someone give you guys the right of way in FL while you are here! They beep their horns, cut you off, give you "the fist"...stop half way in the intersection...don't go when it is finally time to go...make left turns without signaling...and stop...whenever they "see" something....I guess???! (I think I was on 41). I find my exit....but it is closed! Construction! What the heck? So, I start calling the company to tell them I will be late...bad traffic. Keep getting answering machine....call 411...get a new number....it is a fax machine! Ughhhhh! OK, I arrive 20 minutes late....but there is no one in the lobby. It is all locked up and you have to have an access card to get in. I finally find someone who lets me in and tries to help me find who I am looking for. We find his office. And someone says...."are you looking for xxxx?, "yes", we say. "Oh, he's not in today!"

We find his boss. "Yes, xxx is not in today...he had a family emergency, but he did leave an interview schedule for you that we can follow". (Turns out this is his boss, and someone that I had already interviewed with on the phone). So, we chatted for about a half hour....then she sent me over to the VP of Ops....then he sent me over to the VP of Sales...then he sent me over to the VP of Development. All went great! Now it was 5:00 p.m. and my "interview sponsor" said she had to go to a meeting that she had put off...."can you stay the week-end?....maybe we can call you on your cellphone???....don't know if xxxx will be in on Monday or not.....but gotta go!

Hmmm. Ok.

But I did feel that it went as well as it could go. I felt that I connected with everyone that I interviewed with.

I went back to my motel. I fantasized about staying the week-end, going to visit the Everglades, blah blah blah. I spent the morning just driving all over the area. (will share more about what I thought/LOVED!!! about Naples later)....then, I think to myself....are you kidding me? I've got a 10 year old boy at home, 2 cats. 4 birds, a fish tank and a new house that I moved into (renting) just Wednesday before I left! I can't just stay here and wait and hope that maybe they will call on Monday.
I make my way to the airport for the next available flight home.

On Tuesday, I receive an email from the man I was supposed to interview with who briefly comments that "he heard the interviews went well", asks me if I am still in town and could I come in to meet with him for an hour....let him know my availability. (No apologies, I noted). I quickly go to spirit.air.com and find the first "reasonable" flight back to FL...on Wednesday....tell him I am available anytime Thursday or Friday. He picks Thursday am at 10.

POWER GOES OUT (and ends up staying out for 2 days). No cable. No heat. No TV. No nadda.

I call to tell him that all flights out of NJ have been cancelled and I won't be able to make it for Thursday at 10. He called right back (although I missed the call - and it was left on voicemail) --- turns out --- he had an important meeting come up (the CEO, apparently) on Thursday and was trying to reach me to move our appt to Friday anyhow. Great! But the message was a "bit strange" in that he started with "Thank God for storms in New Jersey". Anyhow, I gather up all my "loved ones, i.e. son and pets", and stay with a friend who still has power. She has intermittent cable and I am able to read the email he sent me. It is very short, and once again, without any apologies. It simply says, "have a meeting with our CEO on Thursday, need to move our interview to Friday...am available anytime on Friday".
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:22 AM
317 posts, read 1,169,028 times
Reputation: 167
Default Part III.

Storm is worse than anyone thought. (I am going to try and send a picture of it ! It was the ice that did us in! Schools closed for 3 days. Power down everywhere. Shelters set up at local schools.) Actually, guys, it was a very unique storm in that the freezing rain literally froze in its tracks as it hit trees, streets, mailboxes, etc. It didn't affect all of NJ this way....and as I would see in the following days....outside of these few small towns....the areas were fine. Amazing.

I call the airlines and try to change my flights. Everything is booked and backed up. There are no flights available from NJ to FL until Saturday. Additionally, I really shouldn't leave a house with no power, etc. So, I call him on Thursday afternoon (leave voicemail, never get him directly), to tell him about my inability to get a flight due to the storm, APOLOGIZE, OF COURSE!!, and ask him to call me at his convenience to reschedule early next week. I also send him an email.......Thursday, no response. I wait and wait. Friday, I call him again and leave another message. Send another email. No response. Saturday....no response. And here is it Sunday....and no response thus far. I wonder if I should book a flight tomorrow morning to FL. I can get a cheap flight for $90. Maybe it is a holiday for them?
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:14 AM
Location: in the southwest
13,395 posts, read 42,766,279 times
Reputation: 13494
Nancy what a bummer!
I can't stand communication difficulties, let alone that disastrous weather.
I hope you hear soon, and that everything gets straightened out.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:24 AM
Location: Lakeland, FL
523 posts, read 2,715,164 times
Reputation: 188
I would forget that job, and that company. You deserve better.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:29 AM
Location: in the southwest
13,395 posts, read 42,766,279 times
Reputation: 13494
Originally Posted by Floridasunshine View Post
I would forget that job, and that company. You deserve better.
Yes, it does all seem a bit dodgy.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:35 AM
Location: Philly to Odessa
436 posts, read 1,288,231 times
Reputation: 177
Needless to say trying to secure a job from farther away is difficult, plus Florida has a different way of life than northerners are used to. I remember when my father-in-law first moved to Florida from NJ, he said he felt like he moved to another country, not because of different languages, but more because that everything seemed to go so much slower. He has now gotten used to it, but it really was frustrating for him in that earlier time. You've gotten this far, see it through and see what happens...you know the old saying if its meant to be....
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:37 AM
Location: a primitive state
10,748 posts, read 22,271,133 times
Reputation: 15363
Next time bring a tent.

I was in Big Cypress last weekend, which is not terribly far from Naples, and stayed in a campground for $15. We stopped in at one cute motel in Everglades City out of curiosity (I had an expense account) and the person there said all motels in the area were booked solid, just like you said. We drove back towards the park and found a campground immediately. Fortunately, we'd been camping all week and didn't mind.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:50 AM
Location: Lakeland, FL
523 posts, read 2,715,164 times
Reputation: 188
It reminds me of my vacation from Hell. In Oct 2000 we went to Erie Pa to see my family. We booked a room for 3 days, at Econo Lodge of Erie on Peach st, Right across the street was a indoor water park connected to hotel. We checked in at 3pm, dropped our luggage and went to visit my sister in nearby Fairview PA. Got back to our room about 10pm to discover we were right over the indoor pool full of bleach I guess for night cleaning. It gave us headache it smelled so bad. I went to front desk and cmplainted,
they said no more rooms and if I check out I still have to pay for the nite.
I ask for manager and started calling nearby hotels, no rooms available .
Because all these people were here to use the one indoor water park.

We ended up checking out at 12am and driving on I-90 to Edinboro to a dump
for the night, we got up in morning no hot water, the diner had only one waitress for the free breakfast with 100 people in seats waiting. We ended up at a nice hotel the next night in Erie because it was SUnday nite and they finally had opening. It was nightmare.
The Econo Lodge never billed me, and it was beautiful hotel. Be sure to make sure you dont get booked near indoor pool.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:50 AM
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,583 posts, read 50,631,954 times
Reputation: 13548
Thank you Nancy Lynne for responding! We were really worried about you!

Aren't the snowbirds the pits? They could make all the other problems in southwest Florida go away, but until those crazy snowbirds leave I would never consider going back. Try waiting on those nasty people.

I once went to a job interview in Fort Myers and the person that was suppose to interview was not there. Told to come back the next day. No apology.

I also worked at a place where I worked all week and then when I went in on Friday the place was cleaned out. Everything gone, including my social security number and my paycheck.

You may want to consider that blizzard to be a sign from God.
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