Welcome to Mayja's World

This is my online world. Mayja is my online identity. I hope you enjoy my ramblings, things I share, and my hobbies.

In addition, I am a WoW gamer. So, you'll see some gamerspeak in here as well. :P

Death Star Pumpkin

Posted by Mayja

I know... I've been slacking on my blog posts. Honestly, it's been frustrating lately. I've gone from totally energetic to blah during September. This is my favorite season of the year, and I'm bummed out. Not good. Time for cider and doughnuts at the usual orchard. That should bring some of the spirit back.

Plus, I need to start thinking about pumpkin carving! Last year, I won my office's pumpkin competition for carving a Death Star - check it out:

This sucker took two, 4 hour evenings to carve and a massive handcramp after each session. It was worth every minute. I'm not sure what I'll do this year, but it should be fun. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to post them here!


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Burbank Interview

Posted by Mayja | Posted in

I know that many of you have been waiting to hear about my interview in Cali, and I apologize for the delay. Flying to and from Cali within a 24 hour period really kicks you in the head when it's over a 5 hour process each way.

Aramark booked me on US Air flights from Detroit to Phoenix and then Phoenix to Burbank. I didn't have to land in LAX, which was a relief. While making our approach to LA, you couldn't see the city at all due to all of the smoke from the fires. You could smell smoke in the plane! Freaky. When I finally got outside, the smoke hung heavily in the air. It burned your eyes if you stayed out too long, and people were holding tissues to their mouths. I was glad we'd be inside for most of the duration of my stay - not to mention it would be over 100 degrees that day.

Jack, the regional facilities director, picked me up at the airport. He has a firm handshake, a great smile and a good sense of humor. As we drive through Burbank, we pass by many of the large movie studio houses: Warner Brothers, Disney, Columbia and Universal, where we will be staying. We go immediately to the Burbank school district offices where Amy, the food services director, is waiting for us. Amy is the person with whom I would be working with on a daily basis. She's the one I need to win over the most.

Amy eagerly jumps up and gives me a handshake. She's all smiles and is very excited to start the day's agenda. Jack says he'll catch up with us later in the afternoon for a conference call and that I'll check-in to the Universal Hilton then.

Amy grabs her bag, hands me a badge and we're out the door. She wants to visit a couple of the Burbank schools so I can see what Aramark has done in terms of renovations and other changes. The conversation is immediately casual and we both start gabbing about my flights, weather in Detroit, and whether I have begun looking at apartments in Cali. I explained that I've only done a light search so far. Amy says, "Well, then I better take you around a bit and show you what I've found."

We visit a couple schools and I got a chance to meet the facility superviors in the kitchens (one middle and high school). What Aramark has done is nothing less than awesome. They repainted, reorganized, refurnished and remodeled these cafeterias. As a student, I would have loved to eat in there. Their marketing flyers were up as well, and you could get nutritional information on the day's menu. Nice.

Amy drives us around Burbank and Toluca Lake where she's been apartment hunting. Her husband and 13-year-old daughter will be staying in Tucson, AZ while she lives in an apartment and conducts a house hunt. For now, Amy's living out of the Universal Hilton and has been there for the last three weeks. My online searching has shown that I can find a single bedroom apartment with decent amenities and is a short commute to the office for about $1500/month. Not as bad as I had feared.

Finally, we get to the hotel. Wow! This place is high class all the way. My room is on the 17th floor facing due east. I can see the smoke from the fires across the mountain ridgeline, and I'm told I'll be able to see the actual flames at night. Eep! I can see all of the Universal lots and Universal City. As dusk set in, all of LA began to twinkle. Ahh, Hollywood.

The conference call is basically a repeat of questions mainly to see how consistent I am with my responses and also to see how I respond in person. Afterwards, we had appetizers and drinks while we laughed off the stress of the day. There were many 'off-the-record' comments about my demeanor and overall performance: they were really impressed.

They rushed me upstairs to get out of my suit and we headed off to Universal City for sushi at Wasabi. Over a few beers and a bunch of rolls, we laughed and really enjoyed each other's company. Amy even ran through a few of the ground fountains in a spontaneous child-like manner on the way back. Too funny. It must have felt great considering it was still 90 degrees at 10pm. I didn't get back to the hotel until 10:30pm.

Wednesday began with breakfast at 7am. The hotel had a feast available - anything, I mean ANYTHING you wanted, they had. I grabbed fresh fruit, smoked salmon, deviled eggs... omg it was SO good! Perfect food before a long day of flying. We all had breakfast together, but they had an 8:30am meeting they needed to prep so I had to say my goodbyes early. By 8:30am, I was sitting at the airport waiting to head home.

Everything has fallen into place thus far. The only thing that is holding me back from a decision (aside from an actual offer) is the salary. I still don't know what it is. I did ask about it, but apparently they're having difficulties figuring it out with HR. This week the other candidate will get the whirlwind tour. By next week, I should know their decision. In the meantime, I'm nervously checking my email and voicemail - just in case.


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