America, August 9, 2004
Cuz there, they know I'm cool
Back in June, decked out in high summer fashion, my friend Yana and I were headed to a barbeque. Her man of the week, the Great Black Hope (GBH), was grilling up a storm and we were hungry for good eats. After a half-hour drive to the 'burbs and minutes before we arrived, Yana took a call from her producer friend, David.|
David was filming an episode of the Lifetime Channel's cable TV show 'What Not to Wear' in Washington, DC, and in the last segment, where the friends are to see the couple's new post-makeover look, only one friend showed up.
In a panic to fill in the room so the couple would look to be popular, he called Yana and over my vocal objections, we skipped the barbeque for the filming.
It was the best over-rule Yana ever made.
At the filming, the lone friend turned out to be the senior grant manager for a downtown Washington international nonprofit; the American Bar Association's Central European and Eurasian Law Institute (ABA CEELI). When she emailed me last month to tell me when the program was to air, I noticed her email address and realizing where she worked, turned on the 'Wayan Wants a Job' charm.
Today it all paid off, as it's my first day in my dream job: I'm a grant manager in an international nonprofit in downtown Washington, DC. And as I already have a desk, a pass, and most importantly, am on the office phone list, I'm smiling from ear to ear.
One Month Update
CEELI is turning out to be the long lost organization I've always wanted!
First off, it has an amazingly large gym that comes free with the job. And since we're right next to the White House, I can take my hour lunch to Run Against Bush past his house, around the Washington Monument, and down the Mall to the Capitol Building and back. A nice four-mile mid-day jog.
Then I am working with a United Nations of coworkers, hailing from China, Colombia, Turkey, and Germany in my Finance group alone. Coworkers that understand my fascination with foreign lands and can appreciate my extensive travels across the globe.
Next I had the best compliment I could ever ask for. Two senior managers, guys who command respect and are leaders in their fields, stopped dead in their tracks when I decorated my office. Yes, I have a real office, with a door and everything. No window, but I make up for it with the many plants, posters, and flags. One poster, celebrating the six decades of Soviet achievements, and a Moscow city flag that the two senior managers, real Russophiles, offered to buy on the spot. Yeah, it's a month later and I'm still smiling from ear to ear!