TO NOTE: From today’s post till December 15th, I will mark the posts under the tab, Hiatus Posts as they are all backdated to accomodate to the 1, 893, 427 things that has happened from then till now. I appreciate the still sky-high counters although I sincerely apologise for the lack fo time to invest in the updates. Many, many things have been happening from then till now but I’m looking at it as a major blessing. Have fun reading lovelies!
Today was the day where three things are happening concurrently and the plans for the day all are minute back-to-back whereby any delay in the first plan will result in a snowball effect on the other plans lined up for the day. Lord knows why I choose to schedule to such precise timings but the idea of it is exhilarating that I can’t wait for the day to unravel!
Here’s the schedule for the day>>>
1200 – 1400 hours: Interview @ McDonald’s Corporate Office (King Albert’s Place – Bukit Timah)
1600 – 1900 hours: 15th Deal @ Opera Estate (Katong – Siglap area)
1700 – 1830 hours: Gram’s 100th Day Prayer Session @ Pasir Ris
Mum was ridiculed beyond belief when I said to her that I was invited for an interview at McDonald’s as a Restaurant Management Trainee as it was like I was following the footsteps of my real father who made his F&B beginnings in McDonald’s about a decade odd years back.
(As the ones closest to me know, I don’t live with my real family nor have any close contacts with them as they, to put it simply, dumped me at my aunt’s ever since I was three days old hence technically I have no reason to want to get back together with the dumper family.)
So anyway, Mum was hesitant and was hoping that I didn’t get through to the next round of the interview at McDonald’s as she and Dad has pined more hopes on my other interview with The British Council a few days back as the salary is expectedly higher. I’d say, TBC’s salary offer was above the median range of $2000 – $3000 and that would be more than what I was hoping for from my very first full-time job.
Plus, the fact that my own real father was a previous McDonald’s employee made my parents think that it is not a good idea as now, he is still nowhere near a professional post in Shangri-La Singapore. As for me, my only reservation is that my real relatives will say that I “am following my father’s footsteps” and that wouldn’t be music to my ears as the last thing that I want is to emulate a man who is debt-ridden, have poor family planning and conveniently dumps their kids as and when they like.
But that aside, I was willing to travel to the other side of Singapore to go for the interview as really, I have nothing to lose and I am merely going for the sake of experience. I mean, the more interviews I go to, the better my chances at deciphering and understanding the numerous protocols required from different industries, right? So I went ahead with an open mind and when I reached their corporate office ten minutes to noon, I was greeted by three well-dressed men (slightly older than me) whose look veered between nervousness or sheer daze. There I was, going for an interview that I wasn’t the least bit nervous about and there they were; the other interviewees vying for the same position as me, looking a million times nervous than me. And they were FULL-GROWN MEN!
But I reckon, my easygoing ways and smile made them lesser nervous as my smile managed to break the ice and avoid them from viewing me as a competition as after all, really what am I fighting for? I’m just there for the experience of an interview and will definitely give my best but also, still be myself at the end of the day. A shaky voice, sweaty palms and a blank face isn’t my idea of going for an interview.
So my turn for the interview came after about half an hour’s worth of wait and I was led to a series of steps which led to a sprawling area of open-concept cubicles. When I say sprawling, I really mean, huge as I can easily see 250 people sitting behind their cubicles at any one day during their office hours! I really wish I could photograph the moment as the office didn’t look like one bit of an office, it looked like a real fun place to chill out and have a good time behind one’s cubicles. But I managed to steal a mental photograph of the area before I was led to a room, the Birdie Room.
Yes, Birdie of McDonald’s fame:
Ah remember those guys during our Happy Meal days in the 1990s? Man, I miss those days when life revolves around Happy Meals and Hello Kitty & Dear Daniel – it was so much less complicated then.
Anyway, back to the main story… I was greeted by a plump but resoundingly chirpy interviewer and instantly, I was more relaxed than ever as I figured from the lack of make-up on her face, she is safely in her mid-twenties and no older than that. I mean, when we are young, we don’t need that much make-up and SK-II to slap on our faces do we?
She was a bundle of joy, for a person who was interviewing me to be a part of their mega-cooperation and I can’t deny but we have this instant chemistry and we were able to talk like old friends instead of talk like an interviewer versus and interviewee and I loved that feeling I get when I talked to her. She was calm, listened to me and never let her eyes stray away from me except to take down the mandatory notes on my application form and she was throughly engaging and really took a keen interest in my topics and even asked what book I was currently reading and stuff.
I felt incredibly happy as for once, this is hands-down, one of the best interviews that I have ever been invited for and I thought that was it. But little did I know that she had big things for me. She introduced me to the conventional way of becoming a Restaurant Manager by rising through the ranks from the position I have applied for. She mentioned it will take me about six years before I am able to fully own one restaurant to my own name. Can you believe it? I own the restaurant, supported by the black & white documents! By then, I was taken into the whole McDonald’s idea and I am a wee bit less reserved about being a part of McDonald’s as compared to the initial stages.
Then she mentioned that she doesn’t see me going through the conventional way and she has identified me as one of the candidates for the “Fast-Track Programme” whereby I can reach the position of an RM within three years and have the entire program be carved out according to my own pace but within a shorter span of time! When she said I have the qualities they are looking for in that specific programme, I was smitten, over the moon and was seriously considering really applying for a job at McDonald’s!
One thing led to another and after the 30 odd minutes of interview with her, she mentioned that to be eligible for the Fast-Track Program, I was to go through four interviews and one On-Job-Experience before my position is confirmed! When I heard that, my heart was dislodged at my throat as really, McDonald’s really mean business and I have no idea what lies ahead. So she told me to give her a minute and if I am agreeable, she’ll schedule another interview with the second person in line, the HR manager and we’ll see how it goes from there. Surely, I said yes as I didn’t want to pass upon the opportunity and waste it since according to her, I have successfully passed Interview #1 and she has faith that I will breeze through the rest the same way.
She went out of the room and I was silently counting my blessings as if I hadn’t made my way to King Albert’s today, I wouldn’t be sitting in this same chair, basking at the prospects of being in the McDonald’s family. She came back about five minutes later and said that the interview will be scheduled later on the same day since the HR Manager is in the office day and so as to save me the trouble from coming to King Albert’s again.
OH MY GOD.
I was shocked to put it lightly but obviously, I have to put on a brave front and be as cool as a cucumber and so I replied I am okaye with the plans. She ushered me to a seat outside and said the HR Manager (Shaun is his name) will look for me and bring me to another room for Interview #2. I smiled and thanked her for the opportunity and I waited outside; eager to know what lies ahead for me yet slightly nervous as to meeting a HR Manager whom I didn’t reckon will be as sweet and friendly as Interviewer #1. I sent a quick text to Mum and Muzzy-Wuzzy and as I kept away my mobile phone, a man dressed in a light orange shirt, drinking Coke from a (what else!) McDonald’s cup approached me an introduced himself as Shaun and led me to the Grimace Room two doors away.
On first glance, he looked a bit intimidating yet I know I shouldn’t use that intimidating look to my disadvantage. I ought to do my best in the interview regardless of how unsure I am on what lies ahead for me. Other than that, I noticed that he had a Tag Heuer strapped on his right wrist, he is either married or engaged as he had a band on his ring finger and he had an offending pimple beneath his nose. Thank goodness for the pimple as that made me as ease and smile even more as I didn’t know a man who looks to be in his thirties still goes through the puberty cycle.
Interview #2 was more tensed compared to the 1st one but I reckon I had done a good job at it as he was hinting on the likelihood that Interview #3 will occur after the OJE experience is completed. He apologetically mentioned that he had no idea who I was etc as he hadn’t had the time to read through my CV and application letter but he was keen on getting to know me through my self-introduction. All in all, I think I made a good self-introduction as I managed to garner a few of his shy smiles which in turn, revealed a set of perfect white teeth. He is quite handsome when he smiles, heh. Although he isn’t as forthright about his personality, I know I have good vibes of him just as much as I did of Interviewer #1.
The best part was he said that judging from my vast experience in the service & tourism industry, he believes that there’s a “high chance” that I will be selected for the Fast-Track Program as he says among all those who progressed to the second interview with him today, I was the only one who was the most promising candidate.
Tell me, tell me, tell me! Who wouldn’t be swelling in pride and happiness when they hear such pleasant compliments. I was bowled over and was extremely humbled by their faith in my talents and after Interview #2 concluded, I figured that perhaps this is it for me. My long and arduous journey to kick-starting my career through my endless interviews and double-digits job application forms will come to a welcoming end.
For once, after a job interview, everything just seems to fall into the right places. Thanks be to God, I look forward to better things to come in the coming days.