Hallo, dear workers, travelers and followers! It is time for my second post and I cannot wait to introduce you my guest! Her name is Anna Bashuk. She is a junior from Russia and she is studying Journalism and Mass Communication and “possibly” (she says) – Political Science. Although she was on Erasmus exchange last semester, she found a way to go on a Work and Travel again! Yes- this was her second summer there. She went to the same place –Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and one of her jobs was the same, as well!
Anna (Personal Archive)
This year Anna was working at the front desk at a hotel again. She was checking people out and in and she shares that though it sounds easy it is not:
“We had about 30 hotels so it was pretty busy every day”
Anna (first girl from the left) and her co-workers at the hotel (Personal Archive)
Coming back again at the same place did not only saved Anna the fee for a contract but it gave her a raise in the salary with $0.25. Not a big difference- true. But Anna shared that even a small amount like that makes a difference if you have overtime.Anna was also working as a server at a seafood restaurant in the afternoons. The restaurant was a seasonal one- working only from June until September, which is exactly what she was looking for!
Usual working day for Anna was: Waking up at 5.50 in the morning. Going to work at the hotel at 7am. Working there until 5pm. Coming back home to change uniforms and then at 5.30 pm starting the other job up unitil 11 pm.The biggest problem, according to her, was that she never had a full day of this year! Twice she called in sick for her second job because she felt that she needed to rest and she wanted to see some places in town. So, for those of you who think that going on a Work and Travel in the States is just a regular working experience, get ready to work a lot! Although Anna was working way more hours (around 10 per day) at the hotel, emotionally and physically she felt better there, because the people she was helping at the front desk were more polite in general (tough once one guest made her cry, but it is another story). She also liked the fact that at the hotel she had the chance to meet variety of people- from all over the States, and from Europe as well!
Anna and customers at the restaurant (Personal Archive)
Anna had one little tradition on her days (or should I say half days) off: she used to devote around two hours for skyping- both with her mom and her boyfriend. Then, she would go to the bank to deposit her check and after that she used to go to pick up the things she had ordered online.
Comparing summer 2013 to summer 2014: First time she went to the States to see the cultural difference. ” I don’t have this American dream“, categorically said Anna. She met a lot of people and she spent a great time. However, though she went to the same place, she did not feel the same way. Despite the fact that last year Anna used to work until 1am and she got three or four hours of sleep, she felt this summer the exhaustion was much bigger. She does not regret her decision to return , though.
A bad memory: Anna remembered that once the hotel went out of power. She got really scared! There were many people waiting to be helped but it was not possible.
“They were waiting for us and we were waiting for the electricity. We were not able to do anything!”
Customers were impatient. At some point she just sat under the dask because she was shaking from all the chaos.
Best memory: Anna got really excited about the topic and she started to talk as if she was living through the moment again:
“… it was August 29. That was the day when I decided that I should stop saving money for school related stuff and I bought myself tickets to the concert of my favorite band, which is Linkin Park, and I went to their concert in Chicago, Illinois”
Anna at the concert (Personal Archive)
Anna and her friends were at the concert at 3 pm and they had to wait up until 9 pm before Linkin Park got on stage. But do not be left with the impression that they got bored waiting for their favorite band- some local band was playing during that time and… Thirty Seconds to Mars, as well! With a huge smile on her face Anna shared to me that for her it was a really special concert not only because it was her first time seeing her favorite band but also because of the fact that it was in the States!
For her, this concert was a dream coming true! And with the same excitement she was talking about it she shared that it was not only her best memory for the summer but probably for years!
Anna did not make a trip. She is not sure if she is going on Work and Travel but if she does she would go to the same place just because she already knows it.
Three words to describe her 2014 summer: One Crazy Week! (the one with the concert)
Best thing she bought: a sport suit for her father who really wanted one and a watch for herself that she did not buy last year since it seemed expensive to her. She corrected her mistake, though, and got herself this gift! Anna deserves it anyways, doesn’t she?!
All in all, Anna recommends to students to try Work and Travel because, according to her it is a chance to become more independent.
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