Well, where do I start when it comes to my new job? I happened to be online and came across a help wanted ad for River Ventures. My eyes pretty much popped out of my head because working with dolphins, manatees or beluga whales was always been my dream as a girl growing up. I was that girl who always wanted to work at Seaworld because I'm fascinated by marine life! So, when I came across this ad , I was pleasantly surprised because not only was it close to home, I was near the "water life". I had just received my GED after almost 30 years because I wanted to get a better job to create a bright future for myself. I told my fiancee about it, asking him what he thought - Did he even think they would consider hiring me? His automatic reaction was "GO FOR IT"! So I did.
I grabbed my resume the following day and took a ride down to River Ventures which is only 15 minutes from my home. (BONUS), lol. I walked in, saw a lot of smiling faces and was given an application. I filled it out, along with my resume , and handed it to Erin who was working behind the desk that day. She told me they would be doing interviews the following week. I waited impatiently and when the following week came ..... THEY CALLED! I was ecstatic! We scheduled my interview and it just so happened to be on St. Patrick's day which is one of my favorite holidays , not only because I am Irish, but my birthday happens to be the following day too. So I put my lucky T shirt on ( literally it's a green St Patrick's day shirt that says lucky), and crossed my fingers!
When I arrived for my scheduled interview they were WAY busy and I said to myself 'Wow, can I even handle this?' Then I heard my fiance's voice in the back of my head saying "go for it", so I said to myself, I can do this! I was called into the office with Miss Brandie and Miss Erin. It was a very positive interview, and Miss Brandie was so nice and very warm. I got nothing but good vibes! As I shook both their hands I said to myself, 'Maybe I have shot' , and I left with a great big smile on my face. A week went by but I heard nothing. So I remember being told , "be persistent, call them, show them how much you want this job'. I called , asked if they decided on anyone for the job, they said the hiring manager will call you back. I thought to myself, well I tried my best, maybe there was someone better for the job. Then, the following day I see I have a voicemail on my phone, it was Miss Brandie! She left a message that said she would like me to go on a manatee tour to check out how things work and to see if I was still interested in the position. I immediately called her back and said 'Awesome, When and where?' She gave me 2 choices, 6:15 0r 10:45. My first question was , "Do you want me to go in the water"? She said 'Oh,yes' - she definitely wanted me to experience the whole thing! Next, she asked which tour would I like to do , the earlier one or the later. I chose the earlier one. She was very happy to hear this, as being a morning person is important for this job. So the following morning I get ready, bathing suit on, shorts, flip flops then I head out with towel in hand and its 30 degrees outside! It's amazing when you really want something, it doesn’t matter how much it hurts .....and it didn’t bother me one bit! I was going swimming with the manatees and hopefully showing Brandie that I can do this. I am so glad that I did!!
River Ventures Manatee tour was one the best experiences I have ever had! The boat captain was Troy and my in-water guide while snorkeling was Sheena. What wonderful, nice, and positive people these two were! They are clearly very caring about the people they have on their tours. They thought I was a customer just out to have a wonderful day out on the water so I feel like I got their 'realest' version of the experience. On the way back in I told them that I was interested in working with the company and to my surprise they had nothing but nice and pleasant things to say. Captain Troy had even said "I will see you next time because I'm sure we will be working together". I think he might have even said I was made for this job. That right there made me feel so welcomed and that can be so hard to find in the world today!
So, the following day comes around and I see I missed a call, IT WAS BRANDIE! She said if you can make it in the next morning just come right in, no need to call - just show up. I was ecstatic even though I had to report to work at 5:30 am! I cried, I laughed, I thanked God, it was such a great day for me....and the beginning of a new, wonderful adventure!
It's been 2 months and I can say this is by far the best job, with the best bunch of people I have ever met in my entire life. Everyday is a good day when you are surrounded by awesome people that love what they do! Thank you River Ventures, thank you to all my fellow employees who were so very welcoming to me, and thank you Brandie for taking a chance on me....you are by far the nicest, funniest , and warmest person I have ever met. You have made my life a whole heck of a lot better!
And now......Back to the manatees!