Do The Research If You Care About Your Career

By Snezana Stojilkovic; Chicago, Illinois
Career Research
A couple of years ago, I was looking for a job in Marketing, and I found one promising. It was a billboard company, looking for someone who will be a go-getter, creative, but also responsible for running the errands. The owner seemed little angry in his ad, complaining how he received 3000 resumes and letters and they were all the same. Then he made a list of what one should do if wanted an interview. Basically, asking to be different, original. Honestly, at first I was shocked by the angry tone of the ad, but on the other hand, I was kind of challenged. In my mind it was like, hm, this is very interesting. Let me see if I can do what he wants.

I Googled it. Their website wasn’t really helpful, the information they provided were insufficient. I found the history of that firm, location, and the next day I called and introduced myself as a potential client just to get more information about what they were doing, more importantly how they were doing and the current prices. I checked the Facebook page, but since I found out who the owner was, I checked his personal page too and learned that he had a dog that is often in the office.

Then, I made a picture of a billboard with my picture on it, with a beautiful landscape behind me with big letters: Congratulations, you found the perfect candidate! And I sent it. No resume, no letter. Someone would say it was a stupid move, but I would say it was a bold move.  In that case that was my cover letter.
I got the email the next day. He was interested in setting a meeting in his office. Lovely. I wrote an actual letter, just in case. When I got there I saw his big dog. I called him by his name and played with him for a while, and I could tell you that the owner was surprised. He looked at me and said: “I see that you did your homework.” I smiled. “I am a journalist. I do my homework.”

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Snezana Stojilkovic: From New Immigrant to First Job: Resume is Your Story, Learn How to Tell It

Why is the Cover Letter So Important?

By Snezana Stojilkovic; Chicago, Illinois
Cover Letter ImportanceAlthough many employers don’t ask for a cover letter when they advertise a job opening, it is very important that you understand why you should write one, or at least make sure that your email contains an explanation why they should hire you, and not some of the other 10 or more candidates.

Imagine you were the business owner, and you want your company to grow. You started from the scratch, worked 60 hours a week, no day off, had one assistant at first, then another one, and slowly you got to the point you have 10 or more employees. Now, you can’t handle the volume of business so you have to hire someone to help you out. But, of course, you don’t want just anyone, right? That person should be perfect. That should be someone who would be a part of your team, qualified, or at least ready to learn. You are going to explain in detail what qualifications and background your candidate has to have, what job responsibilities he will have, and what benefits come with the job.

The job position has been posted on different websites for a couple of days and your inbox started to filling out with applications and resumes. What do you do?

I assume that you would give it a fair shot and open each email you had received. That is the very first test your candidates must pass: if the email is poorly written, there is no way that you are going to waste your time and read the rest.

For example:

Hi, I wanted to apply for job. I am a good worker. I can start ASAP. Call me any time.

No, you definitely are not going to hire the person that wrote this. Forget about it. The email needs to look and sound professional. For example:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am interested in applying for a ……….. position that you advertised on ………..You can find my resume and cover letter attached.
If interested, please, give me a call at your earliest convenience. My phone number is ———–.


So, you read all resumes, and maybe you already saw something interesting, but do you actually know anything about the people that wrote those resumes, besides where they worked before and for how long? No, right? Cool, you know that Jennifer graduated from DePaul, had 4 jobs so far, all same position. Was she any good at them? Did she like those jobs, or she couldn’t find anything else at the time?

Would you like to have a feeling that you know these people, who they are, what motivate them, what kind of workplace they prefer, what they are good at, what hobbies do they have, etc.? I bet you do.

Just like any other boss-employer. That’s why cover letters are essential for landing a job interview. That’s where you as a candidate can show who you are, what can you give even without experience! Tell your story, again. Bigger this time.

Now that in this case you were an actual employer, and you had the chance to hire someone, or at least to call for a meeting in person, I am asking you: would you choose a candidate with just a resume and no clue whatsoever about his personality, or someone who decided to spend extra time to find out more about your company (don’t forget how hard you had to work for that and how much the company means to you) and to show you a piece of his personality? Can you imagine that person as a part of your team already?

Just recently I was browsing a Craigslist when I found an ad:

I would say that this ad was a little too much for me, but it really shows you how important the cover letter is. Sometimes, the employer will tell you what he expects to see in a cover letter, just like in this example, sometimes you have to figure that out on your own.

One more thing, your writing style can tell a lot about you, positive or negative. Is it funny, sterile, boring, interesting, concise, relevant, etc.? Don’t get upset, different positions requires different styles, one letter can be a masterpiece for one boss, but for another it could be a nightmare, and you could end up on a blacklist 🙂 Jokes aside, you can adjust your style, as long as you know who you are writing for.

So, even if you don’t see that cover letter is required, you should write one. You will increase your chances for getting a phone call, and believe me, if you do it right you will be well prepared for it. How to write a cover letter that will buy you a ticket to the show is something we will learn next time. Stay tuned.

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Snezana Stojilkovic: From New Immigrant to First Job: Resume is Your Story, Learn How to Tell It


How Marketing Courses Can Boost Your Career

When most people think about marketing courses, they believe they are only for people pursuing careering in this field. This notion is not entirely accurate, as completing various coursework in marketing can help benefit other career fields, such as hospitality, sales, customer service, and more.
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Use Marketing Principles to Attract/Retain Customers

Understanding your customers and clients and their needs tends to become easier by applying the marketing principles you have learned. You become more effective at identifying what they truly want and are able to meet their expectations better.

Use Marketing Skills to Market Yourself

Knowing how to market yourself is another benefit gained from completing marketing courses. You will know how to set yourself apart when applying for jobs from other applicants. If you already have a job, these skills can also help you advance your career.

Learn How to Distinguish Your Brand

A marketing program teaches you current marketing strategies, technologies, and other skills you can utilize to help distinguish your brand from your competitors. Furthermore, you can start to become recognized by your peers as the “go-to” expert in your specific career field.

Marketing Improves Listening and Decision Making Skills

Marketing requires listening to people to determine their needs, as well as make decisions on how best to meet those needs.

As you can see, completing marketing courses, whether you want to be a marketer or pursue a different career, has its benefits. For more information about marketing and ESL courses to boost your career, contact Computer Systems Institute at 1-888-652-2494 today!

How Careers in Hospitality Can Help You Travel the World

Pursuing a hospitality career can open up opportunities to travel the world.Before you start packing your suitcase, there are a few things you need to understand about this career. First, there is a wide array of career fields within this industry, including:

  • Resorts and Hotels
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Cruise Ships
  • Airlines
  • Food and Beverage
  • Catering
  • Casinos
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Some of these, like positions on a cruise ship or for a major airline carrier, can allow you to travel the world. However, you do need to be prepared to work varied hours that typically do not follow your normal “9-to-5” workday. For instance, on most cruise ships, you work seven days a week for the duration of your employment contract, with scheduled hours off and the opportunity to earn additional time off.

Aside from these two career fields, there are other opportunities that could allow you to work aboard and enjoy traveling to different locations around the world. There are various work experience and exchange programs you can apply to after completing your career training. These exchange programs may also provide assistance with securing travel documents, housing, and other aspects related to the position, so all you really have to do is pack your bags and fly to the country where your new job awaits!

If traveling abroad while earning money working in the hospitality industry excites you, enroll in career training programs today by calling Computer Systems Institute at 1-888-652-2494!

From New Immigrant to First Job: Resume is Your Story, Learn How to Tell It

Your First Job

By Snezana Stojilkovic; Chicago, Illinois

How many of you had a list of New Year resolutions? Was getting a new job or externship one of them? If it was, I guess you already started looking for new opportunities. Let’s say you found one, it sounds perfect, you get all excited and the next step would be applying for that position. Now, the not so easy part is to write awesome resume and cover letter explaining why of all the people in Chicago or elsewhere YOU are the BEST fit. How can you do that, especially if you don’t have required experience or haven’t been long enough in the country, or have some other obstacle in front of you?

Being a new immigrant sometimes might be intimidating, knowing that English is not your native language, or that potential employer won’t recognize diploma/degree from your country. So, what can you do?

First, do not panic! Writing a good resume and cover letter require some time, so before you sit down and start writing I recommend you do the thorough research on the company you are applying for. You should know the good and the bad sides of it, challenges that other employees might facing, salary expectations (if it’s not clearly stated in the job ad), the exact thing you will be doing if hired, etc. I really don’t like to see job offers one page long, when even after you read it couple of times you still have absolutely no idea what your job would be.

One good start point might be the website where you can find significant amount of useful information about the company, and even read about interviews that the other people had, see what kind of questions you can expect if you ever get one. Another site you will probably visit is Yelp, since yelping is quite popular these days, and you can read reviews about almost anything! Don’t forget LinkedIn. All of this should bring you to the final decision if the job still appeals to you, and how can you proceed from there. It also should help you to get clear picture how your resume should look like, because you aren’t supposed to use the same resume for different jobs!

So, after reading everything you could find about the company, you still believe you should apply for that job? Great! Now you will have that maybe one chance to prove that you are going to be valuable employee and that you can help the company grow. Remember: YOU ARE THE STORYTELLER of your professional life. Engage the readers. Make them to want to get to know you better.

There are couple of rules that you should follow when writing both resume and cover letter. Let’s focus on resume for now.

First of all, it shouldn’t be more than one page long. It is not a book. No one have time to spend half an hour or more reading your resume. Be precise, consistent and write clear. Your resume should contain the following:

  • your information such as name, address, phone number, email address at the top;
  • employment history in reverse chronological order;
  • educational background;
  • additional skills you possess, such as knowledge of languages, programs, etc.

You should include in your resume just the RELEVANT THINGS. For example, if you are applying for a customer service support position, where you will be talking on the phone 8 hours a day, don’t put that you worked one summer as a baby sitter, if you worked in the store with customers. Or, if you want to start working as an accountant don’t brag about your sport scholarship you received. It is not related. Now, if that was your only job you have ever had, of course you should write about it. We all have to start somewhere. It shows that you are ready to work, even if it’s not your dream job.

It is also very important to include your achievements, rather than just stating where you worked and your position.

Be specific. Another example, you helped your parents with running an account office. You were in charge of doing taxes and bookkeeping for two grocery stores and one retailer store, with gross revenue of $$$. Write about it. That way the potential employer would know how deep you were involved with helping your parents, and that your task wasn’t only making the coffee or buying donuts!

If you just got of the college, and don’t really have a real job under your belt, try to include projects you had done during your college years. Have you been a part of a University newspaper team, or have you travel abroad on a student exchange program? Have you volunteer somewhere? Have you organized any big event? Basically, answer the question: How have you spent your college years?

Don’t lie in the resume!

Do you remember that scene from Friends when Joe got the job and had to be a dance teacher, because he wrote in his resume that he can dance? Or another episode where he lied that he is fluent in French, and he got an audition where he had to use the language? Well, don’t do that. I understand that it’s tempting to boost your resume with additional skills that you certainly do not possess, but is counterproductive.

Sometimes the hiring manager will be torn between two applicants with similar resumes, and maybe that additional thing you put on paper can land you an interview, but in the long run it could create you a big problem. So be careful. Of course, if you know that improving your skill would take only couple of more weeks (learning how to use Quick Books, or Photoshop) than it is safe to add that to your resume.

Here are some things you should avoid: adding your picture (unless you are asked to), writing about your age, marital status, children, salary desire, and hobbies. I know some people will advise you that you should include your hobbies in the resume, but if you think about it is it really important that you like to ski or paint if you want to work as a nurse? You could add that in your cover letter explaining that since working in a hospital is very stressful job, painting helps you to stay positive or something similar. But, definitely leave it for either cover letter, or job interview.

Proofreading your resume one more time before sending. Maybe it is not a bad idea to send it to your friends first, so they can give you an opinion and take a second look.

At the end, make sure you attach your resume with cover letter in your email.

Although the resume is extremely important part of job hunting, what I believe the crucial part is writing a very good cover letter. That is a place where you can explain yourself and where you can grab someone’s attention. Let’s talk about that next time.

Customer Service Skills You Need to Be Successful

Customer service representatives (CSRs), specialists, and technicians who are successful at their jobs understand there are essential skills vital to their positions. Some of these skills are learned while completing career training programs at our English second language school. Others, most people already possess and simply need to use when providing assistance to customers.
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  1. Treat customers like they were your friends. Granted, you do not know the person calling, but try to sound friendly and speak to them like they were your friend.
  2. Ask questions and listen. Some of the time the reason for the call and the actual problem are entirely different. Listen to what the caller says and clarify by asking the right questions.
  3. Do not rush through the call. Some firms might tell you that you need to handle calls quickly, which is poor customer service. Rather, take as much time as needed on each call to resolve the reason for the customer’s call.
  4. If you cannot resolve the customer’s issue, let them know that upfront but tell them you will help find someone who can. Never transfer them back into the phone queue but stay on the line with them until you can get another live agent.

By following the above suggestions and using your career training, you are sure to be a successful CSR! Enroll in our customer service training program today by calling CSI NOW at 1-888-652-2494 today!

Cloud-Based Customer Service Operations to Triple by 2020: Start Career Training Now

The cloud is a wonderful online tool that offers a wide range of functions and features, depending on the user and their individual or business needs. The cloud is not really a new concept. Most people are surprised to learn the concepts behind the cloud have been around since the late 1950s, but the word did not become a new catchy tech phrase until the last five years or so.
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As technologies have continued to advance, companies like Oracle, Microsoft, and Adobe, to name a few, are offering cloud-based services where businesses can run all of the apps directly from the cloud, right from their smart devices, laptops, and desktop computers. Thanks to these advances, virtual customer service positions are growing.

These types of job allow a customer service agent to provide customer support from just about anywhere—so long as they have the right internet connection speed. Since they do not have to be tied to a physical call center, they can work from home or in smaller offices in specific areas throughout the county.

Furthermore, the same cloud-based customer service apps even allow agents to provide support over the internet through a firm’s website. The customer simply clicks that they want to open a support call through instant messaging.

These technologies will continue to play a vital role as customer service operations grow over the next several years. If you want to be a part of this growing career field, enroll in customer service specialist career training at our ESL school today! Call CSI NOW at 1-888-652-2494 for more information.

“Windy City”? Not Even in the Top 10!

By Snezana Stojilkovic; Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Skyline from North Avenue Beach
Chicago Skyline from North Avenue Beach. Photo: Bohao Zhao

How well do you know Chicago? Do you know how many people live in this “city of neighborhoods”? Where does that “windy” part coming from?  Is it because the city is very cold? How the streets got their names? Yes, Lincoln Park is named after the US president Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Park also, but who were Kinzie, La Salle, or Van Buren? What about Wrigley field? Well, let’s find out!

I have no doubts that any time you walk out through the door during the winter experiencing the wind coming off Lake Michigan you think how the nickname justified is: “the Windy City”. The truth is that people cannot come to agreement how and when windy became description for Chicago. It is obvious that the city is cold and windy, but that’s not the only reason, especially considering that Chicago is not the windiest place in the USA, not even in the top 10. Surprised?

Let’s go back to the 19th century, when Chicagoans traveled across the East coast promoting the city as ideal place for investing. In 1893, couple of American cities competed for hosting the World’s Colombian Exposition. The choice narrowed to New York and Chicago, but Chicago ultimately won the contest. The big rivalry between these two cities existed even then, and New Yorkers didn’t like losing. The editor of New York Sun (publication that were operating between 1833 and 1955) Charles A. Dana claimed that the politicians in Chicago were “full of hot air” (the meaning of idiom is full of nonsense) and he allegedly wrote: “that nonsensical claims of that windy city. Its people could not hold a world’s fair even if they won it”.

The problem is that the article have never been found, and many researches dismiss that story as a myth. One judge from New York Barry Popik, now a consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary, spent hours and hours looking into old newspapers (New York Sun) searching for any article that contains word ‘windy’. He said he found none! He looked further and he found another article from 1887. Published in Louisville Currier-Journal calling Chicago “windy”. Many historians support the statement that the term was coined in the early 1880’s.

Even if Charles A. Dana might not be the person who coined the term, he was definitely one who popularized it since he didn’t hold Chicago and its citizenry in high regards, and he often wrote about it.

People like simple things, and the explanation that has to do something with bad politicians make perfect sense! That’s why many people give credit to Charles A. Dana and accept this urban legend as the only truth.

Windy or hot, the city is absolutely beautiful, the third largest in the USA. We get to another confusing thing: the size of population that live here. It really depends on what do you consider to be Chicago. Is it just the inner city, or does it include suburbs, or even larger metropolitan area? So, how big is the city?
First of all, there are 77 Community Areas: the last two Edgewater was separated from Uptown in 1980, and O’Hare area was formed in 1956. The latest data shows that 2,731 million people live in the city, but the larger area called Chicagoland is home to around 10 million people. Now, I want you to imagine how it started: in 1833 only 200 people moved to this territory. If you think about, it wasn’t that long ago, and yet Chicago managed to become the fourth most essential business center on the planet in the Master Card Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. Impressive, isn’t it?

Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Photo: Chad Zuber /


I guess that many of you landed to O’Hare airport on your way here. I did to.  The history of the airport area is quite interesting: First visitors were German immigrants, who settled down and named the area “Orchard Place”. When World War II started, the War Department bought the place and open an aircraft factory Douglas. When the war was over, the city bought the place and renamed it again, this time simply Orchard Field airport. I was always wondering what the symbol ORD stands for, and that’s where the identification letters coming from. Few years later, in 1949, it was suggested that the name should be changed in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward “Butch” O’Hare, a young navy pilot who died during the war. He was the first one who got the Medal of Honor for combating enemy planes, actually 9 Japanese bombers in 1942. You can read more about that flight and fight here.

The first commercial flight happened in 1955. And just for the records, O’Hare International Airport is the forth busiest airport in the world by number of passengers; New York is at distant 15th place. Ha, not bad for a “windy” city?

One more significant thing happened at this place: the worst airline accident in the US history. In 1979 all passengers and crew on board American Airlines Flight 191 were killed when DC-10 crashed soon after taking off. The reason for crash? One engine on the left wing separated and flipped over the wing inducing damage to the plane. The number of passengers is something I couldn’t clarify: different sources, different numbers.

You got plenty of information today, hope didn’t know many. The next article is about city’s neighborhoods. You would get the answers on questions asked above, and much more!


Interesting facts:

  • Edward O’Hare’s father was a lawyer and a close associate of Al Capone. He presented strong evidence against him during the trial, and was killed couple of years later.
  • A replica of O’Hare’s firefighter is exposed in Terminal 2. Check it out next time you travel somewhere!
  • Every 90 seconds an airplane takeoff or land to the O’Hare International Airport
  • This airport has the cleanest bathrooms of the world’s busiest airports, according to the Association of international agents.

Are Americans rude, oblivious or busy?

By Snezana Stojilkovic; Chicago, Illinois


I use public transportation almost every day, and I was surprised by the fact that Americans rarely give up their seats for older people. We were taught that we are supposed to threat elderly with respect: whenever you are in the bus and see an older gentleman or lady your obligation is to offer them a seat. That’s the rule also if you see a young mom with kids, or a pregnant lady with visible belly. Here sometimes I have feeling that people in the train are completely oblivious to their surroundings, deep in their thoughts or just staring in their iPhones. That’s what happened the other day in the train. One young girl literally had to yell at people: “Hey, don’t you see a pregnant lady here?” until some guy stood up. Then she said her friend loud enough so we could hear that it was her second time that day she had to react.

Strong sense of community


I witnessed so many times when people approach police officers and thanking them for all work they do and all risk they take every day in order to protect citizens.

Honestly, I cannot imagine that picture in my county. Serbs really don’t like the police since it is widely accepted that that is one of the most corrupted part of the system, and people do not put a lot of trust in police officers.

I also saw couple of times in restaurants that some people would pay for the meal when they see people in uniform. Bravo, Chicagoans! 


Wedding is an event that has to be planned well ahead! Plus, as a guest you might have to pay for your drink(s)


When friend of mine told me last year that she was invited to a wedding and she was super exited because it was an open bar I didn’t understand what she meant. I mean, I knew the meaning of “open bar” policy, but the wedding and this term in the same sentence was confusing. Then, she explained to me that the couple who was getting married (or their parents) were responsible for paying drinks for their guests. I was surprised. Does that mean that sometimes you have to pay for it when you go to the wedding? She smiled and said yes, that’s very common in the USA.

Since I am writing about weddings, I must say that this is such a big thing in the USA, so big that many people want to avoid stress that comes with amazing an event to hire professional help: wedding consultant. Not only that, browse the internet, you will find many websites created to help couples to find what they need for the most important day of their life, everything from florist, music, photographers, dresses, etc. According to the the wedding planning industry is a huge business with an estimated $42 billion (yes, billion) in sales of wedding relating products!

I understand that a wedding IS a big thing for any couple, but I would say that things go easier in my country although it does require time to prepare all details. In small cities people know each other and usually word of mouth is the best way to go: just ask your friends and you would get recommendations for everything you might need! And, your friends will offer their help as well.


Street dogs are nowhere to be seen!


I cannot stress enough how big problem this is my country, in almost every city. There is no enough shelters for street animals, and people can very often encounter group of very dangerous dogs on street in busy neighborhoods. The problem is even bigger in villages. So many hurt and wounded kids, and the authorities do very little (or nothing) to prevent these issues. The local officials know that is going to cost a lot of money in compensations after citizens sue the city, but they would still spend money that way then investing in permanent solutions. Do not think now that organizations for animals are not interested in helping: their voices are heard, but completely ignored. Ordinary citizens are not even allowed to protect themselves, the laws are very strict in case you hurt the animal, witch lead to the very undesirable position.

I have never seen ONE dog walking on the street, not in Chicago, not in other states I visited, unless they are with their owners. And that is the only way it should be.



I hope you enjoyed this mini series of articles where I tried to describe the biggest differences between the USA and my home country Serbia. Of course, there are many more, but I will leave it for now. Maybe a couple more things that I do not have to explain:

  • The gas is extremely cheap. That’s why Americans drive big cars.
  • The language is very relaxed: addressing older group of people with Hi, folks, guys, people or something similar is unacceptable in my country.
  • The lack of geographical knowledge is very often a cause for mocking Americans calling them stupid. They usually divide Europe on East (former Soviet Union countries, where they believe my country belongs) and West (London, Pairs and Italy). Many of them believe Paris is a country! The rest for them is very blur, something over there 🙂
  • In my country people that walk a lot always have a bench nearby so they can rest. Here you can find one only in parks, even then the number is not significant.

The American Customer Service vs. Hospitality

By Snezana Stojilkovic; Chicago, Illinois

I talked last time about some distinctions between my home country and the country I am living in now. It seems that those differences are countless. Some of them I love, some I don’t understand, and some of them I think I would never be able to accept. That makes my life much more interesting: adjusting to the new environment is a process, and I am enjoying learning and observing all these small things that are so different. For example:


The “wild west” culture

I am reluctantly admitting this to you now, but sometimes I am afraid for my safety. Although I live in very safe neighborhood, how safe can one be in Chicago, with such a high level of all sort of criminal activities? Every day, EVERY DAY we hear stories of someone being killed. That is not even news anymore. The breaking news would be if one day passed without counting victims in Chicago. The fact that anyone can buy and carry weapon is horrifying. You can never know where some attacker can show up and start shooting randomly.

Check this story out: a 13 year old boy tried to buy alcohol, porn, lottery and cigarettes without success, since he was a minor. But, he had no problem buying a gun. It took him less than 10 minutes to walk away with deadly weapon in his hands. No questions asked. Something is very wrong, don’t you think?

Customer service is incredible!

It’s very easy to be a great customer when you know what kind of support you can get from any business! Amazing. I will give you an example: I contacted Uber support team at least 5 times so far and I always got an answer in less than an hour. The last time they responded in three minutes, while I was in the car trying to solve the problem I had with my trip (my driver canceled the ride accidentally, but he accepted to give me a ride. I wanted to be sure that he would be paid for his work). I couldn’t believe! And be positive that that is a standard here. (Okay, Comcast is an exception 🙂 )

It is less likely that that kind of service you would get in my country. Sad, but true. What a nightmare it was for me to cancel my mobile plan I had it there from here. I had to call so many times four different agencies in order to find which one is responsible for my contract. Plus, the ladies were very rude on the phone. And, that is standard in my country.

What can I say – the big market, tough competition – establishments are fighting for every single customer here. They need you back. And they will do almost impossible to make you happy. If they don’t – they lose the business. Plain and simple.


Maternity paid leave is a luxury

The United States of America can be proud of so many great things, and I don’t even have an intention of naming some of them, but when it comes to a safety net: if fails, big time. The current law (Family and Medical Leave Act signed into law in 1993) says that women have a 12 weeks UNPAID leave to care of new born and recover from the childbirth. And that’s not all. There are some restriction to this law: the size of company the women work for, the number of hours spent working for the same employee in the past year and so on. Some states tried and extended benefits new moms should get, but it is far from good.

Even my country is in very poor financial situation, it still provides full year of PAID maternity leave. Not only that, but pregnant women can take leave while they are expecting and they can still receive certain amount of money each month. That relieves the pressure from women and they can concentrate on their kid(s) more. And all European countries have far better health care system for their citizens than the US.

I remember one former co-worker when she worked as a house keeper in a hotel literally until she was due. She had to be on her knees cleaning and using all sort of chemicals every day, multiple times. Couple of days after she had her child, she had to come back and work, although still visible recovering. Her husband visited her every day with the baby so she could breast-feed her. It was sad that she didn’t have a choice to stay with the baby for a while. Those first months are the most precious, but her leaving her job would probably mean no income for her family.

And, honestly, I don’t understand how business can take a risk and bring a lady with hormonal misbalance to work with customers or perform some other tasks.

Put this note on a side, this topic is very hot in the USA nowadays and politicians (especially presidential candidates) finally speak up about such a big problem. It remains to be seen what will happen, but I strongly believe that every mother has a right to choose to stay at home with a baby without fear for surviving, and without fear of losing her job while doing the most important job in the world: taking care of a child!


The level of consumerism is extremely high

People waiting in line hours outside of the Michigan Avenue Apple Store in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
People waiting in line hours outside of the Michigan Avenue Apple Store in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Photo: jessicakirsh /

Com’ on, are you really going to sleep outside of the store just because you want to buy a new iPhone?

No way, even if they promise me one for free I wouldn’t spend time waiting. I can find it tomorrow or the next day, or I can buy something else.


Lunch time. Burger? No, thank you.

On traditional Serbian lunch table you will always find: homemade soup first, and then COOKED meal with meat (chicken or pork usually). Salad is a must. We consider sandwiches as quick snack, in between lunch and dinner, sometimes it can be served as breakfast, but NEVER as lunch.


And, again something that is self-explanatory:


  • We do not have cheerleaders in high schools
  • Rape on campuses is a huge problem in the USA
  • Only Americans understand and like baseball
  • The country is so big so it is no surprise that there are many cities with the same names in different states. How many Springfield towns have you heard of or visited so far?
  • Electricity is so cheap here, no kidding!