Now I can tell you my news…

I didn’t want to say anything before in case something went wrong, but now that it’s official I am free to shout it from the mountain tops if I wish.

You already know that I went for a trial day at a company on Thursday.
On Friday the boss called and told me they would like to offer me a job.
And today I went back there to sign the contract.

As of 1st September 2009 I shall once again be employed. I guess that means now I can take some time to relax without feeling guilty.

On trial

I had an interview yesterday. With 2 scary men in suits. Black suits. On a day where the temperature was above 30°C. I would have actually died! Thankfully I was not wearing a suit – just black trousers and a blouse. I still ended up all hot and sticky though – mainly because I got lost trying to find the place and ended up walking around in circles for 45 minutes. In the end I took a taxi, only to find out that the place was litterally round the corner… about 10 minutes walk from the train station. I had been going in the completely wrong direction! This was after travelling for an hour and a half on two trains. Then after the interview I had to do it all again in reverse. The train part anyway. Not the taxi, or the getting lost.

Then today I had my trial day. I had 3 more practice translations to do and also a proofread. Then I went around and met everyone else at the company. I had a good day, but whether anything will come of it is still up in the air… my practice translations need to be read first. Hopefully I will be able to tell you more by the beginning of next week. In the meantime my fingers shall remain firmly crossed… metaphorically at least. It may be a little hard to use a knife and fork if they were actually physically crossed….

Busy, busy, busy

After a packed weekend (which I still need to tell you about) and yesterday’s interview I now have even more business ahead of me.
Jan’s parents are coming to Karlsruhe today so that they can go to a concert on Thursday. I’m not going to the concert itself – when I asked Jan if I would enjoy it he told me he’s not even sure yet whether he will like it so I told him to just get three tickets and spend some time with his parents – but we will be having dinner with them tonight and tomorrow evening than Jan has Thursday off so we can do something together during the day. They leave on Friday, either in the morning or early afternoon, then on Friday evening I have a friend coming to stay for the weekend. Busy, busy, busy. But in a good way.

But what I mostly came on here to tell you is that the company I had my interview with yesterday called this morning. They liked my practice translation and now want me to come in for a trial day next week. Things are progressing it seems. 🙂

The interview

Yes, I realise I have actually neglected my poor blog for an entire weekend… something which almost never happens. I couldn’t help it though… this pesky little thing called real life went and got in the way. This is good though, for it means I have much to tell you. Unfortunately I also have a flat that desperately needs tidying, and for once I can’t just ignore it because this week eyes other than my own and the boyfriend’s will get to see it. So I shall have to keep this one short.

And so, on to the interview. You did remember it was today, right? And you all had your fingers firmly crossed for me, didn’t you? If not I may have to blame you if I don’t get the job 😉
Anyway… I think it went ok. Maybe. I didn’t get lost trying to find the place, which is a definite plus seeing as I had never been to that town before. And the people seemed nice. First I had an interview with the founder/director of the company, then with someone else and finally I had a practice translation to do. Now they are going to check my translation and get back to me, so don’t go uncrossing those fingers yet will you…

More about the German employment agency. Because lately I seem to have a one track mind.

When you’re unemployed in Germany and you register yourself as such with the employment agency, at your first appointment with an advisor you have to sign an agreement. What the agreement says differs depending on your circumstances… they like to add bits, put in legal clauses, take bits away and generally change things. By the end of it you’re left with the vague feeling that you’ve just sold your soul to the devil for a bit of money and a lot of hassle.

In my case, because I have no savings and am therefore receiving the maximum amount of unemployment benefit, I had to agree that the job I want is not easy enough to find and therefore I should also be looking for other types of job as well. Because in my current circumstances I am clearly a burden on society and the employment agency needs to get rid of me as soon as possible.

Another part of the agreement says that I am required to apply for any jobs that the employment agency officially suggests to me as soon as possible, preferably within three days of receiving them. If I fail to do this my unemployment money will be cut by 30%… then by 60% and, after the third offence, taken off me completely.

This is why I spent most of this morning googling various combinations of the words “letter of application” and “secretary”. Except in German… so not actually those words at all. But you know what I mean.
It’s also why, if I don’t get the job I’m being interviewed for on Monday, I may very soon end up working as an office assistant somewhere in the Black Forest. But that’s ok… at least it’ll get me out of the house.

Uninspired

First I really must apologise for my last post, for which the only accurate description would be self-pitying whine. I promise at some point I will write something interesting to make up for it. Probably not any time soon though. My inspiration levels are currently somewhere below zero. I can’t even think of anything ridiculous to craft out of vegetables for the Belgian Waffle Virtual Village Fête 2009, which, by the way, you should all participate in. Because who wouldn’t want to get creative with cake and soft stuff? It’s the way forward I’m telling you!

Oh, and I almost forget to mention that I’ve been invited for a job interview on Monday afternoon. So if you could all keep your fingers crossed and stuff I’d be most grateful.

Umm, that is all. I’m going to have a cup of tea now.

Unnecessary interview nerves

I have an interview in an hour.
It’s for a job that I’m not even sure I want. In fact, I’m not even exactly sure what the job is… other than that it involves working in an office and the need to speak English.
Despite that I am nervous enough that my breakfast made me feel sick. Imagine what I’m going to be like if I ever manage to get an interview for a job I actually do want…

You can’t have everything…

I have this theory. It goes a bit like this:

My life can be divided up into various parts… work, home, friends/social life, relationship… maybe a few more that I can’t think of right now (possibly family, although they’re too far away to have an effect right now). My theory is that if things are going well in a few of these areas something has to go wrong in another area. The universe just can’t let everything in my life be good at once.  So if work is going great and I have friends calling me every night something is bound to go wrong in the relationship area of my life. Or I’ll find out that I have to move out of my flat for some reason.

Right now the boyfriend and I are doing really well. We’re spending time together, talking about Things, barely arguing and we had a lovely week’s holiday in Rome. The relationship area of my life is good. I am also in love with my flat… still. It’s beautiful, I have space to move and, most importantly, it’s mine. That’s the home section covered then. That’s two whole areas of goodness! Clearly something had to go wrong somewhere otherwise the cosmic balance of the universe would have been upset… or something.
And so I find myself having to deal with 24/7 job hunting and the complications of the German unemployment system. Oh, and I also have no social life whatsoever. That one though I’m not really bothered about. Which begs the question… which is worse, not having a social life or not caring about not having a social life? Answers on a postcard please…

How far is too far?

Yesterday I was asked to do a practice translation for one of the companies I applied for a job at. It was a hard translation, but I think I did ok. Then, after I’d sent it off, I decided to find out where exactly this company is up to now all I’ve had is the vague knowledge that it’s “near Stuttgart” and Stuttgart is “only about an hour away so I suppose this other place can’t be that far.”

So… a two hour* commute to work. That would be manageable, right?

* Actually, the train journey is anywhere between 1 hour 35 minutes and 2 hours 9 minutes depending on which speed train is running and how many times you have to change… worst case scenario being 3 times!! At least the company appears to be close to the train station there – only 15 minutes walk according to Google maps.

Back to reality with a bump

After 6 lovely days of wandering round Rome, having other people pay for stuff for me and not thinking about job hunting, the employment agency or my lack of income at all returning to the real world has been a bit of  a shock. Yesterday I kind of eased my way into it, spending most of the day catching up on people’s blogs,  sorting out photographs of Rome to put on Facebook and blogging about Roman sights. I did check the employment agency website for new vacancies (of which there weren’t any… well, there was one for a German-Russian translator but that’s no good to me really). But today it was back to job hunting in earnest. Back to checking out every vacancies website I’ve ever heard of. Back to Googling every combination of the words “translator” “native speaker” “jobs” “employment” and “Karlsruhe” I could possibly think of. And back to wondering how on Earth people cope with being stuck in the house all day long with nothing to do and no money.

The good news is I had a phone call this morning from a woman inviting me to an interview next Thursday. The interview is with a personnel recruitment service, so not actually for the job itself as such… I suppose an interview with the company that’s actually offering the position will come at some later stage, but it’s a start. Even if I don’t actually know for sure what exactly the job even is – all the advert told me is that I will be coming into contact with customers (gulp!) and need to speak English, enjoy languages and know how to use a PC. Oh, and I should bring with me “unlimited willingness to learn”. Umm, ok then…