No more staying up late and living on cake

I am terrible at being on my own. Absolutley terrible.
For a start there’s the whole making meals just for me thing. I walk into the kitchen, examine the food on the shelves, open the fridge, close it again and think about how long it takes to peel potatoes/slice carrots/chop an onions. Then my mind drifts to all the dishes that will have to be used to make a proper meal. Dishes that will then have to be washed up afterwards. By me. And I decide there’s no point in going to all that effort when nobody else is around to eat the food I prepare. And so, in the 5 days since Jan went away, I have been living on potato croquettes (just shove them in the oven and wait!), chocolate raisins, cake (not even home made cake I’m ashamed to say) and those Knorr instant thingies that claim to turn into pasta in cheese sauce or spaghetti bolognese as soon as you add boiling water.

Then there’s the sleeping thing. I’m used to sharing a bed with Jan. He’s here almost every night. When he’s not at mine I sometimes join him at his. On the nights that he’s at his place and I’m at mine I have trouble sleeping. The bed seems to magically grow… surely it hasn’t always been that big? The room feels colder, the flat emptier (actually that last one kind of makes sense. The flat is emptier…I’m the only person in it). But it’s okay, because usually it’s only for one night. When he goes away though, it’s not just for one night, but for a couple of days, a weekend, an entire week…
Which is why, since Wednesday, I haven’t made it to bed before midnight once. And even after getting into bed I’ve chosen reading until 1 or 2 am over going to sleep.

All that has to chnge now though. I start my new job tomorrow. That means getting up early enough to be showered, dressed, breakfasted and on the train that leaves Karlsruhe at 7:30 am. It also means eating a proper breakfast so I’m not starving by 9 o’clock. And it means preparing something proper to eat for my lunch.

I’m so excited. I can’t wait to be a real, employed member of society again!

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Just because you have a job doesn’t mean it’s all sorted…

Let’s talk about the employment agency shall we. We haven’t done that in a while…
So, as regular readers will know, I’m about to start a new job after a period of unemployment. The new job is some distance away from the town I’m living in (an hour on the slow train, about 25 minutes on the fast – but expensive train), but it’s a doable distance, the company seems great and it means no more dealing with the German employment agency – or so I thought…

After signing my contract I downloaded the change of circumstances form from the employment agency’s website, filled in the bit saying I’ve found a job and no longer need to be registered as unemployed and sent it off. A few days ago I received a letter from the employment agency – “since you now have a job and you will be getting paid at some point in September your benefits will now be cut off. Starting from 1st September 2009. If you think you’ll need help for time between us cutting off your benefits and when you actually receive your first months pay there is a loan, which you might be allowed, but only if you apply for it. ” Considering the last payment of my unemployment benefit (ALG II) was on 15th August and my first pay from work won’t be until the end of September I think I might just need that loan. I have worked it out and, despite being very careful, with the money that’s currently in my bank once I’ve paid September’s rent, the electric/gas bill, the internet/phone and bought two monthly tickets – one for the train to work and one for the tram from home to the train station – I am going to ahve about 40 euros left. That’s 40 euros for everything else I could possibly need… like food for example. And toilet roll. I can’t even afford the 6 euros it will cost to send my baby brother the books I bought him for his 3rd birthday. So I emailed the employment agency asking how to apply for the loan. Today I received this reply “I need to see your employment contract and proof from your employer of when your first wages are to be paid. Then we can decide whether or not to give you a loan“. Because obviously there couldn’t just be simple procedure. Now I need to find out whether they will accept a copy of my contract, because if not (which they probably won’t) I will have to go there in person and physically show them my contract. This will have to be done by Monday because I start work on Tuesday and will therefore not actually be in Karlsruhe at all during their office hours. Oh, and I have to somehow get proof of when I’m getting my wages from the new boss. The boss who told me when I signed the contract that she goes on holiday at the end of August and will still be away when I start work.
Oh what fun the next few weeks are going to be…

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.