Saturday, January 15, 2011

unhappy trainer girl (warning: this blog post contains self-pity and ranting)

so what i had feared has become a reality now. on thursday, four days into work this year, i was told that my contract for one of the two projects i am on at 'die berater' (the company i have worked for most of the past seven years) would not be renewed in mid-february. which means that instead of 37 hours there will only be 21 hours of teaching, which in turn means not enough money to live on. what we get paid is ridiculous anyway, but the money i make for teaching 21 hours plus (unpaid) prep work is less than if i worked at a supermarket checkout for about 20 hours. there is a slight chance that they need someone on another project, but i am not counting on that. which, of course, means that i have to look around for a completely new thing. which, in turn, i don't fancy for several reasons: i have always felt comfortable at the company, i have some super colleagues, i know the ins and outs of the job, the market isn't exactly ... um ... huge, the AMS (unemployment services) has to cut down on classes and therefore institutes whose clients are primarily unemployed people have to let trainers go. i had hoped for some stability this year, financially and health-wise, and the plan was to try for a baby and move into a bigger flat. sigh. this new situation doesn't exactly help to get rid of my anxiety and depression either.

what's bugging me most at the moment is the phrases that people throw my way, be it those responsible for the projects or colleagues, friends, acquaintances, but mainly the former. for months now i've been told that i do a great job, that i should not worry about not having enough work this year, that i am such an asset. okay, i am not the only one they let go (3 out of 8 were told goodbye), but still. being told that i am no longer needed sandwiched between statements such as "we really love your work" and "i really do not want to let you go" and "we are so, so sorry" and praise for my contribution to the team, well, it doesn't really make me feel better. the obvious question that comes to mind is: "then why ARE you doing it?"

then, again sandwiched between the above phrases, it's "you know, [insert name/s] has a family" and "[insert name] is much older and won't find another job so easily" and so on. so does that mean that if i happened to be as good or not as good a teacher but had a young child, i would still be on the team? if i happened to be 59 instead of 39, i wouldn't have to leave that team?

apparently they also talked to one colleague about working only part-time, asking her if she wanted that. well, guess what, she doesn't. neither, by the way, do i.

and then i keep being told that with my qualifications and experience and being the reliable, punctual, fun, lovely, fabulous, super-motivated trainer that i am, i won't have any problems finding a new job. yeah right, since all these things obviously counted for so bloody much at this place. if all that doesn't help me keep a job, how is it going to land me one out there, where all i can do is claim that i am [insert strength/qualification] but have not even proven it to anybody? that is just twisted, really, and it actually offends me.

and then the nasty suspicion does creep in that the two weeks sick leave in november and telling my project coordinator about my burnout were a mistake, that they influenced their decision.

so, once again, pretty much everything is up in the air. i'll have to ask around and network and apply for jobs (not easy to fit into a 50+ hours working week plus commuting plus the photography classes). another thing that doesn't help is that the last time i briefly worked for a different company from die berater, disaster struck: the company, venetia, went bankrupt and i will never see those approx. 3500 euros they still owe me. there's been too much change and instability in my life over the past 4 years, and i am finding it very, very hard to be positive about this whole situation.

having gotten this off my chest and having been allowed to feel sorry for myself, i want to share the video of j. k. rowling's commencement speech at harvard with you. i've loved this since i first heard it a couple of years ago, and one of my poet friends posted it on facebook today, quite appropriate at the moment, what with me thinking about failure a lot lately.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

today's song of the day is by the delightful sia and includes these lines:
You see fear is only holding us back
Look closely amongst all your peers
There is usually one thing that keeps
Us off track
It is fear, it is fear, it is fear

and in order to end on a lighter note than this, here's a little story connected to one of my photos from istanbul:

i love the internet for things like this: a myriam from gatineau, canada saw this picture i took in istanbul in september 2010 on my flickr photo stream and contacted me to tell me she had pictures of the very same cat and its siblings. we eventually figured out that we met the three cats within a few days of each other and exchanged pictures of them. :)

song of the day: fear by sia.

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