Category Archives: “work?” I do not know this word


… is the practice of reading the future in animal guts. The Babylonians did it, and so did the Etruscans, who passed the practice on to the Romans. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but in my head it sounds like “extra spicy!”

Working in academia –> awesome factoids.

Song du jour of the day: Love Train, by the O jays!

so, the job…

So yeah, I started this job in February. Half of it is proofreading English texts for the SFB 933, which is a massive interdisciplinary research project about texts as material objects in pre-printing societies, so I am learning a LOT of really interesting stuff about hieroglyphics and illuminated manuscripts and clay tablets – and forgetting it immediately , because my brain is like a sponge, apply the least bit of pressure and everything squooges out all over the place. That may not be the original meaning of that metaphor. Anyway. I have a job!

The other half is substitute-substitute-secretarial work, right? A finance secretary got elected to some council or other so another secretary in the department took over as finance secretary, so her duties will now be mine, as long as the other secretary doesn’t get un-elected. Some of it’s very fun, but I also have to write emails! In German! I am not… overly excited about my writing skills in German, what with it being all really fuckin’ hard and stuff.

But I have a job. And it’s been a lifejacket in the sea of worthlessness I fell into during the last year and a half of unemployment, so there’s that. Now if the fricken HR people would stop thinking of stupid non-existent things to ask me for and clear my contract so I could get paid? That’d be great, thanks.

Song du jour of the day: Read All About It, by Emeli Sandé.

Welcome to the job center, how may we crush your soul today?

So I signed up at the local job center today, that was… um. Maybe they mean well? But boy have I seen this vibe before, the one you get when you apply for WIC or TANF or a spot in the cheap daycare; the crappy fluorescent lighting, the despair-colored linoleum, the cheap chairs and the general sense of we-don’t-respect-you that soaks into any place set up by the state to help those who need it.

I went in in the morning and they sent me away because I didn’t have my Meldebescheinigung (an official document showing my registered address) and then when I went back with it they didn’t even look at it. They also told me to bring my resumé, and gave me a form to fill out – a list of past jobs and educational achievements! I didn’t complete the form because I had some questions about US/German equivalencies. I figured I could finish it while waiting to talk to an agent but no, I had to fill out the form completely and get in line again so they could send me up to a waiting room, where I sure was bored! Gee, if only there were something to pass the time, maybe some forms to fill out.

Then an agent came to collect me and as we walked to her desk the furniture got nicer and windows appeared, and she was polite and explained everything carefully and told me what would happen next and the shift in atmosphere was kind of a shock. Like if you can get past the fakely-helpful-receptionist-barrier you will be Accepted As Human, or something. It’s just weird.

Anyway. I have some more forms to fill out, and an advisor will contact me to make an appointment, and that’s another step taken. Which I suppose is a good thing. Because if I don’t find useful work soonish I may need to seek treatment for depression, and that would be just reeeeally really expensive.

Song du jour of the day: I Need a Dollar, by Aloe Blacc. Love this guy’s voice, he reminds me of Bill Withers.

not entirely my fault

Okay, it’s Daylight Savings Sunday, stores are closed, guys are busy, I have the whole day to apply for these three jobs. Right. First job, let’s re-jig the letter from the last application, hm, don’t know how to say that in German. I should do more to improve my German, hey you know what would help? Knitting podcasts. In German! A subject that interests me and will hold my attention, and the chance to hear German spoken with normal usage and pacing. Ooo, here’s one about time management (vis à vis fibery-projects, very relevant for me). Oh you know what, my Dutch is slipping, are there any Dutch knitting podcasts? Hm, doesn’t look like it,but here’s one on books, could be interesting.

Oy, got sidetracked. Continue reading

status update

  1. Wow, so that was spring, and now it’s winter again! Not yay.
  2. Had my first migraine in two months and three days, which sucked, but it only really lasted half a day, and having migraines every couple months is a damn sight better than a couple times a month. I think the glasses have made a huge difference.
  3. I think I finally have a usable CV, and I’ve written (and Mr Husband has drastically improved) a cover letter for a job in Mannheim. I hate the photo a lot, but other people seem to think it’s okay, so I guess I really do look that freckly and anxious.
  4. The University put us in touch with a professor who would rather rent his house to another professor than to… um, not-a-professor, so we’ll be zipping down to HD to look at the house this coming weekend. I can’t even express how fantastically fortunate it would be if this worked out and we didn’t have to go through the whole house-hunting-from-another-country nightmare. Again.
  5. Otherwise? Cat’s fine. Kids’re fine. Everything’s fine, I just really, really need spring to get here.

Song du jour of the day: Lemonade, by CocoRosie.

i keep doing that thing

… that thing I do, where I have forty skillion things to blog about, but I want my blog posts to be about one thing (each) so then when I sit down to type I get an idea logjam.

So, you know. What do you want to hear about? My job? My first international knitting field trip, that ended with me eating Chinese food on a sidewalk and falling into a hole? Ignatz’s new hobby? Parent-school (gag me)?” My recent whirlwind trip to Paris, or the upcoming, even whirlwindier trip to London? This problem is compounded by the fact that almost everyone who reads this is a Facebook friend, so you probably already heard most of these stories via status update, and I don’t want to bore people. Continue reading

How do job interviews in the Netherlands work?

… asks Chris V, and answering that gives me a Theme to address, rather than a list of random happenings like the last entry. I think it’s best to write about one thing, it gives a post a sort of cohesiveness, which is good for someone who is usually Queen of the Non Sequitur (thanks, DrBob, for that – it’s my second-favorite description of me). Continue reading