The last 10 days...
The last 10 daze of my life have been rather full to say the least. Moving 1000km across borders into another country. A new language culture and ways of doing things. A new company and a teacher’s room full of new faces and several languages. New money and the scale of costs. The end of love and the loss of warmth in my heart. Yes, I actually chose to leave love. Love has left me so many times… I believe in love, love just doesn’t believe in me, so what would you do?
All this has me now in a dingy little flat, rented by the week, full of the smells of old cooking and fat in the air. Vague sounds through the walls and a feeling of utter dislocation. The place or space I have now is only big enough for a bed and a few chairs, in fact it is smaller than my bathroom in Poland and that is saying something. It costs me 100 euro a week, though I can exit with a few days notice.
I have the opportunity to take on another teachers old place, more expensive but bigger. It faces a nice river, which is actually across the road where the river cruise ships dock. It is around the corner from a carnival. And up the road from a dozen fine restaurants and pubs. I am hoping god smiles on me, as he has, getting me this far and continues to do so by letting me rent this new place my colleague is leaving. Extra prayers will come in handy folks – HINT.
I have a nasty last memory of my Polish home. My boss did me out of at least a month's rent money here in the new country, there at least a month’s wages. He was a bitter nasty man and I am disappointed that he sank so low as to steal from me and black mail me. He gave me refused to give me any money and stated that he would only give me 950PLN if I signed a paper that said I lay not further claim to the 1795PLN that he owed me.
He is a good catholic being a very poor Christian. He claimed that I did not give one months notice, I did. He claims that a months notice in polish civil law (which he was contracted to advise me on) was actually from the first of the month to the first of the month ONLY. I gave a months notice from the 14th to the 14th. Still a month as the contract I wrote and he signed states. So he is just hiding confidently behind a lie. I pity this man; he has done himself a great disservice. Everyone in the town knows and most especially the people who he is in business with and contracted to for teaching. They will not renew their contracts. They will never return to his school.
I left Poland 2 hours late after a stalemate round of arguments for 2 hours. Where I eventually conceded to my schedule and his plan of waiting me out.
I drove away quite incensed and full of rage. This served me in the 900km I had to drive over 10 hours. I reached my friend home in Germany beyond exhaustion, having spent the final 3 hours hammering my poor small car through mist hail and impossible rain. At some points on the autobahn I could see nothing but tail light of trucks and I had to guide myself at speeds over 140km/h in driving rain. I finally got to my friends home and collapsed after a bowl of soup. The next day was slow and I was weary. I went into the city and wandered around on foot. That night we had a birthday party. It finished about 3pm; I was deep in sleep at 11. The next morning I got up quietly and left. I hammered down the Autobahn and arrived 2 hours early in my new city. I have been running and barely touched the ground since.
It was good, I have discovered, not to take time off between jobs. I am still up to speed and found to my surprise that I am exceptionally organized in relation to my new colleagues. I have computerized everything and even have books on file. My goal is to never have to go to the office at all.
I am used to working on my own and now that I have 20 colleagues, 6 native English speakers, I am finding it tough to adjust.
For my colleagues – I have already rescues a laptop from the jaws of the blue screen of death. I have rewritten a key template used by all teachers; I have found items of importance for colleagues and connected colleagues by information by intuition. I have done well in my new job. I have made a positive mark. (I am waiting for the sky to fall in as it always does… but it doesn’t seem to be falling)
I have a company car at any time I need it. I have access to a huge library (mostly useless), I have a bright new and shiny school to be a part of in a huge city. I have huge emotional wounds still open but I have my suit and tie and smile on. No one cares about my losses, or pain. It isn’t important. So I just push. Push to do well by my new students and colleagues, I push to keep up and be organized, I push hard against the tears every damn day. Wish me luck kids… Obi