Saturday, 25 August 2012

High maintenance

I was aimlessly wandering through the depths of my computer's history and came across my constantly neglected blog. I have no excuse apart from being terribly lazy when it comes to writing, seriously lacking ideas that might sound interesting to someone who has nothing better to do but reading this so for that dear reader I have to do my best and not cause and involuntary head banging against the desk.

In the last two weeks or so I have had the privilege of eavesdropping on guys' conversations... Well, when you live with 3 or 4 it's not so much the case of me hiding behind the doors and straining my ears to catch oh so vital information but more like two words "shared kitchen". I know it doesn't sound half as interesting as me doing Veronica Mars-meets-Belle Boyd, but it's so much easier despite me still managing to miss out on half of whatever is said because my ears and brain are predisposed to droning out about 50% of any men talk. I guess it's female self-preservation which is great on one hand, but on the other it causes us so much grief and long phone calls or text messages to our girlfriends analysing what a non-suspecting male might have thought when he said this and that. We have to dissect the words merely because we missed out on most of the sentence anyway. 

But back to me being given a glimpse into the male mind (I wish). The story begins with three men discussing a fellow Venusian and me wandering into the previously mentioned shared kitchen. By the time I realised that the conversation was not about computers, movies I have no clue about or where to get the best pint it was already too late to catch any relevant and to my brain interesting pieces of information apart from the words high maintenance. Typically my brain started churning and humming and using most of my body's energy to make some sense of what my ears had just processed. And I couldn't. What is high maintenance supposed to be? As far as I am concerned and I am fully backed by most of my female friends a high maintenance girlfriend would be someone incredibly clingy,  phoning you 10 times a day, expecting expensive gifts and treats, wrinkling her perfectly cute button nose over a night spent in a local pub as it has no Michelin stars, etc. But what does it take to be portrayed as a HM crazy person to his friends?

A short answer was lots of phone calls and being annoyed at not getting back to her asap. And even though I am not the type to call my man 5 times a day, I don't find getting annoyed at him for lack of communication a bad thing. If he is busy, why can't he just text saying "Busy. Will call you as soon as possible." When you're freshly in love (and also after the honeymoon period is over) you want to talk to that oh so important person, you want to share how mundane or exciting your day has been and it is disappointing when he just isn't interested. After all he is the most important person in your life at this point and sharing every little detail is our way of showing that we care. In my experience lack of communication and reluctance to talk is one of the main relationship failure mechanisms.
So, talk and listen. And if you don't like what we do, tell us. We can't read your mind, we don't get the sub-text from your facial expressions and your advice to us "What a man says, is exactly what a man thinks" will never be understood as we are predisposed to try to get more meaning out of "Sure, I'll see you."

Here's a piece of history: Belle Boyd was a famous female spy during American Civil war and she was on the side of the Confederacy. She shot a Union soldier at the age of 17 because he cursed her mother. As a result Union soldiers were supposed to keep tabs on her, which worked fine for her as she got plenty of secrets out of them.

What I learnt: a "person" from Venus is Venusian.
Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Super Efficient

I am so efficient. I am the wonder woman of efficiency and getting things done. Little Miss Proactive rolling in abundance of incentive with such a positive, can-do approach to anything that it's already scary to a certain extent. I can already hear some people telling me to justify this self promotion, so here it goes. It is my second day off work and my brilliant plan was to tie all the lose ends this week, finally do the laundry, so it stops spilling out of my basket and so on and so forth. And somehow I managed to do all of my dreaded chores before I crashed to bed last night. So, here you go. Super efficient. Which leaves time to do absolutely bugger all today.

Is that something I could use in my CV? Gets things done in no time. Excellent time management skills. Extraordinary at distributing work. Ability to multitask.  Gee, what else do those employers want?  A triple PhD and a gazillion courses in how to use some random program nobody has ever heard of before? Hmmm... I guess now that the mysterious cheque disappearance has been solved, I can embark on a new adventure on how to persuade recruiters and employers to give me my dream job. This sounds like a tough nut to crack. Fingers crossed everybody!

Monday, 2 April 2012

A Neglected Blog Comes To Life

OMG! Where do I begin? I have so neglected this little space of mine in the great unknown (despite it popping up every day in my favorites page) that, if it were made out of some substance, would have a great big cloud of dust blown of it just about now. It is quite pathetic how many other activities I put in the prime position when I used to love blogging and blabbing on about some random issue that I encountered. Ah well, nothing I can really do about it now but to try to get everyone's attention yet again.

Now, to recap the last 10 months or so. The cheque arrived after countless mysterious drawbacks which remain unexplained. I went back to my summer job and spent two months enjoying the easy life of someone who gets paid to do what they do best and get a full board on top of it. Summer was brilliant. After that I moved to London to pursue my American dream in a non-American city. You know what I mean, the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work blah-dee-blah. Turns out that the opportunities to show how hard working I am bit me right on my a**. Which consequently suggests that prosperity is still far fetched. I admit, I never expected the move to be easy or that the streets are paved with gold or any of that nonsense, but I surely have not imagined it to be so tough. And now here I am... Maybe I should stop right here right now for tonight or I will get completely immersed in something that someone very important to me called mranting recently. It is highly likely that nobody wants to get involved or dragged screaming and kicking into having to strain their eyes and in the end realize they are none the wiser but surprisingly feel completely depressed by my ramblings or maybe totally elated thanking all their lucky stars their life is on a better path.

But I have not lost my determination (yet) and will keep sending those applications and sooner or later (hopefully a lot sooner than later or let's say in the next fortnight - please Easter Bunny) there will be someone who would love to have my sweet continental voice answering their phone.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Show me the money

Or better said "Where the bloody he** is my money?!"

What I love about the end of a tax year is a letter from the tax office saying you've overpaid your tax. The amount of the bottom of the page made my heart skip and do cartwheels like a child who just found out they don't have to go to school. All of the sudden the rain in April didn't bother me anymore and I could almost see myself singing and dancing in the rain, but I'm no Ginger Rogers and my Fred Astaire is a bit too far away to join me. Anyway, I kept checking my account for the new balance and after a few weeks I didn't want to do any cartwheels anymore (and neither did my heart).

Only in June I decided to phone the tax office to ask them what happened to my money. Apparently they sent the cheque to the bank and the bank sent it back. Huh?! Don't they want the money? So, I phoned the bank. They put me on hold. Answered. Then put me on hold again. Finally, they found someone to talk to me. The bank claims never to have received any cheque in my name. Huh?! And they casually added that I've no money in my account to pay to keep my account open. Huh again?! I have no money, because you returned the cheque! Phoned the tax office again. Was put on hold. Asked to have the cheque sent to me personally. I will deal with it later. Was told by the tax office they sent me a letter in May asking what to do with my cheque. I didn't get the letter. The cheque was at that time in the post. Two weeks later I still have no cheque.

If you see it wandering around and looking for its owner, take good care of it (it needs a warm home, e.g. my empty bank account) and let me know.

Gee whiz

I'm back and have officially done something scary. I'm still shaking just thinking about it. And now everyone is trying to convince me to change my mind - well, not in a change-your-mind-or-die kind of way, but with subtle hints that are making my decision harder than ever.

Down to the point. I've decided that with all the recent happenings, not getting paid for work I've done was just one of them, I can't really see myself staying here and living somewhere, where only a careless moment of finally watching the news makes me so angry that my blood pressure rises to a dangerous level, is a mission impossible. Being only a few months away from the big three-oh is the time of my life when I'm supposed to enjoy myself (I've a job and should be comfortable being independent and able to do things) and well.... I'm not. The decision of those who lead the country to freeze my chances of being promoted to a better paid position is absolutely insane and it makes my jobs "prospect-less". I don't want to sound cocky, but I'm really good at what I do. And being good and working hard and doing more than just fulfilling your duties should eventually lead to a promotion... but nowadays it won't and God knows how long it will take for things to get better. So, I've decided that with all the language skills and my chameleon-like attitude, I would do better trying to make a life and a career for myself abroad. So, after years of struggling to get a full-time, permanent job, I quit the full-time, permanent job to officially enter the unemployed status in September. Unless, I get really lucky and get a decent job in the country of my choice. So, fingers crossed.

I've started applying for positions I know I can do and would be good at, but no luck so far. But I'm impatient as my friends tell me. I only started sending my CV around a week ago and apparently it usually takes longer to get an answer. My problem is that I've never gone through the I-really-need-a-job type of a job hunt before as I was always so lucky that something more or less just came my way.

All in all, it takes some guts to do what I've just done (especially if you are not the world's most spontaneous person) and it makes me proud that I've finally gathered the courage to do something I've wanted to do for the last 5 years!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Peace and quiet at Rye

I've just returned from an extremely nice evening out with G. and Daz. We went to the pub that no one knows about and had dinner and now we're all enjoying the peace and quiet of our new home since the kids are in London for Mamma Mia and won't return till about midnight. Tomorrow night we're all on duty, so the cool trio's gonna be in charge of the casino night and we get all glammed up for that.

We're still very busy, so I don't get much done apart from my planning and the lessons and the activities and this feels like a 24/7 job, but it's lovely. Next week is the last week for this bunch of kids and then we start all over with new arrivals. I hope I don't have to dress up as a man again!


Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Hawaiian disco, pubs and boys vs. girls night

I’m getting very settled in over here and I’m starting to think that I will hate leaving. For one I’ve had very good feedback from my superiors and I get along with the students, so my work is not that difficult. After lessons us, teachers, usually stay on for another shift and help out with the afternoon activities and this week that included the Hawaiian disco, where students and staff had to dress up Hawaiian style, and yesterday we had boys vs. girls disco, which included cross-dressing, so boys dressed up as girls and girls as boys and I must say some made a real effort and it took me a long time to remove the nail varnish from boys’ fingers.

On Monday night I went to a local pub with a co-teacher and our boss and we ended up having a fantastic time. The pub was in the old part of Headington and the area really gave us the feeling of being in the Cotswolds. It was really pretty and the pub even had a gorgeous beer garden, so we stayed for quite a bit, talked about work and other things. I love the fact that the team of teachers gets on like a house on fire (with some exceptions to the rule, of course). Yesterday I spent quite some time with the boss transferring things between our computers, so I’m now well-equipped with additional materials and books and so is he and today I’ve had co-teachers coming to my room for a chat all the time, so we’ve really become a small family.

Tomorrow I’ve quite an easy day as the kids are off to London in the afternoon, so I might end up at the gym again (congratulations to myself for dragging my bottom back to the gym!!!).

Off to bed now. Good night!