“That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas!”
- Kate Perry
We’ve had an interesting month, full of ups and downs and sides to sides. As you may have read from the last journal, it is summer holidays at the moment, which means that we haven’t been teaching. I’m sure that most of you would jump at the chance to have a two month summer holiday in the centre of Europe. It sounded great to us too, until we realised that we didn’t have enough money to do anything exciting.
So we have been spending a lot of time with our kids. Jola’s parents have been to visit us a few times, we visited all the local playgrounds many times. You get the idea.
About two weeks into our ‘holiday’ I found a job on the net. A local firm was looking for someone to do work in an office that could speak English. So I asked a few questions, but because I didn’t get a response I assumed that they didn’t want to talk to me.
One of our friends found a job and needed a babysitter for her kids, so all of a sudden we had four extra kids in the house. It was great! Our neighbours thought that we had started a pre-school. So we spent a lot of time outside in the sun with the six kids (ranging in age from 2 to 12). I think it was good for our children to spend time with other children, but it was very tiring for them.
Out of the blue on a Tuesday afternoon, we received a call from the people that wanted the English-speaking office worker. Jola and I went for an interview the next day. It was the oddest job interview I have ever been to, and apparently they didn’t even read the questions I sent in my email. I should have realised then that would be some problems working there, but because I needed the money I accepted the job. On the Thursday I started work with an importer/exporter of dental and gynaecological supplies.
So, all of a sudden we were very busy. It was nice. I must admit that it took a bit for me to get used to working for eight hours again, and Jola enjoyed spending large amounts of time outside in the sun with six kids (not to mention cooking lots of food).
This month we bought Chris his first single bed (mostly because we were sick of him trying to get out of his cot). For the first two weeks it was very difficult to put him to bed. He kept getting out and going to where his cot used to be, or going into the lounge to watch TV with Mummy & Daddy. So we have stopped watching TV when the kids are going to sleep (the joys of a Hard Disk recorder – not that there’s anything on) and Chris helped us dismantle and pack away his old cot. Now Chris and Ela share the same bedroom so they can both learn to get on better with each other (plus our house is too small for us to do anything else).
My job was fun, but I had some problems. My boss seemed to care more about the Feng Shui of the office (including fish tanks) than the computer network (my computer took 20 minutes to load up each morning). There was no OH&S. We had to spend a great deal of time on the phone, but there weren’t enough phones to go around. There was no job description, no price-lists in English (funny because I was supposed to be selling stuff to the UK), no clear organisation. As an accountant and business consultant, you can understand how difficult this was for me; especially because the boss wouldn’t listen to what I had to say. And so after 3 weeks I was fired for ‘not working fast enough.’ And to add insult to injury, the boss wasn’t even brave enough to tell me himself, he had one of my colleagues tell me. However I’m grateful for the experience. It has taught me that you don’t have to be that good to run a business in Poland, and it has given me a few ideas for making some money on my own.
School holidays end in two weeks, so we are making the most of the sun and time with our kids. It’s a pity we don’t have a car for day trips, it just means that we spend more time walking and watching Ela ride her bike.
And that’s the end of the story!
Malcolm, Jola, Ela & Chris