heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot uk

My final day...?

I have still not signed a new contract, despite the head bloke saying "we'll sort it later today". Later came and went.
I asked my manager if I will be returning on Tuesday and she said "of course we want you!", so I guess I'll go in for 5am on Tuesday...?

I dunno. It's really nice to hear "of course we want you!", but I keep having this niggling feeling that my job isn't actually... you know... necessary. I mean, if they did this and this and this, they could replace myself and my co-menagerist with a part-timer. I guess that's why I'm making €8,71 an hour scraping chocolate muck off the floor rather than being in a managerial position? ☺

In any case, I think they think they are lucky to find Pierre and myself. Cleaner-uppers who didn't quit on the first day, or week, or month! In fact, I've gone three months straight and I'm still around. Pierre, he used to alternate with another guy (who is no longer around?) so this I think isn't quite yet a month. He's older, so I wonder how long it'll be until his back gets him. Mine got me today, wasn't helped by the stupid rack wheels being frozen in place. Nothing like dragging a rack of 18×2 platters of frozen stuff to make your day! I want to teach myself how to swear in Japanese (like "haul your **** ass you **** of **** ****!") so if I am overheard they won't know what it is I'm saying. At least when inside the freezer, the unit is so noisy I can eff-and-blind until my inner moppet feels sated. ☺

 

Thinking ahead

I had written about what my future plans might be, but given that my company seems to have difficulty with tomorrow, never mind real future, I will ^X it all and condense it down to a PowerPoint-like chart:
  • World economy screwed
    • If offered job, TAKE!
      • You'd have to be a total lemming to say NO.
  • Putting house on market (plan to downsize) around Easter
    • Thus, another 3 month CDD or a CDI, not much difference.
    • Last thing I remember it was mid-September, now it is December.
      HATE shift work, but another couple of missing moms is neither here nor there in the long run.

Anyway, if they don't offer me a position, tant pis, the extra weeks are nice, thanks; and if they offer either another CDD or a CDI, I'll totally take it. The way things are, it'd be pretty stupid not to. Sure, it isn't the dream job, but it is a job.

 

A potted history of discrimination

Some people have asked about trouble finding work. I did once have a reply to a CV/letter (both in French) that stated I was declined because I do not speak any French! That's stupid, but not any more or less stupid than the person who turned me down because I was from a different departement (more distinct than an English country, less separate than a US state).

But here's one that shows the sort of nonsense that can happen:
I'll keep this brief: I applied for a 'job' working as a groundskeeper in the local community. It was "in the bag" as nobody else seemed to be interested. Working outdoors, 8am-5pm(ish), Monday to Wednesday and every other Thursday (avg. 26 hours a week).
In September 2007 I found that I had the position, and in October I found that it was going to be postponed until the new year because the state ran out of cash (apparently this sort of thing is quite common as the year comes to an end).
The job itself is a "Contrat d'Avenir", a "contract for the future", which is something of an oxymoron given that it is time limited. In my case, six months (with one month evaluation). It is half paid by the state, and half paid by the employer (which in this case was also the state...). It is minimum wage, 26 hours a week (average), no more. It is so not counted as a job that I don't apparently need to bother to mention it on my tax return!
Spring 2008 (March, I think?) I was to go to an interview with a new departemental council person following a bunch of local elections. This meeting was suddenly postponed without a message being sent to me until after we'd waited at our Mayor (the scheduled meeting place) and had him call to find out what was happening. The following week, meeting scheduled in a nearby town with, surprise surprise, another candidate. I was told "It has all fallen into the water, too bad" and that was that. The next week I found the job on the ANPE (jobcentre) website, so I had the Mayor enquire as he speaks better French on the phone than either of us. He was told "it was an error on the part of the ANPE, the job doesn't exist". I had a meeting with the ANPE woman the very next day so I passed this info along and she phoned up the records girl (not the normal front-end people) who was extremely upset and get right on to this guy, who gave a bogus health-and-safety excuse that my advisor didn't bother repeating. After some pressing and mentioning HALDE (an anti-discrimination organisation, one of the people I have to meet handed me their pamphlet after looking at my paperwork), I finally and begrudingly was taken miles away for an assessment - where they strapped a big brushcutter to me to see how long it would take me to flake. As it happens, I fired up and laid waste to some grass. C'mon guys, we have four acres of wildness, how the hell d'you think I tame it? Hint - a petrol mower and a brushcutter. So, yeah, I know how to use one of those things. Furthermore, funnily enough, the other candidate was there. Well, it was a crappy Springtime, hope he enjoyed the rain... ☺ And that's where it was left, because the big important guy (who probably votes LePen!) decided to sit on my reapplication through the summer. Fed up of hearing nothing, when the ANPE woman suggested I try this little recruitment test, I went for it. The rest is on this b.log...

I probably have a case with the HALDE, for certainly Important Bloke has hoisted himself by not knowing what excuse he gave to which person, plus I have a latter which states that I have the position followed by a letter from this guy which begins basically "We regret to inform you..." the standard rejection letter. That alone makes numerous officials eyebrows fly into the air, in any case, while a number of public service employees don't wish to get too involved (I wonder if IB signs their payslips?), they all agree that it is "highly irregular".

The problem with pressing ahead with this is what would it achieve? It isn't a real job. Even if the guy gets punished and I get the position promised, it won't do an awful lot for me, not like a CDD/CDI; it doesn't pay into the social system, it doesn't provide anything. Like I said, not even a worry for the tax man. I could work a string of CA's (theoretically, that is...) and still have the exact same rights as if I hadn't worked a day; to me this is one of the flaws of the CA, I'd accept a little less pay to know that I am at least contributing towards my future.

Anyway, so when it is over, I'll be back in the same position. I could prove that my allegation is justifiable and HALDE could make this guy reconsider his attitude; but in the long run what would it achieve?

In life you have to pick your battles. The biggest lesson to learn, and one of the ways a child becomes an adult, is in knowing that winning a battle is not the same as progressing through battle. Don't fight to win, fight to progress.

 

 

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