Friday, 18 October 2013

Back to school

During the summer I was asked whether I wanted to do a course. A course where I would learn all about my job basically. And if I passed said course, I would earn up to 2 euros and hour more! Payment of the course would be easy: I would pay half, the union would pay half. So far so good.

The first evening of the course was during my holiday. As was the second evening. The third evening I missed, because I didn't realise it was a course night and then finally the fourth evening I made it to class. This week was to be the fifth evening. And I didn't go. Not because I couldn't, but because I can't afford it.

The problem is this: I moved to Norway late November last year. Which means I have been a member of the union for 10 months now. And you have to be a member for at least 1 year before any financial aid is forthcoming. Any thoughts about being extra nice to me can be forgotten, since they are already extra nice to members of our particular branch (usually you have to be a member for at least 3 years). Me having been a member of a Dutch union doesn't help either.

That is not the only part of the problem though. The other part is the fact that I don't get any holiday money, since I only starting earning this year! Which means that any holiday has to be paid for by me. I was told I had to take three weeks (which I did), but the financial repercussions will have to be carried by me.

My landlady has this strange thing about wanting her rent every month. And my body feels that food is quite nice to get once in a while. So, I have asked to do the course next year, when I will be eligible for financial help from the union, will have holiday money and will be more settled than I am now. Today I got an answer to my email and they will take it up on Monday. Hopefully with a result that is good to me! Otherwise I will need to get a loan from somewhere and that is something I wanted to avoid at all cost this year!

Oh, and before anybody asks: I did need the holiday. It was my first in several years!

PS: photos taken during a walk last Sunday. A long walk.


  1. Well I hope you can take it again, that would be a nice increase and the other benefits will be wonderful when they start. Wishing you all the best!

  2. I think you did the right thing.

  3. Health is more important then money, so if you needed the holidays, then you made the right choice.
    What I don't understand is that you had to take 3 weeks unpayed. In Belgium you could have chosen 1 or 2 weeks unpayed holidays in this case unless the company shuts down for 3 weeks.

  4. Mara, you have such a good head on your shoulders. Some times it just comes down to world experience. With all the experiences you are having you will be a gold mine of information for others. You're such a good writer, do keep a record of all your experiences. Writing a book might recoup some of your losses. Sorry, can't help being a grandma sometimes.


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!