Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Twenty five II

1992: Yep, that's me in front!
I left off yesterday at the point of working in Tignes in the French Alpes. Another Club Med experience. Or bubble is probably the better word, since not much penetrates from the outside world. So, instead of another season for Club Med, I decided to go elsewhere and do something else as well. I was moving to England.

1993: Quite boring this receptionist lark
I arrived in England and made my way to the other side of the country. Or so it felt at least. My first month in my new job was downright horrid. I didn't know anybody, not many people lived in (basically, only the foreigners) and the job as a receptionist was difficult. Let me rephrase that. The job was fine enough, the things surrounding it were difficult. Ten different ways of saying to change. Talk of Christmas crackers and wellingtons. Rooms that didn't have numbers, but names and were all totally different. When I celebrated my 21st birthday, I didn't have a penny to my name, my parents hadn't called in the morning and I felt very very alone. 

1994: being a waitress
After about 8 months in the job, I was fired. The reason (which I think is still one of the best reasons ever)? My English was too good! But, I could work anywhere else in the hotel if I wanted to. I moved to the restaurant and became a waitress. The fights I used to have with the head chef. The left over food we ate (it was better than what we got by a mile). The late nighters, who came when we were about to close. 

1995: me and my goddaughter, born a few months after I left
But, eventually, despite or perhaps due to the promotion, I had had enough. I wanted something else. I wanted to go home. I had been away for about five years. So, I asked an advance on my wages so I could buy a ferry ticket, loaded up the car and made my merry way back to the Netherlands. I was going Dutch again!

1997: on holiday
Even in the Netherlands however I had to work. I lived at my parents, but they were expecting some money for my keep. I worked as a temp in restaurants, kitchens and canteens, a milk powder factory, the sorting station at the post office. Even as a cleaner, although that was a one off! A year and a half in, due to a stroke of good luck, I found a place to live. By that time I worked in a biscuit factory packing biscuits and cookies. However, when they didn't want to take me on as a proper employee instead of being a temp, I got another job. Again. 

1998: no comment
The new job led me to the trains. No, I wasn't driving them. No, I wasn't even checking tickets. I was selling coffee and tea and such. Tiring, but fun. I thought so anyway. Already during my stint at the biscuit factory I had been harbouring this wish to join the army. I was already quite old compared to most who applied, but I wanted this and I was going to get it. I was going to be a driver. Well, I tried twice. Failed twice on the physical test. And then my dad gave me the best piece of advice (jobwise anyway) he has ever given me: why not become a busdriver?

To be continued tomorrow...


  1. Hari OM
    Sometimes dads come up trumps... YAM xx

    1. With the emphasis on sometimes. I also went on a job interview to be a stewardess once. On his insistence! Not one of his best ideas!

  2. Catching up on the last three posts. Sometimes I simply forget to check blogs for a few days. Anyway, although I have glimpses of your story in the past, it's nice to have a chronological description.

  3. I can count on one hand the number of jobs I have had in my you have had so many which is actually kinda cool !

  4. I am sure that now you are looking back on your life it was at least interesting not like somebody who sits behind a desk and doesn't move his whole life !


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