With the encumbrance of McDonald's behind me, I finally regained the vigor to node today.
After about a year of fruitless applications to innumerable computer jobs with only sporadic income from working as a substitute teacher, I had depleted my resources about two months ago and realized I needed funds acutely.
I blame the mismanagement of this country, but my mother has been out of a job for quite some time too (she got laid off after 20 years in the company because of its transient financial problems that have now been resolved) and can't seem to get a new one because she is overqualified. Me, on the other hand, I have only two High School diplomas and a few computer-related jobs to support my applications, so I am not qualified enough.
Anyway, figuring my mother has been able to get unemployment benefits, I finally decided I should try to get it too. I am unemployed, and as such, I should be able to get it, right? I don't like our system with heavy taxes and subsidies, so I tried to avoid being a part of it (at least its receiving end, as it's the only one that can be evaded) for as long as possible, but when I have no money to pay the taxes with, I thought maybe I could benefit a little from all the money I put into the system.
No, nay, ne'er! Dragging myself to the unemployment office, the official bluntly told me that, because they want to keep unemployment statistics down to dupe the people into re-electing the socialist government (okay, that part wasn't explicitly stated), I could enter into the system if I liked to, but I couldn't get any money until after a certain period of time. Also, I would be given help to look for a job during this period of time, but since there are very few computer-related jobs available, they would mainly refer me to janitorial jobs and similarly demanding and prestigeous positions.
Furthermore, come the time when I would theoretically start to receive money, because I am only fluently bilingual with two international High School diplomas featuring university preparatory computer courses and prior experience in several international computer companies as well as having consulting experience, I would be forced to take a job at McDonald's or get kicked out of the system before receiving any money at all. So in the choice of waiting on a zero budget to be forced into McDonald's or applying directly, I decided to bite the bullet.
They hired me instantly and talked about promotion from day one. I had told them I am nocturnal, so after a fortnight of mid-day shifts, I was put on the night shift with more responsibilities, such as stowing everything for the night, accounting for the waste, and most importantly, accounting for the inventories. Not to mention that, at that time, I would generally be working the kitchen on my own. This is in one of the country's highest-selling restaurants and McDrives.
I acquired the rudimentary skills quickly, and after two days I knew how to work all the stations in the kitchen. I found myself taking charge, leading and teaching those who had been hired in the batch of applicants of which I was a part. Some of my "superiors" were very pleased with my work, but others, to whom I listened more, were less forbearing of my mistakes. Personally, I felt I couldn't live up to the expectations of high quality while producing at insane speeds in a severely understaffed kitchen.
Every day was arduous and left me sleeping way into the afternoon until shortly before my next shift commenced. The only mitigating circumstance was the fact that, because I worked the night shift, my free time awake was before work, not after it, when I would be completely spent. Still, working oneself to exhaustion, acquiring more and more interesting burns and cuts and finding new meanings of the word pain while getting the aforementioned cuts and burns burned again; or soaked in vinegar; or covered in mustard and salt and pepper, when feeling inadequate in fulfilling one's task, one finds oneself with a simple wish.
That simple wish is the wish for a feeling of at least working for a good cause. Alas, flipping burgers for a multinational conglomerate of grease does not instill this feeling in me, notwithstanding the amount of glossy propaganda they shove at me and expect me to read in my spare time.
It was starting to get to me. I was being rude to the few friends I keep in touch with online. I didn't interact with any friends in real life, so there was no opportunity to be rude to anybody that way. When a little over a month in hell had passed, necklace commanded me to quit my job. So I did.
The official reason was that I felt that I was not the right person for the job. The real reason was that the job is not right for anyone. I will never eat at McDeadCow's again. The place is despicable. Most employees actually follow the strict regulations to ensure that the food is safe, but you never know when the person who does not is there, and after seeing the grease dripping off a QP burger or the cold bacon that is put on the Super McFeast and heated by the meat alone, you would not want to eat there either.
So Friday was my last day. My two-week period of notice was up, and my resignation went into effect. nocte told me I seemed happier already, and I had been trying to conceal my unhappiness while working there all along. I suppose I was not very successful.
And yes, I do feel happier. Tomorrow I will go back to substitute teaching. It gives about as little money as McDick's per hour, and it's nowhere near full time, but working with kids is a lot more stimulating than shooting catsoup at burgers, and it's at least a little bit of money. I don't cost a lot, anyway. McDork's still hasn't paid me my salary, but I have a load of cash to live off after a couple of stock index funds expired, so except for the lingering feeling of alienation, I am doing fine.
I will apply to a few universities in Australia early this week. I need to get my ass out of this dark, cold, Soviet replica excuse-for-a-country before its winters deprive me of the little sanity that remains. I have calculated that I will accumulate a debt equalling about 40,000 U.S. dollars, but it should be worth it. With a double Bachelor, I will feel justified when I paint the walls with the head of the next unemployment office official who tells me to flip burgers.
It was great to be back. The kids are nice (most of them, most of the time); working with people calms me. Two little girls got themselves hurt while playing outside on two occasions. I got them both to stop crying instantly by telling them my secret trick: breathe calmly and think of clouds and crazy little piglets. Works every time.
Tomorrow I am teaching an older group of kids at the school I used to attend myself. They're older than the ones I have taught before, and some of the subjects are not my strongest. I'm nervous. It will be fun though. I am booked most of the week already, and it's still Monday. This looks auspicious.