So yesterday I was fired from my job. Well not exactly. They want to lay me off. They offered to let me work till the end of January (3 months which is mandatory under German law) but pay me my salary for four months. I will also be able to interview for other positions during this time and write my own letter of recommendation.

Not bad. If you have to get fired get fired in Germany.

The only problem is that I have been working here since January 10, 2003. But for the first 3 months I had no German work permit. In order to get arbitelosegeld (unemployment money) I have to work for a year. So I asked them today if they would make it look as if I wern'f fired untill the middle of April 2004, this pushing me over the one year mark and thus making me eligible for unemployment money, which could total nearly 1000 euro a month!!!

So tonight I have a beer or two with a friend whos a lawyer and we talk it over. Then I sign the agreement saying that we mutually (me and the company) agree to my termination (laid off) and then I come to work for the next three months as if nothing happened.

If I am eligible for the unemployment money then I just take it and run with it all the while looking for new work. I give up my apartment. Then I go to Thailand for three or four months and export back to America one to two thousand dollars worth of trade goods such as Thai jewlery, stones, clothing... yu know hippie shit. Then I come back to Germany travel with my son during the month of June in Italy, France, etc (he want's to go to Venice and I want to take him to Paris and Holland). Then back to America in July for Phish and The Dead's summer tours where I sell the Thai goods. Then who knows...

If I can get the jobless money then I stick around Germany living at the expense of the governemnt and looking for a new job and doing research for the book I want to write set in the Gilded Age.