after a couple of years in the office, the so-called global/financial/sensational crisis* pushed me out to look for a job. this was almost a year ago. i took the first test for a miserable position with the EU. i failed and i missed the chance to take the second test, then go to an interview, and possibly relocate for a decent salary.
how did i fail? closely. there were two sections of this test, one involving a decent understanding of english and some logic/math skills, and the other one about general knowledge about the goddamn union. they pushed it down to questions like ‘was the conference in dubai in 1996 about a) fisheries b) finances c) environment d) none of the above’. now how the fuck am i supposed to know? i used to be a journalist only for 10 years , mostly in the foreign affairs. the dubai shit? my ass.
well, dew-bye or doo-bay, i was only 2 points below the line, out of 100 or so, i don’t remember exactly. now where was i with that? well, for at least the fifth weekend this year, i kept postponing my work until the deadline ticked dangerously close. and then …
… then i completed in 24 hours a task for which the guys in brussels (who deal with exactly the same stuff as myself) would have had a week. and that’s not even a first. i had also 48 h records, the last of them amounting to the ‘european working norm’ for almost 15 days. or one hour records, equivalent to a standard day’s work. obviously, my lucky colleagues have fair, fixed, guaranteed wages, and i don’t.
but you know what? they could only dream about my hourly rates – actual working hours, that is. unlike them, i don’t count as working time the clips on youtube, the online chatting, or adding up ‘friends’ on social networks. when i work, i work. when i don’t, no boss watches the clock when i come and leave, and no one tells me when i can take a break.
and you know what? there’s nothing like working at night, when it’s fresh and quiet, and when you look out the window and you see all the lights off, and you can imagine all the people miserably farting under their blankets. and in the morning, when they rush to their daily chores, you can go to sleep – you did it again.
so in the end, maybe it’s just fair that someone else passed the test i failed, maybe he or she really needed that money from the taxpayers. and on top of it, from the little i understand about the european affairs in general, and about the mutual feelings of love and respect betwen the belgian french, aka walloons, and the belgian dutch, aka flemish , in particular, even the natives hate living in brussels.
* a huge scam, of course