Monday, February 1, 2010

Establishing Roots

Today I accompanied by friend, Brendan, to the school that he works at in hopes of achieving gainful employment myself. Its an English immersion school for little kids (yikes!) not too far from the University. It felt strange - trying to get back in the workforce after being absent for almost two years, but after spending an hour with the kids in the school setting, I felt so rejuvenated. My presence there had nothing to do with being Ilya's mom - in face, the topic of my daughter didn't even get brought up. I was just Lena, applying for a job doing what I love to do...kinda.

In Germany, when a person leaves a job, it is their responsibility to find a replacement for their position, which worked out great for my friend, Brendan, who had just given his 6 week notice (they also give VERY long notices here - usually three months). The problem is, I'm not sure I want to be doing Brendan's job. For one thing, he works with little little kids (first graders aka ankle biters). For another, and I could be wrong about this, it seams to me like he takes care of the students in their non-class time (lunch, recess...etc...). I'll find out for sure on Wednesday when I'm going to follow him around all day.

I will say this, though, despite my fear of ankle biters, his group of first graders was VERY sweet. One of them even drew me a picture. I miss that. None of them speak English very well - which could be problematic because, as I might have mentioned, I don't speak German. At all.

I am planing on treating this job interview as practice negotiating. I know that they need me, but I also know with my training and experience, I am worth a certain amount. If they are not willing to work within my (granted) strict limitations, then I will simply walk away. I don't have to work. Its a great position to be in. I told them I could only work M, T, and Wed (this ensures that either Adam or I will always be watching Ilya) and they still wanted me to interview, so that is a good sign.

I have also decided that I am not willing to work for less than $3000 Euros a month (for a 40 hour week of which I would only be working about 20, so it would come out to about $1500 Euros a month). That is right around what I would be making if I were teaching in America, so I will probably ask for $3500 a month but accept $3000 a month. I am telling you all this so that if I update my blog stating that I accepted an offer for less than $3000 a month, you will all have my permission to throw rotten tomatoes at me - digitally. This will help me stick to my guns.

On an unrelated note, I learned a fun German phrase that I want to incorporate into my vocabulary. When you want to speak alone with someone, you would say, "I want to speak to you under four eyes." I like the image.

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