Wednesday, February 04, 2009

On Being Unemployed

I could never be a housewife. The life I am living right now is far from Lady of Leisure, it's closer to Lady of Boredom and it has been getting me down. My job hunting - that, might I add, has been going on for one month now - stinks and it seems that no one really wants me to work for them. I feel useless and lazy and very, very guilty when FP gets up at 6:30 in the morning and I surface around about 9am, but I am trying very hard to find employment, so what's a girl to do?

I spend my days doing the same household chores as I did the day before and will do the day after. The dishes need washing, the laundry needs hung out to dry, the clothes need folding and put away, the place needs a vaccum and the cat's poo needs to be picked out of his litter. Add in a few jaunts down to the gym a couple of times a week and spending hours in the kitchen each night doing some experimental cooking for FP and that's my life right now.

BORING!!

Today I was supposed to have a phone interview for a post at La Defense - 'Assistante Bilingue Anglais / Français' - which would have paid 2500 euros a month - almost double my last salary - but instead I received a phonecall from the recrutement agent who had set the interview up, saying that the employer had spoken to another candidate before me and had decided to offer her the job. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty down.

And so since the phonecall I've been frantically searching online for jobs in Versailles and have applied to the vast majority of them, even if the pay is crap. And that's when I came across this;

HOTE/HOTESSE D'ACCUEIL H/F
(Code Métier ROME 12112)

GORDON RAMSAY, CHEF BRITANNIQUE RECOMPENSE DE 10 ETOILES MICHELIN A TRAVERS LE MONDE, RECHERCHE POUR SON ETABLISSEMENT SITUE AU TRIANON PALACE A VERSAILLES UNE HOTESSE D'ACCUEIL BILLINGUE ANGLAIS.

I mean would you believe it! I had no idea that the very famous Gordon Ramsay even had a restaurant in Versailles! I'm definitely going to have to go down there to take a look. Anyway, who knows, it may be my next place of work...

Yes, that's how desperate I am to find employment...I have applied for a job where Gordon very-scary Ramsay could be my boss.

And just so you know, considering he is a millionaire, celebrity chef, the pay is still surprisingly crap.

14 comments:

T.D. Newton said...

Nice. And yes, restaurant work never pays much (even at fancier places, I believe) unless you are a Famous Chef with a Name that People Know. But that takes talent and schooling and time (and who has those??), plus it's ridiculously hard work to get to that point.

Good luck with the job searching, I definitely remember all of my troubles after getting sacked in 2005. I took a job for 1/2 the pay I had been getting just to get by, and even then I struggled. Something will come through for you, though, just don't give up.

I would think your bilingual skills would land you a much easier job - possibly at a call center or embassy position. They might not post all their jobs online, but you might try going that route to see if you can get an in.

Oh and always ALWAYS work the "family" route - I know you struggled with this at your temp job, but work is work. If anyone knows of anyone that is hiring, a recommendation is worth the trouble of asking.

Kimberly said...

Hang in there Princesse. It's a tough time to be looking for a job. Here in the states, over 3 million people lost their jobs in December/January. I think Gordon Ramsey is portrayed much meaner than he could possibly be. After all, why would his people even stay working for him if he were truly such a S.O.B.

Stavroulix said...

Have you thought of giving private lessons? I mean teaching English to French kids. You could put an "annonce" in a bookstore close to your house, or the "boulanger's" or anywhere else...It wouldn't be your normal job but it may be a great help in your income until you find something else.Also I remember when I was living in PAris there were study groups organising "practice conversation skills" events where they needed native speakers of English. I don't know...it was just a thought...

Teuchter said...

I'm doing the bored housewife thang just now too so I do empathise.
The Versailles gig might be worth investigating, though the hours'll likely be dreadful.
Swearie Gordie's got so many restaurants that he's probably rarely there - and as Kimberley said, he's possibly not as mean as the media like to portray him.
I'd love to meet him - just to have a closer look at those furrows on his face.

Bon chance, cherie.

Teuchter said...

Inspired by just having flown to China and back with Air France ... thinking of your bilingual skills, could a job at CDG or Orly be worth pursuing?

Princesse Ecossaise said...

@ everyone; I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another bilingual job in Paris that I just spoke to a recrutement agent about. It seem sthat the well paid jobs are in Paris, although every employer seems to be looking for someone with experience rather than a university degree. Unfortunately I have almost zero experience but a good uni degree that I thought would take me places. Obviously I was wrong...

TD I wish I could re-do the whole family connections thing again to get myself an interview but this time it's not so simple as ALL my connections have been fired from their jobs! Now we are all unemployed and are all struggling to find placements. Boooooo to the recession!

Kimberly I think you are right, I think Gordon Ramsau probably is portrayed to be way meaner and way swearier than he is in real life, but even if he was lovely I think I might find myself completely star struck if I were to work for him!!

Stavroulix I have thought about this and I even went as far as to put an ad online and had a lot of responses, but in the end, when I really thought about it, I realised that I am in no way capable of acting as a 'teacher' to these people who are wanting to learn english. The thing is, most of these people just assume that you know how to teach the language if you put an advertisement up, but when it comes down to it, I have never done a TEFL course or a teaching course and I truly wouldn't know where to begin to teach someone my language. I think I would feel like a fraud. SO although I would love to go down this route, I feel that I can't until I get a TEFl teaching degree.

Teuchter I would love to work at one of the airports but they are both pretty damn far from Versailles - or at least CDG is very, very far and would take me over an hour to get there every day. I'm not sure about Orly as I've never been there before but I did take a look on their website and couldn't see anything on their recrutement page that I would suit due to inexperience. But seriously, if there was a job going that paid enough and interessed me, I would definitely go for it, at either of the airports. I did do tourism at university after all!

T.D. Newton said...

Oh, sorry, yes - I definitely could have told you that experience weights 10x more than a degree. I went through that exact same thing when I graduated with my BS in Computer Science. It's a catch-22 that you need experience to get a job, I know, but that's the world we live in.

Super lame that all your connections are joining you as "unemployed." But, hey, at least you probably still get health care. So there's that.

Princesse Ecossaise said...

You know what? I don't think I do!!! I've been waiting for my card that says I'm entitled to health care in France for a good few months now and nothing has arrived except papers of promises that it will come. So I'm not really sure if I have to pay for any health care or not. It's a big bummer. Luckily - so far - nothing has happened to put me in the situation where I have to find out! The only thing is that I know that (even if it's possibly illegal - or maybe just 'frowned upon') I can go back to Scotland anytime and get treated for anything by my general practitioner or at the hospital for free as I still haven't filled out any official forms to say that I'm not living in the country any more.

And that kind of makes me feel really guilty...but at the same time I don't really feel like I'm a fully fledged Frenchie just yet, and I don't feel right in asking for the French governement to pay for my doctors appointments... (BTW Has anyone noticed just by this one small comment that I am very obviously someone who procrastinates and doesn't take the time to fill out governmental papers or to phone when files don't turn up? I'm feeling a little bit ashamed of myself here.)

Anyway, yeah it's a total catch 22 about needing experience to get a good job! The employers want someone experienced and yet how am I supposed to become experienced if no one gives me a chance?! Sucks!!

I'm sure something will turn up, eventually, but it's not a nice feeling right now, being unemployed and uncertain on what kind of job I'm going to have to take on next...

I may end up working in McDonald's!

zingtrial said...

Hi!.You have a nice blog.liked reading it. Keep looking and one will lend in your lap.Thanks for sharing :).Wishing you all the best

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Thank you Zingtrial glad you enjoy the blog :-)

Zhu said...

Oh, I hate job hunting... shit, I will have to do it when we come back. Arhg.

I remember looking for a job in France, they would always ask me for these really high skills (like fluent in Spanish, German, Chinese, French and North Korean) and the pay was like 500 euro. Yeah right.

Best of luck!

Esa said...

I'm a firm believer that experience in a restaurant will prepare you for anything you end up doing...sales, public relations, management...you name it.

Last summer, when we were in Paris, all the hostesses looked like models...just like you! I say, go for it, and keep looking for the job you really want. Who knows, you might meet tons of prospective employers who go out to dinner!

Good luck. I know the economy is bad everywhere, but you'll find something, I'm sure.

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Chez Speedies said...

Hello, I love reading your blog. It's really funny and serious at the same time. Good luck with the job hunting!