Saturday, July 23, 2005

the highs and lows of it

This week, I took the second step in looking for work. After registering at Assidic, I had a month to register at ANPE, the national employment agency. I printed out a copy of my resume, filled out a work history survey, and went to ANPE on Thursday afternoon.

After about a forty-five minute wait with only two people waiting ahead of me, I nervously made my way to my assigned cubicle. I was greeted by a guy who must have been sent from heaven - he was unbelievably nice, complimentary of my French (!), and was very positive about my ability to find a job. We agreed that finding a job would have the added benefit of improving my French, and in any case I should continue taking my French classes when they resume in the fall. In the meantime, we found a job offer that sounded perfect: an administrative job with strong English skills.

Needless to say, I nearly floated out of the office! Suddenly, I was brimming with confidence. This is it, I thought. It's all going to start now!

Well, there's nothing like a Temp Agency to burst anyone's bubble.

The next day, I presented myself to the Temp Agency that was offering the job. I gave the document with the job description to someone who passed it on to someone else. The conversation went something like this:

"Oh, you're bi-lingual!"

"In fact, I'm American. I've been living here since September of last year."


"Excuse me, I know my French isn't perfect, but I do understand better than I speak."

"So, can you write in French?"

"Erm... not very well, actually...."

"And on the telephone?"

"Yes, well... obviously it's more difficult on the telephone for the moment..."

"I see. Well, you'll have to register with our company before we can consider you for this position, and we don't do registrations on Fridays. Can you come back on Monday?"

"Yes, sure, no problem, thank you."

And with that I slunk out the door.

And to think Steph and I were actually making plans if I'd gotten this job. I should have known better.

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