A few things about me

Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

On my mind

On the news today:

After the release of the national budget or finansloven as they call it here, a total of 44,000 Council employees are to be fired by end of next year in effort to meet budget cuts.

On the news yesterday:

A school put out an ad for a maintenance man and recieved 625 applications in comparison to the usual, 15-20 applications recieved when such a position is advertised.

In the news a few weeks ago:

The third largest employer in Denmark fired 2000 people.

Keep in mind the following fact. Population size is 5.5million. Workforce is approx 2.4million making the afore mentioned job cuts a significant knock on the economy.

You’re still wondering how does this affect me.

Here we go.

My plan was that at the end of my maternity leave I would not be returning to my job. (In case you are not in the know I work at a laundry folding and packing away hospital clothes). Instead I would have secured a job more in line with my desires and mentality of “this is the kind of work I am supposed to be doing”  or I would have started my own gig (those plans have been shelved indefintely… maybe one day I will tell you guys about it) These cuts signify that the economy is still shaky even though I thought it was on it’s way up after  house prices had started creeping up . The fact that intrest rates are still  low should have reminded me otherwise. To sum it up things are still shitty economically and I find myself very interested in this meeting taking place in Seoul with all these powerful heads of state.

In the midst of all this depression one little thought/fact keeps me bouyed. I got a job for life, I have an income for life. So for now I just have to ride this tide and keep my plans in focus.

One sure thing is that I am not quitting this gig until I know that I have another source of income at hand.

A part of me feels like I am stuck between a rock and hard place and the other feels.. just thank -God you have work and thus a decent income.

Hello world!

Meanwhile;

I looked at the bank account and almost fell off my chair.  A deeper look at the statement revealed that YES WE have been careless this month, spending on this that and the other. The amount left for the next 20 days is rather appalling. The challenge is on though, see if we can live off it with out going into red. All plans of going into town to manga manga and treat myself to hot chocolate, a waffle and some magazine have been postponed til further notice 🙂

Have an economically sound day.

Woes on the Job

For the past two weeks I have been posted at another hospital washing beds and  making beds. I HATE MY JOB. With that out of the way let me proceed.

It’s 06:22 in the morning. I am showered dressed and ready to leave the house. I have had the car since my commute is a little longer and without the car I would not be able to pick Nikh on time from the day care lady. Big Al cycles him to daycare then gets the bus into work. I pick him up in the afternoon. It’s working fine for now. I hate that washing bed thing so much, more than my usual gig which is ironing and folding clothes. At the other place I have my pals, we get a long, there’s lots of people. Here, I work with three other people and they are fine and all.. we just don’t blend, a lack of chemisty.

One of the guys keeps pulling or touch his penis. It is so disgusting and unsightly. And because he keeps using his forefinger and thumb I can’t help thinking “kwani how small is it” 🙂 . He keeps adjusting it or them, me I don’t know and it just ugh! yuck! I feel like yelling, keep your hands away from your crotch or do it in private. Or maybe his underpants are tight. Gross!

The other guy is a thug. Walks like one, talks like one, has the air of one. He is the kind of guy I do not want to meet alone. I swear he looks like those rightwing, “keep Denmark white” , I hate all non-white people thugs. We do not talk, he does not talk to me, I do not talk. I can’t even look at  him. He just creeps me out totally.

His mother is my supervisor.. would you believe that. She asked me if I like this new gig, I was like, I would rather go back to my other place. She was not expecting that response and I could see she was taken aback.  I am through with lying to make people feel comfortable. So later she comes back saying, it’s because you don’t smoke and because there are not so many “foreigners” working here as opposed to the other place. I was like “whatever”. Then the ball grabber had been giving me orders and directions all the time. “you gotta straighten out the edeges of the sheet, this is how you do it, blah blah blah, good job, now you just have to be faster.. ” Yesterday I told him off. He started on his orders and I said in my nice polite way with a smile “you’re irritating me with your orders. I know what I am doing and if you want it perfect then stop asking me to worker faster. I have been here 1 week, 3 days. You have been here over a year, lay off with the orders” He was taken aback too. Started saying stuff about just wanted things to look good blah blah blah, I wanted to rid him of his balls. Idiot!

Back from work and continuing this post at 16:00 (Big Al and Nikh are out in town bonding, the roast is in the oven, pototoes await peeling, usual back from work housework awaits.. but I’ll get to that when I am done here)

Yesterday’s word of the day was VUMILIA (persevere). As I worked the only thing I could think was  “I am slowly dying here, I need to get out of this place, I will die in my soul if I keep doing this, I cannot take this any longer”  So that was clear, then I asked myself  “ok then , so you quit your  job then what? What are the alternatives? I came up blank. Job hunting is totally out of the question.

I resolved in myself that I never ever want to be employed by anyone ever again. Me going to work for someone, me begging or hunting for a job is not in the cards. I DON’T WANT TO. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. So I have been working on something, something that is so long from fruition, I loose hope and I gain hope, all the while working and strategising towards this thing that I am planning on doing. I am scared out of my bones, but fuck that, I tried the employment thing, and it ain’t cutting it, so I’m going to try this other thing and see what happens. It fails, it fails, at least I tried.

So if I am not job hunting and if my other thing is not off ground then what, sit at home and be bored, poor and upset… hence “VUMILIA mama! just a little longer sweets, you have a lot on your plate right now, get that out of the way then get cracking

Today’s word of the day has been “count your blessings” and that I did on my ride to work, aloud in the car, like a mad woman beating away at the blues that want to make home in my mind.

That which has brought the hate for my job into focus is working with these new guys. Honest to God, there is nothing wrong with them at all, apart from what I said about, it’s just that we don’t gel and already I hate what I do, now add lack of chemistry and hey presto. But I am a fly chick, hot chick, tough chick. Tomorrow is my last day. Even if they beg and cry there is no way I am staying there next week. I want back at my other boring mundane job. At least I get to laugh and see my buddies.

So if you are having a tough ride at the moment, VUMILIA. It never ever last forever. That’s the beauty of life, nothing is static, everything changes in time and with time. It’s just a matter of time.

Kisses folks.

@#* bleh “#! and everything

I had run out of gas totally. Decided not to push it and rode the gas-less wave. Then someone sent me an “I think you should try this one out” email. I looked at the email and thought, yeah, I can do this. The engine begun to rev. Been so long since I had that feeling and I got into the groove of things.

Did the first cover letter sent it off for editing and stuff. That was today morning. An hour ago I was filling out this long-ass application form and guess what, I get to part 8, the end of it all and frigging bleh!.  I had to attached a cover letter, which I had not yet done, cause my stupid reasoning concluded that I would not need it. So I start to do the cover letter and in the process loose all the work I had done because the totally useless website does not let you close, save and return later. effing shit if you ask me.

I am off work this week and next due to moving house and Nikh starting daycare at a new place. I am beat. (yeah right, and you still have time to blog) bugger off I say!

Two things, being without loads of money is a pain. Living in Europe can be a pain. I could do with some cheap labour ala homestyle. Me, who has never painted a wall in my life spent 5 hours painting 1 room and 4 cupboard doors. Big Al is totally swamped at work with a deadline for tomorrow, so at the moment, I am dealing with the physical aspects of the house move alone.

Should I tell you of the melt down we both had, as in Big Al and I. Total meltdown that led to one of those yucky talks anyone in a  good relationship should and will have.

Anyway since I stopped expecting life to be fair and since I lost my I deserve xyz because xyz  attitude, my life with regards to handling issues has been so much easier. So here we are Big Al and I, totally overwhelmed with stuff. We are having major renovations done to the house cause the house is dated. I found the workmen, Big Al cut the deal after lenghty discussion between us and the bank. In come family with, are you serious, no way, we could get you a better deal . Nothing like making you second guess your decision, then all the other stuff,setting up new bills for the new house, paying off old ones, will we or will we nor hire a moving truck. I am yeah he is aye. Work,  do we have enough money for this, is Nikh’s stuff ready for his new daycare, the owner of the flat wants an exact move out date, we finally agree on the date and on top of all this  our normal life still has to go on while all this is taking place, food’s got to be cooked, house kept clean, toddler entertained, you know normal life. Talk about a pressure cooker enviorment. Come Sunday, explosion baby!

We don’t do shouting matches. Never have. Not our style. But we have done and do, snide comments, passive aggressive shit, emotional withdrawal.. you get the drift. So anyway, I had had enough so I drew the first shot and off we were. Yesu! Some of those talks are hard, but you know what, you gotta do it cause you have to get the emotional stuff on the table, feelings and all. It sounded little bit like this

Mrembo: I can’t help if you don’t tell me what is going on with you.

Big Al: There is no point in telling you cause I get shut down, like my issues are non-issues, here is the solution, let’s move on to Mrembo’s issues.

Mrembo: What the fuck are you talking about, that’s what you do to me, and then… blah blah blah.

Big Al: We are fundamentally different in the way we view issues and I have accepted that

Mrembo: That is not fair for you to say….(on something he had said earlier)

and so it went until we finally got to the point of understanding where the other was coming from and as I type this I can’t help but think, what exactly was the issue.(we were both suffering from  having withdrawn from each other and living seperate lives for about 1 week and as a result you start to feel disconnected and unhappy and my spouse don’t give a fig about me feeling begin to crop up) It’s uncomfortable to talk about the issues where you feel your spouse is letting you down and it is hard to hear about your own failings in fulfilling your spouse’s emotional needs. It’s these silent killers that just build and build and because one never talks about it, then one day you find yourself throwing in the towel.

At the end of our convo Big Al said “it’s hard work being married” and I was like “no shit”. (of the two of us, I swear, he almost never swears… me.. .my mouth ain’t so clean)

So yeah, that is how it goes with me. We were laughing today saying, yeah, just bring on something else we can handle it. The good thing is we are on the same page albeit we disagree on a few things here and there, but same page none-the-less and Baby Nikh is such a happy child. He is so happy and glad that  even when both his parents are feeling stressed and stuff, he makes us laugh with his totally genius moments.

In a way I feel energised. I can deal with this. Big Al and I are in it together

I really wish, many times I have wished so, that I was one of those who blogged about happy stuff, good stuff, all is going good in my life, but that’s just not my life, it’s up and down and.. well it is my life and so far I am ok with it. Would I change some things.. you bet.. like MORE MONEY MORE MONEY MORE MONEY, better job, better clothes, better shoes, you get my drift, but would I exchange my life with anyone’s hell no. Do I wish I had someone else’ life. It’s been a long while since that crossed my mind, a very long while.  Would I trade in my husband…. hmm now… if you had asked me this question last week.. I would have been like… maybe , today my answer is hell no!

Have a blessed day. I am off to bed. It is 23.36

I have read through once, forgive me if there are annoying mistakes… but I gotta go sleep.

You

If your job consists of sitting at a desk. Thank your god. If you job has you sitting at a desk using your brain, even more thanks. If your job entails you actually using your education, your brain and sitting a desk, you need to make an offering of thanks to the powers that be.

I HATE my job. My body tells me everyday we need to quit. My brain says, “good idea.. then what do we do after we quit”. At the end of the day, my fingers hurt, my feet hurt and ache, now and then I get crinks and aches in my back. My job is slowly killing me, meanwhile my job applications are still soliciting “we are sorry, we regret, at this point we will not being going further” responses. Ugh!

Last year I joined a women’s network and was hooked up with a mentor. Point of the mentorship is that she is there to provide guidance, advice and encouragement on how to “intergrate” into danish society and help the mentee build a professional network with the aim of getting a job. The women’s network is targeted towards non-danish, university educated women living in Demark who are having a hard time getting employed. I have met women from all over the world at this club. Before I got my current Kibarua (job) I used to attend the meetings, trainings, seminars etc until I realised it was going nowhere..then I got my job and I stopped going. Towards the end it just became too much of negative stories. I got tired of hearing how companies were not hiring foreigners, how hard it was to get work, how women had to re-train as social helpers or daycare nannies and I was like.. this is not for me.

The reason I am going on about my job is because on Friday I got  hassled around about a potential job.  There was a position advertised internally at work and after two weeks of seeing the job ad, I decided to try it out. It would have meant more more money and a later start time. Currently I start work at 6.15am. which means I am usually up by 5.00am to catch the 5,30am bus that gets me to work at 6.05am giving me enough time to change into my uniform and be at my work station at 6.15am. The new job had a start time of 7.00m and a later finish at 14.45 as opposed to my current 14.00pm. Anyway, I talked to my superviser, she was like.. nope the positon is not filled and if you are interested, let me talk to the supervisor at that station and get back to you. She gets back to me saying I should go there Friday, get a hang of the job, if I like it, the job’s mine.. if not, report back to work on monday morning as usual. This conversation took place on Monday.

Come Friday I am at the new place.  I get into uniform and get attached to my trainer of the day. Oh I forget.. the job was as a “Sengevask” = bed washer. The job is exactly what the title says. Wash beds. The beds come in from the wards stripped of all linen. You wipe down the mattress, then move it to position A.  Roll the metal frame of the bed into the wet area, using a nice powered hose, hose the bed with water. Then move it to poisition B. GEt matteress from position A. Lay it on bed, make up the bed with the linens, roll bed out into corridor. Bed will later be picked up by some other guy.  The job is more physically demanding than what I currently do. The mattresses are the issue, they are heavy and you have to move them from bed to position A and back from position A to bed. I did two beds and figured this job was not for me..

Anyway later in the day, after me asking if the position was filled and everyone drawing a blank, the supervisor comes to me and says the position was filled internally on Thursday and had no one told me not to come. I was like huh! I spoke to supervisor on MOnday and all was settled. I did not work thursday so I got no feedback.. but if position is filled no probs.

I was kinda put off by the lack of info and them wasting my time. There was talk of me being used as a substitute when they are short and I was like. No thanks, I wanted it a full time positon. Working as a sub won’t work for me and my life right now. Thanks but no thanks.

So that was my work drama this week. At the same time I am glad I did not get it because the bus connection out to that place is hellish and with us moving out of town soon, it would have been a hassle. Big Al and I have talked back and forth about a second car. Jury is still out. Car ownership in Denmark is very expensive. It’s not the price of the car nor fuel. It is all the taxes. There a two yearly taxes that you have to pay. Then there is insurance which is bloody expensive etc etc. When you add the cost of having two cars.. Most Danes actually have one car. Very few own two cars.

Remember if you have a desk job. Thank God! What I would do for a desk job. Imagine you sit at a desk the whole day. Me I get to stand for 8 hours straight doing some repetitive motion. I need to get something else soon. Screw finance crisis.

Happy sitting

Past few weeks

Nimekula nimeshiba, mpaka tumbo yani uma! Gluttony at it’s best. I will not be repeating this any time soon, I am sooo uncomfortable. can’t sleep.

I don’t know about where you’re at lakini hapa it is hot hot hot! There is no doubt that the sun in Denmark in summer is hotter than any other sun I have been exposed to in my many few travels. It burns. Sit in it for 10 mins and it starts to sting and burn like sharp needle points. Very different from Kenya or Uganda. My memories of it is more like a flat burn. You know like when you are seated in a car driving and the sun gets really hot, the burn is not uncomfy.. here it another story all together.  Let me just say I am loving it all

Denmark in summer is very lovely. Town feels like one big party f. Everyone and their mother is in town, colors abound, more flesh on display both male and female and may I say just say I am enjoying all the fleshy display :-), folks are eating out on the terraces. I am loving going to town, loving the heat.. just loving the sizzling atmosphere that is summer.

My life:

So so much is happening right now. So much that I am finding it hard to catch a moment to breath. We have finally FINALLY found a place of our own and have been running up and down doing all the necessary paperwork. Just so you know.. the law in Denmark states that a non-danish citizen cannot buy property if they have not been living in the country for more than 5 years. There are a few loopholes in that law that can be circumvented.. but I think this is what AFrican countries should be doing to protect their assests. As explained to us, this law is to protect against foreign investors coming in and siezing big chunks of land etc etc.. Anyway back to the property stuff. I’m in a place of shock, fear, excitment etc because for sooo long I have wanted my own house. FOR SO LONG. Those who know me can attest to this. When we moved to Demark I felt like I had kissed goodbye to so many things and this was one of them. For it to finally be happening is like a wow moment. I am a bit behind schedule 🙂 but I have gotten there.

All this stuff with the house got me thinking as to why my move to Denmark caused such emotional and mental upheavl in my life and it is basically this. (I know I have probably said this somewhere before..) All my life.. growing up, I was a good girl. Was not a rebellious teenager, never bothered my parents with boys, didn’t demand anything, did my best in my studies (though I was and remain a very “average” student…yup, I passed my course with very average results.. boring!.. but decent pass). I did all these things because I believed after being taught that being good paid off. That if I did all as I was to do.. my dreams and life would pan out as planned. Bollocks! After my BA degree I had a rude shock. When all my former classmates were getting jobs in corporate Kampala.. I was still floundering in the streets of Kampala trying to get a hook up bila luck.  Then I went to UK to do my masters .. after really carefully considering what I should do.. and bought into the whole thing of .. “so and so’s daughter did her masters and now she works for XYZ blue chip company and is minting money”. Bollocks again.  Didn’t pan out for me like that.  When I look back I can see why.. first.. my average results throughtout my academic life, secondly my ignorance during those first years when it came to filling out those long ass application forms that bluechip companys so love, thirdly, my lack of specialisation or niching…and last by not least my age and last perhaps is just plain bad luck or it was not written.. who knows.

So moving Denmark had me losing my job, my identity and my opportunity to build a career life… .it just about killed me because my expectations of myself were not matching with the reality that was my life. In UK I had worked so hard to get my foot on to my career ladder and just when I had, I decided to follow hubby here. Colossal ass mistake. My first year here was horrible. Horrible for me, horrible for my husband cause I bitched like crazy. It is only last year that I was able to tell him…. “if I had not been pregnant.. I was so leaving you”. That year I went home twice.. twice… and both times it about me trying to decide if I was living him or not.. actually i went home once then went to England….whether I could do the single mother thing, cause at that time.. love was just not enough for me.

I look at where I am today and I kind of marvel. One, that we didn’t break up as a couple (cause I tell you I was not nice to be around, I complained about Denmark, I blamed him indirectly for not knowing how shit Denmark was to foreigners with career hopes, I blamed him for destroying my life, I blamed me for being stupid… ati.. I love a man so much I followed him) Two.. I marvel at how much I have gotten to know myself and look at all the stuff that I wanted, thought I wanted, stuff I have let go of , stuff I have held on to..Sometimes I look at myself and I think.. “dang girl.. you are the shizzle (ala Snoop Dog). Three…that a a couple we are in a good place right now. I said to Big Al the other day, I am so looking forward to moving in with you again”. It’s another new begining for us and I am looking forward to it. This time I am prepared. No false expectations. I am ready to for the good, the bad and the ugly.

So there you have it, that’s what’s happening in my life right now.. I am gloriously happy, stressed, busy and moving along with life. Sometimes I feel fearless. Like.. I know what it means to have shattered dreams (am talking about my career and the fact that my career was greatly tied to my identity of my self). I now know I can survive that and move on…so bring it on baby.. I’m ready

I know that this post has no flow….

Mchuzi mix

I have just been at Mashada reading a thread about Development or something to that effect. About the possiblity of creating fedral states in Kenya aka Majimboism etc etc. I have forgotten the title of the thread. I read the first 3-4 pages in their entiriety and started getting agitated and stressed. I know that by opting not to follow any kind of news or “African development/the way forward for Africa” I am in essence burying my head in the sand. That’s fine with me. Why, because I look at my circle of influence and say to myself, “what can I do here and now for Kenya or Uganda, what am I doing” the answer, nothing. So then why should I stress myself by getting embroiled in conversation, speculation and postulation about things I can hardly do anything about. I have agreed with myself if I decide to do anything then I shall go into politcs or development and since that is not what I want at this point in my life.. my head continues to be buried in the sand.

I will say this though, that there are many intelligent, passionate dedicated Kenyans out there who all want the same thing for thier country and tribes. PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT. My mind struggles to find the solution to this. I have always said to my husband that I have dictatorial tendencies. God help everyone if I ever became president. I would just kill everyone in my quest to put Kenya/Uganda on the map. I think someone needs to blow up the whole sitting parliament so that we can start afresh with a new crop of leaders. If they then succeed in screwing things up like the current batch, then once and for all we will know that as a people we are seriously fucked up! That’s just the way I see it.

Haya on to other stuff now that that’s off my chest.

Finally finally my 2 year old son is sleeping through the night in his crib. HALLELUJAH! What a ride this sleep thing has been.

It is not all perfection. But it is 100% better than it used to be. He wakes up once for his bottle between 2.30 and 4.00am then again at around 6.30 then he sleeps till 8.00am. He gets to bed pretty late , usually at 9.30pm.. now that summer is here and in winter at 9.00pm. Any earlier than that becomes a waste of my and his time. He is saying more and more words.He speaks to me in English and to his Dad in Danish. When hungry he say.. “mummy food, eat”  When I say speak I mean 5 or 6 clear words.. the rest is just baby speak jumbled stuff that as a mother you learn to decode. But there certainly is a lot of progresss. Today for the first time he came into the living room and said “how u mummy” 🙂 He is so grown. He is still not the biggest eater infact he is the thinnest in his  day care class, but not the shortest. At his 2 year check up he was a little under the normal weight gain curve which had me worried. Eating is still a bit of an issue. As long as he does not snack during the day, then he will eat very well. Once he snacks or has sweets.. that is his eating ruined for the day. Big Al keeps saying that his eating genes have not kicked in yet given the way the both of us like to eat.  Did I say he is lovely. God he is beautiful!

My man:

Where to start. Very interesting stuff between us. I’ve told you before that me and him talk a lot. So the other day on a drive to an animal park we got talking about personal development and I was telling him how I had a light bulb moment,( courtsey of some “live your best life” podcast): that tweaking and reevaluating your life is a continous process. There never comes one point where you can say “ah I have fixed this once and for all, never have to look at it again”  One has to keep checking, taking stock, tweaking here and there, straigtening out priorities because things change, time goes by and life is never static.  He laughed and said that is how he felt about money issues. Big Al hates dealing with money issues.

In a perfect world he would only have to deal with going to work earning money and the rest sort out themselves. This worked fine in England, we both worked, I did all the nitty gritty and would just give him papers saying “sign here, sign here and there”. As long as the money he wanted was there, he did not bother with the rest. I on the other hand like to tweak, move, save, do this and that to the money. Funny thing is that he is easy with letting money go and I hoard it. His attitude is “I can always get money” mine is “Hoard all you can cause you never know when you will see it again” Anyway like I said.. it worked perfect in England.. then we moved here  Denmark that is.

and things just went to hell in a handbasket. Suddenly he had to do the tweaking and stuff because of my language deficiency. He has hated every single minute of it. When he finally said this to me in the car I was like “I know.. and I have hated every minute of having to give up that control to you.. but guess what soon I am going to be able to do this on my own”. He says  “can’t be soon enough for me” More and more I am taking control over it. If you think other countries have a confusing tax, pay, banking system, you haven’t been to Denmark.

It got me thinking about how relationships work. There is no one true way. A couple has to find what works for them. My husband hates having to deal with the nitty gritty of money. I love to get my hands deep into it. It works for us. Find what works for you and to hell with what everyone else says.

My career:

Monday is around the corner. That means my exams which means FINALLY FINALLY I am through with this course. Lord I cannot wait! I have gone from not caring whether I pass or fail to “girl you have to pass cause we just don’t do fail”.  I am still to find out if I am to be employed on a permanet basis at my current job ironing clothes. I hate my job, I love earning money at the end of the month. I love the freedom of having just a little bit extra to buy shoes, save some for the house. But I need to get a better job. So with my exams around the corner, I finally relaunched my job hunt. For the record. I ABSOLUTELY HATE HAVING TO LOOK FOR WORK . At 32 I feel and think it is humilating that I still have to be looking for “the right job”. Just this past Friday I was crying about it. Crying tears because a friend said she thinks I have opted to give up. I was hurt and hurt and pissed off. So all I did at work was look at my life and choices and came to the conclusion that I am doing the right thing for me for now and that my plans are on the right track and if that fails.. I get up and try again. But let me tell you this, I am TIRED OF picking myself off my career floor, dusting myself off and trying again. Fuck it all. But I want money. So like I said to Big Al, “new strategy in place…. playing lotto just got added to the mix”. He laughed till he cried. Looked at me and asked me how that is a strategy. I said “i have been doing this career hunt thing for about 7 years and nothing has come up yet.. keep doing same thing and expecting different results = madness. Play lotto = changing strategy doing something new.. watch this space 🙂

My break is almost over gotta hit the books.

see ya