Job interview and further doubts

Trip Start Sep 06, 2004
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Trip End Nov 23, 2004


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Flag of Ireland  ,
Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Interview today, for a temp job at NUIG (National University of Ireland--Galway, also apparently called University College of Galway). The campus was great, or at least the "Quad"/entry part of it. Old building with ivy on the front and a courtyard in the middle; changing leaves on the trees and the ivy; tons of ravens; and even a hunchbacked porter! But I got confused when trying to follow his directions to the appropriate building, so ended up in the wrong building among people who had never heard of the "Media Services Office" or my interviewer. Of course, none of the buildings had signs on them telling what they were--a chronic problem in Galway (no street signs either). After a frantic phone call to Annette (my coordinator at I.C.E.) and continued searching on my own, I finally found the office. Turns out the "Media Services Office" isn't anything cool...it's where students take their essays on disk to be printed out. That's the job: hitting the "Print" button. Sigh. More about that later.

Stopped in at Hotlines again. Still couldn't catch up to John. Obviously I'm not a high priority for him. Oh well, his loss...he's not getting his database!

From my diary:

"Had interview today. Did not project confidence and competence, largely (I think) because of trouble finding the place and also partly because I've become conditioned to expect rejection. (Not healthy--my ego is low enough already!)

Thus the question: Do I look for a flat tomorrow or not? When is it time to give up? My October 12 entry is still how I'm feeling now, despite I.C.E. and Hotlines. However, those are two leads I didn't have before--isn't it silly to give up now? Yet I can't keep hanging on.

'I'm going home.' How does that sound? How would it feel? I don't miss Edmonton. But Galway is grey and somewhat characterless except for the tourist area (Shop Street). It's the beginning of a very long winter at home now--something I'm quite happy to be missing, despite the rain here. (You get used to it and it doesn't seem that bad. The rain, I mean, not the winter in Edmonton.) I was born in Ontario--maybe Toronto is almost a coming home. The red autumn leaves, the moister air, who knows what else I'll recognize? A healing at the innate level. Not to say that my years in Edmonton didn't also have a deep effect on me--the nature of which I suppose I won't realize until I've lived somewhere else for a while. 'My years in Edmonton'--strange to think that they're probably over. I don't live there anymore. But I don't live anywhere else either.

Find a flat and do an aggressive job hunt for two weeks? Then if no luck...go back to Canada? Probably have to find someone else to take my place (in the flat). Do I even want to stay here--live here? Or is it too tainted now with failure? I have enough money, I could stay for another month and still not be broke, but I wouldn't want to--both financially and mentally. Two weeks hitting every business I can find, Christmas staff, deli assistants, plus waiting for I.C.E. and doing stuff for Hotlines, insofar as I can: A sort of starting over on the job hunt, plus blessed privacy.

I have a secret weapon, too. My working visa is good for ages yet. So I could come back, maybe for the summer. Would I? I don't know. The airfare is a lot of money. Plus I couldn't leave a job in Toronto or Edmonton so easily, unless it were temping, and I'd hope I would have done better than that by then. So, actually, I probably wouldn't come back. This has already been horribly expensive--the SWAP fee, travel health insurance, airfare, living jobless in a hostel for seven weeks and counting.g Dare I say it--an expensive mistake.

I wanted this interlude in Europe to mean something, to have a positive effect, to be part of the shape of my life when I looked back. So far, it's just limbo. Time and money I could have spent travelling around instead. And a negative effect on my state of mind, which was quite negative enough already. I'm not in the rut that I so hated before, but I'm in a different one, and I'm not living the exciting, glamorous, richly culture-infused European life that I imagined when I decided to come here. I'm sure it exists somewhere in Europe--just not here. I come from a rather British country--apart from the humour and some cultural quirks, Ireland and (I suspect) Britain are awfully similar to Canada. So much for inspiration and sensory stimuli. Maybe a solitary retreat would have been better after all."

After that, I had trouble sleeping...tossed and turned, trying to figure out what to do. And wondering about the job interview.
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