So, I’ve chosen my re-integration agency and they’ve made a plan to get me back to work. It looks good, and it is exactly what we discussed, what I want. Finally, someone who keeps a promise! I have submitted it – in four-fold!!! – to the E.O. and keep my fingers crossed. I’m starting to feel optimistic about my future… At last…
Solveig van Mourik – van der Bruggen, Gemeenteraadslid in Breda namens de PvdA
Archive for oktober, 2004
donderdag, 28 oktober 2004
woensdag, 27 oktober 2004
I live in a new building in the old center of our city. As in every town, the city-centre is the main shopping area. Clothes, shoes, presents, stuff: all together in one square kilometer. Handy, for most people. It is also my shopping area. My supermarket, my drugstore, my bakery, my bank: scattered around on that square kilometer and surrounded by clothing and shoe and stuff shops. Not so handy at all.
This is one of the reasons I do my weekly shopping on Monday. On Monday, the ‘other’ shops open at 1 PM, ‘mine’ at 10 AM. On Monday morning, the city is empty – only happy locals doing their weekly shopping. On any other day of the week – Saturdays are the worst -, the streets are filled with happy recreational shoppers. I avoid them – and the centre – as much as possible. I try not to disturb the fragile status quo.
Unfortunately, sometimes you unexpectedly run out of necessary stuff – like toilet paper, or wine – in the middle of the week. If postponing the purchase, or borrowing from the neighbours, is not an option, there’s only one solution: shop. Take a deep breath and jump into the crowd. Manouevre between the common people. Try to control my irritation, my urge to push people out of my way and shout ‘hurry-up’ and ‘move along’.
Why? I’ll tell you why: For some reason, people start strolling in a pedestrianized shopping area. Do a bit of window shopping, stand still on the spot – just like that! – to chat with other recreational shoppers… Very annoying! Can’t they see that they’re blocking my trough route? I know that they see it as their right to zig-zag from shop to shop, but it’s my direct A to B road. My motorway. I don’t slow down, stop or zig-zag on theirs, now do I?
Can’t the city introduce a ‘fast-lane’ in the streets, for locals only? So we can shop whenever we want at our own speed? Or is that a form of discrimination?
dinsdag, 26 oktober 2004
The European Space Association is looking for European women to volunteer for WISE bed-rest study in Toulouse next year. WISE will need 24 female test subjects to remain in bed, slightly tilted head down at six degrees below the horizontal, for a total of 60 days. This serves to simulate the physiological effects of an extended period in weightlessness as experienced by astronauts. The study will assess the roles of nutrition and physical exercise in countering the adverse effects of prolonged gravitational unloading during bed-rest. The woman have to be between the ages of 25 and 40, non-smokers and non-obese. At the end of the experiment they will get 15 thousand euro. (more)(via)
Hmmm, sounds interesting… I meet all the criteria, I have nothing to do, and I could use the money… Too bad that the experiment starts on MyLove’s birthday. Damn, now I can’t participate…
maandag, 25 oktober 2004
Staring out of the window of my warm apartment, I notice that the leaves are starting to loose their battle against the wind. I watch, while the last ones standing – or hanging, in this case – have to give up their heroic attempt to stay close to their beloved tree, and fall. Autumn gales have brought about a massacre, I think while sipping my hot coco. Yet the victims did not die a useless death. They will provide food and shelter for a new generation!
Every Autumn I have poetic, melodramatic moods. Nothing to worry about, it’s not contagious, it’ll pass.
vrijdag, 22 oktober 2004
Earlier this week I told you about my search for the perfect re-integration office. I think I’ve found it. All (4) agencies I talked to were good and their ‘plans de campaign’ did not differ a lot from each other. They varied a bit in their coaching – in the form of networking classes and jobhunting – to counseling – in the form of psychological, competency and personality testing – ratio, and in their methods. However, objective selection criteria – like: do you give individual support or do you work with groups – made me drop only one agency. So I had to use more subjective criteria. Out of the other three, I did not have a ‘click’ with the consultant of one, yet the other two made me cry during the interview. Not because they were mean, but the talk was very confronting and direct and they managed to break through my ‘wall’ (a self-defense against unemployment induced pain and rejection). Anyway, the choice between the latter two was a difficult one. I picked the one that I felt most comfortable and open with and I think I made the right choice. I phoned the agency to tell them and they sounded sincerely happy that I picked them. Cool. Now I have to tell the others ít was great talking to them, but that I won’t continue with them… I feel a bit like the Bachelor during the rose-ceremony ;-D
donderdag, 21 oktober 2004
I don’t agree with the plans of my government. ‘They’ want to cut down the costs to increase economic growth. Yet, too many – already vulnerable – groups in our society (the disabled, the poor and the elderly) will suffer from more cuts in their social security benefits.
“Time for action!”, I shouted (in Dutch) and decided to start a revolution in this country. Not of the messy and bloody type (like America 1775, France 1789 or Russia 1917, but a more ‘civil’ one – like the Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia in 1989… Since I’ve never started a revolution of this size and significance before (I am not counting the ‘MyLove and the use of the wash bin’ riot of 2001), I wanted to start this one well-prepared. No impulse action – though I read somewhere that the element of surprise can be the basis of success – but a well planned campaign. Therefore, I did what each person in need of knowledge or in search of wisdom did before me: I Googled for it!
Hutton stated that ‘the past is the key to the present’. So all I have to do is to find a charismatic leadership figure, write an inspiring manifest, initiate mass demonstrations and get the police and army on my side.
Sounds like a lot of work over a prolonged period of time. Does anyone have a better – read: simpler and quicker – plan?
woensdag, 20 oktober 2004
A word of advice: never, ever, start preparing diner in your mind the second after you paid for the ingredients at your supermarket. Wait till you´ve returned to the safe environment you call home. I was already dreaming about that great pasta – hmmm, pasta – I was gonna cook tonight while filling my shopping bag. Lost in tasty dreaming, I forgot there´s a three-step staircase going down right before the exit… You get the picture: Solly flat on her face, groceries all over the place, concerned shoppers and manager – are you o.k.?
I got up from the floor (unfortunately it did not open up to swallow me), assured everyone I was o.k., collected my stuff and left the place as graceful as possible in this situation. At home I inspected the damage. My knees are black and painful, one tomato died, but my ego and/or pride is hurt the most…
woensdag, 20 oktober 2004
Some girls get crazy over a pair of shoes, some just wanna shop at H&M; till they drop, whilst others will do anything for a D&G; dress. I am not that kind of girl. I am a bag lady. Another Solly confession! It all started with a medium sized red furry Bjorn Borg bag in
1998 another decade and now I have about 20 different bags. Big ones, small ones, tiny ones…. 5 to 10 of this collection are in semi-permanent use. A bag for any outfit or occasion. Every season, I buy a new one (or two) (or more). I have a couple of requirements the bags should comply to. One, a handbag is never too small but it should fit at least a wallet and a phone. Second, it should have a separate -small- compartment for my keys and i.d. And third, and very if not most important, it must be an original. I don’t wanna see half the city walking around with my bags. Personally, I prefer Pucca, because they make their bags in every size! *sighs while thinking of the new handbag collection*
Uh-oh. I think I don’t just like handbags, I think I am an addict!
If I feel sad, or down, buying a handbag can really cheer me up. I get high of the smell of new bags and I will spend my last money on one I really, really love!
My name is Solly, and I am a handbagaholic…
maandag, 18 oktober 2004
You gotta work hard to find a decent job these days. I look for job openings every single day, write letters like a maniac and still: unemployed. At home, bored and jobless. But I do not have to fear anymore, ’cause help is underway! Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s a ‘re-integration’- agency!
The idea is, that an independent (non-gov) agency will coach – in the form of networking classes and jobhunting – and/or councel – in the form of psychological, competency and personality testing – me, so I will find that perfect job. What I like most about it is, that I am free to pick my own agency! Finally the power is mine! I received a list of approved agencies from the unemployement office and this week I have 4 interviews with potential help-troups. By the end of this week I have to choose the one that suits me best. Then comes the tricky bit: the plan has to be approved by the consulent of the unemployement office… It should not exceed a certain budget. So now I am worried: what if I pick the perfect agency, they make the perfect plan and the E.O. person does not approve? Or am I just thinking too negative, and is this the worst-case scenario?