Saturday, April 11, 2009


I have been reluctant the past few days to post about work and my new job, because it is all a bit depressing. Depressing in the fact that it is a "busy work" type of job and not why we came over here. I should be thankful that I even have this crappy work, because there is absolutely nothing going on for engineering in the Stuttgart area. We had a team meeting on tuesday, like 15 people that work for High End Engineering out of 20 have lost their contracts and are now jobless (but still being paid, like me). Everyone has family and friends around here and houses and such, so it is a tense situation. Alot of contracting compaines are going out of business. So, the management is proposing a 10% paycut for everyone so that the company can stay afloat and still afford to pay everyone. I am assured that no one will be let go. This may have been ok in a year from now, when I have had all my raises come through (supposed to get a raise after 6 months and another after 9 months), but for this to happen right now, would truly sink us. Yes, we are living that close to poverty based on my current pay and things that are out of my control (taxes, bills at home, buying furniture, etc). I will not get the paycut as long as my current term of work lasts. They say it will last 2 months. But it's so boring! Checking drawings (actually pictures/scans of drawings, I am not even using CATIA) for Airbus. Tedious work that they usually send to Turkey and India, but because of the jobless here, they have brought it back. So I guess I stole a Turk or Indian job. Sorry about that, dude. Damn. This situation sucks for everyone, I guess. After 2 months and the project is ended, when there most likely will still be no work (my boss thinks the joblessness here will last through all of 2009), I will get the paycut, and will probobly not get my raises. I need to find out about that, though. If that happens, we will be screwed, since money at home is dwindeled to near zero and we can barely make it through the month with my payrate as it is. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Time will tell. Our only Plan B at this point is to go home, which I am reluctant to do based in the investment we have made to this adventure and the huge push it took to get over here. We would be scrwed at home too---no jobs and nowhere to live (our house is rented for a year...I think it's kind of a big deal for us to want to kick them out before a year). I know that if we went home it would be awhile before a.) I convinced Jenna that we have to move overseas again, b.) we had enough money to do it again and c.) we would even think about doing this all again. I should have slaved at some huge corporation and waited for the day for them to decide to send me overseas, pay for everything, but no, we had to try and do this independently. You certainly don't hear about this happening alot--you are in the Military or your company transferred you--thats how normal people move overseas.

Mayzie is the perfect age for this. I love/hate many things about Europe and Germany, but my passion for travelling and thirst for new sights and people is quenched right now, and I long for this to continue. I feel it is way to early to give up on this dream. Even if it means we are in some debt. But how much debt is too much? We hardly have enough money to travel. At what point do we cut our losses and go home? Is it any better in Portland? Jenna might be able to get a nursing job, but engineering is dead there too. Might as well stay where I am being paid, right? At least we would have family and friends around back home, I suppose. But we would be back in the US which I am not thrilled to do yet. You have no idea how long I daydreamed about living in Europe again, and now to make it a reality, and it not working out so good....frustrating. I know if I left now I would have huge longing for travel. It's a curse! I have always been very employable and I could quit and get hired at ease, since I graduated in 2000. Now things seem different and I am clinching to a job that I dont even like, waiting for things to get better.

This is the train of thought as of late. A see-saw of "yes, we will stay no matter what" to "we have to go home, because we are going to be financially screwed if we continue this way." It is exhausting. Typing it all out helps.

Thanks for reading. 

Multiple Choice:
What would you do?
A. Live the dream--travelling and working in Europe. Screw the money...don't worry about it, dude!
B. Oh man, you will be broke as hell if you better get home where you have some support and a free place to crash for awhile.
C. Wait at least 1 year to see how everything turns out. If you are in debt, you go home. If you managed to get a raise or a better job in that time, you stay.
D. Stay in Germany but be poor. Real poor. 
E. Apply for every job in Holland so that we can move there.


Tim said...

A and/or E

It's probably going to get worse here than in Europe IMO. What about possible nursing jobs in Germany/Holland, as a last resort? Is a work permit not doable?

DarrenDriven said...

A rock and a hard place, eh? I think that you should try as hard as possible to stay in Europe... but we'll all be happy to see you again if you have to come back. I have my fingers crossed for you! Happy Easter!

Troy said...

Dude, don't woooorrrrry about it!

That kind of uncertainty is stressful. I think you should try to tough it out over there... if you come back things won't be much better and you'll probably just end up kicking yourself. I totally understand that at some point the $$ dries up tho, and then what do you do? Tough call.

If Jenna is willing to work but can't get a gig as a foreigner you guys should try to bring in some coin under the table. Maybe she could provide daycare for a family that wants their kid to learn excellent English, and that way she can watch Mayzie too? That works for a couple Mexican mothers I've met over here.

Steve said...

I'd agree, job situations here seem like they're going to be just as bad. Worst case scenario could you try and pick up a low income no brainer job while you're unemployed to offset a pay cut? I'm thinking a few hours serving brew at night would be right up your alley. It seems like Jenna's services would be in high demand over there too. I don't follow the field much but it would seem like the less money, the more need for health care.
I like T's idea too, english lessons would be a sweet way to bring some cash in under the table.
And I agree, as a friend of mine likes to say "dude, don't woooooooooooory about it!".
I say try and stick it out as long as you don't go into massive debt. This could be your last shot for a long time.