Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gainfully unemployed

Good news, I got an email today (yes, in a "French govt dept masters the ability to email" shocker) saying that my application for unemployment has been accepted - and I will be getting paid a couple of hundred euros more a month than I earned back when I was a language assistant! Thus proving that battling through the mean streets of Tours with a hangover last Friday to drop off my attestation d'emploi was worth it. I won't be counting on anything until I see the money in my bank account, but looks like I should get paid next week or so, for three weeks' worth, since the first week of unemployment apparently doesn't count.

Being the end of the month, today was coincidentally also the first day I had to log on to the pôle emploi website to update my status. During my initial interview at pôle emploi, my counsellor informed me that I would have to check in once a month to say what I'd been doing for the last month. So I logged on, expecting to fill in information about the CV workshop I'd been on and the jobs I'd applied for etc., only to find that you need to check about 7 boxes saying that you hadn't worked, or been sick, or been pregnant, etc. for the last month. And that's it! I was chatting with a friend, who's had more experience with pôle emploi, about this later, and apparently they do pretty much nothing to make sure you're actively looking for work. Coincidentally, the Guardian is looking at unemployment in Europe today. Their bit on the Pôle Emploi mostly focuses on youth, by which I think they mean people a bit younger than me, but it rather depressingly sums up that "There is no real device for the young, long-term unemployed graduates, which is a fairly new category in France". Still,  to put a positive spin on that (for me, as opposed to all those poor young graduates), at least I have multiple degrees and a few years' work experience, so theoretically that may make me more employable than at least some of the huddled masses...

Also out there making money is my friend Rick, whom you may remember from his recent visit to Tours. If you wondered why he looked so at ease in the guise of Louis XIV, it's because he's just come into some money by winning Jeopardy! (Or, rather, he won the money last year but the episode only just aired and I was previously forbidden to mention the subject he told no-one, as per the confidentiality agreement. Am I allowed to say that?) We never got Jeopardy in New Zealand, so I don't really understand all of how it works, but I understand it's a pretty big deal over there, and I am duly impressed, especially with the smarts on display! If you don't mind using possibly dubious streaming sites, you can watch him in action here (on Putlocker).


  1. Congratulations, Gwan. Knowing that you have some money coming in has to be a big relief! I'm very pleased for you!

    Completely off subject, but I meet an Australian woman married to a French guy who hopes to meet you while you're in Paris. When she asked if there are any Aussies in the American Women's Group, I realized that she must be feeling a bit homesick and asked if a Kiwi (you) would do. She's probably around 30 (hard for me to tell) and has a good attitude about being in France.

    And congratulations to Rick for his win on Jeopardy. You didn't mention that he was visiting castles with a mind to buy one!

  2. Thanks, yeah nice to know I won't starve (probably)!

    Oh cool, yeah Kiwis are pretty much just cut-price Aussies anyway, so I should more or less fit the bill ;)

    I think Chenonceau may still be out of his budget, but maybe we can find sir a tumble-down manor house somewhere in these parts...

  3. All I have to say is ENJOY and Congrats! I am sooooo happy for you!!! I know this has been stressing you this past month.

    I was on American unemployment a few years ago and it was the best thing for me (I had been working since I was 13). It changed my life and exposed me to a world of not having to be a slave to an office, and nurturing my creative side that I had no idea I had. Just watch when it expires. : )

    I couldn't be more happy for you. Now enjoy the summer!!! Please! : )


  4. Ah in love all my sisters blog friends xxx

  5. I can not believe you know a Jeapardy winner, that is so cool! Congrats on receiving unemployment. A friend has been on it for almost a year and has enjoyed the time off and getting creative; best of luck.

  6. Thank you ladies! Although, I didn't know I was meant to be being creative arrrgh! I thought going to the gym and making my own hummus was pretty good going, no? Ha ha


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