How do you make a Maltese cross…?
…kick him in the balls.
Amazingly, astonishingly and totally unexpected the Englishman Slammer who lives in Switzerland in just got a signed contract from a Swedish company with a base on Malta as a German language mod for an American online auctions house.
It was a long hard slog of applications tests and screening tests but I got the contract sent.
Starting date would be mid-December, just right for my up and coming Baseler doomsday.
The house where Slammer and the mad landlady hold residence has been sold and the new owners have chucked us out with one months notice, just the thing to get into the warm glow of christmas spirit with, I tried to reason with the buggers but this is like arguing with a toaster, it's worst for the two ancient ones, they have lived here in this house for over 40 years.
I tried to stay here in Switzerland, lord knows I really tried but after a two year search for work and me not getting any younger and the end of my unemployment insurance and a looming homelessness I must admit defeat and move on.
Part of me wants to stay here and carry on the good fight and I lay wake at nights wondering if there is anything else that I could have done, any mouse-click that I missed, should I have opened that page, or done this or done that, I simply don't know and now I have run out of time, the thought of being dependent on social services is abhorrent and doesn't work for me.
The company on Malta seems solid enough, but I do have the feeling they run a somewhat "American" style businessship, (there you go a triple "s" in a english compound word) we will see.
…and a few days came and went…!
Sweet Jesus motorbiking Christ, not 24 hours after I signed the Maltese contract I get a call from a company that I have had contact with for the past one and a half years, I applied for five of their jobs only to be rejected at the last minute, last one, after the face to face interview, they let me stew and wait for two months, always holding the carrot of possible employment in front of my face before rejecting me, that was a month ago, Monday last week they asked me if I was still interested in the job.
I gave him a deadline for a binding commitment by the end of November.
I first visited Malta as a crew member on the liner MS Europa thirty years ago to the year, haven't been back since but the island has stayed in my memory all these years, methinks I would like it there.
So! The dilemma: Do I go for the well paid job that hits a bulls eye in that what I do best and stay in Basel, or as near to as damn it, or do I go for the lousy paid admin job on Malta and learn how to scuba-dive and drink Mai tai's?
I wish I had the answer to that, long term employment seems to be directly coupled with the shareholder value and a big company is as likely to let you go because of a bad quarterly as a smaller company is to suddenly go tits up.
Thing is I have slipped down the slippery slope and now stand on the edge of the abyss, the next step down is to be dependent on social services, paying for food at Aldi with state provided coupons, I can already feel the heat of shame burning behind my ears.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, got a signed contract against a possible one.
It sucks big time and the deadline is the sixth, after which I no longer have a roof over my head, take it from me, a longtime unemployed 53 year old homeless guy dependent on social assistance and a foreigner to boot won't get a place to stay, this is where money conscious Switzerland goes cold, ice cold.
Don't know what will happen if I screw this up
Friday came and went…..
….and there it is again, twas a flash in the pan, this company, I got told, has had so many applicants that a decision is not expected before mid december, that carrot has again turned out to be a mirage and it evaporated as soon as I got close.
I have made an appointment in a DIY garage, Iron Pig is gonna be made ready for a long trip from Basel, down the boot of Italy and over to Sicily then Valetta, the capital of Malta, but first Pig get oiled up, a few gaskets changed and it's nuts tightened.
Before the Pig pleasures Slammer, Slammer must first pleasure the Pig.
Next week we ride south.
Without men civilization would last untill the oil needs changing.