Ok, so about time I updated this blog!
I’m going to try and keep this fairly brief (which probably means it won’t be!) or I may do a follow up article if I start to ramble on…
So what have I been doing these past few months and what of the future…both for myself, this blog, projects and the world? Big questions, sure, but this article will attempt to answer such ponderings and far more…
Escape from Alcatraz (well, England)
Back around the end of August/start of September I was coming off the back of a reasonable summer…nothing legendary but passable (of course it had its moments) but as ever at that time of year it’s time to put the next phase into action or at least do some solid planning. I didn’t have a job, money or any of that great stuff that helps facilitate big plans. I did have something as valuable…a little vision along with my ‘Google docs’ packed full of ideas. What more does one need?
So I got the ubiquitous boring office job. The benal, bone idol, dopey hamster wheel, rat boy pile of nonsense. It was ok, the money was so-so, some people were not bad but all a mound of steaming crap nonetheless…and no-one I could pick out that had any similar ideals to me. I sat there in the interview giving the usual stellar acting performance, making out I was looking to stay with the company for a long period of time (ie. not to bugger off asap), speak positively about the particular industry and why I wanted to be involved and what I wished to contribute.
I had to sit there and listen to these two oafish women talk (although knowledgeably) a load of twaddle and have to nod along in the right places, whilst adding in the occasional comment or question. One of my favourites is just repeating what they just said with a slight twist as if I fully understand and have some sort of valuable insight. I don’t . Not on this occasion. I just wanted a job for a couple of months in order to facilitate the next phase…
They told me although the job is was quite a hectic and there is a lot of work to be done, it’s not all serious. After all they do have ‘dress down’ on Fridays and also on Fridays they order in bacon sandwiches. Wow. What a massive seller, that had me skipping down the stairs and into the street as I left. That makes up for everything. Wearing my actual own clothes one day a week that I should be able to do at all times anyway and having a food product that I could also obtain at any given time, healthier versions too. People think this is normal.
Meanwhile operation Spain was simmering. Although slightly depressed, partly due to lack of time but more in inclination to exercise along with a fairly stressful job for no real reward along with a manager poking her head into your business asking about ridiculous reports. There were a few good people there who unfortunately they got sucked in by chance at some stage but there were several with no redeemable features and a few that I would gladly remove from society if given that power.
As mentioned, I planned to move to Spain, in particular Madrid. Why? This was the plan earlier in the year as I had some contacts and an agenda of sorts so I was still hoping to continue with that idea. I had been there earlier in the year participating in a couple of Pueblo Ingés programs, made some contacts and had some ideas, learning Spanish being amongst them. Where better than Spain hey? I also wanted to stay in Europe for now before traveling further afield again in the future.
So I did some half hearted pro-active job and flat searching (which actually turned out to be enough), booked in to do another Pueblo Inglés program in November and the stage was set. ..
Once back in España, I had a busy day or so before being away in the Spanish countryside for the next 8 days. Namely sorting the flat and job which I had half organised in England…thankfully that stage went fairly smoothly.
My interview here was in some contrast to the last one in England as mentioned earlier for a number of reasons. Not only was it a far more pleasing interview and interviewer, but also a better vibe along with being with a company I actually wanted to be involved with.
No pointless dress down Fridays, it was more of a case of wear what you like at all times within reason and instead of wittering on about bacon sandwhich crap she mentioned that she would show me where to get good lentils. Interesting contrast I thought. I’ve not had these lentils I speak of as yet but the point remains a valid one!
I’d like to make an important point at this opportunity – 1, because it’s a very valid one and 2, this is a public blog and they are my current employer, you get me – even though this blog is largely about obtaining personal freedom, there is nothing wrong with working the 9-5 or doing an office job per sé if it is something you have chosen to do rather than something you have fallen into, an industry and company you don’t care for, just to pay the bills.
If you have picked out an industry or company you would like to work for, the day to day keeps you enthused and those hours actually suit your lifestyle and routine perfectly, then it’s all good. Ultimately you should never have to wake up to an alarm clock or work for anyone else but there is some room for negotiation!
(Btw I am a huge fan of the ‘product’ of the company I work for so it’s great to be involved, however, over time I would like to negotiate my position and tweak things a little…a wait and see scenario!)
Playing with monsters
So, job was 90% sorted…next phase of the adventure was going to Candeleda (a town about 2 hours west of Madrid) for the aforementioned Pueblo Inglés program. I won’t go into details about it here as I have mentioned it in a previous article. This particular program was slightly different in the sense it was a specialist teachers program, ie. all the Spanish participants were teachers and most of the English speaking volunteers were too. This particular group of Spaniards were from the Balearic Islands…mostly Ibiza and Majorca.
This was my third experience with the program and more than lived up to expectations. It’s a curious thing; most teachers in Spain appear to be women. This was rather neatly displayed when I got on to the coach in Madrid…cheeky chicas as far as the eye could see! Could be an interesting week I thought…
All great people including the 2 Spanish guys who were excellent value. The majority of the ‘Anglos’ were great people too, a fascinating mix of characters once again and a good laugh in with the bargain!
The infamous NIE quest
So, back from that program and back ‘with the program’. Called in to work to make sure the job was 100%, no mishaps whilst I was away…all was well so obtained my social security number (easy) and started a few days later. There are a couple of other bits of paperwork to sort before being allowed to work officially in Spain.
I still haven’t obtained a NIE. This is essentially a national insurance number for foreigners and the freaking system seems to change by the day. You’re supposed to get one of these within 3 months if working…not sure what happens if not but might just find out soon. The reason I mention this episode is the infamous quest to the same place on 2 occasions, queue for hours and be given a slip of paper at the end of it all with a website address to do it all online. This is particularly hilarious second time round.
My personal favourite was on the first occasion to this place which involved joining several different queues, sitting in a holding area, being sent to different desks, ultimately culminating in a woman with apparent Down syndrome burping in my face…nothing against people with disabilities or chromosomal conditions but this was just a bit much…
Fortunately I have an appointment booked so it should be sorted soon..
So what of the future? For me, for this blog and potential new projects?!
I’ve been a bit slack with various projects…partly due to moving to a new country etc and all that comes with it. Also, I’ve been without a laptop for some time but hopefully now I can get things moving again. I have also wrestled with the ‘why’ of it all. What’s the point?
I lack a little fire and question if it’s the best use of my time writing a blog etc. The answer of course is yes, not least for the people who gain value from it…which includes me of course! I also have one main goal for this year – to become financially independent. That is to say, work for myself and entirely on my own terms in 2013 and if I do work with or for anyone else then it will be because I choose to not because I have to. I also have other goals and routines I want to integrate, so I’ll be writing about that…so hopefully that will be inspiring or entertaining or maybe even useful!
This blog will continue to be a mixture, mainly personal development and travel type stuff, a personal blog for one and all. It will be written articles along with some videos and perhaps podcasts. I will look to update at least once a week, maybe even twice. In between I’ll be updating the facebook page with more great stuff on a daily basis…quotes, links to other good blog posts, random ramblings, videos etc etc so get involed over there! You can also follow me on twitter.
I also have another project that I will be working on in due course so stay tuned for details of that!
For those of you that haven’t already and are interested, I wrote an ebook a few months ago that you can download for free here – entitled Take The Red Pill, Quit The Quo! - just enter your name and email in the form on the right near the top and you will receive that along with some other juicy goodness in due course! If you want more info on the book please go to the ebook page…and for more info on me and the blog check out the about page.
Last but by no means least please use the share buttons below if you got any value out of this or any other article and spread the love…
“The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place” – Zen saying