Monday, October 04, 2010

Wild goose chase

It has been a particularly difficult summer here in Greece for everyone, rising prices, galloping unemployment and deep salary cuts have made people worried about how they are going to make it through the winter, which contrary to popular myth actually exists in Greece. Hard to believe when you 're on the beach and it is in the high 30s that the temperatures here in the north often are colder than those in the UK.

To make my particular situation even more difficult was the fact that I was burgled in May, which damn near wiped me out financially at the worst possible time of the year for a teacher. So when I got the chance to apply for a job as an IELTS examiner you can imagine how welcome that news was. Despite lack of funds I managed to scrape together the money necessay to travel to Athens for the interview. I travelled through the night by coach in order to save the cost of a hotel room and kept my spending to an absolute minimum.

After a long and stressful interview I returned the same day so spending endless hours stuck in a coach during the course of the day. As you can imagine a 14 hour, 1100km round trip is nobody's idea of a fun day out.

The only problem was that the British Council wanted me to do a five day series of training sessions in Athens, which was just impossible for me financially. As you can imagine spending five days away from home staying in a hotel, eating out and commutting is a major layout even in the best of times, let alone during one of the worse periods of economic crisis in modern Greek history. So I said that it was impossible for me and could I do the training closer to home. Thankfully, the BC assured me that someting could be worked out come September. September came and no word, when I sent off emails I was first told that the person responsible was unavailable, then I was told that the training material were appropriate for groups only and finally, today I received an email saying that is no job anyway.

I am angry that this whole procedure has been a waste of time, energy and money in which I foolishly participated, thinking that I might get a job out of it. I feel that that I have been misled and that an organisation has chosen to treat people with indifference and/or contempt. It's something that I have seen a lot of here in Greece as the economic situation has deteriorated and more and more people chase fewer and fewer positions. Teachers are being seen as just another commodity which can be exploited and discarded at will. An endless stream of other applicants can take their place if they are unhappy with expoitative wages, lack of social insurance or outrageous demands.


toomanytribbles said...

that last paragraph, i read, substituting architects for teachers... or, really, pick a job -- any job.

deviousdiva said...

TD, if you ever need a place to stay in Athens in the future, please get in touch. You would be more than welcome in our home. Hope things improve for everyone very soon.....