My initial fear of finding a reliable job in Ireland happened on a Wednesday night in a happening night club in downtown Vancouver. I met an Irish fella and I asked him, while dancing, “do you think it’ll be easy for me to find a job?” crossing my fingers he’d at least say yes to ease my mind. “No, not at all” was his reply. Buzz was murdered, the tempo of my dance moves decreased quite a bit and I probably went to the bar to order another drink with the money I should’ve been saving. What I would do for that six dollars right now. Anyways, I didn’t let his input entirely make up my expectation of the job market but I did keep it in my butt pocket.
If I had not of come to Ireland in January, maybe things would have been a bit better. I must say, however, my wild job hunt in January and February allowed me to travel around a lot of the country unintentionally. By the time jobs began popping up, especially in Dublin, I no longer had money to support myself for accommodation for longer than two weeks. So taking a job in the big city would be a huge risk. Money was the tightest it’s ever been, and I’m in a different country….alone. There was/is no turning back to Canada. I am stuck in Ireland, that isn’t a complaint by the way. So naturally, I took up the first job offer that I could find that offered me hours and accommodation. I was working in a tea house and hostel and living in the hostel. Upon arrival I was told I would get 30 hours a week and it would pick up when the season starts and that my room would be deducted from my pay. Honestly, it was something and it wasn’t the worst job offer in the world, sounded pretty cushy. I asked about how much would be taken off for accommodation and my boss told me that she would let me know the following week after she heard back from her accountant. Okay? Things felt weird, and I did not get nice vibes from this lady to put things nicely. It was only on my second shift that co-workers started telling me to look for another job because I would get screwed over with payment and there was no certainty with my position. I was let in on the little secret this place holds: most people are underpaid, extremely underpaid, I would say illegally underpaid. I cannot pick which job was worse, this one or the last one. I started stressing out hard, I couldn’t quit because I couldn’t survive much longer on my 90 euros. A very new low. Getting anywhere else for an interview was stressing me out because it costs money to get transportation there and I severely lacked that.
I applied like a mad woman to jobs on Monday following continuous conversations with co-workers about the unreliability of me being paid and I was done with how she was treating people. I had a whooping four interviews lined up by the end of Monday and had trouble sleeping that night because I knew I had to make my next move. Figuratively and literally. I have never felt so risky. After my shift yesterday it was like my body went into auto pilot and started packing my bags and getting ready to leave. My mind was further behind my actions because once everything was packed my mind was like “Shit, now you actually have to verbally deal with this issue”. I had an hour before the last bus left and I marched on down from the hostel to the tea room and I said “BITTCCCCCCCHHHHHH”. I hope that was a funny joke. But really, I gave my regards and she said that she knew it wasn’t going to work out. Apparently, I had a lack of enthusiasm and I said…..well, yeah. And then, the kicker, she said that my hours evened out with my accommodation so we were even. Was that going to be my summer job then lady? It was honestly just ridiculous. Me, myself and my backpacks walked ourselves to the bus stop and set out for the Dingle Peninsula, a place that I had my eye on even before coming to Ireland. I had an interview in the middle of nowhere on a beach between the mountains. I just got the news that I will be living here and working here for the season. A paid job? Who would’ve thought? The past month has been extremely rocky and a test to myself and particularly, my coping skills. I feel like I’m in the right place now, I had my first shift today and it’s the first one I didn’t leave in tears. The people are wonderful and it is peaceful. My new friend, yes now I have one of those, and I keep saying that the third time is the charm.
Ireland has been an employment rollercoaster, it is beyond me how people mistreat their employees and I am grateful that I had the option to leave and find a job that respects me and works with me, not against me.