First Day at Work, Part 1
One sharply cold night I was talking about finding work with my Romanian classmate, Traian, who looks kind of like a Lego version of Tom Cruise but with burning-crazy eyes. He assured me:
Traian: Yes, you can find work here in Belgie.
Me: Yeah, I hope so, it’s just kind of hard to find sometimes.
Traian: Yes, something.
Traian: You can kill pigs.
Traian: Serious. When I first come here this is my job, I work in….abattoir. All day I cutting pigs (makes thumb across the throat gesture, staring at me with those caffeinated eyes).
So suffice to say, for awhile there I was feeling somewhat discouraged about work, as one temp agency after another said “yeah…we’ll uh, call you if something comes up.”
I passed up a job in a call center that would have entailed over four hours of commute a day to sit in a cubicle and ask Brits if their printers were working, but I was starting to have second thoughts, despite the pocket change pay rate.
But yesterday’s round of temp agencies was more fruitful. I have a job today! Just today, but it’s something. I am going to spend eight hours tonight as an industrial cleaner. There is a factory in the next town over that makes paint, and since they are closed this week for vacation, the machines can be cleaned any time (versus the normal 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM shift).
I was issued with battered, steel-toed boots and signed a waiver that I am aware that I may receive chemical burns, and told to meet Pascal in the canteen at 14:00.
I’ll tell you how it goes later, assuming I don’t burn off my fingers with industrial strength lye and/or acid.