This is war.

As usual, in the darkest of moments there’s a fairy something that reaches out, grabs me by the collar and drags me back out into the light. Of course, six months of unemployment in Italy are nothing compared to five years of working hard in Romania. I handled it with my head high and my mind glazed with TV shows and mushy romantic comedies. That also added extra pounds to my system, but I’ve already started to leave those behind.

Starting tomorrow, I am officially a working girl and it feels awesome.

There’s a lot to do, my body still suffers from the general adjustment process but overall my psyche went all the way to the Moon.

There are many advantages to this new job thing. Money is basically the first that pops into mind, as it generates other greater benefits – like the certainty of my attendance of the 30 Seconds to Mars concert in Milano, the possibility to purchase basic things like a car, a bike, a camera, a decent pair of sunglasses and well… a social life.

It’s been weird to spend six months at home with no friends in a foreign country that had trouble taking me in. Really weird. It was comforting for a couple of months but then I went stir crazy.

So I’m finally coming back to life and I pity the fools who will cross my path. I’m thirsty for new things, I’m already planning road trips and my mind is going all over the place – this kind of brain hyperactivity will probably produce more pieces on this tiny blog, but it will also be a catalyst for more serious writing and painting. Which I’ve also missed but haven’t been able to do properly given the unemployment buff.

All I can say is that I’m happy and looking forward to the concert. Can’t say I look forward to really work, but hell, I’ve still got a couple of steps to take before I can finally do the job that I truly love. Not many steps, just a couple. It takes a while to adjust, but when that happens, things will change dramatically.

I salute you.

They didn’t tell you this about WORK, did they?

I’ve had a very long day, so I reserve the right to be head of the bitch pack today.

I have an issue with the job industry. People have this obnoxious habit of making simple jobs seem extremely complicated and extremely complicated jobs sound like dream jobs. How many of you haven’t heard the following during a job interview:

“It’s a walk in the park. You fill out some forms, check and sort the mail and make coffee for the occasional guest.”

Nobody tells you the stinky and ugly truth.

“There might a couple of extra hours, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.”

Oh yes, pay a lot of attention on those job interviews. There’s no such thing as a “dream job”, not even if your name is Richard Branson. We all have to work our asses off to get the good stuff. When someone tells you that you’ll make a lot of money by doing almost nothing or what seems to be not enough, they’re feeding you large sacks of shit. I’ve been there. Well, me and billions before me. But still, it’s my duty to share some of the experience, so I can later say “I told you so”. It’s my woman nature and I always get to say it. Live with it.

When your future employer tells you that you might have to do some overtime once in a while, you might as well bring a tent, a sleeping bag and spare clothes to work. When you’re told that if you do the extra mile, you’ll get great extra earnings, that usually means that you’ll toil like an idiot, spending more on medication to rebuild your immune system which you’ve damaged with too much work and little sleep, than all those appealing bonuses that they keep dangling before your nose. Sit, Sparky, sit. Nothing comes easy. If it sounds easy, it’s either a scam or a nice lie. Not all of us are fortunate enough to do what we like – and even those have to work hard to get results.

“Most of us will toil and die in misery. Glory and riches come afterwards. You suckers.”

Quick note to those who actually have it easy: you’re nature’s way of laughing in the rest of humanity’s face. We don’t like you.

Some of us become police officers. We go in deep, convinced that we’ll become the next CSI or CBI squad, but we’re faced with the harsh reality when it’s too late (basically when we start to enjoy blowing that whistle).

“At least I get to move my arms around.”

Some of us become doctors, dreaming of the day we’ll receive a heartfelt thanks for saving someone’s life. Nobody prepares us for the long hours of looking up people’s noses or asses.

“I’ve had my elbows deep in green poop this morning and I had guacamole and chips for lunch. I’m doing great!”

Some of us become firefighters, lawyers, accountants and so on – we all go in deep dreaming of great careers, a house on the beach, medals of honor and a nice car. Nobody tells us that it takes years of blood, sweat and tears to get there. Most of us don’t even make it that far, because we can’t toil ourselves into kidney failure and let’s face it, most of us are just too nice, too scared or too simple to get our hands dirty for the extra cash. We’re taught from a very young age that the only way that we can get results is through hard work. But nobody has the balls to tell us that we might end up losing more important things on the way.

“Like the decent hairline.”

In the end, it’s a matter of choice. While some of us will go the distance and get buried in paperwork or debris, just to go home to a TV and a fat cat, the others will take it a little easier and squeeze in a wife and three kids. Life is shitty that way – we rarely get everything we want and it usually comes at a very high price. Yet I’m puzzled by this guy, I can’t figure out if he really likes his job or he lost a very ugly bet. Either way, he makes janitors look freakishly cool.

The other extreme is even more irritating. A lot of people tend to make simple jobs sound like nuclear science. Why do I need tons of experience to be a waitress, for example? Or a shoe salesman? If I’m decently smart, I can learn this in a day, maybe two. If I’m special and not retarded, or plain stupid, I can spend fifteen years bussing tables and still trip on my shoe laces and pour hot coffee in someone’s lap, on a daily basis. I’ve heard so many people ask me: “For how long did you work as a waitress? Do you know how to do this?”

Let’s make something clear. I’m talking about a normal no-star job, like 70% of the world’s bars. It doesn’t require techniques, only a clean and decent look, a good attitude, a smile and at least an impression that you know what you’re doing. A five year old can kick our asses at this. If it’s not a five star venue, why the hell bother? Who is desperate enough to check if you serve their coffee on the right side? I’m pretty sure that the scrawny shoe salesman who stops by Louie’s Café doesn’t need a silver spoon to eat his chili, nor does he need his eggs and bacon on the right side – the guy’s hungry, just give him his damn food and smile, for fuck’s sake.

What experience do you need to work as a salesman? Or as a bartender? You pick it up as you go. If you want to be really good at it, then you take up a course or read a useful book. You show interest. But really, why all this fuzzy-nuzzy-bullshit? They should ask for a decent level of intelligence, not experience. Experience is NOTHING without a good working brain attached to it. How can you trust your merchandise and cash register with a nineteen year old Concetta who doesn’t know how much is 10+45? I’m serious, it happened right before my eyes. How can you trust your bar to someone who picks his nose right before he pours your coffee then frowns over his fingers, looking for his booger? Yes, that killed my appetite. I just hope it killed yours too.

“And I spit in it too, because I don’t like your smug face. But you didn’t see that.”

I’ve been told that without previous work experience here in Italy, it’s hard for me to find a job. So what, the other five years of work back home don’t matter at all? Well, there’s a question of customs here, customs that you’re not used to, I’ve also been told. Like what, putting a cup in a small plate on a table or chatting with my boyfriend on the phone while I serve a bagel and tea? I mean seriously, I come from strangely different standards. I don’t really like my country, but I have to admit that on a restaurant/café level, we get shit done. And besides, bussing tables and mixing sours is what college students are best at! And most of them weren’t prepared for these jobs, their parents didn’t give them their milk bottle and said: “Honey, when you’re eighteen and still unable to tie your shoelaces, you’ll be serving pizza and pasta to pay for your college books!”.

“Also, you’ll have a lot of unprotected sex and flaming shots.”

You see, it takes years of study and practice to get certain jobs done. Medics will know what I mean. All those years of quick lunching next to a dissected corpse will pay off as a life saving experience later. It takes a couple of days, a decently bright mind and good will to learn other jobs. It would be wonderful if they’d just stop making waitresses sound like fucking rocket scientists.

“Would you like some fries with that?”

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