Friday, February 6, 2009

It was a bad day... but I was rewarded with internet!

Today Robert and I went to the Conseil General du Calvados to see if we could get jobs as teaching assistants. I applied and told them that I couldn't be in Caen until the middle of January, and they said that was fine. If there was a position open, they would let me know, and then I would return in the middle of January. They never called, so I didn't come until a week ago. I went to the office today to see if something came up, and they said, "Oh, you weren't here, so we gave the job to someone else."

Well, had you told me that there was a job to have, I would have returned! UGH. I really, really wanted that teaching assistant job, so much that I would do it for free. But there's always the possibility that something else will turn up. I hope so very much.

So after that I went to The Phone House to see if I could get internet in my room by using a 3G USB key. They said that I'd have to sign up for at least six months or at least find someone to transfer the contract to, so I left, called Emilie, and she said I could transfer it to her. So I went back, and they said that I'd need a Carte de Sejour to sign up with the plan I wanted.

I thought, well, ok, I need my carte de sejour anyway (it replaces my student visa, which has expired, don't try to understand it). So I went to try to find the Prefecture. There are about a zillion buildings that say Prefecture. I went into FOUR before I found the right one.

When I entered the correct building, I was greeted by a snarky looking man who was polishing off a candy bar. He slowly sucked on each and every one of his fingers to get the chocolate off of them, and then without even wiping his hands on his shirt, he took my passport from me. After rolling his eyes, sighing, and making rude remarks in English for several minutes, he finally found my paper work and prepared my carte. All of this took about fifteen minutes when, without his snark, it could have taken about five. That may not seem like a big deal, but keep in mind that I had been running around town for about three hours by this time, trying to get a job and internet, so every minute dragged on, and every minute made me more and more irritable.

He finally gave me my Carte de Sejour, and I went back to the Phone Store for the third time. After tapping on his computer for about ten minutes, Mathieu, my Phone Store helper, told me that the bank card that I have isn't the right kind. He seemed very apologetic, especially since I had gone to the trouble to bring him my Carte, which I didn't have when I saw him earlier that day. But then an idea popped into his head. He showed me a different contract that you must sign for 24 months, but since I was leaving I could terminate it early as long as I paid for six months. That was just like the other one, but this one was 20 Euro/month cheaper, it was faster, and it gives you four months of unlimited internet at the beginning of the contract. Perfect.

IN SHORT: I spent about five hours downtown today trying to get all of this figured out. I am extremely disappointed about the teaching assistant job, but hopefully something will come up. I got internet for 10 Euro a month, and it's very fast. I still haven't heard back about the scholarship.

It was a rough day, but being able to use internet in my room is a luxury that I will never take for granted again!


Chris Symes said...

I'm sorry, Suzanne. That stinks! I certainly think that they are missing out.

Everything sounds so complicated in France, sheesh!

Vall said...

'murica > France

Sharne said...

So sorry to hear about your prefecture problems, they are such awful awful people. (Especially gross about the chocolatey passport! Ewww!)

In your next entry or so you mention that you need to drop a Thursday class to be a teaching assistant... Does this mean that you have been successful in finding somewhere? Is it paid or unpaid? Details please :)