Ich habe meinen job aufgegeben

I learnt a new German phrase as per the title. It means I have quit my job.

I will admit my grand announcement of having a job and then quitting after 4 days is a bit embarrassing. But if anything, through writing this blog I do not want to sugarcoat things and write about only my successes. I also want to write about when things don’t go to plan as it is good therapy for me, and a good lesson for you.

Why did I quit?

There are a number of reasons which I list below in no particular order. It mostly boiled down to things being too hard and when I compared this with the reasons why I was doing it, it just did not seem to be worth the struggle.

Firstly the work was physically hard for me. I like to think I am a fit sporty person but this is a very different skill set from being on your feet all day, moving bicycles around or pumping air into 40-50 bikes. I came back at the end of the day sore and absolutely shattered. It was not great knowing I had another 4-5 days of this in a row to look forward to.

The work was also frustrating at times and pedantic. One of my early tasks was to put 40-50  bikes in order with men’s and women’s bikes together, sorted by price, model and size. It might sound easy but working out the order then moving them takes a lot of time, and a lot of skin from your shins when you keep getting hit by bike peddles.

The main frustration came when a new bike needed to be fitted in. This meant having to insert the new bike (or four!) in the line-up, and then move all the other bikes one further place along. Again, leaving a lot of shin skin on the bikes all just to move them one place further along in a line up. There must be a better more efficient arrangement for this Germany!

The language was an issue and because of this I felt like more of a hindrance than of any use. There were times when the store was really busy, and here I was in my uniform standing around unable to help customers or my colleagues. I would ask customers if I could help but most of the time all I could do was apologise, tell them I was new, and try and get one of my colleagues to help them. It felt awkward and embarrassing.

This is something that would have improved overtime, but a really long time. The conversations were way too fast for me to even begin to understand them let alone learn something for me to then use for next time. At least in English I could make small talk with a customer while we waited for a colleague to help. But German’s don’t even do small talk, let alone me actually know how to make small talk in German.

I found the work hours to be very long. I had to be there at 8:40 am to do a few things before the store opened. The store closed at 6:00 pm but again a few thing had to be done to close it so it might be 6:20 pm when I actually got to leave. I had a 30 minute lunch break so all in all was working about 9 hours a day. My jobs for the last 10 years have all been nice sedentary office jobs from 9 – 5 with an hour lunch break so this was a big change.

I had not clarified whether this was to be a 5 day or 6 day a week arrangement. But with these long hours and given how exhausting it was for me, I had little time or energy for anything else. Learning German after work or even having time for my weekly lesson was not going to happen. Triathlon training or other activities requiring energy were going to be a real struggle.

The final reason and possibly main one that made it easier for me to quit is I don’t need the job. That probably sounds arrogant but it is what it is. Financially we are stable enough that the job was more of a thing to get me out of the house, meeting people and learning some German in a practical environment. Perhaps were this not the case and I depended on the job, I would still be toughing it out.

I am a firm believer in there being something good or worthwhile in most situations. You just have to look really hard in some cases. This opportunity did lead me to a few revelations. I did enjoy being back in a work environment and having new people to meet and talk to. As a result I have made a German style CV and will be actively looking for a role that is more suited to my skill set.





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