Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Great Gig in the Sky

September 15th, 2008 the world lost another great.

I am a big fan of the band, Pink Floyd. I have yet to find a way to express how I feel about their music in words. Even most of the titles for my blog entries are lines from their songs. But their music will never be the same again. The bands keyboardist and one of the founding members, Richard Wright has gone to the Great Gig in the Sky. Rest in peace.

Changing subjects, I just want to update people on things for me here in France. Looks like I will be staying after all. I have secured an apartment, although I a taking a bit of a gamble since I won't see a contract until I am home. Part of the reason that I want to do the contract there is because I will have just a little bit more control. Some of the things will include paying for French lessons, having them commit to paying out my apartment lease if I get terminated, and a vehicle. I doubt that I will get a car, but I think that the others I won't have any problem with.

Even with me staying, there are some big changes. Gus, my friend and crew lead has decided not to stay. He has had enough and wants to go home. Actually, I think that he was thinking about his girlfriend, Mary. She has been here with Gus, but without a job for too long and needs something to do. I respect their decision, but they both will be missed.

We will be having another guy from home come to take his place. We have also hired 3 French mechanics, who will be in shock when they find out how this place runs completely differently from the way any other French outfit runs. It will be a complete cluster-fuck for the first 3 months, but hopefully after that it will settle a bit.

I will still be home on October 8th, for at least 2.5 weeks, but I am going to try and stay a wee bit longer since the boss here is being a dick and keeps cutting back my time. I would like to have 3 weeks, but I will have to see how that goes.

So, sometime after October 8th, I will want a lot of sushi! Book me some time!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Geez, it has been a while

Well, it looks like I missed August completely. Been a while since I did that. =)

A little update as to things in France if you didn't already know. I have been asked to stay here, take on a new position, learn French and this offer is open for up to 6 years.

So here are the Pros...Company pays my rent. Company pays me a per diem still.(not too bad!) I have been offered a position as QA manager, so I am hoping that comes with a raise. I finally can get an apartment away from the hotel! I get to live in southern France...that is a big perk.

Here is one that is a pro and a can...I need to learn French. No worries, but I need to know it by January. I wish I had a bit more warning...

Cons...I will lose my seniority with the union back home. I don't know how this will affect me if I go back, but for right now it is a risk that I need to take. I need to get a car/motorcycle. I don't have a bike license yet, so it will probably be a car, which leads to parking issues since my new pad is in town. Since I will be a QA person, this means that I don't get to touch the planes anymore, and therefore I lose my run up privileges. That part sucks.

It has been over two weeks, and I still haven't seen any comp package from the company. This is starting to bug me, since I don't want to say yes to an apartment if the company tries to screw me (they have done that before) with wages and such. There is also rumour that we will be working a French week...35 hours a week. Not so bad, but if I am a salaried employee, this means no more overtime. Also, there is the threat of paying French taxes, which are higher than back home, and I won't be able to reap any benefits from the French social system unless I become French and stay here forever. (I am in an awkward spot for the company. I am still employed with the Canadian side of things, but working for the French division and not employed by the French division. So, I still get paid in Canada and pay the taxes there. This might change.)

So, in a nut shell, that is about all that went on in August. Worked a lot, didn't go anywhere, worked some more. Practised my French as well. Yup, barrel of laughs.