Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bring it on 2016 !


Wishing everyone a happy, prosperous and more hope this 2016 and for always.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


After working a whole year in the restaurant as part timer, it finally closes the door end of December 2014.... yes I am officially unemployed. I need to start my "réinscription" (re-register in their system) to Pole Emploi (Employment Agency in France). Now, I am part of the system and and it will help me find a job. The agency provides me with financial aid. Lucky me! Their mission is to receive those that have declared unemployment. It supports us with social benefits gives advices and supervises job hunting, as well as providing a platform to help companies find and hire workers. However, this does not mean that it's unlimited. We have the right to receive monthy allowance during first 2 years while looking for a job. Of course they provide limited financial aid.

It's really hard to find a job in France as they have an  unemployment rate of  10.5%  as of July 2015. Even newly graduates couldn't find a job and it becomes a problem in the society of today. Before working as contractual I went to several interviews. Some companies are looking only for replacements during  summer vacation or they're looking for  young and and native french speakers without an accent. One fine day I got a call from my friend who is a viticulture. She told me she has a client who's into wine whole sale business and urgently looking for a part time secretary. He needs someone to work every  from 8:30 in the morning until 1 o'clock in the afternon. Bingo, I said to myself !!! A perfect job for me because I will only work 5 hours a day and I still can bring and pick up the kids at school. Well mommy duties are assured on that side.

I submitted my CV and motivation letter that I am interested. He asked me to come for an interview. During the interview, well I couldn't really tell it's an very casual. It's like we're just talking and he didn't even asked me about my employement history etc. Finally, he was telling me what the job is all about. It's quite simple, I just need to call the clients and ask for their orders. Check emails, answers  incoming mails/calls and other material, and prepare answers to routine letters etc. 

Before we ended the interview I asked him clearly if I got the job. He told me that his ex secretary is still employed and he's in the process of firing her. Bureaucracy in France is just legendary. It will take time to process everything and it is equivalent to time wasted. Things are never clear between us when I left his office. Before that, I told him that I am still working as a contractual with the other company and my contract will be terminated  on March 7 2015. He told me he will call me and update me of the process.  A week passed I got a call from him asking me if I can come for 2 hours so I can familiarised myself on the job. To make the story short, I went and spent 2 hours to learn everything about the job. He was is a bit weird... someone who is off the wall. He's kinda obnoxious bully boss who rule by intimidation. Something is not just right. Before I left, I again asked him if am I hired, he said he will call me, and keep you updated alright ! 

On the other hand, on the day I terminated my contract with the other company I was all the time waiting for his call. I never received a call from him after a week or so I thought I didn't get the job. One Monday morning, after bringing the kids to school I got call but I never answer calls when I drive. As soon as I got home it was him who called me and left me a message that he was surprised not to see me working on that day ! So it was my fault he cannot do the sales call. What ??? I cannot believe he told me that. So I promptly called him back. His tone implied that it was my fault and I didn't appreciate the treatment. I even told him that things are never clear if I am hired ot not. I decided to make an email telling him I regretfully decline the job offer. I have realised no wonder his previous secretary left without saying a word  he can be difficult to work with...the proof ! He never bother to email me back, well if that's how he mesures professionalism I don't think no one  will be happy to work with him.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Back from hibernation

When was the last post I did ? Oh my, it was last year and it's a shame because I promised to update this blog but I failed....SORRY :(  !  I know I was out from blogging for a very long period of time. I wasn't very active it's not that I don't have things to say but I don't have enough time to write what I have been doing. 

This year was quite  very hectic as my eldest went to secondary school so I needed to organize myself. Picking up my girls and son from two different schools, working part time with shifting hours plus doing the mommy/wife job make it really frantic. An inner voice asked me to visit my blog telling me YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF ME !  This reminded me to write something even the non sense happening in my life.

I wouldn't bore you with my blah blah about my kids. I would like to share you my job experience lately. I was hired to work as "Conseillère de vente" (sales lady) in Tape à l'oeil. I didn't have any  experience in this field but I grabbed the opportunity to work by contractual since it is very hard to find a job in France. I was like, what the heck ? I know that I don’t have any directly related work experience, but I have done various quite identical jobs from the past and would love a chance to learn.

And I said, peanuts ! But I was wrong, it's not just about recommending clients what to buy but it requires the disposal of products wtih good sales approach which is paramount. Indeed, the aim is to encourage the customer to purchase minimum articles when leaving the boutique. In addition, following the structure of the shop, to manage inventory or sales of products, oversee internet orders and deal with cash register functions....meaning multi-tasking ! I didn't have a problem with that but the thing is I do not like their sales approach. They are convinced that being totally at the back of every clients is normal. I don't call it convincing.....I call it manipulation to the point of pressuring and harrassing the clients to buy own point of view I didn't grew up with that company culture.

I remember asking my Supervisor what if clients leave without buying something ? Told her there are clients, at first, they would just look on the products and buy them later. Clients tend to be careful on their budget since there is still consumer crisis. I was expecting that she will tell me something encouraging but to my dismay she told me that I am not an effective sales person ! Whoa, I never heard a good manager tells me this. So I realized she is a supervisor by title not by deeds. I was expecting she will be an efficient communicator, problem-solver and employee motivator. So I decided to leave the company because I am not happy.  Besides they are not very organized because there are things that I don't agree which is too much to ask. As an ex-employee I should not divulge information so I will keep it to myself as a respect to the company. However, my experience has enhanced my skills, even if it is in a minor way.

Culture matters, culture is a great tool when applied.