I’ve been on this earth now for a mere twenty one years. I still have plenty to learn, plenty I look forward to learning. However, there is one thing I have learnt. That promises can be broken. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it is actually true or that it will actually happen. This may sound negative but with ever negativity that is forced upon me, I search for the positivity! Engulfed in this promise is a story, a life story. A story that led to a lesson. Let me explain…
I was given an opportunity, through my college education, to go abroad for 6 months. To where? BARCELONA! Generally, most people would stay in their own country for cooperative education and then venture off to a foreign country as part of an Erasmus scheme. Me though, I had to be different. At the time I didn’t see anything wrong with it, jetting off to sunny Barcelona for half a year and then getting an added bonus of going away again ,two months after returning home, for another five months. New experiences, new me. Right? If anyone is confused about my college I’ll explain. I study English and History, which entitles me to partake in cooperative education (work experience) and Erasmus (half a year of study abroad). I usually act on impulse and didn’t fully weigh up all my options, which has led me to my current situation now.
I had been working in a discount store in my city before flying off to Barcelona. The job wasn’t the most exciting and I didn’t particularly like my role in the store but at the same time I was earning a wage. I had been employed through a guy I knew from my local town, who just so happened to be the manager of the store. He also played on my local sports team so I would have known him well. This, in reality, was why I got the job in the first place. Something I was very grateful for. It was really the first time in my life I had money and freedom as such. Obviously, once I left for Spain this job was not going to be available anymore. At least not when I was away. I explained to my manager the situation and he understood. He was happy with the role I had played in his organisation and assured me this job would be made available the moment I returned home. Success. I could now jet away with the added insurance that my job was ready for me when I returned. A weight was lifted off my shoulders!
So off I went to Barcelona! This is brilliant. What an experience. Sarcasm? Not even slightly. It was genuinely fantastic. I was learning so much about myself, growing, meeting new people and trying things I’d have never done back home. I remember coming home roughly three months in. Just for a visit. Spur of the moment decision – lets drive into the city and visit my workplace. See how everyone is getting on. Reassure myself of a promised job. And I was reassured. Again, the job was available when I returned. This coming from the manager again! Reassurance is great. Back to Spain I went, and after another 3 months I was back home for good. Ready to get settled and ready to start up my job. At this stage I had a minute budget, all that glamorous living in Barcelona really dented my bank balance. Not that it was much of a balance anyway. So starting back asap was crucial for me. Especially with college starting up in September. It’s now August and I’m unemployed. Life.
The job wasn’t available anymore. Wait, what? But..you promised. Broken. That promise was put on a table and smashed into a million tiny pieces. The manager had explained to me that, after they opened a new shop, that they had been struggling in this one. They had over-hired and weren’t making the money they thought they would. This led to an embargo on staff. More like an embargo on my life. I still can’t understand why they opened a new, fancy store in the same area as the old one. It didn’t make sense. Guess what else didn’t make sense to me? My unemployment. I needed that job. I was assured, reassured and now broken. I can understand it wasn’t my managers fault, he wanted to hire me. He didn’t set the embargo on staff. It was the “powers that be”. But at the same time I was promised. I was promised a broken promise. To make things worse, I had been acting on my impulse, as per usual, in Barcelona. A holiday was booked with my friends, I didn’t actually have the money at the time but I was able to assure my friend I could pay him when I returned. I had a job after all. Atleast I thought I did. In my mind, I could do these things. A new pair of shoes? Sure. I’ll have that money back in my account in no time. A holiday? Of course. I can pay you back for that in full within two weeks. Impulsive thinking. Reasonable thinking? Maybe. As for now, stupid thinking.
Where has this led me? Looking for positives. Yes, it was a cruel and unexpected moment. It’s thought me a lot though. Something I’ve realised I wouldn’t have learned unless I lived the experience first hand. It’s thought me that just because something is said, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Until it actually happens. That reasonable thinking can sometimes be mistaken for unreasonable. As of tomorrow I’m employed. It’s not an ideal job. Far from ideal. It may only last a few days, it may even last a month but it’s a start. It will let me pay back for the holiday and help me survive until college starts up. With every downfall is an uphill climb. I’m climbing! One step back, two steps forward.