I've been in Ireland for seven years, and it's been a long haul.
Ireland isn't the easiest place to live, I'll tell you. There are significant culture shock fault lines permeating the landscape. Some are glaring, in-your-face issues that you can see and smell from miles off. Others are very subtle and will catch you unawares.
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean nobody's out to get you. It's true. And, sometimes there are enough indications that indicate they're ganging up on you so that one would actually believe it!
On the other hand, I'm a firm believer in the influence and stanglehold bind chaos and entropy have on our everyday lives. If it (any it will do) can catch or bind or get stuck or impede or just get in the way, however seemingly unlikely, it will. It will. IT WILL (as in choose to just because it can!)
Go ahead! Prove me wrong!
Believe it or not, I'm a very positive person, always finding the silver lining. Good thing, huh? Things are always darkest before the dawn, and the sun is a'comin'. I can FEEEL it!
So, I've been out of work since September. My last job found out I didn't have a work permit, but promised me I could come back as soon as I sorted it out.
It was a rough job. I was bone tired all the time. But, i was good at it. I was a street fundraiser for charity. It's a dog's job. The kind only the unemployable get. Or, so they say. Yeah, I was one of the unemployable. I didn't have a work permit. I got the job anyway. I didn't lie. I didn't deceive. The form they gave me at orientation had the spot where one indicates one's right to work in the state. I left it blank. Nobody asked. They even lost the first copy of the form and asked for another. I left it blank both times. Nobody asked. Amazing.
Until last September. It was the day I got back from vacation in Scotland. We were driving to some podunk spot in the midlands not so used to us predators sucking up the life blood of hard working Ireland for the benefit of never-to-be-seen foreigners in hot, dusty places. My collegue in the back said, "Did you see the memo?" I looked and my heart sank, my stomach twisted.
The deadline for showing proof of right-to-work was two weeks away. I pressed it an extra week just to have the extra hours. But, I came clean. Went to HR and 'fessed up. I was suspended immediately that day and laid off two days later. They had to research whether they could submit for a work permit on my behalf. No dice. The director gave me the contractual one month severance, I got about ten days' vacation pay. He invited me to come back when I got my permit sorted out. I had a little money still in Texas. We'd be okay for about six months.
Eight months later I'm flat busted broke. Conor's been saving my ass, bless him. I've been pushing my CV around and have a couple freelance bites from a couple of computer magazines in London and Bath. The Herald 'Street side Field Marketing Supervisor' the guy who team leads the folks who hand out papers in the morning, says I'm next in line to fill an opening. Hell, it's €25 for a couple hours in the morning, enough to pay rent for the month. It'll get me out of the house. God knows, I GOTTA get out o'th' house!