Saturday, December 22, 2012

The End of LIFE
No, silly, not the end of the world -- the end of my time at LIFE gym. Ever tell your boss to take this job and shove it in a foreign language? Good times.

It wasn't the fact that they never got paid by clients ahead of time and found themselves so in debt that they had to ask all of us employees to get paid for September in November and so on, and that we take one euro less per hour.  It wasn't the fact that they canceled five out of nine of my classes right at Christmas. It was how he did it that was unacceptable to me. He told me that I had to find a way to reinvent myself and put myself back into the schedule and that they would be open to hearing my suggestions. Well, even if I offer to do a lap dance at three in the afternoon, if there are no clients there, it is not going to make much of a difference what I come up with. Plus, if I am a valued employee with a family and they are leaving me to earn only 49 euros a week, shouldn't they think of a way to put me back in the schedule so that they don't lose me?

Well, I yelled and he yelled and hung up the phone in his face, and it did not go well. I had stayed up the whole night before going over my calm and level headed speech in Italian. As the hours passed, I got angrier and angrier. I didn't have the conversation on Monday when it happened because I didn't know if I could continue to work there or not. One boss had called me on Monday morning to say they were going to cut three classes, which I expected. Then when I came in person for the formal meeting they ended up cutting two more that I didn't expect because there were about five students there, which is not so bad. The week was torturous as I accepted their stupid candle with the company logo on it and the little chocolates and smiled at everyone of my colleagues who are earning five times as much as me. I didn't want to ruin the holiday smoldering so I called to make an appointment only to find out that those bosses were going away to Switzerland in a few hours. Thus, the blowout on the phone. F learned some new curses in Italian -- so it was positive in that regard.

Then I had to go by the gym in person and leave off my hours. The bosses were not there so I chatted with some of my coworkers and was thrilled to give them my version first and have them on my side. Another man I work with turned out to be a partner in the gym. Nobody ever told me that. He always left the room when I entered and I have come to find out he did not want to be alone with me because he doesn't understand a word I say in Italian. He called me later in the day and he understood every word I said and was very nice about everything saying maybe we could still work things out, but once the trust is gone I'm gone. Also it is weird that I have never been invited to a brainstorming staff meeting there and even weirder that they don't have any.

For now I will be an independent agent teaching English conversation group classes maybe and doing personal training for as many of my clients as I can possibly steal.

That same day of December 21, T had an end of the world party at our house. Ironically, they sat around playing the board game of Life.
Outside the movie theater.

This bear in the pharmacy window rocks back and forth with the baby bear.
 We made reindeer cupcakes and went out in the cold, dark night to distribute them to our friends that work in the neighborhood stores.  I tripped and twisted my ankle. Yeah, I can't believe it either.

Giusti bakery
Me and Monica who runs the bakery with her husband Luca.

My pharmacist liked the cupcakes a lot!
I look really tired.

The nativity scene at San Michele church.
 This morning F had to drive me to Capannori to do a personal training session for Jessica since I now can't set foot in the gym. We did another round and distributed even more cupcakes and it was lovely and in the true spirit of the holiday. Right now there is a chorus and orchestra in the street below singing Christmas carols. T has gone out ice skating in honor of Natasha's birthday party. And all's well that ends well. Lo spero bene.

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