Monday, 22 March 2010

Pulling a sickie

It can be hard to get motivated to blog at the best of times, but I have had another bout of flu which laid me up in bed for a week, so that meant phoning in sick and not teaching any classes. 2 choir practices have also been missed. This is not good as the performances of le pecheur et sa femme begin in a couple of months and there aren't many practice sessions left.

I don’t follow many blogs, but two of the three France located writers of blogs that I peruse, have also been struck down with the dreaded lurgie. Being the only man however, I have borne my suffering with fortitude...

It all started on a Friday evening after I came out of the cinema having watched “The silent man” in its original language. At last a chance to understand everything that was going on, all the witty banter. Wrong! The first 10 minutes of the film were in Yiddish or Hebrew with French subtitles on the screen. A double whammy.

It was a bloody depressing film.

I left the cinema, well wrapped up complete with hat. Te outside temperature was 2 degrees above freezing, As I walked homewards, I started shivering violently and hyperventilating. Not normal at all. I managed to make it home, and into bed.

The next day, I felt relatively normal and went off in the car to buy a piece of worktop.

In Brico Depot I felt a bit dizzy so I completed my purchase quickly, and returned home and straight to bed.

I emerged briefly on the Wednesday to buy some food and then back to bed.

Friday was interesting.

I recently found out that my health cover from the UK Government had lapsed. I got a letter from CPAM inviting me to contact the UK to see if they would renew my cover, and also something about returning my carte vitale so that it could be updated.

I had gone to CPAM clutching the letter and payslips etc from my 2 little jobs.

I found out that unless you work a minimum of 60 hours per month, you do not qualify for the State social security/health cover, which covers 70 percent of most medical costs. I also have a top up Mutuel policy to cover the remaining 30 percent of costs.

The lady wanted me to contact the UK to get a letter stating that my cover had ended and would not be extended (Which I did and they said that they would send me out a letter in English and a copy in French, but three weeks on, nothing has arrived). She also wants me to get my two employers to write a letter saying how many hours I worked for them for December, January and February. The pay slip did not state the number of hours worked and even the contract paperwork did not interest her.

As this would have worked out at best at around 20 hours per month, both of us knew that I would be 40 hours short, but the dance must be danced.

The most likely outcome would be that I would have to take out total health insurance. I don’t know what that would cost, but I suspect that it would be thousands of euros per year.

Back to the Friday. In January I had applied for 2 jobs via Pole Emploi. One to teach business people English for 4 hours per week for 8 months and the other for a 20 hour per week post in a primary school, as an assistant medico psychologique. Basically helping a child with a disability during their school day.

On the afternoon of my last trip to the cinema, I received a phone call. Could I come to an interview on the following Friday at 13:45? I said that I could. She was unable to answer any of my questions except to tell me in a roundabout way the address where the interviews were being held, and that I was not the only candidate.....

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