Leaving the Alps

It turned out to be a life-changing event, although I didn’t realize it at the time, sitting in that dingy office, squinting in concentration at the raven haired woman opposite me. How could I have known then, that my whole future would be determined in the space of half an hour?

I wanted the job, needed it badly in fact, but the interview seemed to be lasting an eternity and I was becoming more and more flustered. I had been working as an au pair since my arrival in France 10 months previously, but I knew that I could not realistically continue that for much longer.  The rumble of displeasure across the channel from my parents about my lack of job prospects was becoming thunderous, and even I understood that if I found nothing here, I would eventually have to return to England to look for work.

I had signed up at the local job centre a few weeks previously, but the Alps hardly constituted Silicon Valley, and I had begun to feel that I had more chance of finding gold in these mountains than a career. If I didn’t get this job, I would be on the next coach back to the UK, I thought. I didn’t want to leave – I had fought to make France my home and I had come to love the area, as well as the French and their strange ways.

And of course, I would have to say a permanent adieu to my amoureux. I’d spent the last few months convincing myself that I didn’t really care about the fun-loving, affectionate farmer that I’d met upon my arrival in France. I thought it would be easy to say au revoir and leave without a backward glance. But as my departure become unavoidable, I realized that abandoning him would be the hardest thing of all.

The boss’s wife pushed a pen and paper across the desk towards me and started to dictate a letter in French. She was in charge of recruitment and the company needed a bilingual secretary. Please let me get the job, I thought, I can’t go back to the UK, not now!

As she showed me out, her face gave away no hint of my success or lack of it. I would hear from them within a few days she said. In the end, I didn’t have to wait long. The call came that evening – I had got the job. My fate in France was sealed.

For Scribbits prompt : my life is different because..

This entry was posted in Beginnings, Work and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Leaving the Alps

  1. Isn’t that funny how you don’t realize big things when they’re happening? I was looking for a job one time and couldn’t get anything and ended up doing temp work. The first call I got was something I didn’t want to do but I said I’d do it anyway. They called me back the next day with a different job (same company) which I did want and I ended up working there as a temp then getting hired permanently in a terrific job. I wouldn’t have got it if I hadn’t said yes to the unpleasant job at the beginning.

  2. tut-tut says:

    And now you can turn it into wonderful prose . . .

  3. Heidi says:

    Amazing! I had a similar experience when I only went to a dinner party at the last possible moment, literally being *begged* by my hostess to come, and that’s when I met my husband. Totally unexpected.

    Life is funny that way. When I look back, I think I can see a pattern, a ‘meant to be’ thing, but I don’t honestly know if that’s the case, or if it’s really all just fluke and luck.

    I’m so glad you stayed. 🙂

  4. Kathleen says:

    How wonderful that you fought for your dream, and it became a reality. I’m glad you’re in France…I wonder if we would be “reading” you if you were back in England with a broken heart…

  5. Cari says:

    Must have been written in the stars;) On a selfish note, I’m really glad you are there to share your life in France with us…

  6. meredith says:

    Great post! I find job interviews in France to be scary. I was recently hired just to answer phones and greet people in english, and they had some scary guy asking me what positives changes I thought I could bring to the company. Well, I can say hello in English…I told the guy, convinced that he thought I was being a smart-alec…I got that job.

  7. Mary Alice says:

    It is interesting to look back over life and spot the pivotal moments that changed our lives, but at the time seemed perhaps mundane. Only with hindsight can we completely understand how fate stepped in.

  8. Daisy says:

    These scary moments; so glad this worked out for the best for you! It wasn’t just meant to be, you made it happen, too.

  9. childlife says:

    What a great story! Your words captured the moment beautifully – very well written!

  10. Lizzy says:

    I was almost hoping that you hadn’t got the job but that your beaux had proposed in time to keep you there =) I can be overly dramatic at times.

    Have you posted about how you came to marrying him yet? Or do I need to be patient?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s