The Big Reveal, part 3
You see, his superiors didn't really think he'd go through with it. It is so rare for anyone to leave a civil servant job, and they thought they could intimidate him into coming back. And man, did they try. But C held strong, signed his new contract and began working.
I will be honest and say the first weeks were tough. The job as it was described and the job it actually turned out to be were completely different. Not in a bad way, but in a way we just weren't expecting. But that meant instead of being able to come in as the expert and use his previous skills, C was having to start from scratch and learn everything from the ground up. And I'm telling you, that is not something my dear husband enjoys. The reason he is always so prepared for everything he takes on is because he likes to be the best at what he does. He's a man after my own heart - I mean, if you're going to do something half-assed, why bother doing it at all?
But combine that with the fact that he got zero training and you get one unhappy C. And a worried ksam. I started doubting myself and wondering if I let my American-ness influence him too much? Like maybe just because this kind of switch would work in the US didn't mean it could work here? Maybe hard work and motivation really weren't enough to have it all work out in the end? All I knew is that was so hard on C to be the newbie at work and the one who knew the least. He literally looked like he was suffering. I mean, that was the whole point of his plan the past five years - to become an expert at something and then be that expert in the private sector (and get paid more lol), yet here he was starting from scratch.
He spent a long time completely consumed by his new job, morning and night. He didn't check out of our marriage at all, but he did from basically everything else - he even stopped running, which is something he's done religiously four times a week since we've met. He was so focused on his new job that I could rarely get him to go out during the week for the life of me, and the weekends weren't much better - the man was eating, breathing and sleeping his job. (Though I guess if I was given $20 million contracts with no training, I probably would have done the same - that's a lot of dinero to be in charge of!) It was frustrating for me though, because I could see just how much he was learning on a daily basis, but he couldn't see it himself - all he could see was how much there was left to learn.
Luckily now the tide has changed and C is starting to resurface again. I don't know why - maybe enough time has gone by for him to feel like he has a handle on things - but I came back from three weeks in the US to a happier man, and to one who seems like he is actually enjoying what he is doing.
The hours are certainly a lot longer - C's company is located in Versailles, so he has a long commute and he leaves early and gets back late. The days of sleeping in are long gone and there will certainly be no more accumulating four months of vacation, which is something we will both miss. But the extra money is definitely nice and they promote on merit, two things which were clearly lacking in his civil servant job.
What is slightly ironic about this all is that we now have the exact same job title. One of our goals in the switch was to get him into a sector that could be easily transferable to the US (not the case with his old job), should we ever decide to move there one day. So voila - even though in the end it ended up being a lot more difficult than I thought for C to leave his fonctionnaire post, we survived it and are living proof that it can be done. And I am hoping this is the start of a great career for him!
Labels: Onwards and upwards