Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, July 16, 2012

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!



Blogger Erica said...

Congrats to C! Too many people think that being a fonctionnaire is the best thing ever ... and they refuse to leave when they lose that enthusiasm. Good job encouraging him to try something new.

PS - C sounds like he has an amazing work ethic! Wow!

July 16, 2012 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger gz said...

Relief that things are progressing at last! Hope C can continue his running- it should help.

July 16, 2012 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

gz, he started running again too, he goes with his co-workers at lunch now. I'm so glad he picked it up again, and I'm sure it's a great chance to blow off some steam too!

July 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Emily Marie said...

That's great, Sam!! Glad to hear you are both happy.

July 16, 2012 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Animesh said...


So the bétises C and I were up to while you were gone really had an effect ;-).

July 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

I guess so Animesh - and anyways, you were about the only one who could get him out of the house! ;)

July 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! I hadn't read parts 1 and 2 when I saw you both on Saturday or I would have congratulated C for his chutzpah and sheer boldness! It is hard to start a new job and have to start at the beginning when you know you're capable of much more, but before long things will usually get easier and more pleasant - I'm glad to see that's the case with your sweetie! Good for him (although I guess he won't be giving us any good tips and alerts on problems in the 18th anymore. C'est la vie!)

July 17, 2012 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Mil said...

Must be a really tough time for your two. Hang in there. I hope the rewards will be worth it. PS: thanks for the tips on cake truffles. I'll check it out.

July 17, 2012 at 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say chapeau to any fonctionnaire who leaves their job to find new challenges. There is absolutely no help out there for people who want to leave, and yet there is a real population who want to. I'm sure it won't be long until you notice a huge difference in your non-fonctionnaire husband! Congrats!!!

July 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Sara Louise said...

Cheers to C! I'm sure he will be very successful in his new career, he sounds like a force to be reckoned with :)

July 18, 2012 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Cécy said...

Yeah for pulling it through and coming up with positive things in a tough situation. You definitely have a lot to be proud of when it comes to C. It's not always easy for French people to take risks this way. I'm glad it's and will pay off.

Oh and yeah for running again. I love running, so I know the feeling.

July 21, 2012 at 2:48 AM  

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