Profession: Immigrant

A person who makes the decision to go abroad is full of nerves. The biggest fear relates to getting work. It’s really easy to understand that because with money, we can organise our life. Reading the newspaper we see a lot of adverts like ‘Polish man looking for any kind of job.’ When I came to Ireland first, I went to a job agency. They saw my CV and apparently I was qualified as a catering assistant. Actually, I don’t know why, because I never worked in this area before, but I was just happy because I could work. The next morning, I took a short message with the address I had to go to. That was a nightmare, 7 am, darkness and me at the bus station alone. Thank God, a few people came after a while. I got on the bus and showed the bus driver the address and somehow managed to ask him to let me off at this address and I sat in the front seat, with my nose pressed to a very cold window. My memory of my first day at work in Ireland is hazy. A kitchen, strange people and me like a little, odd person. I washed dishes for eight hours, pretended that I understood what was being said. Schools, diplomas, ambitions, they were all left behind in Poland and I don’t know how, but I stayed in that kitchen for a year. I was learning these are ‘tomatoes’, this is a ‘pot’, these are ‘napkins’. I made sandwiches and became a master of the dishwasher. Sometimes I thought that this was time wasted. Maybe it was a little, but the fact is that because of this work I learned a little English and now the ‘tomatoes’ don’t scare me so much. Now I am into my second chapter in Ireland. Because of my CV which includes working in Dublin, in Roscommon I also found myself qualified as a catering assistant. Now it’s the ninth month working at a deli counter. I have to say that in the past two years, I have received small promotions. I now spend less time washing pots and sometimes I can send a fax. Unfortunately, one thing doesn’t change. Often if someone is speaking with me, I pretend that I know what’s going on, or for some reason I’m like a cretin. Sometimes I have the impression that Irish people think that I’m stupid. How can I explain that the problem is because of my language? How long will I have to be here before I can be comfortable? I know that some time in my work I will feel comfortable, but still I won’t be comfortable about the work that I am doing. But where in Ireland is the perfect job for a person qualified in journalism and film-making but who hasn’t perfect English? Ha! Maybe in silent cinema where instead of sub titles, we have pictures! Piszcie do mnie: martakamykowa@wp.pl