Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And now for something completely different

Some of you may or may not know this, but after 13 years of service I was laid off shortly before last Christmas. I used to be the Senior Customer Service Manager for a large, international hotel company and responsible for customer service teams in four different countries. A small number of staff got the chop in Cork, but worldwide quite a good number of management were also laid off. It seemed to have affected some of my favourite colleagues, so I am definitely in good company.

Some of those guys appear to feel quite bitter about it even after all those months (OK, in one case, a girl who had dedicated her whole working life – close to 35 years if I recall correctly– for the company, it’s hard not to get the impression that she got royally screwed); some others are more nonchalant about this. I am in the latter category and treat this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. My finances are in order, so I can keep my head above water for a while, even though there don’t appear to be any jobs out there that require my expertise. So after years of saying “If only” I am starting to finally set something up for myself and am offering German lessons. As a result I am feeling strangely liberated. Each month I am getting more students and as long as this trend continues I am a happy camper.

I do, however, know that the life of a freelancer is a very fragile one. I can dream, and not make dreams my master, so am keeping all my options open, knowing that a return to an office environment may be the most sensible option. Of course, if that happens, I may as well file all dreams of doing it my way away. The time for making it happen is NOW. At my age – 41 – this is likely the final chance I am given to prove to myself that I am self-sufficient enough to start on my own and provide services about things I feel passionate about.

Part of my little marketing package was to set up a German tutoring blog. It’s by far the least updated of all my blogs, but together with a couple of other online ads, it helped to place me prominently on Google for German tutoring jobs in Cork and Ireland. So go check it out.

I also teach German online through Skype. If you ever wanted to learn a foreign language, why not contact me for this? Payments can be arranged through Paypal and I cater for all levels from beginners to advanced students who like to keep their skills active.

Don’t want to learn a foreign language, but feel like supporting me differently? Have a look at the Paypal donations button on the left and send me some Yen. Or use the Amazon buttons for your Amazon orders. I hate to pimp myself this way, but when the money was coming in regularly I didn’t really care too much for filthy lucre and did everything for the love of the movies, but desperate times call for desperate measures and all financial support is now definitely appreciated.

What else?

  • Need documents translated from German to English or vice versa? Contact me!
  • Need a freelance writer or know someone who does? Contact me!
  • Feel like visiting Cork (or Ireland) and need a tour guide or someone who helps you plan your journey? Contact me!
  • Wanna find a way to get rid of your husband/wife/worst enemy? Contact me!
OK, the last was spoken in jest, but, yes, as you can see I am a gun for hire and open to all reasonable offers. (So, no, I will not even attempt to undercut an hourly rate in India or China.)

And at the off chance that any potential employer in or around Cork in need of a good Customer Service Manager reads this: My CV is of course available upon request.

End of the public service message.


Paul said...

You have got the right attitude, really good to see people being positive these days. I am sure we will have some need of your talents soon - I'll be wracking my brains to think of one. Good luck!

Holger Haase said...

Thanks for your support, Paul. Would look forward to discussing any possible option with you.

Larry said...

I'll be glad to use the Amazon button but don't see it on your page. It might just be me. But I don't see it anywhere.

kassy said...

The time for making it happen is NOW. At my age – 41 – this is likely the final chance I am given to prove to myself that I am self-sufficient enough to start on my own and provide services about things I feel passionate about.

If I get laid off at the end of the month when the notices go out, I am going to remember what you said and treat it as an opportunity and make the best of it.