i am teetering

I am wobbly. I will  not drink but it has crossed my mind that now would be a good time for a glass of wine.

Friday I had the meeting with those guys about the thing. the meeting itself went very well. they loved me and the samples and were talking future plans even beyond the next three months.  i got a tour, everyone is nice, we reviewed my samples, i said what i can and can’t do, they were thrilled with all of it. i offered to do more than they asked, and they then added some extra stuff to my responsibilities.  i’m girl who likes to be in charge of the bits that will directly affect me.  they were like “cool, take this and this.”

then right at the end, after a pleasant 30-40 minutes, one guy in the meeting says “you’ve got the right paperwork/certification/legal thingy for this, right?”

I say No, I don’t. I had told Woman that when she called me in for the interview.

There’s a tight awkward pause.  i know enough from negotiating experience to know that i’m not supposed to speak then, just wait.  and i waited.

and the guy says “well, our lawyer will give give you something that says that we assume that you’re certified, and that you’ll pay your taxes, etc. and then we sort of leave it up to you.”

i nod. there’s an understanding here.

i leave and walk all the home (45 minutes) feeling like i’ve been kicked in the head.

They seem to be ok with me being the right fit for the job, but i don’t have the right checkmarks in the right boxes.  they have to prove on their side that they’ve tried to check the boxes.  i have to nod and everyone knows what’s going on.  There probably isn’t anyone else in town who can do this for them, who has my particular skill set.  if they don’t go with me, they’ll have to rethink their entire thing, and it starts september 24.

i’m not a big rule-follower, but i’m in a foreign country and this kind of shit makes me nervous, and that nervous feeling makes me want to drink. i know there are lots of countries where people just sort of nod and wink and stuff gets done and nothing is ever really legal.  i guess i’m in one of those places right now.

i said to husband, they probably won’t go through with it.  if i was them, given what they’re asking me to do, they really should have someone who’s certified.

and then about an hour later, friday afternoon, their order came in specifying that they’d like me to begin september 24th and asking for a price breakdown for the first week’s deliverables.

so since yesterday afternoon, i’ve been teetering.  i want the opportunity AND i’m scared of the legal stuff, though i have every confidence that i can do the job safely and without problems for them.

but it would be sort of like hiring a handyman to do your plumbing.  He’s not a plumber, but he knows how to do it.  there are no plumbers available, and in this case, there’s no option of finding a plumber.  The company could redesign the house to bypass the plumbing problem.  Or they can say to the handyman: “we will give you a statement indicating that we assume you’re a certified plumber. and then we leave the rest up to you.”

i’m teetering.  i feel like i should have a drink of wine and think about this.  I feel like i should turn down the opportunity. I feel like i should go for it and after a few weeks it’ll all seem normal and i’ll forget how i feel now.  I should remember that maybe this is me afraid of a super-great opportunity masked as a fear of regulations.  i feel like i should wait to see what their lawyer sends. i can’t get certified in this country for another 2 years, and so there are no easy or simple solutions.  wine seems like an easy and simple solution…

Even my husband said, when i suggested that i feel like wine, he said “the good feeling doesn’t last very long, maybe only about 20 minutes, and then the rest is just pouring more booze in on top.”  that seemed profound.

i’m not drinking, but i’m teetering on this job adventure.  i’m usually very brave in my professional life.  i’m far from home and i’m nervous.  and that makes me want to drink.


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I love the quote from your husband “the good feeling doesn’t last long, maybe only 20 minutes, and then the rest is just pouring more booze on top.” I need to have that posted on my fridge and on my bathroom mirror. It’s succinct and brilliant. Bravo Mr. Belle

  • Ugh. I have no idea what I would do in your shoes. My gut says to “do the right thing.” But what is the right thing, aside from not drinking? I like the thought that NMM had above. Do you have a Plan B? Can you live with the consequences? That sounds like a pretty big risk. Why would the company have you sign a waiver if they weren’t worried? Do they have everyone sign a waiver? Is there a way you can CYA (cover your ass) too?

    What does your husband think? What do *you* think? If you just clear all of the extra stuff out of the way, you probably have a feeling inside of what you want to do.

    Sending good thoughts your way. xx

    • Mrs D., in interested by your observations here, i’m not usually a very nervous person, but living here we’ve had some problems with the officials with respect to my husband’s work, and so now i figure it could (eventually) happen to me too, although our situations are completely different. i didn’t realize that maybe i’m just more nervous in general now because i’m not drinking. the worst case scenario would be to leave the country, and that i cannot live with. As Paul says, i’m focusing on the consequences (getting caught and getting kicked out) but i don’t know how real that risk is, so that’s the hard part judge.

      part of is really being a big chicken. and part of me is terrified we’d have to leave this great life here and go home because of something stupid i did.

      RoS, my husband thinks i should do it, but that i should get certified. i can’t get certified to do exactly what i’ll be doing, but i can get paperwork to do something ‘close’ and then i can fudge the rest. i think. oh god, who knows. Yes, i think they have everyone sign a waiver who’s doing this kind of work.

  • To my mind, risk is a product of consequence and likelyhood of it happening. It sounds like you are looking at the consequences a lot and not considering the likelyhood of the venture going pear shaped.

    How likely is it you will be found out? It sounds like your partners have something at stake if you are found out, so they’ll keep mum. Are there regulatory oversight authorities that you’ll be exposed to or do you fly below the radar?

    Can you proceed with the work and undertake certification? That might mitigate any consequence.

    So long as the consequences dont involve jail, serious fines or a public flogging, they do not fall in the “serious” category. So perhaps accept just little but more that we really shouldn’t let our worries about the future affect the realities of today . It sounds like you need to learn to live with uncertainty.

    With regard to drinking, I never had any thought process alcohol wouldn’t have screwed up. Take care, Paul.

  • I’m nervous about a whole lot more things than I used to be too. Like being alone right now with Mr D in Russia. I think it’s just part of that ‘everything is more real’ feeling that we get without wine. It’s it bloody amazing how much changes just by taking away the wine, who knew that it affected so many parts of our lives. Re the regulations… imagine the worst case scenario, and then work out if that were to occur would it be the end of your life? Just so you’re prepared for the worst I suppose. Imagine the worst .. then go on and do it hoping that will never happen. xx

  • Hmmmm….. 1987, in the hills of La Mancha, Spain I had a wonderful gig teaching english. My only qualification was the fact my mother tongue is English, I did conversation with adults, homework with high school kids, translations for local businesses. I had no papers apart from a Brit passport. One day an inspector arrives at my door, I had been reported by the local language school who had lost half their best clients ( the mayor’s wife and her entourage)…. I was asked to cease immediately, leaving me (and my wife/now-ex who was doing the same in french)with no income…. Long story short, we left Spain two weeks later to pick grapes and get a tan in the south of France ……

    Do you have a plan b? Can you live with the fall-out?

    1987 was along time ago and life was so much simpler….. I fear theses days the Euro-functionaries are much less lenient than when I was abusing the system.

    Hope I haven’t muddied the waters further…. Bonne chance!

    • i love this story, my example is similar… if all i could get was a request to cease, then i’d be fine with that, we don’t need the money, this is fun money for me. We have other income. The worst for me would if they got so pissed off at how i’m breaking a bunch of different rules, that they request that we leave spain. if that happened, i’d be devastated. we don’t want to go back to North America. we want to stay here for a long time, esp. since my husband’s career is booming in a way it never did back home.

  • thanks everyone. they haven’t done it before, it’s a new venture. the legal ramifications of getting ‘caught’ is that i suppose i could get kicked out of the country. it seems like a long shot, but it does scare me, cuz we love it here. i am allowed to work here, but only doing very specific things and this isn’t one of them. for them if someone got hurt and it came out that i’m not certified, then there’d be big shit. but that also seems like a long shot. it’s so weird b/c lots of things are done under the table, sort of bending the rules. and they seem totally fine with it all, it’s me, miss priss, who’s thinking … “um, you guys shouldn’t hire me …”

  • Not knowing the specifics, it’s hard to say what would be the ideal response. I guess my question is: what are the legal ramifications if your lack of certification comes into play down the line. And, have they done this before?

    Regardless, taking the edge off with booze is a lose/lose situation.

    Let us know how it turns out.

  • When I’m faced with a dilemma this big I do one of two things (and one of them is not pour a glass of wine ;- ) )

    First, I make a list of pros and cons and I mean to say that I write it down. I’m trying to get to what’s the best thing that can happen and what’s the worst. Somehow seeing it in writing helps me to figure it out.

    If that doesn’t work then I do the 10, 10, 10 thing. In what way will this decision impact my life in 10 weeks, 10 months, and 10 years. That allows me to see the impact.

    I hope this helps. I too find that both success and indecision are a trigger for me. Aw who am I kidding, when I was where you are EVERYTHING was a trigger for me so you should feel great about where you are and how you are coping.