Thursday, July 13, 2006

Feeling OFW (the saga continues)

I don’t remember who told me to call the Swiss mission but it sure was good advice. I called but didn’t get an answer so I asked my mom to phone them. Fortunately, she got a hold of the person concerned, Ms. G.

I had given up all hope of going home but made a bargain with God. I promised him that if he would let me go home without any trouble or damage to my work, I would give up a certain part of my life. This was also a test whether God existed. I believe in Him that’s why I made the bargain.

So, the Swiss mission said that there was another possibility. For my chief to sign the letter stating that I would be getting a new contract when I come back. This was the original letter that I requested which my boss didn’t want to sign because in her words and quoting her boss “if personnel won’t do it, then you shouldn’t do it”.

It was a very safe answer which removed all responsibility from her hands. It left me disappointed but I was so numb that I hardly reacted.

My mom got an answer and asks me to call the Swiss mission. I call them. They tell me to make personnel call them. Personnel calls them. I call personnel to follow up. Personnel says that the chief can sign but that personnel will not give any attestation. The personnel assistant comes up to the chief’s office whilst me in it. We talk. "I better not get sacked for this," she says. I say, "it's only a formality." The chief drafts the letter but has to call the Swiss mission first. She talks to the Swiss mission. She faxes the letter. I get a call from the chief. Call the Swiss mission on Monday she says.

I wait.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Feeling OFW (part 2)

As if working for my family was not enough responsibility and a source of heartache, my working abroad has been plagued by visa restrictions. I just spoke to my boss and she said that personnel would not issue a certificate allowing me to obtain a return visa from the cantonal (municipal) administration here.
I took the news with a smiling face. I did not know how else to react to such grave news. I feel quite jaded now.

I have been in Geneva for a year and a half without going home. I know it’s not as long as 25 years or even as short as some people’s five years, but it is grave for me whose longest time out is usually eight months and then going back home to recharge.

I still feel calm now and no tears have fallen. I think I’ve cried it out in the previous days and my sleepless nights were premonitions of my imminent disappointment.
I can bitch all I want now but I think it will be a waste of my time and energy.
It is difficult when people depend on you and you are not free to make decisions that only suit your happiness. My family’s finances are hinged on my working abroad. Some of my friends are working abroad too but they like what they are doing. I might be a little impatient but I do like what I’m doing here, I just want to be able to go home. And even that I am not granted.

If I leave for my vacation, there is no guarantee that I can come back. Not even my mom’s diplomatic status can help me because I am independent of her in the eyes of Swiss laws.

What do I do?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Anger Management

Do you ever find yourself just blowing up at anything that triggers your anger? It's a cumulation of angst and anger and then that one little thing breaks the camel's back.

I succumbed to that. I feel so sorry and feel like I've sunk to the lowest depths.

My brother's friends come over at 10:30 p.m. It's late by Geneva standards. It would have been alright if they had called first or rang the bell respectfully and didn't scream at my brother from the other end. All that I heard as my brother came to the speaker phone.

So, I decided not to take it lying down this time. I had been quite angry with this "friend" for a while now. He was very rude and I had just been keeping it civil. But I had enough. I waited for them at the door and greeted them with a resounding "why did you scream at the speaker phone?" He adamantly denied it but I felt myself rising at the sound of his voice and his rude way of talking. I walked away.

Then my brother makes an excuse for my behavior saying that I had had a row with my mother and that I was taking it out on them. I felt like I've been sold out by my brother. It wasn't entirely untrue that I had had some discussion with my mother but it certainly wasn't the cause of my newfound anger. It was because my brother's friend had been so rude.

So, I butt in saying that I wasn't angry at my mother but at them for screaming at the speaker phone. The friend reasoned out which made me even angrier. I told him to not answer back. He said, "Why shouldn't I, if I'm in the right?" At this point I was on the verge of crying from anger and he decided to walk off. Good thing.

But it left me feeling bad that I had stooped so low as to go down to his level of rudeness. I was out of place to accuse him that maybe my younger brother had acquired that same rude behavior from him. He was my main suspect. He denied spending time with my brother. Then shortly, walked into the elevator.

As they left and as I heard their voices downstairs from our open windows, I felt a surge of guilt at my behavior. I should have known better to be calmer and to get my point across without seething anger.

An angry person loses much credibility unless it's righteous anger. Mine was nowhere near righteous. It was just plain old boiling blood anger. And I am sorry for having let myself be poisoned by it.

Tomorrow night, hopefully, we will make amends as my mother had to call a meeting so that we could all clear the air. I hope it goes well. I don't ever want to have a repeat of tonight's Mount Vesuvius eruption. It's definitely not a pretty sight.