Saturday, 29 August 2009
It's the weekend.....
I can remember, when I was working in the UK, the anticipation I felt on Fridays of a couple of days away from the grindstone....and feeling a bit deflated on a Sunday evening with Monday morning looming...particularly if it had not been a particularly satisfying weekend.
This was of course towards the end of my career, just before taking early retirement. I was Deputy Manager (but at the time acting Manager) of a residential home for people with mental health problems, and having worked my fair share of weekends, not to mention Christmases, I was at last responsible for the rotas, so made sure I had a few weekends off.
I have worked since I moved to Turkey...on and off...but soon realised that weekends don't really exist for many working people here. The hours are long....it's not unusual to be expected to work a 16 hour day, seven days a week for very little pay. You won't find a part-time job, unless you can do some serious negotiating with the boss, and then part-time is considered to be 8 hours a day, with a day off...if you're lucky.
This year has been a grim one as far as jobs are concerned. I've mentioned how difficult it has been for Mr Ayak to find work. He's been working in a hotel for around a month now....approx 16 hours a day...7 days a week....for 10 ytl per day (around 4 pounds). Even though it's only about an hour's distance from home, his car is still out of action, and it would cost him about 30 ytl to do the round trip by bus...just for an evening..only to return very early the next morning. He knows there is no point complaining that what he earns is half the legal minimum wage...because bosses just ignore this fact...and anyone who doesn't accept it will just be asked to leave. There are always plenty of other men ready to take their place.
So he stays in personnel accommodation, which normally consists of several men sharing a room...and eats personnel food..which is usually pasta, rice or vegetables....pretty basic stuff.
I'm used to him being away for work, he has had to do it many times since we've been married, but I notice his absence more since moving here, because there are so many little jobs to be done at home that I can't manage. But also because I feel a bit isolated here, and miss the friends I made in other areas. Although I have to admit, it's early days yet, and I always have had those feelings when moving to new areas...it doesn't last because I make friends easily.
The job should finish sometime in September...then he'll be home. His boss has offered him a job in Istanbul for the winter, but he's very reluctant to take it because he's not happy about me being on my own for so long. At the moment, if there was some sort of crisis and I needed him here...he could get home quickly...but if he's in Istanbul it would be out of the question.
Well life goes on...one day is much the same as the one before...but for those of you embarking on a weekend that is different from the rest of your week....Have a good one!