So, what’s it like?

Yeesh, I can’t believe it took me over a month to get back to my story. Now there’s even more to cram into this poor little post! September can be summed up quite quickly: I was deciding / preparing to move out of my apartment and take over a new one, previously owned by a good friend of mine – but that’s an entirely different story, which will need its own post. This friend was moving to a city far, far away, while another good friend was leaving for a year abroad. Lots of good-byes and sadness in September, while I was also trying to keep those few friendships that were still here going. I wasn’t sure how it would be when my apprenticeship started – would I get along with the others in my group, or would I be left friendless? I was anxious to meet these new people but also sceptical due to some “bad apple” stories I had heard. Finally, on September 24th, it was the moment of truth. My first day of school – again. I was the last to get there, just in time. We had assigned seats with name signs and a big folder with our name on it. Then came three hours of explaining of the formalities in that folder by an uptight, possibly anal-retentive secretary. Fun. Needles to say, I didn’t get to know the other candidates very much. A few I had seen on the day of the interview, some others I knew from the university. But there’s only so much you can tell by staring at people.

Two weeks later, on October 5th, is when I started my job at the clinic. Or rather: when I should have started. Because my contract was nowhere to be found. I was off to a good start: the ward doctor had ignored the e-mail concerning our getting to know each other before I start, and no one on the ward had heard of me. It was fun to introduce myself as psychologist for the first (and second, and third, …) time, though. Since I didn’t have a work contract, we all agreed I should just sit and watch. For the most part. Since we psychologists are apparently worth nothing, we also don’t have an office or any supplies that go with it. With no contract, I also had no keys. Or ID card. So I started scraping binders and papers together where I could and copied and took notes. I was an intern, once again. On my second day of “work”, still no contract. That relaxation group I was supposed to direct? A CD did it in my place – but I did sign the patients attending cards. On the third day, they finally managed to conjure up my contract. It stated: one year, no vacation, no payment. Huzza! So now that I was allowed to (i.e. insured to) actually do stuff, I had two diagnostic tests, a structured interview and a therapeutic session to accomplish. Let the stress begin.

[To be continued]

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