In this blog I will describe my experiences and impressions of my new home Dublin, Ireland.
The idea was born spontaneously, after years of unsuccessfully applying for the USA Green Card Lottery. A few years ago, my husband worked in Bermuda and because of me gave up a great professional opportunity there and returned back to Croatia. I was leading a pretty successful and interesting professional life, but he didn’t feel sufficiently appreciated given his education and international background experience, and we were growing more and more dissatisfied with life in Zagreb.
Thus, the idea came to close consideration after the Croatian accession to the EU, especially after I followed some posts on one expat Facebook group and started to investigate. When I realised that here (in Dublin) I would be earning much more, and that Ireland offered a number of opportunities for a better life, the decision was easy –
WE ARE MOVING TO DUBLIN 🙂
Chatting with a friend in my salon about the idea on one occasion, she told me she had a good friend who lived in Dublin for a number of years and that she would hook me up with her. At around the same time my husband contacted his childhood friend from whom he had not heard for 20 years, ever since they were in an elementary school. He too had lived and worked in Dublin for the past 8 years. All this seemed to me too strange a coincidence and appeared like a sign and a gust of tail wind. I’m not superstitious, but really sometimes in life we have to “follow the signs.”
So we started discussing everything with these Dubliners and gradually grew more and more confident that this was where we wanted to create a new home for ourselves and our two children. I quickly put together a CV in English and sent it to 10 hairdressing salons, and very soon six of them invited me for an interview. One owner was willing to wait for me a couple of weeks and that decided it. We managed to sell our car, donated most of our clothes to Caritas, and I sold my business. We flew by EasyJet to London and changed there for Dublin. The flight was chaotic and difficult, because our two-year old son had a fever over 39 degrees C, and between the two of us we had to take care of two children and 3 large and 4 small suitcases.
After nine hours we finally arrived.
The first impression was great, sea air, a breeze and a sunny day. Waiting for a taxi, I saw for the first time a family from a poor part of Dublin that a friend of mine told me about. They tend to be a bit rowdy, sometimes unemployed for life, can live at the expense of the state, have kids very young and can sometimes have many children in order to get from the state a larger home and other benefits.
In the evening we signed our rental contract for an apartment in a beautiful part of Dublin, a wealthy suburb by the sea. Already the following morning I tried to enrol my daughter into two nearby schools, but without success, and I felt really sad and helpless. The officials were friendly, but apparently Ireland is currently experiencing a baby boom and there is a shortage of spaces in schools. They sent me to a third school to check availability there, but I wasn’t able to go that day because I was already expected at a hairdressing salon at 11.30 am for a probation day.
Oh, yes, the rehearsal, that was a terrible experience, I came to the salon all tired and lost. The head had seemed very friendly and endearing over the phone, and my friend which had met her prior to my arrival had only words of praise for her. When I entered the salon she shook my hand briefly and then sent me to the dressing room for a few minutes, came after me and said “ The client is here ” and rolled her eyes when I said that I had all equipment with me except a hair dryer adapter for an Irish socket. To that she arrogantly replied: ” That will be a problem! ” But to keep things short… after 9 hours, 4 hair colouring treatments, 4 blow-dries, 3 haircuts and 2 wedding hairdos she dropped me home commenting that I had not really shown my best and that my probation would be extended to a month, without mentioning either the PPS number or a contract .. Naturally I had no choice so I showed up 2 more times and did what I had to.
After a couple of days I sent my CV to another salon on the other side of town. Luckily immediately the next morning the owner called regarding probation, but I had to arrive with a model to show my colouring expertise. A young Croatian woman whom I found with the help of a member from the earlier mentioned FCB Group helped me out there. The rehearsal went great and I got a chance to showcase my skills and got two paid trial days in this beautiful salon with a lovely manager. The first probation day was very busy and after three hours the manager approached me with words “Ana, all clients are delighted with your work, are you ok, are you tired, can you manage? “
Of course I could. After half an hour the owner asked me if I could come on Monday for a second evaluation day, and I replied ” NO PROBLEM “. But when I did two more male haircuts, she apparently made her final decision as she called me aside and told me, “Ana you’re perfect “ and said the job was mine !!! : D…
I was so happy that I told her I would never leave unless she fired me : D Ok, that was a bit over the top, but apparently they appreciated me the way I was, because day after day they praised me, supported me and gave me complete freedom with regard to creating hairstyles, unlike the former boss which disparaged my experience. She made a scene when I actually informed her that I was planning to leave and tried to make me stay, gave me a guilt-trip and at the end of the phone conversation hung up on me. And declared how she will not pay those three days I worked with her because they were “A waste of time for her…” Hmmm what to say…
In the meantime, my daughter started school and found her way … awesome…
More stories next time.
See yaa A.M.