Friday, February 04, 2005

Mevrouw Flapper in een Rollenstoel

Mevrouw Flapper showed up today in a wheelchair. Yesterday she wasn't in the restaurant. Usually, she makes in with her walker, everso slowly. But today she was wheeled in. I said, "Mevrouw Flapper! Ik heb je gemist gisteren." (Literally, I missed you yesterday.) She started crying. I didn't know what to do. I knew it had to do with her newly acquired means of transport. So strange. Her face is so alive and happy all the time. But her legs don't want to work. I was very sad. It must be quite an adjustment for people to move from being so mobile - or even moderately mobile - to a wheelchair.

Of course there are a few of the women who are wheeled in every day and seem to have adjusted quite well. But I'm sure it's been years.

I asked Wilma (the director of the restaurant) today about who I could speak to to get information about the nursing home and how places like that are set up administratively. She e-mailed Corry, the director of the volunteers, and Corry said that if I want a job, I should start looking at the employment agencies.

The problem here (and it's not the first time I've come across it) is that when I ask people for information about an organization (in English or in Dutch) they point me towards internet job sites or employment agencies. The Parachute Book is really not very optimistic about those places, although I continue to look. Of course I would like a job, but, really, I want to talk to people and figure out where I would fit. It's frustrating, but I keep hearing Oprah in a show a few years ago.

At the time, she was talking to people who can't say no when a friend asks them a favor. Oprah said, "If you don't want to do it, say no. They're looking for a yes. They'll just go to the next person in search of a yes."

So I have transposed that in my mind and added a little of someone else's philosphy so that it's ME looking for a yes. So if they give me a no, or some other b.s. answer, I'll just move on, thank you. That's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a yes or the answer to my question. Problem is that some people think that that's what I'm looking for and move right to answer the "Do you have a job for me?" question. I'm smart enough to ask the questions I want answered. They should just answer my questions.

All in all, though, people are being helpful. I believe things are moving in the right direction. I think every no (and I got another recently) is a step towards my eventual employment. Tomorrow I have a lunch appointment with a woman from choir at church. She's a surgeon originally from Berlin. I thought she might be able to explain the Dutch health care system to me from an outsider's point of view.

On a bright note: Today Wilma walked up and told me my Dutch was getting better. "Het gaat veel beter met het Nederlands, he?"


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