So finally I started working…

On the 1st of January until the 31st of December!

A internship after almost 10 years of labour market!

I don´t think I ever told you what I did before… So here goes nothing!

I worked as a Tourist Guide (but we actually did pretty much everything – from clerical work to guiding visitors, from reception to helping out with stock management and ordering…) for a company called A.A.Ferreira (Porto Ferreira) which is part of a major portuguese group called Sogrape Vinhos S.A. (known worldwide by “Mateus Rosé”).

It paid for my degree, wouldn’t have made it without this job. But I worked there 5 years as a fake (we call it) “green receipt”.

This was introduced in Portugal in the 80’s. It was meant to be used as by freelancers and it still is but it was also illegaly used to substitute contracts. So nowadays, in the same office, you have people discounting more taxes than their fellow workers, with less benefits and by this I mean:

– They work the same hours but have less rights…

– They have no unemployment support, they can also be fired at any time and with no reason.

– They have no health insurance or support if the get sick.

– They have no right to paid hollidays – or hollidays at all… A non-working day, is a non-paid day!

– And even though they are using the” tools and equipments” of any certain, specified and specific company, even though they go to the same place to work everyday, they have a schedule, they are subordinated to a hierarchy – bear in mind that while working as a “green receipt” all this is illegal according to our labour code – they still don’t have a contract or stability!

At the same time, and for a short period of time, I worked at a McDonnalds…

Then, in 2007, I went to England for my MA.

I worked in a school, washing dishes, employed by a temporary job agency, which was actually temporary not like in Portugal… Let’s say, for 2 months or so!

Then in a Portuguese restaurant, with no contract, and many functions: cooking, managing, cleaning, bartending… Pretty much everything and too many hours of work, and not enough money to meet the needs!

At the same time got a job selling plastic gloves (!) by phone – YES, plastic gloves by phone! Besides not being easy – camon’ NOBODY- in perfect reasoning! – buys plastic gloves over the phone even if they are to be delivered by post in your address, with no extra costs! This was in a building in the middle of nowhere, a storage made of iron, quite cold, again with no contract, and with a few salaries in delay, or not received at all!

Eventually got a job at the Bradford Theatres! With actual conditions and amazing people, where I stayed until 2009! Yes, it was a call centre most of the days, it was a Box office with direct contact with the public, some other days… But there was dignity and justice in the contracts, there was a union, there were Labour Rights!

After my MA I went to Luxembourg – after a small period wandering around – for an EVS (a voluntary service promoted by EU – you can check all the information here) on a magazine called Queesch.

Back in Portugal – from March 2010 onwards – I’ve found something to get a bit more of experience and worked for 5 months as an intern but as part as a program to “form and gain experience” thus non-paid

So, a job for life? No thank you! I can’t even think on such a ridiculous idea of someone assuming that the youth of today wants to be stuck in the same job forever, endless hours doing the same thing, day after day after day after day…

I am now, and finally, and after countless adventures as you can read on the previous post, on an internship in a Portuguese NGO. It is a paid internship, which is more than many have across Europe, though with no support due to unemployment, sickness and so on, where I will deal with the bureaucracy and work as a “focal point” to the persons abroad, doing field work!

BUT I am still waiting for my certificate from the University!


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