Once upon a time...
that's how fairy tales normally begin, right?
My fairy tale started in 1985 in City called Mönchengladbach-Rheydt, Germany. It was August 1st, 9 o'clock in the morning. My first day at work. I had decided to start an apprenticeship to become a trained retail saleswoman. There were lots of shops which were interested to employ me; however, I decided to go for C&A.
I was 16 years old and a little bit different from the other apprentices, who worked there. In my free time I loved to meet up with my friends. They were punks, rockabillies and some mods. My boyfriend was a rockabilly and he became a hairdresser. He loved his apprenticeship! So he was learning very hard how to do the hair and I was his model. I sometimes had a hair-do every day. ;-) Although I had to dress like a lady at work, with white blouses and black trousers, I dressed like a Rockabilly in my free time.
These two lives were very different from each other and sometimes they clashed, for instance when some of my friends came to visit me at work. My colleagues looked at them as if they were aliens. They started whispering about us, which I didn't like, because it made me and my friends feel uncomfortable. I tried not to be ashamed of my friends, but my colleagues made it hard for me not to. Eventually I asked my friends to stop visiting me at work, which they understood and agreed.
Once, an old school friend arrived at my workplace. At this time, my immediate boss and a shop-assistant were around. My school friend looked very grumpy and a little bit ugly, too. Oh no! I thought I had only one choice: I had to act as if I didn't know him. So I did.
He said: "Hi, how are you?" And I answered: "I don't know who you are." He seemed to be irritated and asked me: "What are you talking about?" And I insisted: "I don't know who you are." He understood, but he was very angry. He left with an angry peek and I never saw him again. I think, my colleague and my boss knew, that I was lying, but they didn't say a word. I felt so bad! That wasn't a nice way to treat someone!
To live with this two souls in the chest wasn't easy, it didn't match together. I had a lot of trouble because of the way I was. I spoke in a different way than the other women at work. More straight forward and a little bit rough and I wasn't everybody's darling also. So I got into a lot of trouble during the first three months of my apprenticeship.
At the end of the second month, my boss decided to cancel my contract.
I was shocked! And afraid of my future. I went home and asked my parents for help. My father asked for an appointment with my boss and he agreed. So we went in his office and at the end I was permitted to stay and continue. I was very relieved and very thankful. And I decided to change my behavior at work.
Let's start again!