Sep 2, 2011

it all happened in a week

A rather major even that has shaped this past month for us Koots is what I would like to tell you all about today.

It all started on a Monday a little over a month ago when Sander had a meeting scheduled at 7pm with a recruitment agency. A company had contacted them and told them they were very interested in Sander, and wanted a meeting with him to see if he might be a fit for a job opening they had. At this point Sander had a perfectly good job, but for some reason felt that it would be a good idea to keep his options open, just in case, and he agreed to the meeting.
That Monday was also the day that our lovely Lindsey was leaving on a jet plane, to enjoy a week of YSA shenanigans at the renouned Festinord, in Sweden. Her plane was scheduled to depart at 8pm, and she had calculated she needed to leave the house at 5pm to make to Schiphol with time to spare. During the day I had been running around doing all sorts of errands (that I now can't for the life of me remember the nature of), and I was SO tired when I came home. Sander graciously offered me a night off from cooking and pitched the idea to take the kids and myself (and my cousin Milenna, who was staying with us that week) with him to his meeting, drop us off at Ikea on the way, and pick us up on the way back. Since I wasn't able to join Lindsey on her Scandinavian adventure - I was SO jealous, Scandinavia is incredibly high on my list of places to visit -  I figured Swedish meatballs would be the next best thing. Thus, at 5pm, Sander, Milenna, the kids, Lindsey and I all left the house and, just before parting ways, Lindsey handed us her housekey that she would not be needing that week.

Fast forward to having just been dropped of at Ikea and getting in line for delicious meatballs. Suddenly my phone rings and upon answering I hear Lindsey's high pitched, stressed out voice (she is usually not high pitched at all) giving me the worst possible news someone with a plane to catch can give you: she left her PASSPORT at home. She did not have a key to the house. We were not home. She could not board her flight without her passport. Being the biggest scatter-brain of them all, I immediately sympathised  with her situation and told her to head back to the house and remain calm, I would give Sander a call and call her back. Sander immediately cancelled his meeting, turned around, picked us up (we just barely had time to grab a quick Swedish hot dog), and drove home at the speed of light, where we found a forlorn looking Lindsey sitting on her suitcase on the sidewalk. You should have seen us, it was like a scene out of a movie: Sander jumped out of the car, pulled the suitcase out from under Lindsey and started stuffing it in the back of his car, while Lindsey and I ran up the stairs to unlock the front door and grab her passport, while Milenna ushered the kids out of the car. The whole switch took about 3 seconds and, before our ever nosey neighbours could blink, Sander was pushing that car right up to ludicrous speed and drove Lindsey to the airport.
Lindsey made her flight. Sander did not make his meeting, but was able to reschedule it for Thursday. Tuesday came and went and on Wednesday the slap in the face was delivered: Sander's boss simply didn't like him, it had very little to do with his performance, and all of his colleagues were outraged. It was the worst news we could have gotten just months before our scheduled emigration. He told his ex-boss about his emigration plans and pleaded if they couldn't just keep him on for another 6 months or so. They refused, but felt bad, and offered him some money to help him take care of his family in case he had to go on unemployment. They also told him that even though his contract would run until August 31st, they didn't want him to come into the office anymore. They wanted him to take that month to work hard at finding a new job. They even let him keep the company car during this month.

So, on Wednesday we were unemployed and not sure what our next move was. Sander clung to the knowledge that he had a business meeting with a possibly eager company the next day, and we tried not to freak out. Thursday morning Sander went to his meeting and came home jubilant. They sounded like a wonderful company and he had the impression they loved him too. A call from the recruitment agency confirmed his feelings: they wanted to see Sander again. The very next morning. Possibly to offer him a contract!

Friday morning we drove to Rotterdam together with Milenna and the kids. Sander dropped us off at the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam and went to his meeting in Capelle a/d IJssel. He did not have a phone with him (his cellphone was the one thing his boss wasn't going to let him keep until the end of the month) and we agreed to meet in the reptile hall - the kids' favourite. I could tell by his walk as he came towards us that the meeting had gone well. He had some papers in his hand. 'OK', I thought, 'papers are good.'. Turns out the papers were a signed contract, and that the salary that these guys offered him was well over what he earned at his previous job!
Well, Sander enjoyed his month at home. With a brand spanking new job in his future he took the time to savour being with me and the kids, and doing things around the house. Lindsey gave us a couple of date nights as a thank you for saving her Festinord adventure (which turned out to be heaps of fun) and the week after Milenna went back home, her sister and mother (my other cousin and aunt) came to stay. It's been a weird summer, filled with the realisation that it will be our last. But however freaked out at the thought of leaving Den Haag I might be, it is things like how Sander found a new job so miraculously fast that tell me we'll be fine. Maybe I'll share some of the other tender mercies we have experienced over the last while in a next blog post, but for now I should think that just this one has put you to sleep is more than enough for today!

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