PAPERWORK NIGHTMARES

I have been away from the blog for a while because these last weeks have been crazy. As I told you in the last post, I had an interview for a new postdoctoral position and was offered the post. So after several pros and cons lists, a lot of talking with my family and colleagues and a phrase written on a wall on my way to work saying: “taking risks is better than taking none”

Taking risks are better than taking none

Taking risks are better than taking none

I decided to take the job. LET’S GO TO GERMANY!

Anyone who has any small relationship with the Spanish government knows that it is a nightmare of paperwork even doing the most simple formality. So you can imagine if we move towards a more complex administration: I have an international marriage so believe me it is difficult/expensive/annoying to sort that out!!

So, when I arrived in the UK I was amazed how simple things can be (they don’t even ask for my PhD certificate to sign my contract as a postdoc!) and sometimes faces stared strangely at me when I ask “that’s all?” or I ask for a “certificate of attendance”. Because we quickly adapted to the “good life” and it’s more than a year since my partner received his European passport (so we forgot about any kind of formalities), I was shocked when faced with German bureaucracy… all the difficulties of the Spanish way plus the handicap of sworn German translations (by the way, this service does not even exist in the UK!!). What is this European PhD certificate (with the nice blue stars) worth all the trouble?!?!

Of course they need the originals to complete all the paperwork, so I wear my heart on my sleeve and put in one envelope the most valuable papers I have kept in “important papers folder”: PhD certificate, Master certificate, Marriage certificate, past employment contracts… You will never guest where the addressee of this envelop finds it… In the store window of a Taylor shop underneath a bench of clothes!!! Track and sign service are not as trustful as I thought and this gave me sleep problems for three days.

Anyway, now it is all sorted out: I’m looking forward to meeting the friendly lady from Human Resources who helped me through the process and the translator who went on the hunt for my documents. We have booked the ferry, and short-term accommodation in Wilhelmshaven, we informed our landlady in Southampton, and registered with a German course (all these years going to the official language school in Spain wondering “why in hell I’m doing this, I know English, why should I learn German?” I finally have the answer), we end our contract with phones and internet, I sign my resignation letter (first time ever, it feels rare!!)… how exciting, tiring, expensive… it can be to move from one country to another!

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