Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chapter 9: What did I do wrong in a former life?

I haven’t posted any of these chapters, since I don’t want to go to jail or get my nice employers in trResized_HPIM5787ouble.  But I do want to keep this story goResized_HPIM5784ing, since, for now, it is pretty much the center of my life.

I worked over spring break about 18 hours per week.  I had lots of great classes and fun teaching them.  It was a bit of a challenge since the kids were home. I had to bring them in one day to do some prep before class.  They had a great time drawing on the giant white board.

And then, all too quickly, I taught my last class.  I knew it was time to stop, since I wasn’t getting paid and I didn’t have the right papers, but still, I was sad. 

The kids returned to school and I spent the week catching up on blogging and cleaning house!  André talked to his bosses at work and they promised to talk to a group of businesspeople who sponsor innovation in the region in hopes that they might help with my status.   They also plan on talking to the mayor.  I am grateful for the help, but also feel a bit angry about it.  I mean, why can’t I get this change on my own merits, why do we have to use André and his special skills for simply humane treatment?  On the other hand, I want to work, so I’ll take what I can get.  Later in the week, when I returned to the Prefecture, I checked to make sure that they had everything they needed to make the decision on my file.  I was informed the letter of decision had already been sent out but they wouldn’t tell me the contents (smart, right?).

I got the letter the next day, and, predictably, the answer was no.  It reiterated that I would have to work full time in order for a change in status and, though they understand my wish to be integrated into France, it would be premature to deliver me the carte de la vie privee et familial.  On the back is a list of options for appeal.  Each one involves resubmitting papers and then waiting 4 months.  If you don’t hear back, the answer is another no.  I knew this was coming, but the finality of it was heartbreaking.  André and his employers still have hope the mayor or innovation people will intervene, but I am not so sure.  I officially resigned from ‘volunteering’ at work.  So sad.

In other sad news, we went to a lawyer to try to figure out what to do about the no license situation.  She was very nice and told us about some loopholes we could pursue.  Perhaps, since I spent the month of July in the US last summer, they might consider dating it from then.  If the loopholes don’t work – the only other option is to go to court, which would be more expensive than getting a French license and might not succeed.  

I want to go to the papers and publicize this entire story.  Not only because I am pissed off, but because I think that this injustice should be known to more people.  Of course, it is difficult since I don’t want to get my potential employer in trouble OR piss off the prefecture who still has my fate between its hands.  I will wait, however impatiently, for now.

Pursuant to all this bad news, André is officially beginning to look for a new job, we may even return to the US earlier than we wanted.  Without the opportunity to work or to drive, why bother staying longer?

I wonder what will happen next.  Will Chapter 10 be The Miracle or The End???

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