I came to Sweden in 1997, and before that I never had a proper job. I worked here and there, in what Swedes refer to as “black jobs”, but did not pay tax if I could help it. Of course, back in the 90s, it seemed that the majority of young Irish people were unemployed and worked under the table at the weekend.
I came to Sweden, and slid into the IT world in 1999, completely by accident. I worked with a very odd individual – who I will not name – and was lucky to escape alive to a better job. Ah, 2000 – the IT era. Money thrown at every problem, expensive trips, enough pizza and beer to level a horse. It lastest for about 6 months, and then everything went to hell.
People were fired. Then more people were fired. The workforce went from over 50 to about 15. In the end the company “offered” us to drop our wages 20% as proof of our loyalty to the company (meaning the board and owners) or to be fired. Most of us choose to be fired, and fired we were.
I stayed on as under short-time contracts, getting, in 2004, 80% of my 2001 wages. Quite often, our wages were late, once by ten days. In December 2004 came the low point, where they mailed us on December 20 to say “hurrah, we got in some money, so we can pay your wages!”
So I applied to study, in an attempt to escape the collapsing mess, and was accepted. The company was going better at that stage, but I was so totally sick of the same old people, doing the same old stuff, and the same old arguements, that I was happy to take a year off.
Now I’m off, and happy to be away from them. They still call me with questions, and I sometimes pop by to work a little extra. In June I will return, although the plan is to not have to. I have another job on the way, where the souls are not so tired and worn, and I hope I get it.
Also, they will pay me a fat wad, which is never a minus…fingers crossed! (or, as they say in this odd little country, thumbs crossed.)