Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is selling hotdogs in my future?

Hello!! Man, I have had a good day! It poured all day—poured! We’re not talking the kind of rain where you can run in between the drops and stay dry. Nope, we’ve had a delightful, soaking spring rain most of today and yesterday too, and all the colors are vibrant and the air smells sweet. I love it.

Time flies when you’re studying and have a lot to do. I got a lot done, but not everything I had hoped.I am working on lining up some work for myself for the summer. I will most likely be monitoring some Cambridge English exams in June (“invigilating,” as the Brits say. Isn’t that a weird word?). I am also applying to work for Adecco at the Euro2008 football festivities that will be taking place here in Basel. Championships or something like that…anyway, the job is catering/food service essentially for VIPs.

Now, as you know, there are a lot of hazards to living in a foreign country, not the least of which is the chance that your friends will take your requests for language help as a chance to poke fun at you.

I found the Adecco job posting online earlier, and I was working on a nice application letter, mostly in English, but I was going to open and close in German for good measure, and I needed a little help.

“hey, really quick, what do you say when you're starting a business letter to a woman? sehr something something something?
“ ‚Sehr Geehrte Frau…..’ That one?"
"yeah, that one. Danke“
"ok, now how do you close a business letter? I need to say something REAL nice...but not too nice..."
"Ich liebe diese Arbeit und will einmal professionelle HotDog Verkäuferin werden"

Fortunately I can read some German...enough to know that means something like "I love this work and I want to be a professional hotdog saleswoman again"!

I told him he was no help whatsoever, and he tried to insist that that would do the trick, and I’d thank him later.

Adecco requests a photo with the application, so I’ve been weighing my options. I’m thinking this might be a good one, and it’s not too old--Just last summer…what do you think? I think it really shows that I'd be a good hire.

I also may be working at the African Studies department editing a collection of conference papers for publication. That would actually be interesting and fun! I love editing, and it’s a bit better for my resume than selling hotdogs, I guess. But I bet I’d end up with great stories if I worked the tournament! I will keep you posted…


  1. I'm not sure who came up with that hotdog mumbo jumbo, but I share your critical assessment of its effectiveness. This is Switzerland, after all: if you really want to clinch the job, you should write "...ich will einmal vollberuflich Cervelat-Verkäuferin werden." It's all in the cultural sensitivity.

  2. ha! :) Well, it was Dom, so I guess he should have known better! Like I said, no help whatsoever...

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha! I miss you so much! That hotdog stuff was hilarious! and the picture - - - absolutely wonderful. We need to live together again!

    Your American Career Expert ;)

  4. I'm tellin' you, Jess--move to Switzerland and you'd be my absolute top choice of roommates!

    miss you too. :)