Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Thirsty for Lemonade." Somewhere in Baden Württemberg, Germany

It did not work out as I had expected, though I suppose that is no news to those of you who have experienced reality for longer than I have. The city somehow mixed up my paperwork and fell through on some responsibilities, so when I went to pick up my work permit, I discovered that it had not even been started. Following the shock of that little announcement came a swift pause to my position and I was immediately placed on unpaid leave pending my documentation process. After nearly three weeks of being in the Trading department for TUI in an orientation mode, I anxiously awaited an assignment and stalked my colleagues to observe their work in the meantime. Why the three weeks? It seems that Trading didn’t quite have a specific task arranged for my three month placement in their department, but that’s simply part one of the story. Part two? TUI Germany was shaken up on the 1st of October, the beginning of the new fiscal year, by the announcement of a major corporate restructuring. One of the departments hit the heaviest was that in which I was placed, as the company decided to combine the elements of Product Management and Trading so as to be supervised by one joint manager.
Colleagues from TUI Germany fill the
foyer for the corporate announcement

As my mother and a few mentors of mine have so auspiciously stated during this conundrum, “everything happens for a reason.” I suppose the fact that I haven’t actually been able to work yet helps the fact that I wasn’t allowed to work this whole time, despite the fact that we didn’t know it. I suppose the fact that I am simply an International Management Graduate “trainee” helps the fact that my position is unaffected, despite everything else being affected around me. I suppose the fact that I have money in savings but no vacation time until Christmas was actually not the obstacle that I presumed, since now I have both money and time on my hands.

Keeping positive and making
the best of the situation!
Therefore, I left. No, I didn’t break the temporary government request to remain in the borders of Germany while my paperwork processes, but rather I jumped on one of those fancy speed trains and am wandering into southern Germany. Let’s call this a surprise leave, rather than an unpaid leave. It gives me a chance to regain my motivation and spirit after the three weeks of uncertainty and overwhelming German language immersion. It allows me to view the montage of fall colors as they fly past my train window, to taste the traditions of the south at their annual festivals, and to visit with one of my dearest friends who lives near Stuttgart. I plan on making the most of this situation, of making a whole lot of lemonade out of this pile of lemons that have been tossed my way recently. I hope you’re thirsty, Germany. 


  1. You are such a tenacious, smart, and inspiring young woman, Bethany. What a great role model you are, to your generation and to those ahead of and behind you. I'm so proud of you and thankful that we are friends. I absolutely LOVE lemonade!

  2. Speed bumps are pesky things.

    Beautifully written. Your attitude is an encouragement to hundreds of others. So very proud of you.