This was a bad weekend/start of the week. let me start at the beginning.
When I arrived Saturday there was quite some delay in getting my car and the traffic was horrific. As a result I arrived at the planned lunch with some of my friends at 14.50 rather than 13.30 as agreed. The place closed at 3pm. At least I got to see them and we walked for a bit (in the rain). It was nice seeing them though.
The evening was really good and I enjoyed it immensely. The next morning I went into town. All went smoothly until the afternoon. This was when I received a text that my flight was canceled. Fortunately I only had to be back at work midday allowing me to re-book a a flight the next morning.
The concert was amazing though. Dan+shay had brilliant vocals and really rocked the arena. Great opening act. Hunter Hayes was not my cup of tea and I was glad when Darius Rucker came on next. But he was nothing compared to the next act. I had booked the ticket because of Reba and let me tell you I was not disappointed. Reba was the best. She is pure country and so funny. She even included a dress change for her final number which I was waiting for all evening: fancy!
Now with an additional day in Dublin I meet up with my college friend. She like me has quite her job to pursue her career in fashion. Unlike me she has already various people giving her made-to-measure work. Whenever I see her work I am amazed by the elegance and creativity that goes into her designs. She is a true design-artist. However, she struggles finding information and getting support-sounds familiar?
When I got back into the car and checked my phone the next text was already waiting for me: the strike continues and my new flight was also cancelled! This meant there is no way I could possibly make it in time for work. I basically panicked. I don't wanna loose my job, I really like it so far. My friends kept telling me not to worry too much as my employer will surely understand my situation. And while I know they are cool and probably won't fire me, I was worried about the impression this is giving: not even in the job for a week and already I am causing issues- well, technically I am. Or causing them.... Where can I claim compensation?
Because the strike is due to last until Wednesday I am now taking the 7.20machine to Düsseldorf and then taking the train to Berlin. If everything goes smoothly I will arrive in Spandau at 3pm. Just enough time to run home get changed into work clothing and be on time for the shop. This however means I will have missed 5h in production that I have to make up this week somehow.
The night was terrible. I woke up almost every 30-40min wondering if I had overslept. My friends little girl seem to have had a bad night too as I heard her crying a few times as well. When my alarm finally went off at 4.45am I was already dressed and exhausted. And because of that I now have misplaced the key to my friends house. How can I fecking loose a key when it was opening, closing the door and throwing it into the mailbox??? I'm such an idiot.
On my way to the airport I also missed the gas station, so I had to drive in circles before getting to an overpriced topaz. Probably would have been cheaper to return the car empty.
The flight itself, however, went smoothly, so much in fact that I arrived in plenty of time for my train.
Oh and in the meantime, my friends found the key... I left it in the lock on the outside of the door... Let me repeat myself to make sure everyone understands: I am such an idiot!!!
Finally on the train. Someone must have tried to kill himself they called for an emergency doctor somewhere between Hagen and Hamm. as a result our train has to take a detour causing a delay of 30min. The Bahn calls it "personenunfall"...
I tried to sleep some, but cannot. So I do the next best thing: eat.
Two weeks since my last day at PayPal. I miss the team greatly. Luckily I get updated almost on a daily basis by my former coworker and now neighbor-friend. I am glad I'm still in touch with some teammates.
After a few "recreational" days I have now worked for about a week in my new part-time job. And the first thing that stands out are once again the people. I think they are all crazy- and we all know how much I love crazy... I have a feeling I will fit right in. Hardest part for me remains the standing. So far I was only "booked" for 4 to 6 hour shifts and I worry a bit about the day I get an 11h shift. In the meantime I learn all sorts of new things about the retail business: from folding shirts to handling customers (which is in fact quite different to the call handling at PayPal) to the bookkeeping in the stores.
I am also learning as much as I can about the brand and fall in love with new shirts every day. My current favorite is naturally a 399€ piece. And I want this. Really! Now, as you can guess, with my new salary I am not really in a spending mood. On top of that, I understandably want the shirt to look not only stunning on the hanger but on me. So here is the deal: I will have to loose some inches. I was already on a loosing mission before but now I mean it. The goal is to loose about 30pounds. That makes about 13€ per pound I am loosing. I am hoping to find myself some sponsors who will donate 1€ per pound I am loosing. Maybe my parents are a good place to start...
Regardless, because of my mission I have not started on designing dresses for myself at Eurovision. This brings me to the way more important topic than my dietary plans: Was quitting PayPal the right choice- or have i actually started in my fashion label.
At this stage I have mainly looked into the options I have for a start up. And really I came to this conclusion: for the first period where the main focus is the design I will not register a company as my goal is not the revenue generation right away. I noticed during the creation of my business plan that a lot of topics in the plan are not really applicable at the moment. I will however need to look into registering my trademark on the German market. While I had already registered the brand k-eleven in Ireland I need to do so in Germany too.
At the same time I have - as indicated above- not started designing for myself, however I have completed the German ESC heart design dress for my the friend I am going to Kiev with.
My current ideas circle around the Irish dress. This one will be for myself, but I just don't know that I want the dress to look like. Maybe Ireland is giving me some inspiration.
That is right. I am on my way to Dublin right now. Last year I had already booked the tickets for the country2country concert in Dublin. I am really looking forward to see Reba live in action and meet up with crazy Karin. I am also looking forward to having dinner with my "vegan group", to going to the movies with my former photographer and friend Lotte and staying at my favorite models' family home. Having to many great meet ups planned I have high expectations for this weekend back home in Dublin.
This will probably be my last visit to Ireland in a long time.. Unless Ireland wins Eurovision- then I will be back in May 2018 the latest. Talking about Ireland and Eurovision: I'm dying to try is Brendan's song for this year. My first reaction was not too positive. I thought he sounds like a child (reminding me of Heintje, a Dutch child star in the 60s/70s). And while I did not actively like it at first listen, I wanted to hear it again. And again. And again. In fact I have probably listened to it 50times by now and I like it. I really do. I can already hear my ESC fan-friends disagreeing with me but this is a beautiful song, that is simple at first and gains power later. It has what I call the "idol factor": most winners' songs from singing competitions over the last years have this climax in the song where the music breaks and then a full power restart. I cannot really describe it, but when you listen to it, you'll know what I am talking about. Will it win? I would hope so, but I don't think so. Will it have chances to at least qualify to the final? I need to check what songs are in the second semi with Brendan to say for sure. But I can see him getting to the final or only miss it by one or two places. I will give a better prognosis way closer to the day. It is always fun to see how wrong I am.
It has finally arrived and man I cried. I was so brave throughout the day but on a bright smile that teammates must have thought that I really want to leave and am glad to never see them again. And while I will not deny that this is partially true, it is not the whole story.
For my farewell I had organised that each teammate gets a small cactus (to remind them of my prickly charisma) and a “First aid work kit” (including things like: a red thread, fizz for dull moments, and a good luck charm). I think they liked it. In return the team surprised me with a personalised “SuperKate” Cake…. I knew they were up to no good when they asked for those pictures…
I also had some non-alcoholic sparkling wine and naturally all the sweets we caught on the weekend. So one thing is for sure, on this day nobody had to starve.
Because of some technical issues I actually had to work on my last day quite a bit, making me not think about it too much. But then the last Huddle, the last time talking to the Dublin team arrived and it was hard. So when we finally hung up the phone, the Berlin teammates witnessed a small tear. I was clever enough not to read the cards they had handed me alongside a voucher for my new fabric source stoffn.de
I was really overwhelmed but again, with too many things to do I did not have the time to think about it too long.
After work we went to a vegetarian restaurant “Zen House”. I walked by this restaurant a couple of times and was intrigued by the vegan, black rice sushi they offered. However, I ended up being a bit disappointed in the food. It did not taste as good as it had looked. Next time I better go back to basics… whenever next time will be… it is money- savings- time now.
Anyways when I said goodbye to the last teammates I almost burst into tears on the subway. At home I read the cards and I was done. While some comments were as expected and not very personal, some really moved me and I am so thankful for the great time.
Now having slept about it, I can say this: I am 100% sure that it is the right step to leave, but I am also 100% sure that I will miss a lot at PayPal. Mostly the people. I really hope, that I will stay in touch with some of them, knowing myself and my networking skills, it is going to be hard. Maybe I get to organize an annual get together.
So this is the last time for me to say thank you to each and every one who has helped me become the person I am today (this crazy something, that has the courage to follow its dreams)! If you are not sure if this means you too, feel free to ask and I will tell you exactly how!
pennyless fashion designer working towards London