I admit it is a weird feeling … to actually KNOW, I will be leaving shortly but still fighting with this acknowledgement to sink in! It is as if I stand beside myself like a stranger and watch myself taking care of the hundreds of things … Suddenly the whole range of perspective changed … it is not anymore “I have enough time” but rather “My God, time is running away”!

Finally I am at peace with my decision which – in a way – I had not made myself but was made for me. If a country can afford not to value people anymore only because they passed the magic fourty, to push them aside like a worn-out shoe, one can only feel sorry … for both, the country as well as the one who is seeking work. Experienced people, professionals, are the asset of a country, the solid foundation for a future uphill road! I certainly do not overestimate myself but think I could have made my own humble contribution and was more than willing and even anxious to do so …

As long as the philosophy, knowledge and experience are exchangable with young age and low cost, will prevail, a high price will be paid one day, I am afraid soon. Being a native, I always considered my German being rich and fluent but I did definitely learn a new word … “überqualifiziert”, in English “overqualified”! I had not known that word before – it is new to my vocabulary. Let me understand … is it that I am punished for having studied “too much”? More than other in my profession? Would that indeed jeopardize the healthcare in Germany .. or would it be an asset? I tend to think it would be the latter but others don’t seem to share my opinion.

It was not only at the department of labour which made me wonder … there were more REALLY absurd responses. One time for example I applied for a place at an emergency-calling center which I have ample experience in. This center is connected to the fire-department and the first question I was asked was NOT about my professional background but if I have a training as firefighter! Some other day I tried to get a teaching job at the school I studied nursing some 36 years ago and thought – after that many years of experience I should be able to pass on some knowledge … and was asked instead if I had studied eight semester of pedagogics in addition …

Then there was the day I applied for a position for a place at one of the big pharmaceutical companies and thought I had a good chance due to knowledge of languages … and had as very first question in response “what is your age” … NOT as I had expected “what are your qualifications”, NO … my age was more important that that. That is already some two or even three years ago …
These are just three excerpts … there are many more examples.
Just for the records … there is a shortage of nurse in German hospitals countrywide but on the other hand a freeze of recruiting … and it is all about money ONLY!

Yesterday, at a physician’s office, I chatted with one of the employees and told her my story and the first reaction was “you are absolutely right!” On one hand it feels good to hear encouraging words but on the other it makes one wonder … something is going wrong here, going a VERY wrong direction. It is an unhealthy development as healthcare, childcare/education and care for senior citizens MUST be granted in a healthy society and I wish, someone would have the power and courage to pull the handbreak and adjust the direction … but, looking and listening around, I realize that won’t come anytime soon.

Well, I am looking forward, with one teary eye though but a big smile on my face. Returning to California will be GREAT, open up new dimensions, bring new, additional friends. Carrying a local RN-diploma and having worked there already for a number of years will help mastering the legal hurdles. I have FANTASTIC FRIENDS to help me getting jumpstarted … and GOD will guide me. Having the Allmighty protecting me … what can go wrong? Everything will be alright …

I cordially invite you to enjoy together with me this MOST BEAUTIFUL song …


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