flaga Austrii

My story

When I was attending primary school children of workers were regarded to be worth less. The general idea was that they have to go to Secondary Modern School and afterwards serve an apprenticeship; High School was only for children of rich people. I dared to break that rule. I was treated like garbage at High School and thus I went back to Secondary Modern School, completed Handelsschule with distinction. Afterwards I completed Maturaschule Dr. Roland, even got to know the founder, was very impressed by him, because although it was and still is a private school, he treated rich pupils the same like not-rich ones. The graduation was the highest in Austria and people came from all over the world, because of the high standard rules at that school. I studied interpreting/translating, pedagogic with background education of medicine, law, techniques and medicine. I financed everything myself by working as a cook, teaching and translating.

Because I could not find any job after university, because of lack of experience (same like today), I worked as a secretary for a construction company, the AMS (Austrian Labor Office) paid my salary and afterwards I was taken over by the company. With them I was working in Arabic countries. Because the company went bankrupt I worked for a company that produced injection molding machines, but I was always teaching besides. After some years I have been working all over the world and got to know approx. 20 languages. Picking out jobs I had to take care of my two kids first. Twenty years ago, with all our social system it was not very much liked that I was a young single mother.

When my children were sick I lost my job. The kindergarten with funny opening hours only till 2p.m. whilst you have to have a full-time job because the money is not enough, you had to have somebody else to take care of the kids. Ending up going to work only for being able to pay kindergarten, I quit the jobs and started working in Vienna again (I am from Lower Austria), payment was better, treatment was better and I found a private kindergarten with better working hours. Today you are already too old for the labor market when you are 32; I lost a very good job because I had an accident and was sick for a year. Yes, after all we still have the best social system compared with other countries, but compared to how it was twenty, thirty years ago it is 50% worse than it was in those days.

The only chance I had was self-employment, because of Rosenstingl [fraud by a politician who stole millions from many companies] we lost all our savings, home and job again. At the age of 43 I had to start again being a single mother of teenager-kids. Of course there was no regular employment, thus I am still self-employed. The insurance system for self-employment in Austria is the worst we have in Austria, but it is compulsory. Highest deductions, less outcome for the insured and lots of bullying. Working at the age of 50 is as hard as it was 30 years ago. The chances that are offered are not real chances because there are so many exemptions that the system applies only to some people. The companies structures changed, companies were sold out. The AMS offers 50 year olds additional schooling to change profession, but it doesn’t work because then you lack experience. 30 years ago you only got a job when you found one yourself and this has not yet changed till today.

E-learning is ok, but only for people with experience and it depends what subject your are learning, you always need somebody physical whom you can ask questions.