Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bad day at work

...or rather a really bad day.

I am about to join the ranks of the unemployed. It sucks.

I am losing my job because a small group of fat cats played Monopoly with the country's biggest corporations, using a lot of money that seems to have only existed on paper, lost big and collapsed the economy. Because the government I helped elect into power is gormless, spineless, and heartless. Because they are making the public sector cut down, down, down, not just where it is necessary, but also where there is hardly anything to cut down except staff, and in the case of my workplace it's staff they can hardly afford to miss. I am laid off, I think, because I am the most "expensive" of the three people trained to do the job I do, i.e. I have worked there the longest and have the highest salary, and also because I am overqualified so they think it will be easier for me to find a new job than the others, only one of whom has a university degree, and that not as far advanced as mine.

I am the only one of the three who doesn't have a spouse to support me while I am looking for a new job.
I don't have children, so I don't take off children's sick days as well as my own.
I get people who have worked there far longer than I have coming to me for help with certain tasks.
I trained all of the people who will be dividing my job between them.
I am the fastest worker among the four of us.

But they needed to cut down on expenses as much as possible, so they laid off two non-managerial staff members who have been here longer than the other people who have training to take over their jobs, so out we go.

I have been asked, nicely, to stay out my period of notice, which is until the end of December, but as they still have to pay me whether I work or not, I am out of there at the end of this week. I have no intention of making this easy or cheap for them, but I will do it within what the law and my employment agreement allow, because I do want to leave here with a good letter of reference. Tomorrow I am making an appointment with my union representative to discuss my options.

Stay tuned, the saga will continue...

Monday, September 28, 2009


Dettifoss (literally "the tumbling waterfall") is Europe's most powerful waterfall. Iceland also has the European waterfall with the most water, Urriðafoss. I visited it, but it's not easy to take good photos of it, so I didn't include it in the blog.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The church in Húsavík is one of Iceland's most beautiful old churches. Here seen from the dock:


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In Húsavík

Húsavík has at least two companies offering whale watching tours. I would have loved to go on one, but thought 40 euros was a bit steep, so I visited the whale museum instead. This two-masted sailing boat is one of the vessels used for whale-watching.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yet another waterfall

This multi-tiered waterfall is by Highway 1 in eastern Iceland. I forgot to check what its name is.


Sunday, September 13, 2009


At the end of my first really nice, sunny day I camped in Ásbyrgi. Here is my car in front of a rock formation known as "The Island".


Friday, September 11, 2009

In the Beautiful Valley

This lovely old mountain hut is situated by the road over Fagridalur ("Beautiful Valley"), a mountain pass in easten Iceland that connects Reyðarfjörður and Egilsstaðir. The valley's charms were covered in low clouds at the Reyðarfjörður end, but I drove out into bright sunshine at the other end.


More photos of Fagridalur, including one of a rock slide that temporarily closed the road in 2005.