"So you are familiar with the term 'passend werk' ('appropriate work') aren't you?" She asked me this as if she expected me not to know.
"Sure," I answered. "It means that they will help me find work that matches my skills and background." What else could it mean?
"No, I am sorry," she answered. "It means any work that you can possibly do." Then she added, as if she felt good hurting people with such words, "and you have no choice but to accept this kind of work." I could tell that she hated her job.
Funny, before my meeting with this so-called reintegration officer, I had been entertaining a false illusion that this person was going to help me find an appropriate job. I would be saved at last by this angel from above...
She saw by the expression on my face that I was a little confused. "That is why we make you sign a contract, otherwise we can not and will not help you at all."
That's the law, so la-di-da...
"Alright," I answered, "so that means that for example if there is a position available at some snack bar making French Fries, then I have to take it."
"Yes that is correct." I was beginning to understand and fathom the horrors of this macabre situation I had gotten myself into by being an unemployed bum for so long.
She gained even more pleasure when I explained that I had two university degrees, had struggled hard my whole life working my way up the company ladders, had assumed responsible positions here and there, etc.
"That is the law that the government here has decreed and you must accept it." You dumb and thankless foreigner you...
I thought about it a second and tried not to look back at her staring and wrinkled visage. And then I said aloud what I had been thinking, "alright, that would be fine."
Nothing like yet another interesting dimension to life through which I will gain even more knowledge as I pursue the moment of truth for which we have all been waiting. What a drag.
I saw it clearly before me...
Starting off all over again as junior assistant snack bar trainee, and in no time I would become the best French Fry maker in the whole wide world. Fantastic, I cannot wait.