I live in Rome Italy, and I can already hear some of you ‘lucky you’. I agree with you Italy is a stunning country to visit. Living here is an entirely different story

I was working in London when I met my Italian husband. We married in the UK, but after a while, my husband wanted to be closer to his family.

After various discussions, we decided to give it a go. I went to school to get a TFEL (CELTA) Diploma so that I could find a job in Italy. The first thing I had to do was to take Italian classes. After that, I started teaching in one of the many schools in Rome. However, I concluded that I was no good in education, telling someone three times in a row they are wrong, was not my idea of fun.

I started to look around for another job and hit the jackpot when I  got hired at a Worldwide Charity in Rome, or so I thought. I was looking forward to my first day and walked into the room that was going to be my office; space was shared by five other colleagues. I immediately felt hostility in the air but decided not to let it get to me and get on with my work. I was barely helped by my colleagues, and when I asked how the letterhead was set up, I was told to go and have a look in the achieves, the same with the photocopier, I asked someone in the maze of corridors where I could find a copier, I was stunned when the person ignored me entirely and walked on.

My department had organized a conference in Eastern Europe, and the entire experienced staff was going, leaving me with a woman who had started two weeks before me. She had severe problems with the computer system, and I spend a lot of time helping her, leaving my work for later.

Every evening I came home later and later, I didn’t sleep and felt stressed and dreaded the next day. I always worked in creative environments and being catapulted in an embassy type of situation, where all is protocol, seemed timewasting and a waste of monies that should go to developing countries.

Anyway, the conference had finished, and I was summoned to the director’s office. He told me that I was not able to start and complete a project. I tried to explain that I was helping my colleague and that other work-related issues had not yet been explained to me.

He, however, told me the decision final, I had to go. The lady I had so helped during the conference didn’t even get up to say goodbye.

The gist of the story is to learn to say no. Be a good colleague, but your work is number one unless instructed by your senior. To keep yourself sane choose yourself. I was so busy helping others to be liked; it cost me my job.

The positive side of this article, without a job I started to write in a journal like I had done when I was younger. I enjoyed this so much; I have finished writing two books and working on a third.

By I.V. Everts // www.facebook.com/I.V.Everts