lundi 19 février 2007
I am a self-confessed train dork. For absolutely no reason, I really enjoy riding on trains, even though it stresses me. Always worried I will end up in Spain instead of my intended destination.
Though I usually like my train riding to be for a purpose (job or vacation, not just for the purpose of riding a train). This past week, I received two phone calls from two "cabinets de recruitement" head-hunting firms. One was in Paris and wanted me to come last Wednesday (Valentine's) and the one in Dijon wants me to come this coming Wednesday, the 21st. The jobs I am/was interviewing for are here in this region however.
The ANPE, which stands for who knows what, is the national job search agency. They will pay for plane or train tickets to go to an interview. The companies rather abuse this in my opinion. I think if a company is interested in a candidate, they should foot the bill. Oh well.

So I went the next day to the ANPE office to get the forms to then go to the train station and reserve my tickets. I spent several hours at the ANPE because the companies had not sent me the correct attestations. The attestation needed to list the time, CORRECT date, name of the post, the company, location of the interview, whether it is for a permanent post or not, etc. So I made some calls to the recruiment agencies, asking them to please fax the correct information to the ANPE. Furthermore, I had two interviews that afternoon, one information and one for a position that afternoon, so as much as I would have LOVED to spend all day at the ANPE, I couldn't. Finally I got the forms and headed off to the train station, Gare St. Charles, waited in line for about 15 minutes, got my tickets (paid 20 euros for my free tickets. Basically you have to pay the reservation which I am guessing means for them to hold the spot, not for the trip itself). Got home and got ready for my interviews and found out that I didn't need to go to the one in Paris the next day (bye 10 euros!). Would have been fun to go up there, but not just for a day.
We live closeby to the other train station in Marseille, Marseille Gare de la Blancarde. It is about a ten-minute walk from our apartment and serves the areas east of Marseille- Toulon, Nice, and further out.
On Friday I had another interview with a company in Aubagne, so I decided I would try to take the train and see how that worked. I left at 3 for my 5 p.m. interview. The trains are fairly regular, but not the buses. Paid my 5.40 for my aller-retour (round trip ticket), and took the ten minute commuter (stuffy, crowded) train to Aubagne. Got off, realized that I had just missed the 3:30 bus to where I needed to go. Got some information on the bus routes, got on the 4 p.m. bus to go to my interview. Was sitting there (another 1.10 down the drain) when I got a call from the secretary, saying that they needed to reschedule my interview for next week. Got off the bus before it left, took the train back to Marseille, walked home.
So today I got to repeat the whole procedure (actually made it to the interview this time), and then am going up to Dijon on Wednesday, which I am looking forward to. I have never been there, and planning on spending the afternoon wandering around Dijon before taking the TGV back (3:40 hours direct).

(photo courtesy of

So if I should get this job in Aubagne, I will be quite pleased to take the train every day. A monthly ticket is 28.40 euros, which is much cheaper than gas would be, without the added pain of traffic jams and searching 20 minutes for a parking spot.

4 commentaires:

Mlle Smith a dit…

How inspiring, you zipping and zagging all around France like this!

I do have a question for you...what has been your experience with the language requirements out there? Do you have to be COMPLETELY fluent in French? What if you're more intermediate level and not necessarily reduced to grunts and hand gestures...but not necessarily fluent?

Can you actually send me an email with what you think about this? Or maybe, what you've encountered thus far with meeting the language requirements?

Merci, Megan...I'm hoping this thing also sends you my email address to reply to.

LEwis a dit…

Good luck.

If you want to ride interesting trains, travel to Japan and enjoy. DOn't travel during rush hour though :-) Traiing in the countryside is great fun most the time. Especially with one of the food people or attendants realize you are about to miss your transfer spot.

meredith a dit…

Public transportation is definitely better than trying to drive and park around Aix or Marseille. What general kind of work are you looking for?

ps I think we may have met were at a karaté training and I was at a music repetition? Does this ring a bell?
If it was you, we met at a kind of bad time in my life, but things are going better now. Anyway, I am glad to have found your blog.

CraftyRachel a dit…

What an adventure! How was your afternoon in Dijon? I *really* used to love trains when I had the Carte 12-25. Alas, now I'm too old for the 50% discount!

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