Tag-arkiv: Denmark

Tomorrow is V-day

Tomorrow at this time, my life might be destined for an end or my life will go on. I do not know. Tomorrow I will take the first shot of the vaccine against Covid-19.

Why has it taken so long for me to decide?

First of all, I am at the end of my life if I look at past male ancestors.

My father died aged 63. My great-grandfather died at the age of 48. Heart inflammation which over time weakened the entire system for it to shut down in the end.

There is not much left for me. I hope to spend the last few years doing the work I do now for Talentsoft in any capacity. I hope to live long enough to see my two children making their way in life. I hope for some quiet evenings relaxing together with my wife outside our home waiting for the inevitable but recent years have proven to me that nothing is certain.

Back in 2012 my education as Merkonom which at some sites is translated into english as bachelor of commerce was abolished by the Danish government. I, who back in 1986 decided to support my local community and not abandon my birthplace in the countryside, only had the option to study for Merkonom after I graduated from the Gymnasium. Should I have aimed at higher goals, I should have left my family and friends in Naestved and left for Copenhagen to live in tents like most new students do while they either find a room with some private person or are able to pay a bribe to enter some of the housing firms up there.

I had no knowledge about which kind of student grants I could get as a student. All the counselors at the school had spoken about finding a training position in a firm to learn a kind of trade and then study for the Merkonom title after work. So for a number of years, I worked daytime in Taastrup commuting for an hour and then returned to Naestved eating my dinner on the train and spent hours at the school in the evening.studying. It was not a lot of spare time I had but back then I only had like 30 m2 to live on. A single room where the kitchen was on one of the walls and small hallway with access to my private toilet. I prevailed and earned two titles in both accounting and IT.

It formed my career and it basically lasted until 2014 where my previous workplace Formula which was one of the largest printing companies shut down. Now I found myself without any merits as the Merkonom title no longer existed and the skills I had authorized with Microsoft Dynamic Business solutions XAL and C5 also on their way out as the systems used for ERP in Denmark.

I had to shift focus and I switched to the HR area where I took an entry position as customer care representative working for Talentsoft. Years later I transitioned into becoming a technical consultant. But it was back to scratch living off the leftovers from supermarkets as the globalized work means that an amount equal to unemployment benefits are seen as a good salary in other countries due to differences in living costs and tax-systems.

Then in 2016 my life took an even worse turn towards the worse. A van did not respect the signs and took an illegal turn hitting me while I was commuting 30 kilometers to my work (Public transport was too pricey for me, also taking my car to work had become out of reach for a person serving in my position.). I was wearing a helmet and it saved my life.

While I recovered from the short-term consequences of the accident, the long-term consequences haunt me today. My teeth in the left side of my mouth died from the inside. The Dentist School in Copenhagen did their best but then the Covid-19 pandemic came making visits to the school difficult. It hurts on some days, but I have learned to live with the pain without using medication.

I now sleep using a ventilator. It seems that the accident somehow damaged my throat area. Sadly it is a Philips ventilator which over time can cause cancer. Philips has recalled the ventilators but the doctors at the hospital do not have the money to replace the more than 30,000 ventilators being used all over Denmark, so I have to continue using an apparatus which potentially can damage my health. This fate I share with the other users of the same branch of ventilators.

If you are not from Denmark, you will wonder why a seemingly rich country like Denmark does not have the money. I do not know much about politics, but I do know that Denmark no longer has the money to treat all kinds of illnesses. Some say that it is caused by our increasing funding of the European Union after England’s Brexit. I do not know. I know that I am alive today and so far (I cross my fingers) I have no cancer as far as I know. I am lucky. Denmark cannot afford to buy Spinraza which children suffering from a specific illness need. Unlike me who just lingers along, they suffer real loss of quality of life.

So that is my life today. Partly restricted due to my own poor choices in the past, the development of our society which digitized our society making printed items obsolete, the globalization which means a low salary, the traffic accident where I am partly an invalid. So I had to think hard if I wanted to take the risk of taking a vaccine which had the potential to create heart inflammation which was the very cause of demise of many in my family.

I decided to take the vaccine despite this risk. So that is the reason tomorrow is V-day for me. A day marking the end for me or the day which allows me some movement in the last few years of my life in a world becoming more hostile towards unvaccinated people.

Today I will rest and build myself up for tomorrow. If things do not turn out good for me, at least I can look back to a hell of a ride. I wish you all a pleasant Sunday!

2020 was the year that almost wasn’t

It has been a difficult year for us, I guess for most.

We tend to forget the first two months. It was the months where two major things happened in our family.

First my daughter moved back home. Poor financials advice and guidance from social workers combined with declining health meant that I decided that the time was to move her back home where she lives with us to this day. It was not an easy move but we managed and are happy together all 4 as a family for the first time in many years. It will last until my son will attend university which we have to make happen summer 2022.

In the end I of course hope that we will become empty-nesters but I do not care how many years it will take. The main goal is that both my children will follow a path they want to follow and find happiness with whatever they decide to work with.

My son was in the Czech Republic with his school. I was kind of nervous for two reasons. First there is a general dislike for Danes in Prague due to some evil hotel managers who years back hired travel agencies to lure young Danes down there for binge drinking holidays. The travel agencies were heavily punished for the torment the young Danes were put through by the local authorities. Also the Covid-19 virus had spread from China and the last days of the week he was down there we were concerned that he might not make it home in town before all the borders shut down. He made it just one day before the borders closed.

Then the long lockdown started. I was not very often at my workplace. I had to go in at the tax-department and adjust the transport discount I get because I missed a month at work working from home instead. That set us back a lot of money. August 2020 my daughter stopped at school and she no longer got any student grants, so we had to start to balance my income to feed two mouths more (my daughter and her cat). Money were few because I years back switched to customer service and in a world with cloud computing, salaries in Denmark have to be competitive with salaries abroad. That means low heat in the house at winter caring outdoor clothes indoor and planning food for every single day.

Also we had an unwanted guest. A rat had entered our house and we used the better of a month trying to catch it which we succeeded doing in the end. At least we were alive and did not get ill. At the Kindergarten my children attended when they were young they also had rat problems and a child died.

We went to hospitals a lot. Back in 2012 one of my children were evaluated at the hospital. The advice given were that we should be kept together as a family unit to battle this health problem. The local authorities dislike the diagnose and put it aside putting economically pressure upon us so the doctors advice were not followed. The result is massive health problems today resulting in several hospitalizations. Looking back I can state that I paid DKK 186,000 (Some 25,000 euros) to let my child become ill. I feel like a awful father for not taking a more confrontive approach against the local authorities. We talk about it on weekly basis. I try to ensure that no guilt should be felt about becoming ill. Of course it is easy to see for everyone that we have missed out on a lot of things. We only had one holiday abroad during the entire lifetime of my children where I paid for our stay. There have not been money for anything since. It is not my children should feel blame for their illness. It is me who did not fight the decisions hard enough.

Together with my wife we had our silver wedding with my wife. 25 years where our relationship have only grown stronger. It was not celebrated other than a close little dinner with the family due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

The rest of 2020 is hardly to mention. Lockdown follow by lockdown. The media all about people in Denmark losing their job, children not being schooled properly. People on farms losing their animals because the government decided to cull them. People risking health issues because the animals are buried close to drinking water supplies so they risk infection from the water they drink.

I feel that this year was lost. If you ask me. Is there any hope for 2021? I do not think so. It is already up to a bad start. One of my children was committed to the hospital for a ruptured appendix. Distressed and with my mind on other things, I entered a supermarket in the town where the hospital is located. Because it was one of the first days after New Year, I was not aware that the automatic parking timer on my car was showing the wrong time due to a new year being entered. Why it is so, I cannot explain.

I got a heavy fine which will impact the economy of my family for many months. 795 DKK or more than 100 euros. I have to pay because private parking firms in Denmark do not care and have put up small signs about private parking outside supermarkets. In Denmark supermarkets cannot be built so they fill the entire property. They have to set aside an area for parking so the nearby streets are not filled with people shopping in the supermarket. But that also means that the supermarket cannot make as much profit as they want, so they make a deal with a private parking firm splitting the parking fine in two. This approach allows them to earn money on parking.

So now I have a child feeling guilt about becoming sick. Death could have been the alternative had the appendix not been removed and questioning of whether this should have been the case instead of putting the economically burden on our family is a daily subject while we sit freezing our house and look for whatever leftover which are sold in the supermarkets to a reduced prize so we can feed ourselves and our cats.

So in short. 2020 was not a good year for us which is a fate we share with many Danes. 2021 seem hardly to bring anything positive in mind for us.

But I have made a big decision in our lives. For many years I have been waiting every Friday to see if our lives could be turned into success. Once you switch to customer service I like did when Formula closed, your career is over. So I played on the national lottery hope every week if we could win and built a future or my life would remain a failure. 2021 will be the year where I give up. The year where I accept the fate I have been given by using the little extra money every week used for the national lottery to buy extra food so we can overcome the effects of the heavy parking fine a bit faster.

I will become 55 this year. In a welfare society like Denmark used to be, I would only have 5 years left before retirement but sadly that is not the case. But any chances to turn our lives around have been passed. Now everything I will be focusing on is to feed my family until both my children have moved out and the go into hiding by moving out of the city to the countryside in the parts of Denmark called “The Rotten Banana” where we hope to live out our lives.

So 2021 will be a transition year where we have little hope for anything positive and just hope to remain alive for 2022.