18th chapter

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They started another day with a morning coffee on the balcony while Jana was playing around them. She was now steady on her feet, which meant she could reach more things, and Nora could no longer take her eyes off her. It was time to thoroughly tidy up that small balcony, as Nora always had to take the junk out of Jana's hands, stuff that she did not even know where there or how Jana found it. Monika was trying to fix Jana's ponytail, but her fluffy blond hair just skipped to a pot with a flower that had done its time on this earth a long time ago.

- I have to register with the Service, what's that process like? – Monika asked as she was taking one of the mugs Nora had carried from the kitchen.

- It's dumb, but, well, you have to register. You go there with all the papers and get your advisor; I got some chick Darija. She seems fine, but, like, I wouldn't really say she loves the job she does. Basically, you're entitled to a meeting where you talk about you. The advisor writes down everything about your education, work experience, and job preferences. She asked me if I would agree to do jobs that are not in my field and which require only high-school education, and I said no. She looked at me exactly the same way Vesna looks at me, as in – look at her, she would like to pick and choose. Actually, I was only curious about her reaction, so I corrected myself and said that I would do anything, but that I would appreciate it if they would try to find me a job in my profession. She said that's fine and then went on to explain the ordinance for some time – Nora spoke while her eyes looked for suspiciously quiet Jana. She found her by the flower, taking out the soil out of the pot.

- Ordinance on what? On how to get to the employment office? – Monika laughed.

- That's right, it's called the Ordinance on Active Job Search and Availability for Work. I'm not making this up, it really does exist.

- Thank God, imagine if we did not have that written down. Where would we end up?

- Right, right. Everything you need to do to be an eligible unemployed person, it's all there. Serious business, not simple at all. It made me laugh a lot when I was there, so I had to research it later.

- Of course, you did. You and probably no one else ever.

- Probably true, but in any case, there are some programs there, even 9 of them. For example, you have that first meeting, then individual consultations, then group consultations, and some workshops, and then, listen to this one – defining and implementing the activities and objectives of the Job Integration Agreement. Because I mean, how will you find a job if you don't understand that agreement, just how?

- Oh, come on, you're lying. So that means that, since you still don't have a job, you didn't go to any of that yet?

- Oh, no, no. I did as I was told because otherwise, I would get unregistered.

- Okay, so they have a general idea of what the process should look like. And according to that, I should go there every so often for a few hours so we can find me a job together. But what does it actually look like?

- You really only have to send an e-mail every month. You write down everything you've done regarding your unemployment. For example, the jobs you applied for and stuff like that. Actually, I should go there and ask them about all those workshops' dates, but I think they would tell me to stop being silly – Nora remarked, and they both laughed. Whether that was funny or sad was less important.

- And so, I send them an e-mail every month in which I list all the jobs I applied to and say that nothing has happened yet. And every month that lady replies to me: Dear Nora, I have recorded your monthly check-in. Keep on checking listings and sending applications; I hope you will soon get an invitation for some testing or another interview. And that's that. We have a profound relationship going on.

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