It happened to me!

Life can be surprising, and life in the Commission can be surprising too. If you have encountered an eyebrow-raising situation, please share it with us!

We are proposing to start a new column dedicated to your experiences: we’d like you to tell us how it’s possible to get caught up between different rules (or different ways of applying the same rule) or to find yourself scratching your head thinking ‘come on, is this normal?’

What about these kinds of oddities? (off the tops of our heads of course, these could never have happened in real life, right?)

  • ‘Please work on Sunday/overnight/during your annual leave because the unit/directorate/European Union/Western civilisation cannot survive without you!’
  • ‘Don’t forget to take your laptop with you on holiday!’
  • ‘Your urgent medical procedure was not reimbursed because falling from a height/down stairs/from a camel is not considered an accident.’
  • ‘I’m off sick related to burnout and the Medical Service insists I monitor my work email to check for their communications …’
  • ‘We’ve inadvertently taken nearly 20% of your April pay for crèche even though you have no children. It’s too late to fix that now but we can try to process an advance if you’ll need one…’
  • ‘I had to take 3 flights for work instead of 1 in order for the ticket to be cheap.’ (Er … and the famous greening policy?)
  • ‘No, we don’t inform you that you have additional days of annual leave, but we do inform you when those days have already expired. Where’s the problem?’
  • ‘We know it’s illegal for a doctor to provide you with a sick note in the Netherlands, but we need a sick note.’ (See our workarounds in this article)
  • ‘Yes, it is known that your Member State does not provide criminal-record-check certificates but we need one, so go and get one!’

You might think that nothing can be done, that these things always only happen to you (as they always do 🙂 and that it is best to be stoic about it and suffer in dignity and in silence.

However, there is another way deal with it: write to us! We will anonymise the events, publish the story and, if still possible, try to help (though we are also very happy to receive stories where you overcame all obstacles: tell us how you did it!)

You story can warn, inform or amuse other colleagues.

So, if you are tempted to share your story, please write to us with the title ‘it happened to me’!

Keep calm, take notes and write to us!

Your Generation 2004 team

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