Monday, July 7, 2008

Work: Week 1

I started work last week and while I won't blog about it too much nor mention whom I work for specifically- considering that I would like to keep my job and all - I will say that it has been really great so far. I am working as an E-Business Project Manager for Switzerland and Austria, and last week I went to training in Germany. You've got to love a company that not only recognizes the importance of training but also enables their employees to invest a good deal of time into training - all in all I'll have about 9 days of general and job specific training. It's awesome. Very worthwhile.

Even from just the first week my German has improved leaps and bounds, which is important because unlike Jace's work I am working in a German speaking environment - but being an American company naturally there are quite a few opportunities to speak English as well which is nice. I am a bit unsure of my writing skills still but I feel that once I get into it and read more correspondence, I'll start to feel more comfortable writing quick emails and my grammar/sentence structure skills will improve.

One thing I do like a lot about the job as well is that it's a 'du' environment. So everyone from the cantine lady to the CEO is addressed with 'du.' Naturally this takes a bit of getting used to after having interviewed with 'sie' these last few weeks, and also considering that 'Sie' is used quite exclusively in everyday situations, considering the grocery lady isn't a personal acquaintance quite yet and I still have quite a bit of flour lending to do before I am on a 'du' basis with the neighbors.

For those of you not familiar with German, there are two forms of pronouns - the formal which is the 'Sie' form and the familiar/casual which is the 'du' form. And all verb structures vary too based on which form you're using. So if I were to say to a colleage at work 'do you have an apple?' because this is something of course I would ask, I would say 'hast du einen Apfel?' but if I were asking my neighbor I would say 'haben sie einen Apfel?' It's all so difficult to get your head around at first but after awhile it is second nature, and at the moment I'm still getting my head around the 'du' office environment.

Speaking of the cantine earlier, I must say that German and Swiss work environments have excellent cafeterias. At the German office, you get a discount on the cantine food, and let's say that even if the discount didn't exist I would eat there everyday because for starters the food is delicious, it's fresh, it's tasty, and it's super easy. There are always three delicious meal options on top of the salad bar and one is generally vegetarian. I haven't had a bad meal yet - then again I've only been working 4 days - and I really enjoy the variety. Plus after having my 3rd free espresso from the work machines, I need a bit of nourishment to... well... shake the shakes. Yumm... excellent, strong, free coffee machines that can make you a latte macchiatto or jet out some steaming hot water for tea. It's nice to be back in the office.

Next week I'm back in Germany for week 2 of training. Love training... Then I'll settle into the Zurich and Vienna offices and get down to work. While I don't necessarily like being away from Jace and home (all the plants are still alive though - good work babe!), I am excited to get back into the swing of things and earn my keep.

Thanks to everyone, too, that has written or posted comments congratulating me on the job. It was great news when I heard that the Immigration department and Department of Work, or something like that, approved my work permit. Otherwise, who knows what I might be doing right now... besides blogging 36 hours a day! ;) Looks like I got over those hurdles ok and we're going to be just fine in Switzerland!


Bluefish said...

I'm very excited about your new job! Everything sounds so interesting. In French, we have formal and informal "you" as well. Plus, I think there's also gender and neutral words, I think. Good luck improving your German.

jazibe said...

congratulations on your job! i am catching up on the last few weeks of postings and i fond them very enjoyable.

Jul said...

Good luck with the new job! It sounds pretty nice.

I've been thinking it would be good to get a job where I worked in German - I bet such quick language progress feels great!


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