Monday, July 17, 2017


It's incredible how time flies. With 2 weeks in my new job under my belt those times of blissful weekday dolce vita seem far away already. It feels like I have worked there for much longer and yet many impressions are really striking and new, for me with my background at the Firm probably more so than for somebody who worked at a "normal Austrian company". At the Firm, discussions about entitled employees were rife when I left, essentially those people who behave like spoilt brats and demand more and more without appreciating what they have. Well, one of the first things I did when familiarising myself with the intranet at HN was checking the "benefits" site. My verdict: Mehp. Not that exciting when you are used to so much more being served to you on a silver plate. I have since heard several colleagues, both tenured and new remark on how lucky we are to have so many benefits. It's all relative, I guess. I was even more humbled when, as part of my onboarding experience, I spent one day each at a store that sells HN's products and services, and with colleagues from the customer support service line. Those employees, all considerably younger than myself and earning less than half my salary were so incredibly motivated and proud to go the proverbial extra mile for their customers that I was really impressed. I don't remember ever encountering such enthusiasm at the Firm, even though people had so many more privileges right from day one. It's a bit like when you (well, I, for sure) wondered as a child what it would be like to work in an ice-cream parlour or sweet shop where you would be allowed to indulge in free samples every day. Would you still crave ice-cream or chocolate after months, or years even of working there and feel like the luckiest person in the world? I feel like I worked in the chocolate factory those past 10 years and few colleagues (myself included) actually appreciated all the delicious goodies they were served every day beyond their first weeks.

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Kid on the Block

The question I answered most often last week was "AND, how was your first day/week in your new job?". The answer I gave was always the same: "Super nice colleagues, very nice so far, but the hardware/software shock was just as hard as I thought it would be." Just to give you an idea - it has been years since I worked with Windows and have never in my life tried to schedule a meeting with MS Outlook. OMFG! What literally was 2 clicks with Google calendar now takes about 15 separate steps and makes me want to scream. I didn't even know Internet Explorer is still around and it feels so much more non-intuitive than last time I used it (which was probably back in 1995). I'd love to meet some of the software engineers responsible for making me feel like a computer-illiterate granny and shake them. Very hard. Possibly also slap them.
The first thing I did was order a laptop sleeve for my work laptop (a HP Probook...not TOO bad) as the laptop case that came with it is reminiscent of what might be cutting edge design in North Korea. I asked a colleague if it was o.k. to have stuff sent to the office and she said that it was as long as it was something like books, which could as well be for professional use, but "you know, we've had people who had fridges sent to the office."
I was introduced to so many new people last week at work that my temporary storage obviously reached max capacity. At the second of two birthday parties on Saturday, I managed to re-introduce myself to somebody I had just spent 5 five minutes talking with...

Monday, July 03, 2017

Back to *School*

While half of Austria is in summer holiday mode (summer holidays in Vienna have already begun and students in other parts of Austria only have one week to go before they are off for 2 months, too) and you can feel a lazy vacation vibe in the air, yours truly, however, is swimming against the current and is beginning her new job today. It's a somewhat weird feeling to already have enjoyed a good dose of summer - thanks, dear weather gods for working with me, here! - and have the type of tan lines in June that I usually only see at the end of August, if at all. I am definitely well refreshed and ready for returning to a new treadmill, but I feel very out of synch with my teacher friends who are now breathing a long sigh of relief after intense weeks running up to their well-deserved summer break. For me, it's back to "school" now and I am very curious to find out how I like my class and teachers.
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