Thursday, 22 November 2012

Breaking down barriers

I don't think this Year Abroad was ever meant to be easy. Enjoyable? Yes. An experience? Yes. But not easy. If it were easy, what would we really accomplish from it? It's about getting thrown into a different environment and doing something you're not used to doing in working, studying or teaching in a different language in a different country. So far, that's exactly what this year has thrown up at me. I'm working on a full-time basis which is something completely brand new to me, I'm surrounded by the German language for the majority of my day, I can feel my language improving and I'm finding myself in situations that I never thought I'd be in.

For example, I never...NEVER thought I'd utter the words "I miss working in Finance", but it turns out I do. Obviously, my usual life plan wouldn't have me working in Finance since that isn't really meant to be one of my strong points. That's what this year has thrown at me though with this rotating internship...I've spent time working in Finance and getting to grips with the tasks on that side of the business, and I really enjoyed what I was doing. Maybe it's because I was being given jobs to do for a reason, rather than having tasks for the sake of having tasks...maybe it's because I was given responsibility and tasks that I wouldn't have thought were really best given to an intern. Who knows? 

In the last two weeks though, I've not been working in Finance full-time and have instead been integrated into the wonderful world of SaSu. My job there has been fairly one dimensional though...I knew it would be before we started and the staff apologised for not having the most exciting work for me, but it's a job that needs to be done. I don't even need to look that far to find the positives though, since it's given me chance to use some different tools and pieces of kit on the computer so I'm now comfortable using those. In short, I've had the joyful task of seeking out a couple of hundred customers and tracking down the bonuses that they're rewarded when they buy x litres of fuel a year. Find the files, copy them, scan them, go through them, compare the bonus in the files to what three different computer programs say, match them all up and then if they're not all singing from the same hymn sheet, take the issue up with other staff for them to resolve. As I say, it's not exciting, but it has to be done...I may as well do it.

As a result of all of this, my jobs in Finance have slowed down considerably but that was because my boss knew that I needed to finish this stuff off. Through the dozen or so trips that I've had to make to the filing room in the last two weeks, I go through their office most of the time and have a quick chat. He knows that I'm pretty much maybe I'll start getting some more work thrown my way again.

We finally bought a washing machine last week after two months of using the laundrette up the road. I wasn't completely set on the idea of buying one, but it made sense to get one...and in the long run, it'll be cheaper than a weekly trip to the laundrette and spending 5 Euros a go to get some clean clothes. So it came at the start of the week and spent a night sat downstairs. We moved it upstairs on Tuesday and then after leaving work early on Wednesday to wait for a plumber to install it, he didn't show up. Or he did show up and didn't call me or knock on the door like a normal person. I'm not sure. Either way, I ended up fitting it myself with some assistance from a Skype call to my Dad. I've seen him do it before, but doubted my own skills to be able to do such a thing. Turns out I'm an idiot and it's really not that difficult once you've had things explained...I'll admit that having looked at it earlier, I was pretty much right in thinking what needed to be done, needed to be done. Always nice to have it confirmed. So that's another thing I can say I'm able to do.

It's all about breaking down barriers. Put your mind to it, virtually nothing is impossible.

I've really started digging Everlast in the last week or two. Brilliant timing since I spotted a poster for a gig he's doing next month. On that basis, I might start listening to Foo Fighters and see if they want to announce something. ;) So here's one that I stumbled across while listening to his stuff in work. 

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