Monday, February 06, 2006

Max's First Day

I have made a good move. I started my new job in a new firm today, doing more or less the same thing I was doing in my old firm, but with better conditions.

My old firm was uptight and pretentious. They were a very good Prague firm, but were attempting to force the culture of a London City firm onto Czechs. It doesn’t quite work and a lot of people have left the firm in the past year.

My new firm is another top Prague firm, but with a normal relaxed Czech atmosphere. The people are outgoing and friendly and there was a lot of laughter in the office today.

They were not quite ready for me. My email account had not been set up, and there was not so much as a pen waiting for me on my desk, but all of that was resolved within the first hour or so.

Instead of having my own office as I did before, I am sitting in an open plan office, basically in a large cubicle which I share with one of the junior partners. This may prove to be a problem for me because:
i. My work takes focus and I am very easily distracted (attention deficit).
ii. I talk to myself while I work. My work is writing and editing and I read aloud to myself to make sure everything sounds the way I want it to. This may disturb those who work near me.
iii. I may not be able to blog at work anymore.

Comedy problems:
· there are no towels (paper or otherwise) in the women’s toilet on my floor and the hand dryer does not work at all, but perhaps it will be repaired soon.
· the coffee is awful.
· there are no 1.5 litre bottles of water to take to my desk. Instead there is a water cooler on the ground floor. I usually get through at least 1.5 litres per day which means many trips down and up the 2 flights of stairs to fill my glass (exercise is good). However tomorrow I will bring a bottle of water with me, which I can then refill whenever needed. That will have the added benefit of giving the water a chance to get to room temperature because the water from the cooler is too cold anyway.

· a much more pleasant working environment in which I already feel more appreciated.
· instead of paying me overtime, they want to compensate me with extra time off.
· I get to go buy new dictionaries and a thesaurus again.
· there is someone in the office who actually knows how to deal with the trade licence office and the foreigner police.

Czech bureaucratic comedy:
· my trade licence has been temporarily invalidated because the trade licence office has just realised that I never informed them of the name change that followed my divorce in 1999.

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