torsdag, april 20, 2006

Welcome to my working world

Visualize the following. You enter an inconspicuous building in the center of a Scandinavian town, and find yourself in a corridor leading to a small courtyard. Go into the first entrance to the right off of the corridor, and into company premises presumably converted from apartments. Descend a spiral wooden staircase into the basement (you might have to ask for directions to the staircase the first few times you do this), and go straight ahead into a meeting area. Hope that there is no meeting going on. Once in, set up your computer and pull over a phone. Then start calling people. Not random people; you'll be provided with information about those you will talk to. Each phone call can last up to a half an hour, but normally a bit less, which is good as you have calls scheduled every half an hour. When you call people, the idea is to get them to talk. About their jobs. About the language they use on the job. Language as in do they use English, not as in do they swear, or say nasty things about colleagues. Ask them to ask you some questions. Ask them to tell you what they do in their free time. Find out how old they are. While you're doing all of this, fill in forms on your computer. Type in lots of notes on the forms, and lots of judgments. How they sound. Are they clear? Are they grammatically correct? Do they have the vocabulary they need to talk about their job? About their hobbies? When the phone call is done, and the forms filled in, repeat the process with the next scheduled call. Three or four phone calls and then you'll probably have a break. Don't worry too much about the break, as you'll be preparing forms for the next interviews. Repeat the process until the working day is done.

Yep, welcome to my working world, at least for the next several weeks. As I might not have as much time as I would like to pay attention to posting, what with the working, the teaching, the being a student, the project, the upcoming Danish exams (yes, I am feeling just a bit over-extended), the sleeping, the eating, the still paying attention to friends, and boyfriend, I would like to show you the view from my basement meeting room. So you know where I am when I'm not on blog. As you can see, there are two windows, one to the left, and one to the right. I have not gotten up from my usual spot to take these shots; they're exactly as I see them when I have a second to look around me.

38 kommentarer:

Connie and Rob sagde ...

Interesting but very tedious work. Hope you take a good candy bar for a break.

Take care,
Connie

Simple American sagde ...

At least you know when the sun is out. I imagine somedays your job gets busy and passes quickly. Though I bet some of the conversations get a bit dry and repetitive.

Devil Mood sagde ...

You have a lot of things going on!
The job sounds really interesting to me, except I don't like to talk on the phone much so it'd probably make me uncomfortable at first. But I'd like to get those informations on people. :)
At least you have a window, like simple american said...I don't have windows in my workplace.

al-Ferengi sagde ...

Heh, the windows at my workplace are quite similar positioned :)

Daphnewood sagde ...

the basement could be rather depressing if it were winter. You do have windows and I imagine you will get a fair share of shoe watching in. It is always nice to be on top of the latest fashions ;)

don't work too hard and keep smiling! A paycheck is a paycheck. At least that is how I get myself through somedays.

Maddy sagde ...

i loved the windows...
i love to shoot pix of
windows...
those are particularly lovely...

yvy sagde ...

uuggghhh....i'd most likely freeze up n lost that golden work opportunity! lol :P thank goodness most of my interviews are done face to face. :) then i can make use of my facial expression when i need a quick escape. heh. :P

Morose sagde ...

You get windows? luckY! i sit nowhere near a window and the windows we do have at big bank operations center don't show much other than other bits of the irregularly-shaped building. or secret, inaccessible bits of parking lot that must exist in some other dimension since there is generally a building where they're supposed to be

or it's not a window but a screen for playing back video footage of some real parkinglotspace somewhere.

Kunstemaecker sagde ...

You think that's bad?

I sell sand.

HB sagde ...

Lykke til! Og jeg fant ut av det der med "Guds gode grenser" - no worries:-)

Devil Mood sagde ...

Hi! I've changed my address to one that's on my profile now. Sorry to bother you :)

Sangroncito sagde ...

Did I miss something? What is the purpose of the phone interviews?

DayByDay4-2Day sagde ...

Well at least yu have a window and talk to someone. My last job that lasted 6 years I sat ina cubical, by my self that was 4 x 6 and it was in the attic .... no windows for 8 hours!

Neil sagde ...

Paying attention to a boyfriend rather than blogging? Shame! Are you a committed blogger?

True Blue Guy sagde ...

That is a very different kind of job ! - All my jobs have been by the book kind of jobs

cheers

Meow sagde ...

Beautiful windows.
Hope your work days aren't too tedious. Think happy thoughts !!
Take care, Meow

Scholiast sagde ...

At my first job I only had one windown, but very similar to yours! From June 1st I'll be back in this company - but now they're on 5th floor..

Rory Shock sagde ...

well, it looks peaceful, but your life sounds hectic ... a belated thank you for stopping by my blog for the easter post ...

LeighAnn sagde ...

Well, look at the bright side.....at least you have a couple plants to keep you company!

:0)

HanktheDog sagde ...

It just sounds so...Scandinavian. I think there's a quiet, introspective film in there somewhere.

Jack P Toerson sagde ...

Good shots, the second is particularly good but then that's probably just my particularly anal attraction towards straight lines and clear geometry :-).

Meow sagde ...

Hi there, and hope you weekend went well.
Just wanted to let you know I got your postcard today ... thank you.
Take care, Meow

DayByDay4-2Day sagde ...

someones postcard will be highlighted on my blog tomorrow, can you guess who's???

Etchen sagde ...

Oh I'm glad you at least have windows! Bets wishes on your exams!

kimananda sagde ...

Connie, it is a bit tedious, but when it's not, it's really nice to be able to talk to people about things, and then get paid for it. A candy bar, or some coffee, is definitely a good idea!

Mr. American, some of the conversations are definitely dry and repetitive, but the bits that aren't make it worthwhile. And I'm quite fond of the room and the view, actually. Especially as the alternative is usually the room where the fax and copy machines are.

Ms. Mood, a lot going on is a bit of an understatement. Over-extended might be a better term, or at least that's how I feel. As for talking on the phone, I'm not that into it either usually...I am known for going to great lengths to not have to do things over the phone...but for interviews I kinda like it. And thanks for the new link!

Alaswad, maybe it's a Danish architectural setup?

Daphnewood, it's quite cool. I can see the whole body except for the head. I took these photos in preparation to take photos later of headless people walking by. I may still do that. And I definitely think paycheck...after an interview, I'll think, 'well, that's a meal when I'm in Lisbon' or 'that's a bit more of my spending money in China'.

Maddy, thank you! I take lots of pictures of windows and doors.

Yvy, in person interviews are good, too. But in phone interviews you can look really bored, and the other person won't know.

Morose, that sounds a bit spooky, actually.

Kunstemæcker, are you thinking of the Monty Python sketch of the four Yorkshiremen? Cause I am!

HB, godt! Så, hvad betyder det?

Sangroncito, I didn't go into the purpose of the interviews...the idea is that a big company which is thinking of buying language training from my company will book a 'language audit' for a section of there staff, to see what people know in order to facilitate decisions on training. I'm the one who gets to take the information, do the interview, and then evaluate. So, my overall goal of these is to find out lots of info about the employee's English needs, and their English levels.

Day, I've never worked in a cubicle. And I am pleased about that! And, I'm glad you got my postcard...I'll be posting about yours as soon as I have time to write a post at all.

Neil, you are right. I'm reaffirming my comittment by answering these comments. Please let me know if I stray too far from the path again! ;-)

Blue, I've been a teacher for so long, that I can't imagine what a by the book job would be. I once asked Thor what people do in offices. And I really want to know. What do they do?

Meow, I will think happy thoughts, or at least I'll try to...I'm more worried about the project than the work, to tell the truth. And, I'm glad you got my postcard. I feel a bit more of a connection with Princess Mary because she lived a very small bit of her childhood in the US as well.

Scholiast, the 5th floor...does it have a nice view?

Rory, feel free to come by anytime!

Leighann, I really like those plants. I can't figure out what kind they are, but they have a certain space alien thing going that really appeals to me for some reason.

Hank, a movie of my working day would be very arty, with lots of repetition of questions, but subtle distinctions of answers. I don't think it would do particularly good box office.

Jack, thanks!

Etchen, thanks for the kind wishes. And I quite like the windows as well.

James Medhurst sagde ...

Hi Kim,

I'm glad your new job is going well and that you are enjoying it. You'll be pleased to know (I think) that I have decided to return to my blog after six months away. I hope you don't mind if I am also a little gratuitous and add a link so that your many visitors can have a look. Hi everyone, I'm not spam, honest.

All the best,

James

http://jamesmedhurst.blogspot.com/

HB sagde ...

Jeg lot være å oversette:-) Men på norsk handler det om Guds grenser for seksualitet, hva som er lov og hva som ikke er lov.

kimananda sagde ...

James, yea! I'm so glad you're back in the blogsphere, so that I can see you here as well as talk to you in the real world.

Everyone, go visit James. He is not spam!

HB, ja, jeg tror faktisk ikke, at der er en engelsk vending der virker. Det er bedre bare at oversætte betydning, tror jeg.

Morose sagde ...

Big Finance is like that. all pacts with extradimensional beings and deception.

you should turn some of those questions you ask Danes into a meme for your readers to fill out.

Vesper sagde ...

interesting! i want to write a story based on your view.

kimananda sagde ...

Morose, now that is a really good idea. I talk actually to more non-Danes than Danes, actually (for the past few weeks, and the next two weeks, it's primarily Swedes, with the occasional Finn or two for variety), but whomever I talk to, I definitely have the order totally memorized. I spice it up a bit occasionally, but I ask things in the same order, and often with the exact same wording. I may just torture everyone with those questions over the weekend. Beware what you suggest... ;-)

Vesper, you should do! And then post it so we can see it...feel free to use the images also to go with the story when you post it!

marybishop sagde ...

How wonderful that you won't have to do this job forever. Just like banging your head against the wall - it feels so good once you stop.

I'll bet that you will use those windows to your advantage and sneak in a day dream, a meditative moment or a carpe diem moment, between keyboard clicks!

Sonia sagde ...

I think your job is interesting because you can know how is the life of different people and how they think about many issues.

But I don't understand, like Sangroncito, what is the purpose of the phone interviews?

Åsa sagde ...

Kimanda! What a cool job to have for a short while! When you get bored you can always throw in a surprise question and get them to share something you would never have dared to ask otherwise ;-)

But do take care. With everything on your plate those surprise questions might pop out sooner than expected if your brain goes in to overload. The paycheck will probably not be worth it.

ps. in Sweden all offices HAVE to have windows...

Chloe sagde ...

that's a very very interesting job. and to me, so difficult. (i could never talk on the phone, i hate it).
Don't be away too long please.
xxx
Good luck

Linda sagde ...

I don't know if I could do that job...seems like something I would probably dislike - basically surveying people.

But the view is interesting...

Michele sent me today!

kimananda sagde ...

Mary, it's not that bad...and this is actually a part of my regular job (well, such as it is...work is never that steady at my regular job). Weeks of it at a time is a bit tedious, but on a small scale, I actually quite like it.

Sonia, thanks for your visit! I interview people to assess their levels of English, as their companies are considering buying training from my company.

Åsa, welcome! I wouldn't be surprised if windows are mandatory in Danish offices, too. But not for private homes...the last place we lived, our living room was windowless. As for surprise questions, I pretty much ask what I feel like...but even when I don't, the answers can often be surprising. That's the fun part!

Chloe, I'm a total phone-phobic. But I don't mind this because it's work. In real life, I do all sorts of things, take long trips to places for example, to avoid just picking up the phone and calling.

Linda, welcome! It is an interesting job. I wouldn't say it was surveying people, because the people I'm talking to are also invested in what's going on...either because they want training, or because they don't, etc. So it's a little bit more than just getting statistics.

al-Ferengi sagde ...

Heh, it might just be a secret plot in architecture. But I believe, it is a Danish variant of a Northern European thing, I believe, in Flensburg they have these windows too, at least the architiecture in genereral is very much alike...