“Divine Madness.” If you say that slowly in a whisper, it gives an almost accurate picture of our office, or to be precise, my experience of it while I was in Spain. Obviously the Spain office has a lot more staff than the Italian branch, so it follows that they handle more services than we do, plus the reason I was in Spain was for training so yes it felt like such organized chaos….no, just chaos (not organised).
The first week was scary. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never worked in sales and services before. My experience has always been in the creative art - writing to be precise, and even when I branched out a little, I taught English (not too far off since I was still dealing with language and communication). There was so many details to remember and too many information crammed into very little time. I took notes, I listened, even eavesdropped at some point, asked questions, took suggestions, analyzed, compared work methods and just remained meek and submissive. By the end of the week I had my first ‘AHA’ moment.
The whole freaking thing wasn’t as complicated as it appeared. Granted, a lot of attention needs to be paid because it is a detail oriented work and one little mistake screws up a whole lot and makes us lose money, so yes, we needed all the details and advice and suggestions and all that jazz, but the real confusion, or at least for me, was trying to merge all that with everyone’s odd way of handling the same shit.
Now, talk about impressions. Lady R in the Spares department impressed me immediately, she had her nose into every unfinished project and followed its progress as though it was a personal thing that would result in a rather once in a life time spiritual fulfilment. That was impressive I must say, to bear that kind of zeal for a job.
Then of course there was Mr S (Spares). Laid back and somewhat quiet, but every time he decides to break the silence, witty things come out his mouth and it just cracks me up. Refreshing. With him, I got the impression of a rather collected and sure-footed person. Nice.
Ms S and Mr R at management were impressive too. Ms S was always soft spoken, calm and smiley and for some odd reason seemed like a misfit in that chaotic scene, can’t say I’m sure why. Don’t get me wrong, she knows her job and she does it well. Now Mr R he had a way with his suggestions but the one thing that stuck in my head was the way he explained certain things and pointed out how easy it was to take one wrong turn and he’ll garnish that explanation with ‘what’s gonna happen?’ somewhat like ‘you do the math’. So I learned from the word go to work on every project asking ‘what’s gonna happen?’ at every turn and it kinda helped me stay focused. Good job R!!
J.C (Service) reminded me of my late uncle Idzia, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why, and the odd thing is he isn’t much older than I am so why uncle??? Hmmm, beats me. He was somewhat like Mr S in Spares, but he retained his silences more, so I hardly ever noticed him, but he had given me some really valuable tips and very helpful notes so he certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
Now, to the real mad house. Service. JM and EDK. We have danced, and sang, and breath, and lived and talked divine madness. I had to work in close contact with these two as we were all service coordinators and I had to get a feel of what the whole thing was all about. Now there aren’t any two people as North and South as these two. Their approach to work that is. We do the same thing but differently. I got confused at a point because one person says ‘do it this way’ another say ‘no do it this way’ and when I run to Mr R he takes me through the steps and we end up at ‘what’s gonna happen?’. In the end I figured out one thing (and Mr R confirmed) - Figure out a way to do it. The baseline is knowing the goal and reaching it without screwing up along the way.
JM was a charmer though and I don't think I'll ever hear the phrase 'you're the best' again without remembering him. It was a phrase he used a lot. He'd be a great PR personel. He was a good people's person.
And EDK was actually the first person in the office to invite me out on the town, so thanks to her I had my 'tourist moment' and my kid got to have some fun and make new friends.
Then of course there was Mr D and Ms M (Service). I didn’t get the chance to work with them much as Mr D went on vacation just two days after I arrived, but I got the impression of a collected and gentle person. He did help me with accessing Ms M’s computer as I had to use hers while she was away. He even gave me his password to our protected server as I didn’t have access myself. Of course when Ms M returned, I used his computer till the end of my training and he never came back from vacation…
Ms M smiled a lot. She was gentle, the way she talked. Every time I hear ‘Naan’ in that soft voice though, I know I am going to be asked about a service or a quote or some planning I should be working on. The amazing thing was how impeccable her timing always was. Every time I punch the last key that seals the end of the project, I hear ‘Naan, what about Grand Benelux?’ and I respond ‘Check your email in 30 seconds’. I got the feeling like, as long as there was Ms M, there was no room for day dreaming during work hours, which is OK with me.
And Boss…..well, what can I say? He is like a whirl-wind. He comes and goes and moves so fast I get the impression of a whirlwind in the office, not destructive though. Besides the first day I was there and was introduced to every staff (by him of course), I had very little direct contact with him, which isn’t unusual really.
Then of course there are the beautiful people upstairs. I don’t mean that in a condescending way. Four or five women (I don’t remember as I have basically avoided them (had no real reason to go there) while I was in training. Beautiful women, all of them. It did cross my mind at a point to wonder if maybe the qualification for being up stairs was being beautiful, but of course I discarded the thought immediately as it is absolutely absurd. They manage our finances and they’re doing a great job of it….and they’re all beautiful….OK, you can tell I can’t get over how beautiful they are lol.
The technicians, can’t say I really remembered any of them….Maybe Mr I and Mr JH. I because of his attempt at broken Italian and especially because he looked 18! And Mr JH because he spoke Spanish so fluently I thought he was Spanish until he spoke English with an American accent and left me scratching my head wondering…..
Now….My Kindred Spirit.
That’s the one person that impressed me the most in that office. Not only was he available and approachable for when I needed guidance to quote work hours and which technicians to assign the jobs. With him, I felt like I had known him in another life time which is rather odd as I had met him just about the same time I met everyone else. We had our coffee breaks and talked about creative art and writing, which was rather refreshing… I mean, everyone else saw one face of me - the meek-submissive-wanting-to-learn-all-there-is-too-learn-Naan (which is quite OK, I’m a Gemini woman, I‘ve many faces, all truly and wholly me). Mr J got to see the chatty, excited, dreamy, social Naan, and it was nice to be able to throw off the ’office robe’ and just be and with J I could do that…..so yes I looked forward to (and greatly miss) those coffee breaks.
Now I am back in Italy and making use of all I ingested from Spain and all I can say was that the whole experience was an explosive… (whisper it) DIVINE MADNESS.