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Of praise and plans

In a meeting at work this morning, I got singled out for special praise by management. It came as a complete, but very welcome surprise. Of course, I knew they were happy with my contribution to the team in the last 6 months, or they wouldn't have offered to extend my contract a couple of weeks back (I signed on the dotted line yesterday), but I never expected to be put up on a pedestal in front of all my co-workers at 10am on an ordinary Thursday morning. It was nice, though.

I've been receiving a lot of compliments lately, mostly from black men and women and all about my bum. I don't know what's up with that, but I do find it rather amusing.

Recently, a friend of mine has moved from London to Kilchberg, just outside Zurich; so I'm sure you can guess my next holiday destination? That's right, I'm off to Switzerland in two weeks time. Earlier this week, I realised that with my holidays coming up, I'd neglected to book anywhere and I didn't know what I could do to remedy that situation. Until, that is, I hit on the idea of inviting myself over there, and she's just e-mailed me back to say she'd love for me to come and stay for a bit. I'm quite looking forward to going; I've never been to Switzerland before...although that's not entirely true; I spent a day in Lausanne some 25 years ago -- quite a traumatic time for me, as I recall...My then boyfriend and I had gone on a 6-week camping holiday in France, and one day when we had pitched our tents (literally, we had two small ones that we set up to form one big(ger) one) in Evian-les-Bains, we decided to drive across the border in our old, battered, apple-green 2-chevaux that had just the day before developed a worrying rattle in the exhaust; a deafening noise that got amplified by the mountains around us. We were nearing the end of our holiday, which meant that my hair looked a fright and my clothes were all crumpled. Anyway, we got to Switzerland and Lausanne, and the streets were so clean! and the houses in such good repair (as opposed to France where everything's ramshackle)! and the people all looked so immaculately groomed! I got an instant inferiority complex and begged my boyfriend to take me back over the border to where the paint was peeling from the houses and the people looked as grubby as he and I, and after a few hours, he complied.

So now I'm going back there -- well, Zurich. I'm hoping it's got a different vibe, but I'll pack my neatest clothes and niftiest toiletries just in case.



( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
May. 14th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
Don't forget the new shoes!

Six weeks camping? ::quails in horror::
May. 15th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Six weeks, six very long weeks! after which I could safely say that going camping's not for me...though for some reason, the men in my life seem to have all enjoyed it (well, all except my Dad, who -like us- preferred to stay in hotels where there are proper beds and showers). So a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do sometimes...
May. 15th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
It took a weekend to workout camping is not for me. I even did Glastonbury in a hotel.
May. 14th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Praise and compliments, huh? :-D

But I agree that compliments are odd -- and I almost never get verbal ones; I get weird glances ranging from baby-animal-reactions to utter spellboundness. Ah well.

But yay for extended contract! Though, didn't you say something about not being as happy with the place as you'd hoped?

Oh, I love Switzerland and have been there many times over the years, though not in this decade. My grandmother had a flat in a town by Lake Geneva... and I went on a French language course in Neuchâtel one summer and also, went skiing for quite a few years. *is nostalgic*

But yes, it's a very clean country. *g* Then again, so's this, so... *shrugs*
May. 15th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Though, didn't you say something about not being as happy with the place as you'd hoped?

I do recall saying something along those lines, yes...It's taken me all of 6 months to get used to the job, and the people. Remember, I came from a large multinational corporation employing a workforce made up of various nationalities and a philosophy (the HP way) which -in theory- underpinned everything; and then to find myself employed by a small(ish) credit company which even if it has since been incorporated into French giant Crédit Agricole still lacks that international component to its day-to-day operations -- it was hard.

Also, I've learned and am still learning that he world of finance and banking is much more hierarchical and bureaucratic and things get done a certain way because that's the way they've always been done; and people aren't really used to thinking outside the box or on their feet which was one of the main skills I acquired during my time at hp, and which is exactly the skill that's impressing management so much at the moment. I'm their new broom, but whether this new broom will succeed in clearing away some of the cobwebs from their rusty old customer service department? I'll have to wait and see; hopefully in the next year, I'll be able to garner enough support for my proposed changes to really make a difference.
May. 14th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
That's great. I know how soul-sucking and un-affirming the last place was. It's great to have affirmation that you are fab. :-)
May. 15th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
It's certainly done wonders for my motivation!
May. 15th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Hey, can you send some of your managers my way? I've almost never been complimented by a senior. The only feedback we get is negative, and if no-one says anything then you have to assume you are doing okay. It sucks. It's been the same everywhere I've worked. Scientists just don't have the right people skills to be managers. :(

Yes, Switzerland is pretty posh, and Zurich is the poshest of it all (because of all the bankers). I don't remember feeling too underdressed though, but it was winter and a coat generally makes you look better dressed than you are anyway. At least, that's my theory, coming from a country that's hot a lot of the year. :) Pack your nice things, you will want them. :)
May. 15th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
I've almost never been complimented by a senior. The only feedback we get is negative, and if no-one says anything then you have to assume you are doing okay. It sucks. It's been the same everywhere I've worked.

That's the way it was for me in all the years I worked at hp as well; which is why in in serious danger now of letting all the praise I'm getting at Crédit Agricole go to my head.

Thanks for the headsup re: Zurich. I know what I have to do now: bring a coat!
( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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