Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Working Conditions Part II
In these conditions (maybe the fact that the boss is on vacation this week helps), the overall work rate has slowed to a snail's pace. There are lots of nice big yellow land snails around here, so I now have a basis for understanding this cliche. (Actually they can move faster than I'd thought.) This morning, on my floor of the department, there were only foreigners and two Swedish staff members, one of whom just got back from 3 weeks vacation, and the other of whom starts her vacation this Friday. The latter confessed that she is counting the hours.
It turns out that the proper timing of fika depends crucially on the instincts of the natives. Left to our own devices, we poor foreigners tend to put off fika for just five minutes, then just five minutes more—"Hang on, let me send this email," and other, similar five-minute-long delaying tactics—and so morning fika didn't get going until almost 10:30. By the time you're done with that, well, it's almost lunchtime.
We've been here a full six months now, and I am still not fully adjusted to working conditions.