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So last week, I took a trip down memory lane
To the office!
And for those of you who have been following me for the last two years, you would have known that the last time I was previously in the office was March 16, 2020!
Luckily, I work for an IT/Engineering company ‘cos the writing had been on the wall for a few weeks as my colleagues noticed my new rota of frenzied manic cleaning!
Now even though I live in Berlin.
My company – HCL Technologies Germany GmbH – is actually in Lower Saxony!
Otherwise known as Niedersachsen!
My office was like a ghost town, but after having a meeting and a vote – it’s Germany after all – I collected my laptop, training material & most of the books & audio material I might need, and left!
In short, as of March 17, 2020 I was back in Berlin!
Mind you, my company has been extremely generous and has allowed us to work from home until at least June 30, if we wish to.
Most of us do!
I went back again on April 24th, 2022.
Exactly, two years and thirty-nine days later!
To get a new laptop!
To be honest, I was quite excited!
I booked a train with Deutsche Bahn who were also quite thrilled to have customers use their services, as they gave me a €10.00 discount off my train ticket!
Thank you Deutsche Bahn!
Having said that, I had a meeting at 10:00, so that meant leaving my house at 06:00, in order to be absolutely sure of catching my train at 06:28!
Moreover, because I had a Bahn Comfort Customer Card for (previously) frequent travellers, it meant I had access to the First-Class Lounge and a specially reserved carriage!
I didn’t use the First-Class Lounge, but I did use the reserved carriage.
It was very early in the morning, so was practically empty!
I busied myself with reading the Financial Times, the Economist, the Guardian, the New York Times, etc.
What can I say?
I’m that girl!
Two hours later, I was there.
I was back!
In the countryside town of Gifhorn!
In truth, I was really only there to organise some administrative stuff, re-arrange the furniture in my new office that was now on another floor, source the gossip, have lunch with my colleagues, and pick up my new laptop!
But what I actually did was:
Organise 50% of the administrative stuff – Half-check!
Re-arrange the furniture in my new office that was now on another floor – Check!
Source a tiny bit of the gossip – Half-check!
Shake hands with one and all, hugged people and made so much noise doing so, that other people came out of their offices, wondered what the commotion was, and added to the hugging and screaming!
Also, everyone that passed the IT room and saw me, popped in to say hello with rubbing of elbows and more hugs! – 200% Check!
Have lunch with my colleagues – Utter failure!
I was so busy, I didn’t have time for lunch at all!
Pick up my new laptop! – Haw! Haw!
I thought that all I had to do was simply pick up the new laptop, and then walk away.
There was a lot of downloading new software, arranging for licensing permission, transferring of data, getting rid of old passwords, installing new ones, and generally trying to understand how the new system functions.
In just two hours!
Thankfully, the IT team was marvellous.
Installing everything and making sure that everything worked so that I could use the software technology at home, took 5.5 hours that day, and an additional 1.5 hours the next!
My IT guy was very patient and most helpful.
Thanks very much Robin! – 150% Check!
Of course, after all that, it should have been a walk in the park.
I had one more meeting, packed up my stuff, and left.
Only to realise 15 minutes later that I had forgotten the laptop that I came for.
On my desk!
Luckily, I always leave room for incidents.
I ran back to the office like a madwoman
Picked up the laptop
Ran through the fields to the train station
And still had 10 minutes to spare.
And was that it?
Of course not!
The journey back to Berlin was a mess.
One of the trains was cancelled, so my train was 5 minutes late!
I know! I know!
You must think I’m evil!
But in reality when that happens, it means those passengers usually have to join the next train, which meant that our train was unusually crowded.
Not very pleasant!
And on top of that.
When I got to Berlin, the local train I needed was also cancelled and surprisingly, I had to wait 30 minutes for another one!
It’s quite uncommon, so I’ll let that go!
Suffice to say, it was great seeing everyone again.
If I didn’t get to see you, even though I promised I would, I’m sorry!
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That’s it for now.
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