Sunday, 27 April 2008

working hard

Started work on Friday, but have been a bit too tired to write about it until now...

The first day was good, we spent a couple of hours re-arranging the office, which is in the basement, and has no windows. It also feels a little bit like a corridor, as there are double doors at either end. One goes out to the back of the hotel, the terrace, the swimming pools, and eventually the sea. The other door leads onto a corridor, along which is the kitchen and a load of other stuff, basically the internal workings of the hotel. So it's an interesting place to be, as random people are always popping in and out.

Sorting the office out was quite important to me, as it was pretty cluttered, and kind of felt like it was closing in on me - I can't work effectively in a space like that! Afterwards Chris said that it wasn't something he'd thought of as a priority, but he thought it had made a huge difference, and he was really pleased. (When the General Manager came in later, he said it looked like a solicitor's office, but I couldn't tell if that was a good thing or not, or whether he was being serious. Oh well.)

Anyway, once we got the office how we (I) wanted it, I started trying to get to grips with the sorts of stuff I'm going to be dealing with, looking at how the systems work, reading through files, that sort of thing. Some of it is in a bit of a mess, as there have been a lot of staff changes recently and it looks like there hasn't been much continuity, so I'm going to have my work cut out for a few weeks at least, until I've got it into some sort of order. Anyway, it looks like it's going to be quite interesting.

Then I was taken for lunch in the "Mediterraneo" restaurant (rather than eating in the staff canteen, which is what I'll do most days, I think) as Chris said he wanted me to see how it runs. We had bread and olives, and I had a Mediterranean Salad - lots of leaves with avocado, goats' cheese, pine nuts, and a bit of tomato, all drizzled with pesto (which I thought I didn't like, but it turns out I actually do!) - which was delicious :-)

Most of the staff are Cypriots, so most of the conversations that happen in the office - and in the hotel - are in Greek. Obviously, it makes it a bit difficult for me to know what's going on, as I don't understand a lot of what's being said, but I guess that will only come with time. I have managed to pick up a little bit here and there - I recognised the words for "shirt" and "trousers" during one conversation (as we'd done "clothes" words in Greek lesson last week), so I asked Chris about it, and he said yes, they had been discussing the new staff uniforms. He seemed impressed. Well, a little.

Having said that, most of the staff do also speak very good English, so I have been able to talk to people. Everybody seems really nice, friendly, welcoming, and also appreciative of the fact that I am at least making an effort to speak their language, even though I only know a few words and my accent is appalling! Being near the kitchen is handy as sometimes people pop in with food - yesterday I had some "flaounes" which is "a kind of cheese cake found in Cyprus, made of shortcrust with a cheese, egg and mint filling, formed into triangular and square shapes" - nice :-)

Other stuff's happened too, but I'm going out now, so when I get home later (if I'm not too exhausted) I might write again..

1 comment:

Dave Lawrence said...

Woot. I knew you'd like pesto really.

I hope you're OK after eating avocado. You really shouldn't put your life and limb on the line like that!