Well, the happy, positive blogging didn’t last long. Today it’s back to my usual moany self.
As we all know I only have about a month and a half left of my internship. At the end of January I shall find out whether they want to keep me on or not. At first I thought I was doing well, then I found out that although I am only good at a very small part of my job. I can translate. I can proofread. That is all I can do. I’m not good at project management. It requires me to be organised. Not one of my strong points. Never has been, never will be. I am also incapable of taking initiative, have no social competence, am no good at working in a team, possess very little common sense, am too quiet, don’t communicate enough, lack confidence, appear unmotivated… the list goes on. In the right kind of job with the right kind of boss and given time I could probably change those things. Unfortunately right now I’m not sure I have any of those things. I enjoy my job, but only the part that I’m good at. My bosses are nice enough but the kind of motivation I need is very different to what they (and most bosses to be honest) are willing or able to give. And as for time… well, I’ve been given until the end of January to prove I can do all those things. The result? I spend most of my time at work praying that there will be lots and lots for me to translate today (so I don’t have to ask for work, proving once again that I can’t figure out for myself what needs doing) and the rest of the time I spend worrying that I’m doing something wrong again without even realising it. I keep catching myself wondering whether, at this very moment, I look motivated and enthusiastic. I wonder whether I’m taking too long over this translation – should I have been finished by now? It’s exhausting, and it means that by the time I get home I don’t have the energy to do anything any more. I need to make some food, but I can’t even bring myself to walk to the kitchen, I was supposed to hand in a translation for uni today (luckily only a practice) but I haven’t even started yet. I have more Christmas presents to wrap but even that is entirely unappealing – and I actually enjoy wrapping presents!
I’m not sure how much longer this can go on. But there’s nothing I can do about it, cos like it or not I really, really need this job.
I’ve just been looking through some random stats on my blog. It seems my most used tag is “boyfriend” with a total of 43 times. Second is work with 22 uses and in third place comes books, 21 uses. I’m pretty sure that says something about me. I don’t know what but I’m pretty sure it’s misleading. How have I managed to mention work more often than books? Must do something about that.
I need to do a translation for uni. It was actually supposed to be handed in on Monday. Oops. Not even a month into the year and I’m behind already. Luckily it’s only a practice piece so I won’t lose any marks for handing it in late or anything. It would probably be a good idea to get on and do it though.
How is it Wednesday already? I’m sure it was only just Friday. I always thought putting the clocks back was meant to give us another hour. Instead I seem to have lost about 72.
Time going fast does have its advantages though. It’s pay day on Friday. And I get extra money starting this month. I’ve already had my wage slip and seen how much I’ll be earning from now. I’m going to be rich. Rich I tell you! (Actually I’m still going to be poor, but rich compared to what I was before. And at least I’ll be able to afford a few decent Christmas presents this year).
And oh my gosh, I’ve just realised my internship is half over already. Three more months to go. And after that? We’ll see… it depends whether the boss decides to give me a proper job.
OK, enough procrastinating. Time to get on with the translation.
I have nothing to say at the moment, but I feel like now I’ve started this blog I must write something every single day. No idea why – perhaps I’m afraid an evil creature will come and get me if I don’t.
Oooh, speaking of evil creatures… I have been saved from the scary, scary moths. On Friday eveing I saw another of the creepy little bugs in my cupboard. It was just sitting there on the top shelf trying to look all innocent.. then it flew out and touched me!! Scream? I did! Jan, who was watching TV at the time, called me pathetic then told me to just go away, he would deal with it. So I did. And he did. He took everything off the top shelf of the cupboard, threw away some pudding rice and a tub of vanilla cappucinio (apparantly there were moths sitting on the cappucino. On the lid that is. No idea why – it’s not like there was any way for them to get to the powder inside). Then he washed out the cupboard, put my remaining food back in and since then I’ve been moth free. A whole 3 days now. Woo hoo!
Time is zooming away from me again. Already August is more than half over. Actually, it’s kind of a good thing that August is more than half over… I’m getting very low on money and need it to hurry up and be the end of the month… pay day! But still… how is this already the third week of my new internship? My last place of work is starting to seem almost like a distant memory. No wonder I never manage to get everything done… it seems like every time I blink I open my eyes to find that an hour’s passed.
See… it just did it again. It’s 7:45pm now and I haven’t done a single useful thing this evening! How do other people manage to hold down full time jobs and keep on top of all their housework and bring up children, all at the same time? With only one small room to keep tidy and no children to worry about I can’t even manage to keep on top of my laundry! Just more evidence that I’d be the world’s worst housewife I guess…
My mam and brother were here over the weekend, which is why I didn’t have a chance to post. Finally my mam has actually seen the place I’ve been living for the past 2 years! It was a good weekend, but tiring. There isn’t really much for tourists to do in Karlsruhe, but we rode on the little train in the Schlosspark, had a bit of a walk in Durlach (suburb of Karlsruhe) and went to ZKM, an art and media museum in town. We also ate some of the local food. It was lovely to see the family (or at least part of it) again. Now my sister just needs to visit and the whole family will have seen ‘my’ town.
Today was the first day of my new internship. It went pretty well. The bosses and one other employee are lovely. The owner of the company even bought my lunch for me! It was a lot of information to take in at once though – In the morning I just did some proofreading and researched some terms, but after lunch I had to learn all about the database, how to enter a company into it, find a translator etc, etc. Then I had a quick lesson on how to use the translation memory software. I was pleased when I was told to go home at 3pm! I won’t normally be leaving that early but there wasn’t anything left for me to do and, like I said, a lot had been squeezed into my brain in a fairly short space of time. I’m sure things will get better once I’ve done everything a few times and figured out what’s going on!
The bosses have a little jack russell puppy who comes to work with them. She’s called Flecki, because of a little fleck on her head, and is only 10 weeks old. Soo tiny and cute!
I think I’m going to like working there, once I’ve got over the strangeness and have more of an idea what I’m meant to be doing! Still sad that I had to leave the old place though.
I made a cake last night to take into work with me*. You see, tomorrow is the last day of my internship. In Germany, when there’s an event, the person whose birthday or whatever it is expected to bring in something yummy for the rest of their workplace. You have to bake it yourself as well mind you – a friend of mine’s colleagues were most disappointed when she took in a cake from the bakers. I’ll never understand why on my birthday I have to give other people something, but never mind. When in Rome and all that. So today I took in a cake. It was another one of those ridiculously hot days where the sun was already unbearable by 8am and by the time I was half way to work I was already roasting. Who knew a simple marble cake could be so heavy? But never mind, both cake and I made it to work in one piece and it seemed to go down well with my colleagues. A brilliant result I’d say.
Oh, and here’s something that amused me today. I was doing a translation about stockings (the black lacy kind, not the ones you get a Christmas). Nothing too difficult, just a few random terms to be printed on the packaging. One of the items on the list was “halterlose Strümpfe”. Hmm, how would we say that in English? I wondered. Not being a stocking wearer I tend not to spend much time reading the packaging for them. An idea occurred to me and I decided to see whether the internet thought it existed. So I type the words “halterless stockings” into Google. A few hits did come up, but right at the top was that question Google asks you when it thinks you might have spelled something wrong…
Did you mean: “shelterless stockings”.
Umm, no I didn’t actually, but I’m quite intrigued now. What on Earth are shelterless stockings? Are those the ones that manage to get lost in the washing machine, leaving you with one half of hundreds of pairs? Are there shelterless socks as well? The mind really does boggle! (In case you were wondering, the actual translation was “hold ups” or in American English “garterless stockings”. I don’t suppose you were wondering though… unless you’re as ignorant about the world of stockings as I am).
*Actually, Jan did most of the actual making of the cake. I just measured stuff… and managed to get it out of the oven on time.
For some reason I really didn’t enjoy work today. It’s not like anything went wrong. Normally I would have considered it to be a pretty good day. I had jus the right amount of work to do – not so little I spent most of my time twiddling my thumbs, but not so much that I was stressed out for the entire day and had to cut my lunch break short to get everything finished (I have done that in the past). No, it was just an average day as far as work load is concerned. The texts were all really nice as well, interesting and not too difficult. And yet I’ve spent the last 4 hours counting down the minutes until I could get out of there. This isn’t how I wanted to spend the last few days of my internship. I really want to enjoy the last of my time there. But today it just wasn’t working.
I think it’s the heat. It was bad enough outside, but I swear in our office it’s about 5 degrees warmer! The window is always open but no breeze comes in, the various electrical devices we have standing around seem to be competing to see who can produce the most heat and when you try to breathe the air tastes like it’s full of moisture. I stil feel like I’m melting now and I’ve been home nearly half an hour!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the summer. It’s just this this excessive heat I detest. If I was in Spain or Greece I would understand, and I might even enjoy it (if only because I’d most likely be sitting in the shade somewhere), but it really doesn’t need to be 29.2°C (according to wundergrund.com) in Karlsruhe, Germany at quarter to seven at night. And there are people out there who think global warming doesn’t exist? What the hell do you call this then, coincidence?
I’m off for a shower now. A cold shower!
I’m trying very hard to mentally prepare myself for my last day of work on Thursday. I’m not ready for my internship to be over yet. It still doesn’t feel like it’s been a whole year, but at the same time it feels like I’ve been there forever. It’s going to be so weird getting up for work on Monday morning and catching a tram to Ettlingen instead of walking the 15 minutes into town. So I’m trying to prepare myself now so that it’s not too much of a shock to the system… and so that I don’t cry on Thursday. I hate goodbyes!
In other news, my blogs hit counter has now gone over the 1,000 mark. Not very exciting to most, I know, but it makes me happy. I can’t believe people are actually reading my blog!
Firstly, can someone please tell me a) what webtaskr.com is, b) why it keeps appearing in my incoming links and c) why, when I click on the link to it, do I find a paragraph from one of my blogs there with a link to me at the bottom with “read the original” post. What’s going on??? Answers on the back of a postcard please (or in the comments section if you’d prefer )
And now back to what I really wanted to talk about.
This time next week I’ll be getting ready for my last day at my current place at work. It’s very scary and also quite sad (as in upsetting, not uncool). How can it have been almost a whole year since I started my internship there? It doesn’t seem like that long. And yet, at the same time, it feels like I’ve been there forever. I love working there. Love the banter (by email) with other English-speaking interns from our branches throughout Germany. Love most of the translations I get to do. Even some of the proofreads are fun (yesterday I was reading a very funny translation about jeans). My colleagues here in Karlsruhe are brilliant – two are pretty much my age and the third is only five years older. It’s great. We can have a laugh together and I don’t feel like the little, inexperienced child amongst all the adults who know exactly what they’re doing.
And now it’s time to leave.
A week on Monday I start my new internship. Between leaving where I am now and starting at the new place I have exactly 3 days to mentally prepare myself. My current mood? Nervous, sad, excited, nostalgic, terrified… it’s an emotional rollercoaster.
After blogging just the other day about how unfair it is that all the shops are having their summer sales and I have no money to buy anything I now have to make a confession.
Today I broke down and went and bought myself something.
It’s all the fault of Tally Weijl (Pleeease don’t ask me how to pronounce that. I have no idea. My German colleagues have no idea. The shop is Swiss, their language is weird.) Like all the other shops, Tally Weijl are currently having an end-of-summer sale, a fact that I only noticed today. As far as I’m concerend Tally Weijl sales are just plain amazing. The normal prices of their clothes are ridiculous. 19 euros for a T-shirt! Who in their right mine would pay that? But their sales are another story. I’ve seen clothes in Tally Weijl for 5 euros that started off being 30. Last year I bought a skirt from there that had originally been 20 euros. It’s long. It’s blue. It has bits gold bands around it with coloured embroidery and sequins and beads. I call it my gypsy skirt, because that’s what it reminds me of. My description probably makes it sound terrible, like a lurid whirl of colours all mashed together. But it’s really, really not. It’s beautiful. It may actually be my favourite item of clothing. And I found it in Tally Wijl last year reduced to 5 euros. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Then I took it to the counter and was told it had been reduced again… to 3 euros. In English money that would be 2 euros and 10 cents. Just over 2 euros for a gorgeous skirt! See, Tally Weihl sales are amazing! So when I saw the sale signs all over their windows today I just had to go in.
Now not all of Tally Weijl’s clothes are amazing. Some are just plain weird. Others I suspect I might have liked when I was 15, but these days I’m slightly too old for them. But then they have the odd item like me amazing skirt thrown in their to make it worth my while going in. Today I bought a blue and white tie die vest top with adjustable straps and a plain reddish orange top with three quarter length sleeves that will be perfect for work. Both items cost 3 euros. I think I can justify spending six euros (a little over 4 pounds) on a present for myself. And if it means spending slightly less on food this month, so what. It’s worth it to feel as happy as I do now.
In other news, the contract for my new internship has arrived. I just have to sign it and send it back then I will officially have a new job.
Life is looking pretty good right now.
I pre-empted (great word that) Jan last night. I called him at quarter to 8. Someone had just told me that he and his girlfriend are coming to the meal tonight and I had to tell Jan to get extra ingredients before I forgot about it. This meant I was actually able to get to bed fairly early. It didn’t do me any good though… once I was in there I couldn’t sleep. So it was still after 11 o’clock when I finally drifted off. I am feeling slightly less tired this morning though (well at least my eyes don’t hurt) so maybe it wasn’t a total waste of time.
Tonight is the night that I cook for my floor. I’m making cottage pie for 11 people, including one vegetarian. (The vegetarian is getting a pie made with soya mince). I’ve planned ingredients for 10 people (the 11th just told me they want to come) so I hope there’s enough to go round! I’m making salad as well and there are strawberries for afterwards so everyone should be able to eat their fill… I hope.
Speaking of strawberries, my boyfriend told me last night that I’m weird. I asked him whether the Germans eat strawberries and cream, and he said they did. So I said “But whipped cream, right?” The reply: “Yes, of course, what do you do?” He was shocked when I told him we just pour the cream on. That’s strange, apparantly, and can’t possibly taste nice. I told him he’s not allowed to knock it til he’s tried it, but I’m a little worried about what the others are going to say now.
I have a job interview tomorrow. Can’t believe that’s the first time I’ve mentioned it all week! I think I’m less nervous about this one than I was about the one in Gernsbach, not sure why though. Maybe because I’ve had more practice.
Only 3 and a half more weeks til the end of my internship. The need for employment is becoming greater by the day…