Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Frau Is Back!

Yesterday marked my first official day of work! I will be spending the next three months at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a political think-tank that is affiliated with the conservative party in Germany.

My initial impressions of the office are very positive. Within the Europe/Foreign Relations department, there are 2 secretaries and 4 other colleagues each of whom responsible for a theme and/or region. I will be working with the man responsible for the Middle East and Muslim countries. At the moment I am one of 3 or 4 interns and I share an office with 2 of them.

I arrived punctually at 9am, but only one of the other interns was in the office. By 9:30 most everyone else had arrived. People introduced themselves to me throughout the day. The introductions were more formal and less friendly than perhaps an American greeting, but no different than at the embassy. As the title of this entry implies, I am back to being "Frau Taylor." I still giggle (on the inside) as much today as I did the first time someone called me that in Washington three years ago!

My boss/mentor is actually on vacation this week, so there was a bit of confusion as to what I am supposed to do this week, who I report to, WHAT IS THE PLAN!? People knew I was coming in, but I guess it is a bit strange that this new person is in the office and has no real responsibilities for the first week. I also threw my new colleagues because they were unaware that I speak some German. I had written the initial emails to my mentor in English. This was actually a good surprise, because no one had any expectations regarding the level of my speaking capabilities:-)

Most of the first day was spent orienting myself with the internal computer system, looking at materials that have been written by the foundation in the last few months, and looking for articles about Karen Hughes' recent trip to the Middle East. I did get two small projects, translating and editing letters and conference programs into English. It was great to have people ask me to do stuff, though I hope I will do more than translating for the next few months.

All in all it was a great day! I did not anticipate having the raging headache that I did by the end of the day, but I guess that is what the first day of work can do sometimes:-)

5 Comments:

At 4:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 4:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:25 AM, Anonymous DK said...

Erin working for a think tank in the conservative party of Germany? Wow... that brings a tear to my eye.

I'm still waiting for Schroeder to concede... maybe he should call Al Gore for some advice.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Maybe DeLay should do the same...in the paddy wagon on his way to jail!

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erin,
Your first day sounds exciting - but just a small word about translating. Make sure you're not too nice about that. My experience is that people really take advantage of native English speakers and their editing skills. You can ask Carl about that too. Otherwise, it sounds fun and I can't wait to see some pictures!
VLG,
Jennie

 

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