Saturday, June 26, 2010

Woiking. In Toikey.

Well well well, my little readeroos, by which I mean 3 of the patricks and someone, inexplicably, in Portsmouth.

It's all been a bit quiet here lately, hasn't it? Because I have mostly been working weekdays, and mostly been sunning myself/dealing with the move upstairs in our comedy mansion, which I may post about a bit later if I can face it, on weekends.

The job is a pretty basic office admin vibe in a insurance/investment management small business. And in and of itself is not at all interesting - I spend my days emailing and scanning things, basically. But there are some interesting little side issues that are keeping me entertained.

For one, the culture shock involved in going from my Seven Year Council Hell, to this. But I can't work out how much it's the public sector to private sector jump that makes it feel so different, and how much is England to Turkey.

The focus on sales, and Winning!, and Office High Fives! (seriously), I suspect is the former. The big boss is a Turkish David Brent, basically, who greets me everyday with a booming "Hello, my Friend!" and probably doesn't realise how much of a berk that makes him look. (In turkish there's not a separate word for colleague, per se - you talk about your work-friend, or just friend. So in turkish it sounds perfectly natural when someone says "have a good weekend, friends", but when you translate it to english it sounds. Well. Oh, also, on the same note - it is a standard phone sign-off to say "I am kissing you". Which, again, is a nice sentiment in turkish but is all a bit borat on translation.)

But there are also, to me at least, some very dodgy looking stuff going on as regards proper practice. Now, for all the bitching I hear here about how things here are not always as straight and narrow as some places, you could ascribe this to the location. I don't know though - it may be us with the dodgyness, but we work with UK based companies who I think must be at the very least turning a blind eye.

It seems to me like a tiny tiny window into the whole banking/financial mess - basically there are enough people out there who profit from pushing things to their feasible limits, and enough other people who profit from not picking them up on it, that it seems to be in everyone's best interest to walk along hand in hand and beaming at the letter of the law, whilst the spirit of the law is hogtied and yelling from the basement.

Anyway. Mini-compliance rant.

There is also the slightly weird effect of it being a turkish-language office. My job is, thankfully, in english - but everyone there, and all the daily conversation, is turkish. Which I'm in two minds about whether is a good thing or not.

On the one hand, it is a tremendous blessing not to be able to understand all the banal office chat crap. It was one of the things about enfield that drove me utterly potty - the same, same, same predictable conversations that you couldn't help overhearing. Bosses making stupid decisions, colleagues banging on for hours at a time about some fucking tv show they saw last night, nightmare bitch boss from hell (no, I still haven't let that go) phoning up some poor sod to give them her daily dose of bile.

I'm sure all the same goes on here, but merciful relief, it being banter-background-hubbub-turkish, it is well beyond my comprehension abilities.

On the other hand, I can recognise my own name when I hear it, so I know that THEY TALK ABOUT ME. Which is very weird. Thankfully, not being the paranoid type most of the time it doesn't bother me. But when I'm having a bad day it can be a bit much. "What are you saying guys? Are you bitching about my lousy turkish, distinctly scruffy work appearance, or accusing me of stinking the toilet up with my arse-poison? [all perfectly valid critisicms, granted.]"

Anyway. Gary. Fortunately it's all welded to the larger joy of not caring a hoot about the job at all, which is a bizarrely freeing feeling. I turn up, do something tedious, then go home again, in return for which they give me money. So job is, quite literally, a good 'un.