GPD – Part 1: When I first started.

I joined GPD last July as an intern. When it first started, I still remember I told Doina “This is not my dream job” when she asked how I felt about it. It took me such an effort to travel from Valkeakoski to Tampere center, then from the center to the office, back and forth every day. Imagine waking up at 5:30 every morning, running to the bus stop, catching another bus, to be able to be in the office at around 8, or later – if the buses managed to fail you. In the heat of somewhere above 30°C, in the office which you cannot open the window, you started putting articles to glassfiles – the online database for glass industry. Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? Until you got to do it about 2 days in a row. Then at around 4:30 in the afternoon, you caught the bus, then another bus, in order to be at home at around 6:30 p.m. The only thing you wanted to do was to get to sleep. However, remember the summer in Finland. The sun shines through the night. In a way, it was good, so that you remembered to cook, eat, do any other things before getting to bed at around 9:30p.m. Oh, and don’t forget about making food for next lunch. Hmmmm, did I mention that I was also looking for a new apartment at that point and I had to leave the office early to be in Valkeakoski at 5p.m? Then there gone my summer time with friends. No more piano, dancing, cycling, jogging, running. Just plain me and my not-dream job. Thinking back about it, I believe the work itself was not bad. It was the whole big change before and after I got the job that frustrated me.

During that short time in July, Jorma and Brown had their vacation, so GPD had only Doina, Luciana, and me left in the office. We didn’t have much to do. I did something in everything we could think of. I still remember us wandering around to fulfill the task of “putting the posters in the factory”, which was quite weird if you think about it. I could also remember the “weekly meeting” (we were supposed to meet every week to know how we had been doing and what we were going to do next) with Jorma, Doina, and I. After that, Doina asked me whether I understood it. I answered yes, I understood everything. I didn’t tell her that I understood every words they said, but I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. Let me tell you, it felt weird. Later on I know, after feeling things are weird all the time, you start being weird also.

A special thing during last July was the lunch. The cafeteria was not open, so we had to bring our own food. Doina didn’t eat much, and she preferred leaving early to go eating with Jani (her boyfriend), so most of the time she just had something very little like crackers. Luciana brought salad. With “salad”, I mean stuffs for her to make salad at the spot: tomato, cheese, corn, etc. I had whatever I had, nothing special. Honestly, I tried to make it special, but I had no time and no talent to do so. Back to main topic – what made it special? The enjoyable part about those lunches was not only because I had time to chew and swallow at my own pace (which is slow – confirmed), but also because I liked listening to Doina and Luciana talking to each other. It was hilarious, fun, and very interesting. You can never get bored listening to them. I still remember my first lunch with them, at that time also with Brown. They were discussing about whether a person as a person, has to put himself/herself into a community, in order to know himself/herself better. It was just an example. I would say it was the greatest time of the day when you happened to be there and gather examples like that, even with all the complaints. (I didn’t lie when I told Doina that one part of the reason why I was tired at the beginning was that she complained too much. Strangely enough, I still liked listening to her). At some point, we even had lunch that lasted for about 2 hours. Doina forgot her phone in the office so Sirpa (our lovely security staff in the reception) had to come upstairs to let Doina know that her ex-husband and her boyfriend were downstairs waiting for her. No, it was nothing serious, just a bit complicated, and it was something you don’t experience every day.