Work Begins

Monday was the start of my internship here in Germany. The work day at Aclewe (aklevah) starts around 9:30 and runs until 18:30, and to give me some time to meet everybody, the whole office had a delicious breakfast together, followed by their weekly review of where projects stand. The office here is about 12 people, I think.

I started the day by browsing through their project folders and getting used to their file system, and then worked on a spirograph-type page border for one of their projects until lunch. Those things are freaking hard! Especially since I couldn’t remember what the toy was called to look up “spirograph” on Google.

For lunch we all walked down to the plaza in front of the Cologne Cathedral to enjoy the sunshine and eat Döner (gyros) on the steps and watch people. The women in the office have been welcoming and nice, and one of the guys is trying to make good use of me by practicing his English at every opportunity, so I’m enjoying the people. Afterwards, I worked on photoshopping some photos into a “then and now” triptych for one of Aclewe’s mockups. My projects during the rest of the week were not too different – most involved photoshopping things to make mockups look more realistic. Evidently I am doing pretty well at that, since my coworkers regularly expressed their satisfaction at the pictures I produced. The work has been a bit slow, but it’s nice that people think I’m doing a good job. ^_^

Evidently eating lunch together is a common activity. Usually it’s at least an hour long, starting around 1pm. One day it was lunch at a cafe about half a kilometer away. Twice it was pasta cooked in the office kitchen. Only on Friday were my coworkers disinclined to organize their lunchtimes to eat together. All the lunches together definitely helped me feel like I was joining a team of people who liked hanging out. It seems that Foosball or “Kicker” is a popular activity in the office, with fierce tournaments after lunch, so I will be learning how to play that over the next few months. So far (other than the pace of my personal assignments, and not getting home until 7pm) the pace of the office here has been really pleasant.

Saturday night there was a welcome-back party for one of the workers, so I went to his apartment and everybody spent the evening drinking good Italian wine and talking, which was a pleasant and relaxing way to spend the evening. Things are starting to look up after the really bumpy start to my adventure. Let’s hope it continues getting better!

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