In da office

More than a year has passed since I last walked through Moldova.

More than a year since I hugged my parents, entered the garden, smoothed the tail of the cat,  listened to the quietness of the house we build ourselves. The house which, in a way, represents the center of my universe, the headquarters.

Why?

Because I feel that my work, mission  is to be present here, there is work to be done. Because the numbness I encounter makes me shiver. Because I can not afford going back and forth. Because, I have to admit, I have deeper conversations  with the family now when I am far away. The permanent physical presence makes us fall into the ordinary, superficial layer of life.

Work.

What is your definition of work? Mine -what are you willing to do with your time, your mind and body in order to live in a fulfilling and genuine way.

Should you do what you like? Should you invent a new job? Should you listen to your family and follow their instructions? Should you do something that gives you the means to stay alive and after that ****off everybody?

Once you find yourself doing something, how do you deal with all the consequences? Stagnation, boredom, overload, apathy, repetitiveness, other marvelous people full of ideas, emptiness, bosses going out of their minds? How do you deal with that?

This is something I still have to figure out.

I have changed jobs mostly because I did not know how to deal with repetitiveness, overload, boredom and feeling lost. Modeling and travelling, dropped out student of psychology (just walked away one day), Customer care in Moldova, Seller in a touristy location in Italy, Waitress in Germany, Housekeeping and Kitchen helper in Italy.

I went to a school recently and did an advanced course in Conference Interpreting. It made me realize things about myself. One of them is that I am writing person. Writing help me remember. Drawings help me understand concepts. Speaking is something I have to put a lot of energy and effort into. It comes naturally only when I feel that my words are helping in some way or making the others laugh. The status of this possibility, me working as an interpreter, is still pending. I would give it a try if there was the possibility. Just to see how deep I can fall.

As you may know, I embarked on a new adventure recently. A new perspective. The job in itself is nothing out of the ordinary  but the other ingredients are transforming this experience in something worth doing for a while, for one year, to be precise. The ingredients are: new country, new people, new house, and most of all new language. After three weeks spent in the office I understood that this is my chance to polish my speaking skills. Main reason -because I am supposed to talk to voices over the phone and pretend that I am in charge of the situation, that I know what I am doing and that I can help them. I do not. I have to become an assuring voice now.

I close my eyes and go back in time.

I am at a train station in China. The train is late. People are getting nervous and more numerous and tighter. I am standing in the middle of a crowd waiting for the gates to open. The air is heavy with food odour, sweat, smoke. My back is burning, my eyes as well after the 9 hour shooting.There still is make-up on my face because I was in a hurry to get to the station. People are watching me intently. Each move is observed. My state of being is judged according to my expression. I now become expressionless. I want to disappear.

I am on the streets running around not finding the address.The phone is ringing continuously, it is the agency.

I am in an office. The view outside represents a big crossroad in a small capital at the margin of Europe. Outside camions are passing. The noise they produce is similar to a forced sarcastic laugh.

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Winter in Chisinau

I am inside. I don’t know how to deal with these conversations about constipation or headaches, or self help books for women, or what’s for dinner,or where to go and eat again, or what did the husband/wife do this time. All these voices that I want to shut up and concentrate on something else, something fulfilling but I can’t because they are so loud and everywhere, also because I am so very much aware that they don’t know what they are saying or doing to themselves and to each other and I am sorry. I don’t have the power yeat to stop the noise or to come up with an alternative. I am drained. People should take care of their words and I have to get out of here.

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The desk of a colleague… 

I open the door in a checked out room. The couple is gone. A wave of heavy air is hitting me. Perfume, wet air from the shower, food, bodies. This is the moment when I usually hold my breath.The room is a mess again. The bed sheets form a bundle. They still hold the warmness of the bodies. It feels like touching skin.Scary. There is wine sprinkled on the bath tube. Hair and dried soap. In the mirror I see myself.

I am carrying hot plates. Not sure if i will be able to do it because the table is outside on the terrace. I have to go down stairs, turn leaf, avoid the big plant, walk ahead and find my way to the table where these people are waiting food. Food that is more poisonous than nurturing. I saw how it was made. The sun is burning my neck. I am mistaking the articles for the words. They ask me where am I from. Still more than 5 hours to go. The boss is yelling in the kitchen. I have to move on, get out of here.

I am at my desk, a cubicle desk. At my right, sitting quite on his chair, my mexican soft voiced colleague. At my left the italian one dreaming about carbonara for dinner. Just behind me another station of cubicles. The spanish one. A little further away the french and then the german one. Voices talking in different languages. I am drowning and continue to use wrong articles in German.

I open my eyes and I see shelves of books around me. Last time I came here I took a book home. It is about language and meaning. I want to understand where are these voices coming from. Why do we have to use different languages, different ways of pronouncing words which after all  express the same concepts. What is a language?

In the meantime I am also  working on a strategy, a solution to my dilemma- how to live, how to integrate work in my life and not feel violated or invaded or used.

How do you deal with your work people?

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