Let’s talk business, shall we?
Last Monday was my first day of work. My position is Marketing Consultant in Fashion/Textiles for a Spanish consulting firm and my information about this position beforehand was equal zero, since I got this internship from a hired (and payed) agency, the job interview was interrupted 6 times and neither of us was willing to extend it for questions and my questions were not replied via email. So, I trusted the agency that got me this position and was kind of excited about it.
My first day looked like this. I got up at 6.15, work begins at 9.00am and ends at 6pm – I wanted to be rather early than late – for the case that I need to dry my shirt (!) or I don’t find the office. I got to the office at 8am, an hour early and that was a good thing. I now knew how long it takes me to get to work. The building I am working in is called High Tech Plaza which sounds pretty cool and actually is pretty cool.
See for yourself in the picture below.
Since I was one hour early and no one in the office yet, I decided to check out the toilets on the 19th floor to get my shirt dry, my tie straight and use the toilet for the first time, since I had a coffee this morning and I was pretty nervous (I’m just being honest here). Despite the fact that the last toilets in a bathroom are the dirtiest (since everybody thinks that people use the first ones and everybody actually ends up on the last toilet) I chose this one. It was a bad decision, because it was a traditional Chinese squat toilet which I had to use and made me almost cry because I thought that such a modern and beautiful building also had modern toilets. My conclusion of this experience is simply that it doesn’t work. It is simply impossible. But I will spare you further details. Ultimately I was looking for toilet paper to dry my hands with in another cabin, where I (unfortunately too late) was looking at a western toilet, as beautiful as can be – This time, they were tears of joy!
At 9am the colleagues finally arrived and I was greeted by a guy that I thought was my guide for the internship, but it turned out to be just another summer intern.
You can picture the office like the following – 30m² room, 11 employees, Ikea chairs equal very uncomfortable environment at first, but I got used to it. Although, there is one thing that still bugs me and will bug me till the end of december. And that would be my female Chinese co-workers talking chinese. I don’t mind THAT, but they use a certain filler word very often and it sounds like they are saying “Nigger” … in every friggin sentence. Try to focus on your work, while people are dropping the n-bomb every 2 minutes!
But all in all, it is a very comfortable environment to work in, I like the atmosphere and the people (7 women, 4-5 Men; mixed chinese, Spanish, Italian and me) and I like the responsibility the CEO gave me from the first day on. I am working together with a very kind Spanish girl that is at the same time my guide, very professional and fun to work with. The internship is not to compare with German or maybe Dutch (not sure about this!) internships where the chances of obsolete tasks and a bad atmosphere are pretty high. I was directly assigned with a huge project including several Spanish companies and invited to go to meetings (as I posted on Facebook, unfortunately, on the day I ran out of Shirts and ties) with the Spanish embassy and people from the chamber of commerce.
The first week ended in a small birthday celebration of a co-worker of mine. Since the CEO was in Beijing and there was no boss in the office, they decided to eat a cake first and then getting out the red wine. Ok, a cup of red wine, on a Friday … that is not really uncommon, you might say. It isn’t. But combining a bottle of red wine, two Chinese dices, 7 hysterical girls and the manual to a drinking game might be a bit awkward for a work-day at 11.30am. One colleague had to do push-ups, another drink 3 cups of wine and I needed to do 15 faces in a minute and drink a cup of wine. It’s all about having fun and recording it on your iPhone (of course with a rabbit ear case!!) .
There is one thing I did not understand though. And that is the dress code at work. While every male employee was wearing either a suit or at least shirt and tie, the women partly dress like they are going to bed (hello kitty tee) …. I am still confused, but I guess they don’t go to meetings that often!?
Aaaaaaand another short story about me going out in Shanghai last weekend.
Friday I was going out with an Austrian guy and a new-to-the-city-french girl. Because the French girl was very attractive, she convinced the Austrian guy to go to M1NT, one of the most popular, famous and probably one of the most expensive clubs in Shanghai. I got my booze on at home, since he does not drink and the prices in M1NT were supposed to be very high. It was not enough though. I was excited because I heard the DJ was good and the interior is amazing. But here is how I experienced this club:
– The club interior IS amazing! 26th floor with view over The Bund (you remember this sight-seeing spot or rather THE spot!), Lightning was amazing too (green lasers on the ground, which reflected from the shoes and pants) and they have friggin 10-15m long shark tank in the entrance.
– The interior sucked, when we are talking about a club. M1NT did not really have a dance floor. And when you are on “it” as THEY call it, you are dancing next to the VIP’s that rent a table and smoke cigars, blowing the smoke into your face while trying to dance to extremely awful music (the DJ sucked big time!).
– The people there are … what words can describe them best …. Let’s just say, that the crowd resembles every characteristic I hate about people. Rich people showing off, poor people pretending to be rich, gold-diggers, you name it!
I was out of there at 1am, left the Austrian guy alone (I know, smooth) with the French girl, that was constantly looking for a sugar daddy to buy her drinks!
I called Yui and Fiona, they told the cab driver the address of the place they were going to (after they have been on a bikini party) and we met up there. Just a side note and a little tip – never take a cab that is waiting in front of a club. They are very expensive. In my case, I didn’t mind, since I was allowed to smoke a cigarette in the cab (which usually is not the case) and the driver was a pervert hitting on Chinese girls, which I found pretty entertaining at that point.
The club we met up at was “The Apartment” and the interior was pretty run down, subculture-ish. The club was packed but the music very cool. As usual when we go out as three flat mates it ends up in drinking much alcohol. In this night, we took it a bit far … so far that I woke up lying on the floor in the living room, next to Yui and Fiona – Clothes on … (un)fortunately!? This was around 6 in the morning and I didn’t bother to wake them up, so I just went to bed and slept until 2pm, when my phone rang and the Austrian guy reminded me that we wanted to attend the Pudong Beach Party ….. “will this never end?” I asked myself, while jumping into my bathing suit (see what I did there?) and heading to the beach, which is … of course not a natural one, but one with imported sand, right at the Bund, again! Beautiful view, nice weather! 90% Foreign people, 90% of them with tattoos and around 30% of them with swim shorts that were definitely too tight or too see-through. Again, WTF?
But I am tired of asking myself this question so I just ordered some drinks and enjoyed the sun and the music (which was awesome! Some Swedish DJ), while the dance floor was used to get a tan and people were walking by, still drunk from the night before, when they left M1NT (Yep, the same people!’) Shanghai is a very small place, as my colleague said, and she was right … she too was at this party.
I will post the pictures that belong to this post and some other ones as soon as my crappy Internet works properly.