Week 3: Juggling Work and Thesis

It has been a while since I posted because I have been so busy this week.  This week was my working week so I had to wake up early and go to the Stockholm office every morning.  It is nice to work in the headquarters because I get to meet and talk to so many people.  I bump into someone different every morning in the kitchen, including many old faces! And it is so nice to be able to catch up. Plus, I always find someone to have coffee with in the morning and during breaks (fika).  During lunch in a downstairs cafeteria we mix with people from other floors as well – a huge contrast to our tiny office in Luxembourg (of people of two!).  But the downside of working is, since I only work on certain days during the month, when I come back, I have so much work to catch up.  Hundreds of emails to read, hundreds of things to take care of and a number of meetings to participate.  One good thing is that most of the meetings are on the phone, so I can multi-task by listening in and doing something else like reading emails.

In between busy working hours, I was also dealing with the empirical part of our Master thesis (I have a thesis partner as it is common in Sweden). Since our thesis is based on our company and solely on interviews (a qualitative study), I have been trying to get in touch with people in Sweden, Germany, South Africa and India and schedule the meetings or phone calls.  Unfortunately, these people are also in high positions and not very responsive to emails.  Pulling the strings can never be easy but after a week of almost no response, I was forced into getting other mutual colleagues to help and introduce me to upper managers in other countries.  We finally interviewed four people in Sweden and we scheduled some after the Easter.  But overall, it has to be over 20 interviews and the time pressure is getting high.  With the Easter break and quarterly closing it will not be easy!  But for now besides writing the methodology part, I am working on 4 hours of recordings to be transcribed or summarised.

During the week, it started to snow again and then it melted again. The sun is shining during the day making all snow melt, but then it gets cold during at night (-10 C). My radiator is acting up and not properly working, so even my room can gMy floweret chilly at night.  But I am tired of complaining.  The first time a caretaker shut the ventilation without paying attention that it was broken, the cold air was still coming in.  The second time she brough me the tape to seal the ventilation myself.  The last time she sent someone up here to look at a radiator, I found a note under the door that the service work that I ordered has been completed.  Once again, I found no difference in the heating so I am not sure what exactly was “fixed”.  Oh, the joy of dealing with incompetent and lazy people…..!

But to deal with the winter blues, I decided to get a small plant.  I probably shouldn’t, since I am here for a short time but I need some living besides me to keep me the company in this small room.  So now my tiny yellow roses are enjoying the same view that I look out to, hoping for the inspiration.