Ireland

Dublin – starting a new part of my life

From November 2007 until July 2009 I was working on Ireland. I started as a Manpower consultant, working at Xerox Ltd. in Dublin 15 (Blanchardstown). The first two weeks I stayed together with other employees of Xerox Ltd. at a B&B in the same district. The costs for the accommodation was paid by our employer. Some of the other men and women had been here for almost some days and did know, which bus to take at which bus stop for going to work as well as how to pay for the bus. That was a very good help. You have to think about, that Ireland has left-hand traffic like they have in Great Britain. That makes it harder for left-hand traffic inexperienced humans to find the correct bus stop.

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This was the B&B, where I spent my first fortnight

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I was working in the back office at Xerox Ltd., there had been a chance to work as a customer service assistant,too, what means to answer phone calls, but I preferred working in the back office. I am not keen in answering phone calls under limited time conditions and be asked for to make as much phone calls as possible including selling. I was very happy about the job I had got. We were working in a real big office. We did not even have shields in between our working spaces. A part of the job was boring, because we had to fill lists with numbers. That were the quantities of the copies the companies, which rent copy machines of Xerox Ltd, had made during a month. The more interesting part of my new job was about changes of details of contracts and dealing with problems. Our customers were situated in Germany, though I was working with the German language. There were also employees occupied with writing contracts. These employees made it seem like they were better than us others. Most of my German colleagues came from the Eastern part of Germany. They had no chance to get a job at home (like I did not had in Sweden) and were happy about their job on Ireland, wishing to stay on the island until retirement.

There were groups, working in other languages in that room, too. Usually we were grouped after languages, but my desk neighbor was from the Netherlands. In the deskline behind me, there was a guy from the Netherlands working. These two employees were often talking loudly to each other and as much as I could hear, mostly about private things. If you wonder, yes I could understand them quite well, even I do not speak Dutch. My knowledge of almost four Germanic languages made this possible. Most of the employees did not speak as loud as them. The languages spoken in that room were (as much as I remember) German, Dutch, Spanish and French. There was another similar floor as well, but with other languages spoken.

At the beginning we had an introduction in the different software we had to use as well as we were going through the important rules we had to pay attention to. When it was may turn – after two weeks of work, just filling in numbers, my introduction was postponed one more week, because of, we all were German for just this one and the French people had demanded, that almost one of their new colleagues should be allowed to participate. Therefore I had to wait for the next possibility, which came just a week later, but all other participiants had French as their mother tongue. Here I have to inform you, that a good understanding of English was requiered for this job, because the companies main language was English and also the trainers spoke English. By the way our trainer was Caribbean, but he had a very clear English. Some of the French employees did not understand English very well and French colleagues had to explain for them. I think, that also was based on, that not all of them had a bakground in economics. Anyway I had to wait for this explanations all the time and it was really boring for me as well as it was a waste of time.

There was a restaurant in the building as well. If I remember right, it was for Xerox and IBM employees, for IBM was next door. There were bar serving of typical Irish dishes, most of all I liked the potato wedges and the egg mayo (boiled egg halfes in mayonnaise), but I did eat of most of the dishes, of course. We were a little group of German speaking people, who were going for lunch at the same time. We usually were sitting at the same table in that restaurant. One of this was a young women, who was born in Sri Lanka but living with her parents in Duesseldorf or Dortmund or around these cities. She was looking very good and also very nice. All loved her and she was the preferred employee of our teamleader etc. Later she was offered a job i Germany, just in her greater home area and accepted it. It was a long-term contract. By the way, she had studied waste management.

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In this Area was our Workplace

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We newcomers, still living at the B&B, had to look for a room or apartment by ourselves after our working hours and/or at weekends. At that time there were no possibility to stay at the B&B for longer than the two first weeks. It was easier for the younger colleagues to find a room. When I have got a chance and someone was answering my requests, all of the rooms were in other parts of Dublin 15. You have to know, that Dublin 15 is a hugh postal district with townlands including baronies and civil parishes (see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dublin_15 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castleknock_(civil_parish)). I tried to find a room as close to my job as possible, but the one I finally found was two or three civil parishes away. During my search I visited some landlords or even tenants (who wanted to share). Most of the rooms and the common areas like kitchens and bathrooms, were not clean. One of them I still see in my mind. There was a very big flat TV in the living room, but no much furniture and the whole house was dirty. Maybe I should name here also, that buy the boom of the Irish economy, when Ireland became a member of the EU, service companies with need of foreign employees moved to Ireland – because of the low taxes offered. The construction sector was boosted in the traces. All the employees from other countries of Europe needed rooms or houses to live in, of course and Irish people got richer, bought houses for themselves and also as an investment. When I arrived, this was still the situation. When I left, there were grounds for buildings or half-done houses, which nobody had the money anymore to complete. The builders had not checked the demand of new houses. Even a lot of owners of the finished houses did not find tenants anymore respectively could not sell them.

Finally, three days before I had to move out of the B&B, I found a place to live, but about that you can read on another page, called Settling in Dublin.

Please follow me on my years on Ireland:

Settling in Dublin

Dublin and Wicklow Mountains

St. Patrick’s Day

Cork

Burren and Cliffs of Moher

Limerick

County Kildare

Galway and Connemara

Killarney National Park and Dingle Peninsula

County of Donegal

Tipperary

Nobody is a Barren Island

From Halfway to America to Gateway to the World