After waiting for EY for nearly the whole of October, they finally sorted out all HR issues this week. The last few weeks were extremely frustrating for this reason and I just had no idea what was happening and the uncertainty meant that I could not plan anything else either. I had very few English classes and with so much free time I had too much time to overthink everything and I got myself all stressed and worked up about decisions and plans and my future etc etc…I was seriously beginning to doubt my decision to work with them. But this week I met with Veronique (the senior manager) and she finally had the go-ahead from HR and everything seems to be on track.
I still have doubts though… I am still very uncertain about it because they want me to sign a minimum of a 6 month contract. Obviously they want some continuity as I wouldn’t really be of much benefit for just a month or two. So it seems like if I go ahead with this completely I am going to be based in Santiago until the end of next May at least. That seems like an awfully long way away right now. It also means that I will miss my return flight to SA scheduled for March 20. Then after my contract I still want to travel to Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and hopefully even Colombia and Venezuela to visit a friend there. The extra money from this job with allow me to travel more extensively which is great, but all this does mean that I will probably only be home again towards the end of 2011. Probably about a year from now…wow, again, this feels like an eternity and I should probably not think about it too much. One day at a time…
So on to my first ‘day’ on the job…
Veronique asked me to accompany her to a meeting with a potential client (a huge entertainment company with 7 casino complexes in Chile and one in Argentina). I sat in an hour long meeting trying desperately to follow the conversation which was happening at warp Chilean speed (as usual) and even worse consisted of three ladies often talking over each other. I think the two ladies from the client must have thought I was mad as I just sat there with what was probably a fairly puzzled look on my face trying to concentrate on the language. I did understand the key points of the conversation, but I certainly couldn’t contribute in any way. It was hard enough following the topic without then trying to butt in and actually say something intelligent about sustainability etc…Definitely best to keep my mouth shut at this point.
After the meeting I had a bit of a panic attack as now we have to develop a proposal for this client and then hopefully carry out the project – ALL in Spanish. It dawned on me then that this work is going to be a huge and very different challenge despite the fact that it is for the same company I know so well from home.
Yikes, what have I got myself into???
Any way, I now have a 5 day break in which I am going to the south of Chile to volunteer and help do some construction work for a local community tourism project. From the glass corporate towers of Santiago to a tent in the middle of the mountains… variety is definitely the spice of life!
I will keep you all posted on the ups and downs of the working world in Chile, so keep checking in here every so often!
P.S. The picture at the top of this post is of the street in Las Condes where the EY building is. Except the building is new and not in the photo – but it is next to the big glass building on the far right. There is an awesome view of the Andes on a clear day!