1st week at work


 This blog is actually being posted a after completed my 2nd week at work, but anyhow.

It’s Saturday night and I am pooped, I was longing for this weekend after my 1st week at work, there were no negatives as such, I am positive but many things we were told to expect happened but also generally things so far seem pretty organised, everyone seems to be running around working hard. I spent my 1st day meeting everyone, making notes of everyone’s names on paper so I remember; there are many names and many engineers. I was placed in an office with the marketing/trading team and I met the designers too, thankfully one of them speaks alright English so she has been my saviour as I have had bad luck with my interpreter situation. There were quite a few meeting on the 1st day about the new brochure layout for the season as well as about a trade show in Russia next week and how to layout the stand etc. Back home I would be used to there being a job for each of these decisions but here they are all made by design and marketing, it seems a lot of work for 2 people for also a nice change from designing all day. The following day I met the 2nd director and brother, he showed me to an office next door which had been cleared out for me, it had a big, big desk and leather chair, um pressure!!!! I was then asked what it was I was going to do, PRESSURE, I said that I wanted to understand the structure and workings of the company first which seems a good way to start, he then left and closed the door, which I then opened, just so I can see people walking past while I am alone in my room, this happens a lot, someone shuts the door, then I open it, I don’t want to seem overly important shut away and id prefer to be visible and accessible to the other members of staff, however when the door is shut people are always opening it, sticking their head in to see who’s there and shutting it again, then I open it, again!!!! This was pretty much all I did on Tuesday, open the door as well as write out lists of questions I hope to ask at some point, and of course practise my verb tenses, then all of a sudden in the afternoon, 2 men appeared in the office carrying big boxes, which they proceeded to open and assemble, 2 desks, 2 chairs and 2 sets of draws, all in silence and in record time, I had no idea what was going on but I presumed I was going to be joined by someone. Later I left early with the accountant and the driver and we set off for the guesthouse to collect by luggage, from the South to the North then to the West, with UB traffic this was not a quick procedure plus the van broke down at one point and we had to give it a push start, I do love how these minor problems are accompanied always by laughter and ease.

So I moved into my own little apartment, it is so cute and cosy, it has everything I need and much more, things I never expected such as a hoover/twin tub washing machine/ kettle and iron, wow luxury items. I used the twin tub last night, it is quite easy to work but you have to be there to add/drain/rinse. Spin etc, it takes an evening but I quite enjoyed it, especially the aloneness, after a month of not being alone it was much needed.

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So I have a lovely studio apartment with a balcony, a lot of pattern, a lovely bathroom and a kitchen, it has a lot of character and even a double sofa bed for guests.

After I had moved in I had to rush off to a farewell dinner for the countryside volunteers who were departing the next morning, at our new favourite restaurant, an Indian behind the wrestling palace, the food was superb and it was lovely for us all to be together, we have literally lived in each others pockets for over 3 weeks and gotten to know each other well so it’s a shame we are going to be separated, this of course was followed by Big Chinggis beer at Ij Mongol one of our haunts and then back to my cosy apartment able to sleep at last on my back snoring to my hearts content.

The rest of the week at work I was busy, busy, being shown around the various factories, learning a lot about the different weaving machines, warps wefts, jacquards, it looks very complicated and it was beautiful to see the amount of work that goes into a length of fabric, I hope I will always appreciate this craft and the people that put the hard work in. My favourite by far thought has to be the spinning factory, the machines are monsters and they somehow turn goat and yak hair into yarns, I could watch them all day, who came up wit these machines and discovered you could turn animal hair into yarn? I want to know. I have so much to learn and I’m excited by how much I will know by the time the year is up, the people I work with especially my counterpart the production engineer/manager know everything, however due to the lack of interpreter I cannot get answers to some of my more complicated questions, but I will give it time it is only week one and given the circumstances I think we all did pretty well.

The whole time I have been writing this entry on my bed there have been these 2 flies buzzing around my head, they have the whole apartment to fly around yet they insist on being within cms of my face, that’s it their time is up.


About rdamm

I am about to embark upon a V.S.O. placement for one year in UB, Mongolia. I shall be working as a textile designer at Mongol Nekhmel, a textile company that produces cashmere, yak and camel hair clothing and homeware. I shall be sharing the skills i have gained in the last 10 years as a designer, creating connections and helping to open-up the products to the European and Japanese markets, therefore hopefully assisting to bring herding communities out of poverty. The views expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of V.S.O. www.vso.org.uk www.vsointernational.org
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