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Office Life

photo (20)

I've never worked overseas, so I don't know how office life varies around the globe. It seems to me it's pretty much the same around the world, with minor variances. For instance, my Russian friend was shocked when I told him I have my own office. It's big, with a window, desk, lots of wall space and chairs for visitors. In my law firm, every attorney has their own office. There's no shared cubicles, with the exception of our secretaries who sit in adjoined but large desks which are separated by dividers. My office is full of interesting personalities. I realized this afternoon that I have a lot of photos of colleagues on my iPhone, so I'll share some. Today my office celebrated Thanksgiving and we were treated to a variety of tasty and traditional holiday pies. Here's Richard, my favorite colleague, taking a bite of blackberry pie.

1. What can I say about Richard? He's a patent attorney, always in a bad mood yet still pleasant. Rough on the outside but a teddy bear on the inside. He likes to travel and frequently visits my office, sits down, and tells me to leave my job. "Enjoy life, travel, don't be stuck in this office the rest of your life like me." Yes, yes, all nice but who will pay my bills? At every office meeting he takes a nap. Common procedure now, no one bothers him. And he occasionally brings the rest of us back to life with his loud snoring. :)

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2. Here's my boss Eric. I've worked with him for twelve years, and this is our third law firm together. When he switches firms, he always takes me with him. He's a comedic Jew, really intelligent and an overall nice person. It's not a stereotype about Jews and lawyers. In fact, almost all of the attorneys in my office are Jewish. One day Eric came to work in this outfit, causing us to question what he does after he leaves the office. Pimp or gangster? Hmm...who said lawyers are boring? :) By the way, he's standing in my office here.

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3. I'm mostly surrounded by male attorneys in my office but there are a lot of females on the support staff. This is Christine, she's a paralegal and of Cuban descent. This was the profession I had before I got my doctorate in law. A paralegal basically does high level legal work under the supervision of an attorney. At our pie celebration today she made us Cuban espresso shots. She frequently makes them in the middle of the afternoon and delivers the espresso to our office. It's very strong and infused with sugar, but tasty!

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None of my Russian friends have traditional jobs, so I know absolutely nothing about office life in Russia. For instance, is it common to have social events during work hours to celebrate holidays or other cultural events? Do you have any interesting or strange colleagues? Your own office?  At every big law firm at which I've worked, scandals and gossip have always centered on high level attorneys sleeping with secretaries, paralegals and other subordinates. Legendary tales of people fucking in their offices and other sex drama. Such scandal happening in your office? :) Educate me!

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
anna_potapov
Nov. 27th, 2013 04:51 am (UTC)
interesting post as always!:) nice office :)
about office life and so on. I work for a big Russian company, in one of its regional branches. I share my room with four other my colleagues (they all are women) and I don't have a lot of space, but I have to say I'm totally ok with that. All my colleagues are just nice women with a great sense of humor, so we laugh a lot :) we sometimes love to gossip and make fun of someone but it's always harmless.
As for traditions and celebrations. We normally celebrate birthdays and official holidays within departments. Some holidays, such as New Year, Womens' and Mens' days, and big events as retirement parties or anniversaries, we celebrate all together in our big kitchen.
So, I agree, office life is probably the same around the world :)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
Hi Anna! Yes, it sounds exactly the same as my office. :) It's important to like colleagues, as we spend so much time with them. I see them more often than my family during the work week.
sergechel
Nov. 27th, 2013 05:10 am (UTC)
For a long time Im working in a big russian company with a lot of offices across the country. Currently our office consists of a number of large rooms with 3 to 10 workplaces per room. All colleagues are male technicians, except one aged female secretaty. Usually we celebrate birthdays with a cake and tea. Also we got a cake when someone goes to vacations.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
In what field do you work? Why are there no women there? I guess some high tech job. Even in America, these positions are still held mostly by men.
(no subject) - sergechel - Nov. 27th, 2013 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
newharvest
Nov. 27th, 2013 05:41 am (UTC)
Hi, Shannon.
I read your LJ with great pleasure. Write more.
As for my job, I prepare financial reports. We are located in Ufa (South Urals). Unfortunately I have no my own office, my team and I are sitting in the big office room. BTW it is quite interesting to work together. We often tell funny stories, joke, laugh.

Ps sorry for my poor English
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
Hi! Thanks for reading and feel free to comment more often. Your English is fine. :)
vasha_masha
Nov. 27th, 2013 05:54 am (UTC)
Продолжим наметившуюся традицию обмена фотками
У Вас уютный офис, даже творческий беспорядок присутствует :)
А у меня есть фото в тему "суровые рабочие будни": недавно у нас отключили батарею и мы не стали снимать верхнюю одежду:
IMG277
Но не стоит пугаться, батарею починили быстро, у нас в офисе тепло.
А вот мое рабочее место, я инженер связи, у нас офис в здании АТС:
CAM00300
А тут мы едим то, что принесли из дома - наша столовая:
CAM00296
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 02:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Продолжим наметившуюся традицию обмена фотками
Great, thank you! It's cool to see scenes from everyday life. We also have a big dining room in our office. You're right, I have the most decorated office in my law firm. A lot of paintings and statues sitting around in my space. Why do your colleagues have coats on? There's no heat in the office?
andrey_kaminsky
Nov. 27th, 2013 08:35 am (UTC)
Нет офиса кроме офиса и я пророк его
http://andrey-kaminsky.livejournal.com/4096.html
I also have a separate room, but it is rather a fluke than a sign of my celebrity status ... I haven't had sex in the office, but it was all my fault ... Around a lot of cute men, but I can't get over my natural shyness and start having sex with them. To be honest, i do not understand how women can have sex with someone who has such a hairy ass. If i was a woman, i would have had sex only with women.
About colleagues. There is some competition between colleagues, so there is imitation of friendship rather than real friendship. Friendship exists only between those who does not participate in the competition - the young workers who are deprived of opportunities for career growth due to inexperience and people who refused of or lost hope for career growth.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Нет офиса кроме офиса и я пророк его
Why so much competition? What type of work do you do? In the legal world, it's the same but I don't care about prestige, status or climbing the corporate ladder so I'm not involved with the competitive nonsense. And this is mostly a game men play to keep their sensitive egos in check.

I once dated a co-worker when I worked for the airlines but it turned into a real disaster after the break-up so I advise against it. Why do I want to have sex w/another woman? If I want to play with boobs or other female body parts, I have my own! :)) But visually the female form is more pleasing. No doubt about it.
asharky
Nov. 27th, 2013 09:13 am (UTC)
Great colleagues at you, Shannon! Give them a lot of respect from Russia!

Richard is very similar to one of my LJ friend:



http://vsatman888.livejournal.com/42444.html
(in red)

Edited at 2013-11-27 09:14 am (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
Our office has about sixty people, so there are many more colleagues. I will send them your greetings from Russia. :) Yes, Richard looks like your friend! I suppose we all have twins around the world, which resemble us. Many people come up to me on the streets and tell me I remind them of someone they know. It even happened in Belarus. :)
qi_tronic
Nov. 27th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
Richard's office with gray walls reminds me IBM's office in San Jose from my first trip to the US.
For some reason (security?) their building was strange: rooms were in the center of the building and had no windows but corridors were around the rooms and had windows :)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
This isn't Richard's office, it's our lunch room. His office is covered with papers!! You can't even see his desk or most of the floor. Mine is much more organized. :) Our building is very secure, like all in Washington, DC. You have to scan your badge to gain access to the floors from the elevator. And there are security guards at the front desk 24 hours a day. Monsanto, a huge chemical and biotech company in the agriculture field, also maintains offices in our building and they are a huge target for environmental protests. So, every few weeks we have hippies in bee costumes protesting and trying to break into the building, bust out windows, etc.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Nov. 27th, 2013 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Nov. 27th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Nov. 27th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Nov. 27th, 2013 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Nov. 27th, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
rider3099
Nov. 28th, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
When I was working back in Kiev it was a huge open-space office. The most of my co-workers were very nice people and we always celebrated birthdays and made a gifts to each other.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 28th, 2013 03:15 am (UTC)
Such celebrations are fun, but bad for the waist! I can never resist a tasty cake or cookie. :)
(no subject) - rider3099 - Nov. 28th, 2013 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand
yarowind
Nov. 28th, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
>> For instance, is it common to have social events during work hours to celebrate holidays or other cultural events?

always!:)
pasha1980
Nov. 29th, 2013 09:44 am (UTC)
One cool dude your boss is :)
Your boss looks like a very cool dude - like a character from The Great Gatsby.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 30th, 2013 01:24 am (UTC)
Re: One cool dude your boss is :)
I'm lucky to work with such a cool boss! He has really taught me a lot over the years and given me great opportunities. We make a good business pair!
anna_sollanna
Dec. 3rd, 2013 01:21 pm (UTC)
I am a programmer, there are more than a hundred persons working in our office and we have an open space here. IMHO the main disadvantage of the open space is that everybody who is passing by can see your monitor. :( Fortunately, I have one of the good places - I seat with my back to the wall. :)
> For instance, is it common to have social events during work hours to celebrate holidays or other cultural events?
Yes, it is a common practice in our office, birthday persons share their cakes or pies or some other food and ask others to come to our cafe (it's just a hall in the middle of our office) to eat this fares and celebrate together, we also celebrate new logos in just a similar way. And of course every year we have several great outdoors parties for some Russian State holidays (New Year and so on) and for our company's birthday. :)
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
Some attorneys at my work have their desk positioned so the computer screen faces the hallway, so everyone can see what they're doing. But no one can see the screen from my office, except me. :) I like the office celebrations. It's a nice chance for people to get together and eat tasty treats.
(no subject) - anna_sollanna - Dec. 3rd, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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