Friday, July 13, 2012

A Few Days at a Time.. Or a Whole Week..

This week hasn't been to eventful but I'll write something up anyways. For my "followers" of course. You know, I started writing this post on Wednesday but couldn't concentrate on it long enough to finish, now that I think about it, it's been a quite eventful week, minus work that is.


How I feel some days at work. Photo taken with Cameroid.
Monday was like any other work day, I was in the office first and turned on my laptop computer to begin work. I had some things to finish up from Friday and I began working diligently on those tasks. I finished translating the content from my research into English and then created a PowerPoint presentation. Around 10 AM, Marius came over to look at it and told me it had too much text.

I began re-working my content to include three of the most important facts about each country on the slides. I then set to the task of creating graphs in Excel to go along with the data collection that the research provided. Finally at the end of the day, I was finished and I turned it over to Marius to review.

I still haven't heard back on this project, or the one before, or the one before that even. I know they're busy and all but it seems like the things I do go in one ear and out the other with these guys at times. Like, OK, you're here and OK, we're paying you, BUT we don't really want you to exert yourself.


Tuesday at work was another boring day, and again, I was the first person in the office. I didn't have work to do though so I just sort of dilly-dallied a bit until some people came in and I could ask for something to do.

I began by doing a familiar task, sorting visit reports. When someone from Benteler in the sales department visits one of our customers plants, out plants, or a conference, they have a form they need to fill out and it is sent to our department to sort out. It's total busy work, but at least it was something. I was taking information from the report such as the company they visited, the SAP number, the country they were in, etc. and putting it into an Excel spreadsheet.
For lunch, we went to Alte Residenz, the same place that I went for dinner with Verena when she visited from the U.S., and all of us (six in total) had fries. They only cost 2 euro and they come in a HUGE portion. After lunch, I don't recall doing much except looking into more things to do while in London. I'll be visiting my Aunt Anne and Uncle Chris and their children Ned and Hugh in August.
Around 4 PM, Katharina, Marius, and I left work in Katharina's car on our way to Hans' house. We were having a department event, grilling at the bosses house. We were the second people there, Dominik arrived before us since he came by bike.

We all gathered in the dining room and Hans had an announcement to make. He will be leaving Benteler. I didn't really get much of the details on where he was going, when, or why, but the tension in the room was palpable. No one knew what to say. 

Other than that, it was really fun, there was beer and chips and ... Wait, it rained. It was quite humorous, Hans was on the patio with all of us holding up two brooms trying to keep the rain from pouring off one of the awnings. Unfortunately, all it did was dump a BUNCH of water on one of the tables. We had to take everything inside and dry it before setting a table to eat inside.

Hans' Niece had two friends visiting from the U.S., Michigan to be exact and it was nice to speak English with Americans but I thought they had to be at least 18 or 19. They were 15 and 16, jeez, make-up and revealing clothing much?

Dinner was delicious, potato salad, pasta salad, cheese and oranges, tomatoes and cucumbers, and of course, sausages and pork cutlets. After dinner we went outside to enjoy some more beer and that's when the schnapps came out.

Riva and I enjoyed quite a few glasses (shots..?) and a few more beers and around 10 PM, Francesco, Thorsten, Marius, and I set off by cab home. I wasn't drunk by any means but they insisted that I go by taxi and not by bike. I was the third stop and arrived home a bit after 10 PM, not quite sure when.

I got to my room and changed into some pajamas and climbed into bed. I still had to work in the morning after all.


Oh god, Wednesday morning was horrible. No, I didn't have a hangover, not even close. I woke up and looked at my phone and it said it was 11:45 PM. In my sleepy haze, I didn't realize that it hadn't updated from the night before and it said PM, not AM. I was convinced I slept in until 11:45 AM and I was late for work and was going to get scolded and I would never live down the fact that I had been drinking, "too much" last night. 

I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and while I was throwing things into my purse to leave for work, I checked the time. Apparently, it was now 5:45 AM. You know, I was wondering why it was so dark out for almost being noon. Crap, now what? I slowly undressed and hopped into the shower. God, it was going to be a long day. I arrived at work and told Katharina the story of my morning and at the very least, she got a good laugh at it.

OK, it's black text, not red
like I said in my last post.
Oops, my bad. Wasn't
looking at it while writing.

The morning was boring as I still didn't have much work to do and now that I think about it, the afternoon was boring too. 

I took my bike to the shop to get the light checked out and they said they could have it done by that afternoon.

I wound up going home at 2 PM and doing laundry but first I stopped at the bike shop to pick up my bike. They hadn't even looked at it yet. They did some quick work and less than ten minutes later it was out. Apparently, I have to press down the small wheeled contraption under the seat and it makes contact with the wheel. The rotation of rear tire turns the wheel and makes the lights turn on. OK, so I felt a bit stupid, but honestly, how would I have known? I don't ride bikes that need lights. Man was it noisy though. I felt like I was driving something with a motor with the noises coming from that thing.

I got home and threw my things in the washer. While I was doing the laundry, I spent two hours on Skype with Andrew. He helped me hang the posters and things on my walls. It feels a bit more friendly here and it's always good to see a familiar face.


Work, work, work. Not much different than the past week or so, I didn't have much to keep me busy at work. I took care of requesting vacation days from Frau Grote for my trip to London and I told Katharina and Sandra about the trip. Katharina was quite jealous that I was going and I told her to come along. She has to see if it was OK for her to switch her vacation days around as she had already requested three weeks off about two weeks after my trip.

I kept searching for things to do and see in London and Sandra gave me the task of going through the images we have for Benteler Steel Tube and deciding which ones we wouldn't use anymore and which ones are of products we don't make anymore. Interesting task since I got to see all the images inside the plant and some from the history of Benteler. There were images of the factory that they used to build refrigerators and the Champion (Benteler's car) things that they don't make anymore but that add to the history of the company. (No, I did not steal the image to the left from the data base, I did a Google Image search and found it, the link to the site is below the image.)

I spent my whole afternoon working on the images and before I knew it, I was walking out the door, on my way home from work. I went into the city because I needed a new towel and I nearly bought a new purse and a pair of pants. Luckily, I didn't though because I found the towels and they wanted 18 euro or so for each of them. Wait, what? That's around $22, for a towel! Nothing special about it. I found some on sale and wound up buying one for 3 euro. Man, I lucked out. 

I wound up falling asleep around 7:30 PM. Oops, it's OK, I paid for it in the morning.


Today, I woke up at 3 AM, I guess that's what I get for going to bed so early ... I would up working on this post a bit and finally heading out for a long, much needed, bike ride around 4:30 AM. I got back, showered, and got ready to head for work when I realized it was absolutely pouring outside. Crap, I waited 20 minutes for it to let up but it wasn't so I hopped on my bike and went on my way.

BAD idea. Before I even left the parking lot to the B.I.B., I was soaked through and through. I arrived at work, not even bothering to stop for breakfast and peeled off my jacket. Even my shirt was soaked, my pants were clinging in all the right places but it was SO uncomfortable.

When Katharina arrived at work, she gave me a Benteler polo to change into (different than the one I was already wearing from the U.S.) and Dominik told me we were going to a meeting at the Paderborn plant. OK, whatever, it's something to do at least.

At 8 AM, Dominik and I went to Paderborn, Benteler Rothrist, another division of the company, is located behind the train station. We went to our meeting and I was put in charge of doing more research on out main competitors. Sweet! More reading articles online!

Benteler Rothrist specializes in welded tubes, or that's what I got out of our conversation in German.

When I got back from our meeting, it was about 11:30 AM and I spent most of the rest of my day looking online for things like a London Tube week-long pass. Katharina spoke about the details of the trip and I'm really getting excited about it! Sandra and Katharina even dug out a Benteler rain coat for me! Sweet! I got two new pieces of clothing today!

I left work around 1 PM and I didn't dare go out anywhere else since the rain has been threatening all day. It's a bit scary looking out there. I've been inside writing all afternoon.

Tomorrow I will be visiting M√ľnster, a city about an hour by train from Paderborn. I'm not really sure what I'll do while there, but I saw online that there's a market in the city center every Saturday. We all know how much I like markets! :) I'll obviously post more pictures and a blog later in the weekend. Who knows, maybe I'll even get to it before Sunday night!

It's my goal to find this. I'm thinking it's too far off the beaten path, but, who knows ... There's a chance, right? Let's hope I don't get lost!


  1. If, While in London, you get to try a beer called the Landlord, let me know how it tastes. Evidently it's only made on draft and not sent to the colonies, I make a clone of it, but am not sure how I'm doing. If not no prob, thanks. I am enjoying living vicariously in Germany, Thanks.

    1. I'll do my best to try it. Maybe my Uncle can even show me where to buy it,when I go so I don't have to find it on my own, we all know how bad I am at finding things XD

      I'm no Keegan with my taste buds and beers, but I'll do my best to explain it if I do. Glad you're liking the blog! :) It's good to hear that at least one person is reading avidly (or something like that) :P

  2. Don't go out of your way, but if it does jump out at you, I'd love to hear how toasty or bitter it was. Thanks Again Gabi.

    1. But now you have piqued my interest. I have to find it, hopefully they have it in London and it's not a "Great Britain" thing. :) I'll do my best!