Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rounding Second

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Swiss people have a better appreciation of time than the rest of the world. No doubt the sheer number of clocks they are surrounded by on a daily basis plays a part in this, but it must be more. The world here seems to move at its own pace. Not necessarily slower because procrastination and running late don’t seem to be traits of the people here, just steadier. If you’re driving in the country and there is traffic for no logical reason (like a cow in the road, or a tractor broken down..which I see on a nearly daily basis), the smart money would be on the fact that a Swiss driver is at the head of the line. It’s almost as of the people here expect everyone else to run by their schedules, they do make all the watches after all.

I’ve found it to be a rather nice change. I wasn’t typically late for things before, but I was known to miss a flight or two, and my driving has definitely slowed down a bit. Perhaps the 55hp car and speeding tickets play a part in that though. Of course predictability can be good and bad but thus far the clockwork Swiss lifestyle has been pretty decent. I don’t wear a watch, which over here is comparable to walking around naked. But really what’s the point, between computers, cell phones, iPods it’s a redundant piece of equipment. However despite the predictable, clockwork like lifestyle time still seems to be speeding up. Possibly even exponentially but I wont bore anyone with that nerdy theory.

Next Wednesday marks 1 year living overseas. I can’t believe it, my colleagues and friends can’t believe it, my wallet doesn’t believe it…but despite logic seeming to say otherwise, the calendar doesn’t lie. Hell, it was only last month that I graduated from high school, last week I finished college and only yesterday that I moved over here wasn’t it? It’s incredible for me to think that it was actually nearly 10 years ago that I finished high school, nearly 6 years ago that I finished college and as of next Wed, 1 year since I moved over here. Where the hell does the time go!

I started here a year ago with a laundry list of expectations, things to do, places to see, friends to make, girls to date, cars to buy etc. As you can probably imagine reality was much different, not good or bad, just different. Over the past year I’ve done and seen quite allot and despite the ups and downs the overall experience has definitely been well worth it. I was so miserable at my job before leaving that I truly can’t imagine what I’d be doing now if I hadn’t jumped ship from Detroit. My position here is has been great so far, I actually feel like I contribute something to the organization, after all filling the ketchup dispensers is an important job! I’ve even got a few other companies here that have asked me to consider changing jobs.

I almost hate to admit it but there were some days while working back in Detroit that I would leave at noon..just take my cellphone and go home, go to the bar, go hang out at the pool (thanks kovax’s’s’s), lunch on 8 mile, go drive my cars…anything but work. What made it worse was that it didn’t really matter. As fun as that was sometimes I really felt like I was largely wasting my time there, even for those 4 hrs I actually was working. Think of “Time” by Pink Floyd and that was pretty much my life. Thinking back now, the best job I ever had was pumping gas at a marina during summers back in high school. Sadly at 27 I don’t think I could get away with that any more. If I could though, I’d be back there in a heartbeat. Sun, water, bikini’s, the smell of 4 dollar gas, beer for tip’s…if only I could incorporate some of that into my job today. Imagine the possibilities…..

So I’ve rambled on for long enough and in a few hours I have to catch a flight to Germany. Am I half done or only half started here? In the end who cares. With the 50% mark fast approaching I can honestly say that this past year has been one of the funnest, most interesting years of my life…next to ’96 of course but that’s a story for another time.


Aventius said...

That's the problem. Those "good" jobs never paid well because responsibility isn't fun and those jobs had none.

Your story reminds me of "American Beauty" where the depressed guy quits his job to work at a burger joint and buys a 70s era Firebird because he was only happy in high school. Simplier times.

As I look forward to graduating this semester, and look for a job, I'm excited by your story that although life after college isn't as fun as your memories (which most of the time are deceiving) you've found a way to enjoy the time in a "different" way.

Aunt Lynn said...

Kev, it's been 23 years since i graduated! And I'm not even old!