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Friday, September 4, 2009

Travel Diary - I'm poked and gibbed!

I just came home from Gibraltar, from a total of 5 hours of flight. Sitting in my much missed desk chair, I wish to share my diaries from the trip to and back from Gibraltar. 

I love Gibraltar, you could say I'm gibbed. I also grew very fond of PokerStrategy and their office, so I guess I'm poked as well. :P

For those who don't know why I disappeared for a few days: I had an interview at PokerStrategy.com for the Swedish Community Manager role.

  

(2/9) Day 1: The flight and the farting cab driver

I started my journey on Wednesday, from Sweden to the far corner of Spain, which isn't really Spain - Gibraltar. My alarm rang at 05:30 AM, though it didn't do any good as I was already awake. Am I the only one waking up just minutes before the alarm, when I have something important to do that same day?

At the airport, everything seemed to go smoothly, but it didn't. Besides from the fact that I had to rush to Stockholm the very same day that they booked the flight, they had unfortunately booked me by the wrong name. I was lucky enough to get it fixed just before plane was ready to leave. *Phew*.

A four hour flight to Madrid... Four long hours. I just wanted to get to Gibraltar and meet the wonderful people of PokerStrategy.com. Finally, after sleeping in the most uncomfortable position EVER, the plane had arrived at Madrid Airport.

As this was my first time out of country by my self, I didn't dare to go outside the airport, even though my next flight wasn't leaving until 6 hours later. I wandered around, checking out the place and all the stores. I found the Whiskey Ölf wanted me to buy for him. It cost €25, but I never bought it. The next few hours I spent trying to sleep on a chair, not the most comfortable thing I've done but it beats the airplane.

Yay! The speedy flight to Malaga! Finally I was on the plane, which wasn't as "high" class as the first plane, but it was okay. After being used to wait for very long periods of time, this flight seemed instant. By no time I had landed at Malaga Airport and after trying to find the right place to look for the luggage, I also found my driver.

The fastest driver alive! This guy must have been a race-driver. Heck, I didn't even think regular cars could go that fast, but in Spain this seems to be the standard velocity of all vehicles. After a surprisingly brief car trip down to Gibraltar, my driver dropped me off that the border and I caught a cab.

Omg, did the taxi driver just FART? After about half way to The Elliot Hotel, the taxi driver said "Oh, I'm sorry about that. It's just so hot today and no air conditioning, so my head isn't working so well." At first I didn't know what the heck he was talking about, but then I felt the smell. Nice going Mr. Taxi Driver, beans for dinner today? Well I didn't say that, but that was what I was thinking. Anyway, after going up through the narrowest streets that could fit a car, I finally arrived at the hotel.

I'm a prom night dumpster baby, and I'm taking a stroll... After checking in and getting my stuff into my hotel room, I grabbed a map and started to navigate around the area, also marking important stuff on the map. The area is really nice and the hotel is JUST above main street, maximum one minute walk. There are palms everywhere and it must have been at least 23 degrees Celsius that evening.

Well, after all this I was evidently very tired, so I called my girlfriend to let her know that I'm alive and after that I went to bed...

  

Day 2: Another stroll in the town

I woke up at 09:00 AM, my alarm harassing me as usual. Hungry as a beast, from not eating any dinner the day before, I took the elevator up to the eighth floor for some breakfast buffet. It was some nice stuff on the table, but they didn't taste anything like I thought. The baguettes didn't taste anything, the cool colored juices was bitter and the scrambled eggs didn't quite taste as would have wanted it to. But it was okay, nothing serious.

After the breakfast, I went into the pool room next door (with open ceiling) to look around and of course to look at the great view. I took some pictures from there but also from the solarium floor, which was at the very top at the building.


After that, I took a long walk around the town and moved towards the PokerStrategy.com Office building, just to locate it, and then towards the Ocean Village. It wasn't very hard to find, this place is quite small actually. Gibraltar is more like a district than a town really.


After I'd checked out the Ocean Village, I moved on to the main street for some shopping. I found a Jack Daniels whiskey bottle for only €17, which I bought for Ölf. Besides from my mission from Ölf, I had the "GIVE ME A FREEKIN' TEA BOX" mission from my girlfriend. I found some, but it wasn't easy surprisingly, and it was about the only flavor I could find. You would expect a place like this to have hundreds of dedicated tea stores, with all the English people living here and all that. I finished off my shopping spree by buying myself some lunch, Bacon Covered Chicken Breasts with Garlic Sauce and Pommes (rated 4/10 by me).

Okay, so I went home to prepare myself for the interview. By preparing I mean checking what outfit that looked the most professional... yeah I know how that sounds like, so shut up. 45 minutes to go, I started walking down towards Waterport Place, where PokerStrategy.com is. I arrived 30 minutes early, but it's better to be early than to be to late.

While waiting outside, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Beggar. This guy sat on the stairs for a while before approaching me. With a very British accent he said "Can you spare 50 cents for some water, I'm getting my paycheck tomorrow so I don't have any money right now." But I don't like that kind of stuff so I told him that I didn't have any on me. He looked surprisingly happy and shook my hand "cheerio" or something like that. Then he looked mad and I fled into the Office building.

The interview! Finally you get to read what you only where interested in, in the first place. The interview started and in front of me there was the HR manager, a Team Leader Community manager and this third guy who I forgot what he was working with, but he was good with the numbers ;). They asked me a series of questions and after answering them all I asked them a few. Apparently I did a good impression, so I hope that my impression is better than the other 2-3 that are applying for the job. After the interview, the two guys left and the HR Manager had me doing some tasks, to see how good I am at writing articles, interviews and support. I also translated a 3 A4 long article from English to Swedish. It took a while, but it was no problem... or wait it was. There was no Å Ä and Ö on the laptop, so I'm unsure if they will get what I wrote. Also, that damn auto-correction script made all my "i" to "I" and similar - very irritating.

The result: They will contact me within a week or so, to let me know if I get the job or not.

If I get the job, I can move down at the beginning of a month, into an apartment that I'll share with someone else or having one myself if my girlfriend moves with me. In 30 days I have this place for free, but then I have to find a new place. But they were very keen to help me with that. Oh, by the way. They wanted to cut down the salary a bit, from what my recruiter had told me. A bit disappointing, but not really. I thought it was too high in the first place anyway. Heck, I'm a grad student. Hopefully they will in time realize that I'm Mr. über skills and give me a boat or something.

That's it for today, I'm going down to the town and eat something, and maybe visit Ocean Village again.

  

Day 3: Headache, noxiousness and no pictures

The third and final day at Gibraltar was five hours long, where of four I was asleep. At 05:00 AM I crossed the border with this guy called Ramon, no real English speaker unfortunately... or fortunately (kind of enjoyed the silence as I didn't feel so good due to the 140km/h Spanish car-rollercoaster). I was very unsure about us making it to the airport in time, but we did - on the minute!

I slept all the way from Malaga to Barcelona, which by the way had the shiniest floors ever to be seen. It was funny, they had some people driving around in super-speedy floor polishers. They looked like mini race drivers, gave me a laugh.

OH NO! I missed the... candy (you thought I was going to say flight there right?)! Every time it's time for landing, they hand out some candy to everyone, but I was asleep so I didn't get any. The thing is, I woke up when they'd just passed me, and sadly one can't shout "MY CANDY!!”.

I got into a bad mood about not getting any, and started to stare at the guy next to me that had 4... yes FOUR of them! Even though I stared quite intensely I didn't get any from him either. By the way, his feet smelled exactly like garlic chips - and yes it was his feet.

Right now I'm at the train back to Skövde, satisfied about soon getting home and because of the Max Frisco Burger resting silently in my stomach. Oh btw, I talked to my recruiter 15 minutes ago or so (when I entered the train... on the wrong wagon). I told him how the interview went and that the salary he told me earlier wasn't the same as PokerStrategy had in mind. I just want to say that I know SQUAT about how much I can demand for salary, so I'll let my recruiter do that for me. I would really be happy if I got the job and could afford to pay the rent.

 

Well, wish me luck, an announcement will come within 7 days or so if I get the job or not. I'll keep you updated!

7 comments:

  1. Hope you get the job! But sad that you have to move so far away then. I mean, what happens to all our songs and the fat-jokes when you leave?

    Så jäla kylliT!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good going friend! Aiming for the stars is the only way to do it

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good luck, I hope you get the job so I and Claes can come and visit you in Gibraltar. :P

    ReplyDelete
  4. hello!!!

    I am doing an interview with pokerstrategy as well to be a portuguese community manager i would appreciate if you send me some information about the questions that you were asked on the interview.

    thanks a lot, i will send you my private email if that is ok.

    ReplyDelete

Would be awesome if you let me know who is commenting ;)

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