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While at work

One of the external printers has a wife and a daughter that work at my company. Proofs that need to be returned to the printer are usually delivered via either wife or daughter. The man himself is both loud and talkative and no less so this time. I finally got to meet his daughter Friday; she was the messenger this time because “the wife’s at a funeral, so give it to my daughter. I’ll see her tomorrow cuz I always see the grandkids on Saturdays.” I don’t care for extraneous banter, but this guy’s delivery is both so loud and so cheerful I found myself grinning.

There is a forum on the company’s intranet, a casual place for employees to have discussions related to work. It seems mostly to be the Danes who vent their problems, and although I’ve asked around, I have no good theory why the Norwegians are so absent. But sometimes one chimes in. I did. The new ban on lit candles in the Danish offices for the Christmas season had several Danes worked up. I finally chimed in about how we Norwegians at first missed the candles, but since our company is all about safety first for our customers, we decided to set an example, and we enjoy the holiday just as well without. This note of mine was read by our chief of security, a Norwegian, who told me he’d been after the Danes for four years to ban lighting candles. He appreciated my comment.

I bumped into one of the secretaries we still have in the company during that time of day when just about everybody else has left the office and, really, why are the rest of us still here? It is a peaceful time of day that lends itself to chit-chat. And a bit of gossip. So I was told about the co-workers seen necking in a car in the basement parking at 8 am of all things! They should be in the office then! And they arrived in separate cars, too! I’ll tell you who it was, but you never heard it from me! Said the secretary. I chuckled to myself at that last comment.

A little while ago I was on my way to the communal printer down the hall, when I noticed several neighboring co-workers climbing and jumping down from the window sills by the printer. What had their excited attention? A car on fire in the parking lot below (those who know Norwegian can enjoy the pun being exchanged in the comments). The fire had been put out, so all I saw was a huge column of smoke.

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

6 replies on “While at work”

Interesting that you have Danes working at your company. I can understand that they were upset about the candles, the Danes LOVE their candles.;) It is all about \”hygge\”, a Danish word so adequately describing this nation. I guess it can be translated as \”cosy\”.;) It must have been some action with the car on fire; do you know why it was burning?

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We don\’t have Danes at work; we are wholly owned by a Danish company and still battling cultural differences. The word Norwegians use is \”kos\”, and no, it doesn\’t really translate to \”cozy\” because it isn\’t just about sitting with a cup of tea before a fire or something, but describes any pleasant event, thing or interaction, including drunken ones.It was the car\’s engine that caught fire. I haven\’t heard why.

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