Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Day at the Office (Justin)

A post about the Invest-Credit office is long overdue.

The office is in a newly renovated building and is modern-looking on the inside.

The walls inside the office are bare and boring, but that's typical for offices here. It's the people that give it life. It's usually pretty calm and quiet, but on days where many clients have to pay the office is full of people and quite busy. And, for whatever reason, today they wanted to smile for my pictures, which is quite unusual here. They're used to Americans expecting smiles in their pictures, I guess.

The day begins at 8:45 with an office devotional. Ghena plays guitar and we sing some praise songs in Romanian (which I don't speak), then we take prayer requests, and pray for each other. This picture is of the group just after the devotional, having an early-morning staff meeting in the conference room.

The Staff:
This is Roman; he's basically the client-relations guy. He has 2 cellphones and at least 1 office phone on his desk at all times. He's tall, fit, and I joke that he's the ladies man. He's taken various dancing lessons 3 days a week for the past year, and is quite the dancer. He helped me go shopping for a hip outfit for the office. Roman's heart language is Romanian, but his English isn't too bad. He's learning French and is hoping to emigrate to Canada soon. His mom has terminal brain cancer, and this is a great concern to everyone.

This is Victor, the "office manager" and Ghena's right-hand man. Joni says he looks like Kenny Byler. He's usually pretty serious, almost melancholy. He's a nice guy and speaks excellent English, although his heart language is Russian. He does a lot of the overview of the office finances, keeps the network running, and more.

This is Kolya (real name Nikolai), "operations manager." Kolya is the newest addition to the team, and is always smiling and happy to be here (he's trying hard not to smile in this pic). I don't know how his English is because we always communicate in Russian, which is his heart language.

This is Tatiana, sitting in her cashier's office. She takes the money from clients when they make payments and does some bookkeeping. She's ethnic Ukranian, which is her heart language and speaks no English.

This is Kelly, hard at work on a video project she's making. She's here with Hope International, one of several Western partners that Invest-Credit works with.

This is Sasha (real name Alexander), Invest-Credit's lawyer who just recently returned from his honeymoon (our post about his wedding). Sasha is a fun guy. He gives me interesting information about laws and business here in Moldova. He pretty much only operates in Russian, though he tries hard to speak English as well.

This is Ghena, the boss and CEO. I caught him at lunch (hot dogs and salad) looking uncharacteristically unprofessional, though he's a really friendly boss to have. He lives about 2 blocks away from us, so he often gives me a lift to work in the morning so I don't have to ride the minibus. He has some potentially-serious medical issues right now that also need prayer. While Ghena speaks both Romanian and Russian, he prefers to keep all language in the office Romanian. He and his wife Alina speak fluent English.
That photo was taken in the lunch room. In that little space you see at the table between Ghena and I, six to eight people sit at one time for lunch. It's kind of like eating your lunch in one of those sardine-can Chisinau minibuses.

And this is my workspace. I lug the laptop in my heavy backpack across town, annoying and decapitating people in the minibus. The headphones and notebook are for Russian studies. The water bottle was a gift from Joni's parents. After morning devotional, I plant myself here and scour all the local news websites for new data about Moldova's economy, which I record for anyone who wants it. I also look for templates and ideas for our website. Due to the nature of my project, I don't have to work 9 to 6 like the nationals here, and I usually go home after lunch.
Welp, hope you enjoyed seeing some of the office and my co-workers. They're all great people, and it's a blessing to work here!


Jessica said...

I want to see that hip new outfit. Where's the pic of that?

PS What's your heart language?

JTapp said...

The "hip new outfit" is actually the one I'm wearing in the picture when you load the blog. It's sort of a purplish shirt (the hip part) with light tan pants.

Joni said...

Your heart language is the same thing as your first language or your mother tongue. It's the language you best express your heart with. My heart language is English. :)