1) Try to order holiday inspired food. It won’t be the same.
(Pictured: toast with rocket, goats cheese, walnuts and honey. Very ordinary.)
2) Let your colleagues catch you exercising.
(I was successful in this.)
3) Allow colleagues to choose restaurant at the point of needing dinner.
(Better to plan ahead to avoid all the polite debate and wandering that drags out so you don’t eat til 9pm.)
4) Stay silent when someone starts splitting the wine and pudding laiden bill when you just had main and beer. Who cares if it’s on expenses, it’s still not fair.
(This happened multiple times, not sure how to handle it.)
5) Share your notes on demand with a colleague who you strongly suspect won’t return the favour.
6) Ask barely known colleagues for a quick favour, they’ll explain allllll the background and demonstrate how to do it in order to prove how much they know and how useful they are.
(They are very useful and I appreciate that but it was a long explanation.)
7) Leave all the sweet treats everyone brought in the meeting room overnight. The cleaning staff seem to have sticky fingers (literally, that’s a lot of fudge and m&ms).
8) Read your normal work emails and start replying. Either it’ll escalate or you didn’t catch every nuance in a rush and end up looking an idiot.
(Think I mostly rescued that one.)
9) Forget that everyone is away from home, navigating relatively unknown situations. So when someone says something personal and rude, try not to take it to heart. They didn’t mean to upset you, they were struggling to express themselves and don’t know you well enough to predict what not to say. Familiarity of a shared hotel, dinners, and all day meetings is an illusion.
(This is not easy.)
10) Let missing home detract from what you’re achieving. You’re sad, you miss home, kids, husband, you’re not looking forward to travelling home, but it’s been really productive both practically and in building relationships. Be proud of that despite the emotional toil of being out of your comfort zone.
(Got loads done and I now feel like my head is full of information, possibly forbidden facts, and gossip.)