So, my new job has been going very well so far. My coworkers and my supervisor are extremely nice, and as they are predominantly American or British, there is no culture-gap to be bridged. Unlike in most French workplaces, when we come to work in the morning or leave in the afternoon, there is no need to do the 2-cheek bises thing to everyone. I was almost expecting it anyway (there are a few French who work there and many of the people working there are married to French spouses), so it was actually a surprise when I saw no one doing this on my first day. It's a tourism company so with tour groups coming and going all day, tickets to attractions to be purchased for 90 days out in the future and reservations to be processed all day long, you can imagine that things are really hopping there.
The office space is a bit cramped as they are expanding their reservations team, and they have new space picked out for us just adjacent to the existing office but it won't be ready until around the end of this month. To this end, we are sometimes working in a rented and shared office space several blocks away. It's not ideal and no one loves it when they have to work over there, but it's temporary and everyone is taking it in stride.
I got to enjoy one of the perks of the job on Monday - they sent me on a tour of the Eiffel Tower as an observer!
Although my job will never be to lead tours, they like all their employees to have an appreciation for how they lead all their tours so we can see the effects of having done our job well (or what happens if, for instance, a reservationist like me might make a mistake with a booking, and a customer shows up thinking they are booked for a tour when they're not on the list - oops. Don't want THAT to happen!)
This is from the 2nd level looking up. It gets awfully windy and chilly up there, even if it's warm down below. Not surprised this young woman had pulled up the hood of her sweatshirt - I was glad I had been advised to bring a jacket!
Wouldn't you know it, last week on the evening of my 3rd day at work, I felt a sore throat come out of nowhere, and by the following morning I was so congested in my head and lungs that I had to call out sick. Luckily I was able to do a little bit of work from my home computer and help them out with the reservations. The same thing happened on Friday when I actually got even sicker. They were very understanding and I was glad they agreed that it wouldn't be wise to come to the office and spread the germs around, no one wants that! I'm still congested but now I can get out and around and do normal things again.
Like looking out at this view, due east (I used to live in Vincennes way out there on the horizon - wonder if I could spot my old apartment, because I used to have a view of the Eiffel from there.)
Or this one, towards the north, looking at Montmartre and where we live now near Place de Clichy:
Or this one overlooking the Trocadero and La Défense:
Or this one, over the Seine towards the western suburbs, and you can just make out the scale model of the Statue of Liberty down there on the river, 3rd bridge from the bottom.
Of course, I don't get to do this every day - mainly I will in the office dealing with reservations from resellers and laughing with my new coworkers - and frankly I'm rather glad I'm not a tour guide on the Eiffel Tower. The crowds are incredible and even when you have skip-the-line tickets to get in, you end up waiting in lines to go from the 2nd level to the top, and then to get back down again. But it's worth doing at least once if you have the time to do it. If you don't have the time, skip it and instead go for the views from Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.