A Day in the Life – Оксана
One of the unexpected pleasures of working abroad for the month has been the opportunity to learn more about our colleagues, their preferences, and their lifestyles. To celebrate that opportunity, this blog (along with several others) is written to communicate some of the interesting things we have learned about each other over the course of this project.
Having worked with Оксана on my core team for the year, I was well aware of her commitment to quality output and ability to focus on the core problem without becoming distracted by tangents. Thus, it was not surprising to learn that this attitude permeates her life.
Without fail, Оксана is the first to awake in the morning and station herself at our family-sized kitchen table. Here, she enjoys her morning drink of choice: tea. One of the first new things we quickly learned is Оксана’s passion for tea and preference for sachets. Though a deep dive into the types of tea she prefers and whether she is tolerant of loose leaf tea may be an area for future research. However, it is clear that regular teabags are not welcome in Ms. Komarova’s abode.
Often, by the time I have finished my first cup of coffee, Оксана has already departed for a full day of activity.
It is clear Оксана is at home in the city in both her manners and dress. From art museum, to coffee shop, to neighborhood store, she matches like a chameleon crawling among branches in a jungle. In Amsterdam, for example, scarves are a suave accessory and as ubiquitous as fanny packs at theme parks in the 80s. I, for one, wish Оксана had shared this information before our trip so that the rest of us could have been as fashion-prepared as she has been on this trip.
However, though she blends in seamlessly, she never seeks to hide. Instead she commits significant thought to demonstrating her affections for those around her. On our recent trip to a market, she thoughtfully discussed her gifts ideas for her family. Even this weekend when she was visiting Brussels, she emailed a list of ingredients and offered to cook the team breakfast on Memorial Day.
Though you might imagine an early riser is an early sleeper, this is hardly the case. Оксана is as capable of enjoying late evenings and is responsible for Team Amsterdam’s favorite way to pass the time. On one of our first nights, Оксана taught us a Russian Prison card game (we choose not to ask how she learned it) called Durak, Russian for ‘fool’. The game involves attacking and defending until only one player is left and declared the ‘fool’ (i.e. loser). This card game has become so popular among our team that we play it on a daily basis. The game is roughly 80% skill and 20% luck. We play macro games against opponents and track cards continually to avoid the title of ‘durak’.
The past month has been a significant learning experience. Beyond business, the interpersonal lessons have been invaluable and deepened my appreciation of each of my teammate’s unique strengths.