Written by: Patrick Lillie
The previous spring quarter, I, along with some other students interning in Ireland had a class to prepare us for the different culture. One of the main highlights of the class was the fact that the Irish have a more casual work experience. Between what they wear, what they speak of at work, and their timings; we were taught that it was all more relaxed than that of offices in the States.
This week, I finally began working at Equinoxe. Let me say, there certainly are distinct differences in at the office. First off, the work day is 9-5:30, however this is not the normal workday (makes sense, right??). When myself and the other intern arrived 20 minutes early to work, there was only one other person in the office. She told us no one would be there until around nine and to go get a cup of coffee at a Starbucks down the street. We did just that, came back at about 9:05, and still, hardly anyone was there! I think the last worker showed up around 9:45. Being about 20 minutes late is essentially part of the normal schedule, so i would classify a normal workday as 9:20-5:30.
My first day, I also recieved some slagging for what I wore to work. The term “slag” which they have coined means to make fun of someone in a good mannered way. I was recieving this slagging because I was wearing normal business casual, you know, a button down shirt, some Dockers and dress shoes. I wasnt getting slagged because I was too casual but because I was overdressed! Nearly everyone else was wearing jeans and polo shirts. I wouldn’t mind the fact that their dress code is that relaxed except for the fact that I used all of my suitcase space on dress pants so I didn’t bring any jeans!
The other observation I have seen is the fact that everyone at the office is good friends. I’m sure it is exactly the same in the States for small offices, but having only 12 workers, the employees here all hang out together outside of the office which makes for a comfortable work enviornment. I went to the touch rugby (like flag football but rugby) championship in a office league of various companies around Dublin. Equinoxe was the defending champion but unfortunately lost in the final this year. All of the workers, men or women, either played or came to watch. Family members came too. This was the same for all of the teams in the league in which everyone went to the pub together afterwards. These are some of the differences in our cultures that I have noticed throught the first week of work.