For the last three months I’ve been working in Flywire, an american company with offices all around the world, as a Site Reliability Engineer. I’m working from home, in Seville (Spain) and the office I’m attached to is in Valencia, about 900 kilometres from my home, but my whole team is in Tel Aviv (Israel), 6000 kilometres away.
I was told about the team and the job I would do during the hiring process and, since I’ve always wanted to work in an international environment, it sounded pretty well. It also was a little scary because the last resource we usually have when things go wrong, which is coming back to our mother language, would never be an option.
Years ago I worked in an international company which has its headquarters in Seville so I was surrounded by people who talked Spanish and English. If anything was too complicated to be explained, we switched to Spanish for a moment, we made clear what we were trying to say and then we switched back to English.
Before I joined the company I was really concerned about starting the day talking in English in the daily meeting, because my head is not ready yet for such an effort. When you are working in a highly technical team like this you think that every conversation will be important, crucial for the job and some of them are, but not all of them. The first day, at 9 am, someone asked me if I’m a fan of Star Wars and, after that, if I prefer Marvel or DC. Then we changed to food, that universal culture and, finally, we talked about the Real Madrid football team because one of my bosses is a very huge fan of them (I declared myself football neutral, but it didn’t work as I expected :)). And finally, the daily meeting began when I was more than ready to it and it was very nice and easy.
This months have been a learning path about how the same job can be very different from one company to other and how working with people in other countries can be as enriching as it sounds. During the last few months every doubt I had about working in other language and with people with other cultures, has vanished completely and I have no regrets about joining this company.
My next step will be learn some Hebrew so I can make some jokes in the daily meetings but it seems to be as hard to learn to me as Russian.