In Times Which Seem Like Self-Psychotherapy He Says To Himself:
Novel: Times 1–4, Chapter 57 I also need to know a little of the Russian language
We work on Saturday morning, the environment is more relaxed than during the week days, but we still move on at quite a pace. We are designing, pricing, preparing specifications and drawings; all of this to be coordinated, and pulled together into a formal presentation.
I will be leading the presentation team in St Petersburg, I need to know the detail, I also need to know a little of the Russian language, and something of their culture. I spend all day Sunday on the Internet, letting the Google and Wikipedia facts soak into my almost overflowing brain.
Monday to Thursday goes by very quickly, I am back in my office in Vienna by Friday lunchtime, I meet with my directors, to update them on our progress. They are pleased with how the job is panning out, but say that I will have to return to Berlin for two more weeks, also this time I will have to take a colleague with me.
They introduce me to Alexandria, who as it happens speaks fluent Russian, she is a first class lawyer; we are dispatched from the boardroom to spend the afternoon together. Alexandria is determined to get up to speed quickly, she interrogates me with a relentless urge; I am seriously impressed by how smartly she gathers information.
We leave the office together, go for coffee at Café Central, apparently Alexandria lives not too too far away on Rooseveltplatz, overlooking Sigmund-Freud-Park. Alexandria is on secondment from the law firm Dorda Brugger Jordis, not surprisingly she tells me what a great company they are to work for. To date she has specialised in intellectual property and energy, the two cornerstones of our bid; she will be a valuable asset, although it will be unusual for me to work so so closely with a lawyer.
We have a couple of beers after our coffee, then begin to probe our personal emotional well-being. I feel I am out of my league with this sparkling young woman, I am less sure though that she shares my opinion. We leave Café Central just after seven to go our separate ways. I get back to my apartment to be greeted by messages on my answering machine…