I have never had a traditional office or research job in the United States like I do here in Ireland, so I will base my comparison of work culture on both my experiences working at summer camp over the years an what others have told me about the corporate world in America. I would say one large difference in the workplace between Ireland and the United States is the informal nature of conversations. When I have interacted with my bosses we talk about a variety of topics like what we did on the weekend, where I have traveled since I have arrived in Ireland, and even American politics. My bosses have even taken myself and my fellow interns out for lunch or coffee a few times throughout the internship just to talk and get to know each other better. My job at summer camp was definitely somewhat informal as well due to the nature of the work, but I have been lead to believe that conversation in the traditional American workplace is more formal and work related, especially when conversing with superiors or bosses. Another thing different about my job in Ireland from the traditional American work environment is I am encouraged to work at my own pace and am allowed to schedule my own breaks. When I worked at camp, the entire day from when I woke up to when I got off at the end of the night was scheduled every day. Additionally, I believe most jobs in America have strict deadlines from tasks or projects to be due. I enjoy being able to structure the pace of my work, and I believe it probably allows me to ensure that there are less errors in the coding that I do than if I was rushing through the years trying to reach a deadline. My bosses also work hard to create a positive work environment, and are quick to praise me for a job well done even if I find the task to be small. This is a great practice, as it allows employees to feel appreciated and intrinsically motivates them to continue to produce quality work. I am sure this occurs in some work environments in America, but through my experience and talking to others who have jobs in Ireland, it seems to be more common in Ireland where the people as a whole seem to be generally more friendly.
This week at work I have begun to go through other years that my fellow interns have already coded and coding them myself. Other interns are also recoding the years I have completed. My boss is going to compare the results between the two codes, and the years where both parties agree where there was government corruption occurring will be officially marked down as containing fraud. This practice is known as “double blind” coding, as the two parties are not comparing their answers and do not know how others marked down the instances of fraud. Since this is the case, I am no longer allowed to ask my fellow interns for advice on a potential fraud case and I need to rely on the knowledge I have accumulated so far based on the years I have completed on the first go around of coding. This really has not been an issue, as I feel as though I am fairly well versed on our criteria for what is considered government fraud at this point in my internship.
This weekend it was once again beautiful again outside and I took advantage of that. While the month of June was fairly cold, the weather in July has had more of a traditional summer feel. I have been spending some time re-reading A Song of Ice and Fire outside at Albert College Park, which is near Shanowen Square. I was not satisfied with the ending of the TV series Game of Thrones so it is nice to go back to the book series on which it is based and originally got me into the franchise in high school. On Sunday I went to visit the fishing town of Howth. I walked along the coast on a beautiful sunny day and got to eat some tasty seafood (I’m a big fan of trying seafood whenever I am near a coast as it is usually the freshest there). After I got home from there I was able to catch the end of the Wimbledon men’s final match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. I have been playing tennis for a long time, so it was great to see a historic event with the first ever final set tiebreaker in a major to decide the victor.