Battling the Bus

The past week in Dublin has presented one significant challenge at work: the bus. Once I get to the office, it is smooth sailing, but there have been one too many bumps in the road along the way. I work outside of the city of Dublin in the suburban town of Tallaght. Because of this, there are very few available bus routes to take, and all of them are over an hour. The simplest route is to take the 175 bus direct to and from my office, a commute that takes approximately an hour and fifteen minutes door to door. Unfortunately, over the past week the 175 I need to take to get to work on time has been cancelled at the last minute, leaving me with no options to arrive by 10am. Fortunately, my boss is extremely understanding and my hours are flexible, so I have been able to avoid additional workplace stress over her response. 

The backup route I started taking was to take the 17 from campus and then transfer onto the 75 to get to Tallaght. I can also reverse the route on the way back. That route takes about an hour and fifteen as well, but costs twice as much. I was able to use that route twice, and then I started having issues with the 75 bus being cancelled. As a result, I had no alternate route available to get home from work on Thursday, and was forced to take a taxi. 

After talking to the bus company and EUSA I worked remotely on Friday while EUSA tried to resolve the ongoing issues. No real resolution was reached, but I found an alternate route that involves taking the 145 north into center city Dublin and then getting on the train to go back south west out to Tallaght. That route takes nearly two hours, but at least it is an alternate option. Overall, the experience was extremely frustrating, especially since the only alternative option EUSA could offer me was to work from home. I am now overly cautious when planning my bus routes, and leave about an hour to thirty minutes earlier than I need to so I have time to adjust in case any of my routes get cancelled. While I love my job, I do realize how much more convenient it is to live and work in cities, where public transportation is much more reliable. 

I visited London last weekend! My boss has been extremely encouraging of me to use my weekends to explore other parts of Europe that I can easily visit while I am here. She travels a lot for her other job working for a Member of the European Parliament, and often gives me recommendations for places to go while I travel. It is really helpful to have someone over here who is so supportive and excited for me in this opportunity. 

Recently however, I think the exhaustion is starting to get to me. I have felt a bit congested. I have no truly alarming symptoms, and otherwise feel very energetic and alert. I think this is just my body telling me it needs more time to rest. This week I have tried to listen to that call, and use my time after work to decompress, talk to friends from home, family, and most importantly, go to bed early. 

Overall, my office climate has been very accommodating to a lower stress environment. As mentioned before, I work almost completely alone the entire day. Sometimes my office mate will come in for an hour or so, and once or twice a week I see my boss, but otherwise, it is just me in a quiet room by myself all day. This has been the most difficult thing to adjust to. I am a very social person who specifically requested in my placement meeting to be placed somewhere where collaboration and communication was essential. I prefer work environments where I can talk to my coworkers and receive instant feedback. I love collaborative projects. I do not have that at this internship, and because I am also a foreigner in the office often feel isolated and lonely at work. That can be difficult for anyone to adapt to, but I have found ways to make the day more productive when I am by myself. While I wait for my boss to text me back with another assignment I can get work done for this class or read my book. I make plans for the evening or get ahead on other work. It is lonely, but productive nonetheless, and I like having that level of flexibility and trust in my internship.