Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Talent

We got a call on Friday last week from the people at http://www.workindenmark.dk/ to see if we would participate in a survey. About a month ago we contacted the WorkinDenmark organization, which is basically an arm of the labor market here geared towards foreigners, immigrants, expats- any non-Danish person that is thinking about coming to Denmark to work or is in Denmark and looking for work. We met with a guy named Martin and he helped Matthew and I with some job searching tips and changing our resumes into CV''s and other job search related items. I guess Martin gave our names to an outside consultant for Work In Denmark and they contacted us to participate in the survey. The Work in Denmark website is being overhauled and they want new video and pictures and new stories about people coming to Denmark.

Matthew and I agreed to the interview, thinking it would be very casual and only take a few minutes. The lady who coordinated everything sent Matthew an email over the weekend with an attachment with all the details. I guess we both just assumed it was not a big deal so Matthew didn't open the attachment until about half an hour before we were about to leave Monday afternoon for the appointment. As he read the attachment, he came across a list of about 30 detailed questions that we should be prepared to answer like:

- Why did you decide to move to Denmark?
- How did you navigate the green card process?
- What has been the most difficult thing about moving to Denmark?
- If you could rewind time and go back to the few months before you left your home country, what would you do differently to prepare for the move to Denmark?
- Are you doing fine so far? (I thought that was a really funny question!)
- If you have work already, how is the office culture different than the culture in your home country. If you don't have work yet, when you think about your future job, what do you think the office culture will be like?

After we read through the questions, Matthew gets to the part in the email where it says that we should be prepared to be filmed and to have HUNDREDS of pictures taken of us. WHAT?! Funny story, the night before, Sunday night, Matthew decides to shave his goatee. He has been wanting to for years and years but has been nervous about how it will look. He finally does it the night before the biggest photo shoot of our lives- besides our wedding! What are the chances?!Once his brain registered the situation he was in, there was a little bit of a freak out. We got through it. For the record, he looks great!

We took a bus to the building we were asked to meet at. It was a really cool building right on the water's edge. We walked into the lobby and were met by a nice lady and a professional camera man. They took us outside to the water's edge and had us walk back and forth towards the camera while acting natural. I was pushing Olivia in her stoller. The camera man took many different angles and got up in Olivia's face a few times which was funny. We did that for maybe a half hour. It was freezing outside, the coldest day so far here in Copenhagen. I just kept thinking how awesomely rosy my cheeks must look!

Then we went inside and upstairs to a really nice office where there was a reception area with all kinds of treats and food. There was juice and tea and coffee and coffee cake and cheese cake and cookies and fruit and vegetables- it was so fun! They told us to help ourselves. When we arrived, a second person, a nice Danish man, started asking us a lot of questions. Matthew went first and I kept Olivia with me. He was in the office for almost an hour and I just assumed he was being asked all the questions. When they came out they said that they had just finished photographing him! For almost an hour! Then they wanted to photograph Olivia and Matthew together. Then me and Olivia. And then just me. They talked to us during the shoot and got us to make gestures with our hands and stuff. It was so bizarre, but fun. When the pictures were done they sent the photographer away and then took Matthew back in the office and asked him questions with professional sound recording equipment. He wore a headset like you would in a radio booth or something. I went in when he was done to answer all the questions and he watched Olivia. We were there for about 2 and a half hours!

At the end as we were wrapping up, the people offered to pay our bus fare to and from the meeting and told us that they would like to give us a Christmas gift worth the equivalent of 1000 Kroner (about $200). He said they could not give us cash. He gave us his card and told us to email him and tell him what we want for Christmas! It was so funny! We will probably just ask for a gift card to a department store here like Illums or Magasin. We have had our eyes on a few things. This, this and this. The whole thing was really fun! The people in charge of the project were really nice and funny and they treated us like we were The Talent. It was a fun day! The website overhaul should be done next year - around March 2011. There is a very good chance we will be on the website looking very awkward! If/ when we are on the site I will post it here!

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