Working in Spain


There’s work, then there’s work in Spain. Based on what I have seen and experienced so far I must say that the work ethic here is rather odd. Now I am not saying it is bad, I am simply saying that it is different than what I am used to.

Growing up in the working class of society most of my jobs were blue collar hard labor jobs with maybe 1 or 2 white collar jobs. My internship is a white collar desk job where I sit and look pretty for 5 hours while doing my assigned tasks. This is something I am not really used to; well the looking pretty part I am, but I am just not used to the part where I just sit there and stare at my computer screen. I am used to that back-breaking, super sweaty job where there is a high potential of you getting hurt if you’re not paying attention to the way you are handling a piece of heavy machinery.

One thing I am very pleased about is the atmosphere at work. Like many of my fellow students in internships, we expected to be suited up or at least be well dressed and have to sit up straight at all times and stand at attention; but as it turns out most jobs are really relaxed and laid back. That’s not to say that sitting up straight isn’t a good thing. Nevertheless we were all rather shocked at this revelation. One of my fellow students told me that he felt rather uncomfortable being overdressed for his first day on the job.

One of the things I found very odd was the location of where the office where I work at. I have seen businesses on the first floor of apartment buildings before, but our office is connected to the main lobby entrance to the apartment so both the tenants and clients use the same entrance which leads to some confusion. Another odd thing is my computer I use. At first glance it seems to have these foreign symbols on it though the letters are still in QWERTY position, the rest of the symbols are not, leading to lots of confusion and typos in my reports! Not to mention that there are two extra letters not in the standard english keyboard, lets see if you can find them!

Spanish keyboard (credit: Esteban Martinez)

Besides these very small and odd details, I must admit that I am very impressed with the entire workforce of Spain. Before coming to Spain I had heard that they were all lazy and dull, but coming here and actually working with them, not for them, I now understand that that is just the way it looks because they are so chill. When in reality they always get their work done, both efficiently and on time!


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