News & Insights
Interview: Working abroad during the pandemic | Elena Martin
Mercury has launched the first in its new series of interviews with our people, as they work through this unusual and unprecedented time in our history. The first interviewee is Elena Martin, a Commissioning Manager based in Frankfurt, Germany on a Data Centre site.
What is day to day life there normally and how has it changed since the pandemic began?
When the pandemic started, I was based in Amsterdam on a Data Centre project and had plans to move to Frankfurt for the Commissioning stages of another project. I thought all of this would go on hold at the time but with a bit of organising and logistics, I managed to get sorted. I drove from Amsterdam to Frankfurt on the the 23rd of April. The drive was a nice alternative to flying for a change but it’s a long trip, especially after you have had a busy few weeks. I have worked in Frankfurt before which made the move a little easier given all that is going on in the world. Over the last two weeks, retail outlets and all that stuff has gradually started to open back up here in Frankfurt, although there are a number of safety measures in place in order to enter the shops. Having this has made life a lot easier and more liveable over here.
How are you staying in touch with friends and family back home?
It’s been three months now since I’ve been home, which is definitely the longest it has ever been . I’m keeping in contact with everyone via texts and phone calls and we also have a lot of Zoom quizzes with family and friends but nothing beats actually being at home and seeing your loved ones in person. In two weeks’ time it’s my mam and dads 40th wedding anniversary. I really hope to surprise them by being home for it as my brother and sisters and I have something special planned for them. So far my flights have been cancelled twice. Fingers crossed my flights now get to go ahead this time, as it would be amazing to celebrate such an amazing achievement with them.
What’s day to day work life right now for you and your colleagues?
Day to day working life on the surface doesn’t seem to have changed too much as you’re part of the change that’s happening, but looking back at it subjectively, the changes that have happened have actually been quite drastic. Sites are run in a different way, the control measures being put in place by the team on the project I’m working on are great. The management of the project has become somewhat more complex as you try to ensure social distancing while trying to move the project forward. The restrictions on the travel throughout Europe not only affect us negatively trying to get home to see our friends and family but also reduces the pool of contractors and specialist vendors etc that we can work with as attendances become tricky. Overall, it’s been a strange few months, but we’re getting through it!
Mercury | Working Through the Pandemic | Interview Series
We will be regularly releasing new content in our Working Through the Pandemic series, with our staff across Ireland, the UK and Continental Europe. Stay tuned for more content over the coming weeks!