Bloody hell. There goes my tram. I have to teach at a company all the way on the other side of Bratislava and it will take me a little over an hour to get there. I can’t afford to miss a tram, even though the next one comes in ten minutes. When you’re jumping from part of town to the next, you can’t afford to lose any time.

Anyway, I arrive, right on time, because I really rushed, and because once am off the tram I can walk along the Danube to get there. I only have to risk my life once to cross a busy highway with tram tracks in the middle.

These companies are always located in big office buildings where lots of different companies do whatever it is that they do to make more money than they spend.

Each building has a different security protocol.

Bloody hell times two.

It turns out their reception system doesn’t work, and the girl behind the reception is new and has never done this before.

She can’t give me a visitor card, so she uses her card to let me through the security gates. She also activates the elevator for me. I have no card to activate anything.

There are two zones with elevators. I remember that last time I used the elevators in the different zone, but ok, I suppose they lead to the same floor.

No, they do not.

Bloody hell times three.

When the elevator opens I don’t see any office, I see piles of bricks and I hear hammering in the distance.

I have ended up on a floor that is still under construction. I can’t go back down with the elevator, because I have no card. I walk around through unfinished rooms, over wooden boards and construction material. Eventually I bump into a sweet Roma lady, who unfortunately doesn’t understand what I want. She’s never heard of the company I’m looking for. I ask her for the stairs, and she leads me to them.

They are blocked, I can’t go up, but I can go down.

Luckily the security system for the doors is not operational, so I can open a door one floor down.

I end up in an other huge office space still under construction.

Two workers can’t tell me where to go and don’t seem to care that I am walking through their construction site. They couldn’t care less. Apparently it’s only the people at the reception that care about security.

Eventually, after wandering around amidst the buckets of paint, I spot a small door that is open.


I find myself back on the street.

I go back to the reception and, praise be to Jesus, their system is working again. I get a visitor card.

The reception lady wants to send me to the same elevator, but I protest.

After some discussion I can convince her to let me use the elevators in the other section, and so finally I arrive where I’m supposed to teach, a mere ten minutes late. Although I kinda get the impression that the company thinks I start 15 minutes later than I think I am starting.

At least the students are wonderful and the view from the office is amazing, right next to the Danube river, which was covered in fog today.

In most company buildings I have to pass two security hurdles. The people at the reception are usually so distracted by a 1000 other little tasks that they have to perform that I lose lots of precious minutes.

So far I haven’t been shoved through a metal detector yet. And no emergency intervention team arrives when I leave my bag unattended for two minutes, but perhaps we could all relax a little bit, if I wanted to do harm I could still very easily get through this ‘security’ anyway. It just costs me hours of time each week, if I count every little security hurdle they throw in front of the already time pressed wandering teacher…

These days there are no stress free jobs anymore.

Except perhaps for that one reception dude in an other office building who always forgets my face and has to put all my information in their system AGAIN, just so I can use an elevator. If I’m ever totally drained from life force I want that guy’s job. Looks peaceful and you can test people’s nerves at the same time and have a laugh, I guess.