|Most of our local lot back in the Netherlands|
One thing that is vital if you're going to have some sort of social life in Norway, is to join stuff. I might not be the most union-minded person, but it is one way to a. meet people and b. talk and understand Norwegian. However, there are not only union meetings where I live. Yesterday there was a staff club meeting.
Now, if you remember in the Netherlands I organised the staff parties for our local lot. I was the chairwoman, vice-chairwoman, secretary, treasurer and member of the staff club. I booked the restaurants, the bowling lanes. I collected the money for weddings, births and deaths. It wasn't that hard. There were only five full-time drivers, a couple of part-time drivers and a handful of 0-hour drivers (ie drivers that could be called in if they were needed). They probably were glad they didn't have to organise anything and left everything to me.
Over here however, it's a different matter. There are over 200 employees at this branch (four lots, but they are all thrown into the same club), which means there has to be a chairperson. And a vice chairperson. And a secretary. A treasurer. And some think-along members. And they can't all be the same person!
There has to be a budget, plans for the coming year and everything has to be discussed by all the attendees. The budget was okayed, last year's was okayed, the incoming ideas had to be voted over and new board members had to be voted for. And after all that, there was dinner! A very nice dinner with lots of laughs and expensive wine (to be paid for by yourself, please thank you).
|After dinner, a group of us went out!|
Now, if you are wondering what the title means: it's the name of the staff club over here. It might be a very early 20th century name, but it seems to work well for them.
Now of course you're all wondering what this Velferd is organising, don't you? Well, every year there is a trip to Denmark. Then there is an autumn trip, perhaps a longer/more expensive summer trip. There might be smaller trips in the vicinity of Haugesund, of course the Christmas dinners (very big in Norway) and birthday gifts for those who reach 50, 60 or 70 (yes, we have several over 70 working now), wedding gifts and when someone dies, there will be flowers as well. Plus several things more that I might see and experience as the year unfolds.