A Very English man in a very Austrian Austria

by John Atkinson, Applications Engineer

If you could imagine a typical English man, that is me, I drink lots of tea and I love the queen, so moving to Austria was a big move for me. Especially, as I found out I was going to Austria 2 weeks before the training started. As I transitioned from installation to applications, everything was new in my career, so everything was a new challenge which was exciting.

I don't really know what I expected when moving to Austria for 6 months as I didn't have much time to think about it. When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised as when I landed the sun was shining and was really warm, not what I expected at all. But after my travel from Salzburg to Wels, I was soon back to reality as when I arrived in Wels and I had a 15 minute walk to my hotel, the heavens opened and the rain was extremely heavy and resembled England very well, so I felt at home.

With the head office being in Wels was an amazing spectacle for me as you have the manufacturing of the equipment there as well as all the design teams. This was really exciting as you can see a product from a design on autoCAD to an actual piece of equipment in the warehouse. This was a great place to go through Applications training as you applicate a layout and go and see some of the products you have used downstairs in manufacturing.

What was my experience in Austria? In one word: Amazing. I was lucky enough to experience the end of summer which was very hot, but I also experienced “real” snow as in England we have 2-3 cm of snow a year! And in Austria I probably experienced this in 30 minutes, very different (also experiencing -13°C wasn't that pleasant). TGW gave me an incredible place to live, which was a castle……yes an actual castle!

One of the greatest things about my time in Austria was the people of Austria. I have never been to a place where everyone greets everyone even if you don't know them that well. Which brings me on to the language, which being very English and probably ignorant, I do not know a second language (you learn “Grüß dich” really quick). This brings up a funny story when passing someone in the corridor and trying to be polite, I attempted to say “Mahlzeit” which means good lunch, and the person I said it to just laughed and said what are you saying “whats app” and I was just like, no trying to say “good lunch” which made him laugh even more so I do apologise. I have made some incredible friends during my time in Wels.

A big part of my life is sport and in England I play rugby which is quite a common sport. For those who don't know, it's a 15 man aside game which is a contact sport (give it a google). So, when I found out I was going to Austria, that was the first thing that I searched for. I found a team – yes, there is rugby in Austria and I played for RC Linz, which was an incredible for me as I was classed an experienced player and I believe I helped the club move forward in getting rugby a bigger sport in Austria. Playing on a live stream was very cool too and playing rugby was a good stress reliever.

My experience in Austria is now over after learning a lot professionally and in life. Now, back in England, I miss some aspects of Austria.

But most of all I miss the people,

So danke schoen Austria

Tschau!

John Atkinson

Applications Engineer