“One more thing,” our HR Manager Sofie said when I told her late December that I would join Upgrade Estate. “After you finish your first week, we will go on our annual Upcitytrip. Are you still free that weekend?”. And so it happened.
Without the slightest idea of what to expect, I stepped onto the bus that Friday morning towards the unknown. There had been endless speculation during the week. That we would take a plane, probably to a sunny destination, was something almost everyone agreed on. There was some grumbling when it became obvious that we wouldn’t get any more information other than that we should be prepared for all weather conditions. To be honest, it was mainly the women who were at times very worried about what to pack in their suitcases.
On the day of departure, the tension was still running high. When our bus set course for the Netherlands, we were diligently checking the destinations we could fly to from Eindhoven.
“Malaga! Florence! Milan!”
Once we got off the bus and jogged across the airport, opinions were still divided. When Ellen, one of the fellow tour leaders and a stewardess at Sabena in a previous life, addressed us outside the airport building, it became clear that none of us had it right. It turned out we wouldn’t be travelling by plane, Eindhoven was our final destination.
The entire weekend was planned down to the smallest details with a perfect mix of educational visits and relaxation. On the first day alone we rode a covered wagon, received an extensive tour of The Student Hotel, drove around in go-karts and rode the last few kilometres (although it turned out “few” was quite the understatement) towards our accommodation on a beer bike.
Refreshed and in full attire, we concluded the evening in style with an extensive winter barbecue and an extended version of the TV programme Het Swingpaleis.
After a short night, we rode around the city centre of Eindhoven on tandems. Accompanied by a guide who, of course, emphasised the architecture and some special buildings in the city, we tried to keep ourselves warm in very cold temperatures. As a complete layman within the real estate sector, the guided visits were an enormous added value to the company weekend for me. First of all, the three days were a lot of fun, but when I returned home on Sunday evening and started telling everything that happened, I realised that I had actually learnt a lot.
If you ask me what I will remember most of all from my first weekend with the Upgrade Family, then I must say it is the unique bond and atmosphere within the company. Definitely something you won’t find everywhere.
Going away an entire weekend after your very first week in a new job is not exactly self-evident. Yet, I never felt like I didn’t belong.
Outside it was cold, sometimes even very cold.
But when I think back on Eindhoven, I can't help but feel a warm glow…
Annelies - Customer Delight Officer