Day in a life

It’s always slightly exasperating when people ask you what you do, you tell them and they say “yes, but what do you actually DO”. Well, for future reference…

I got up at 6.30 this morning, as I wanted to register at 8.15 for the conference that a Commissioner was speaking at today, to get it out of the way. I was on the train by 7.30 (if there’s one thing I miss about Brussels, it’s the short commute!) and then got a call from the Commissioner’s staff that they needed a car. So I headed to the hotel instead and sorted that out. We got to the conference venue, and once everything was sorted there, I headed back to the office. Time for a quick flick through the day’s press review (usually done on the train, but no time today), took part in the daily briefing from Brussels, then finalised the organisation of the team now that we’ve lost one of our staff.

I headed back over to the conference venue at 10.40 or so to find the camera team that would be interviewing the Commissioner at 11. It’s easy for people to find me when I’m wearing the leopardskin coat…! We realised that it was going to be far too noisy in the street so we headed back to the office to do it there. I had reckoned without the building works next door which can be heard everywhere in our office, so we scoured the building for the quietest room that we could bear to be filmed. While one of the team tried to stop the jackhammers for the 10 minutes we needed, I waited outside the conference for the Commissioner – of course it ran over time. One of the most difficult things is always getting the person to do the interview out of the full conference hall where everyone wants to say hello, congratulate him on his contribution, give him their card, ask him to speak at their event… then past the journalists that are waiting for a “quick comment” and off to the interview. The AV interview went pretty well and then it was into an hour with a national newspaper. My role in the interview is different to how it was when I was a spokesperson as I’m not as familiar with the content, so it’s just a question of making sure it finishes on time. Once out of the interview, got the Commissioner and staff back to where they needed to be and made sure the journalist had everything needed. Then I had to work out how to get the luggage into the car that will be taking them to the airport, which is going to entail me carrying it over to the venue in about 30 minutes. Time for a quick bite to eat, then back to my desk to deal with the e-mails that have come in during the morning, prepare for several meetings and try to pin down arrangements for next week, when another Commissioner is in town…and we get to start all over again!

Published by Antonia

I'm a British citizen and European Union official, who lives in Brussels again after 6 years in London and 8 in Melbourne. My blog(s) reflect my interests in the EU, yarncrafts, organisations and dog ownership.

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