**Note: There is at least a good dozen of very special people I did not mention in this post even if I would have liked to. Special people as Jana, Julia, Davide, Gianluca, Dirk, Fred, Thomas,
PeterG Artur, José, Esther…but, hey! It’s my last day in here, I don’t want to spend it all writing this post…I have some YouTube clips to watch! -**
Truly, sincerely and utterly amazing – that’s how every single second spent working around PokeListings has been during the last five and a half years of my life.
I joined what back then was called Netlead while I was in one of the darkest moments the life of a freelance journalist can offer: right when newspapers started getting less and less into spending good money on stories about the Baltic region, my dearest landlord in Tallinn had the brilliant idea to raise the rent of the apartment I was living it.
So, while I started spending my days mostly pondering about the irony of timing and occasionally working on a story that could save my bank account…then the phone rang.
A job was thrown against my face – just like that. Out of nowhere.
The irony of timing, indeed.
That absurd job offer came with the nice voice of Alice Aleksandridi – that very same voice that only few months later I would hear complaining for my being chronically late to work since my very first day…but too bad that’s not the story I am here to tell – and went more or less like this:
Alice -Do you know wat SEO is?
Me – CEO? Are you asking me if I know what a CEO is? Of course I do.
Alice- Great, because that’s what we are looking for. How about coming to our office to discuss about the details?
Me- …mmm …yes….
Needless to say that I went there, I discovered that nobody actually wanted me as a CEO of anything and, a lot because of the charm of today Spotify’s Ulrika Lindwall and SEO Guru Matteo Monari and a little because I so damn needed a fixed income…I took the job ,I flew to Stockholm and I started a training on something-I-had-no-idea-about.
They had free Coca-Cola light in the office after all. So it couldn’t be too bad.
Yet, it worked. (Even if the Coca-Cola light disappeared soon after)
It worked so damn well that a part of me still thinks I must have turned into the biggest moron ever to deliberately leave it all today.
It worked even if it took me two good years to find out how to explain my job to those innocently asking me what was I doing.
It worked because of all the incredible people I had the luck to be with and learn from during the past five (and a half, not just five – eh!) years I spent in Netlead, WGP, HLM, Rock Intention…you choose the one you prefer…they’ve all been the same to me.
Learning SEO from Matteo, discovering that I could structure my work better thanks to Andreas Berglund and that I did not have to be afraid to work as many hours as it took to get the job done because also Evaldas Meliauskas and Carlo Cristofoli were doing it…well these have been some of the great treasures that kept me going for so long and helped me to grow as a professional in a way I would have never expected.
Only few of the ones that made our company what it became: one of the most respected in the world for the segment we are in.
But then, sure – it hasn’t all been about work all the time. You can’t have just work if you stay somewhere for so long.
One of the other miracles these five and a half years made, was in fact to convince me and many of us that coming to the office did not mean going to work. It meant being with family.
We got drunk together (sometimes too much…as when we flooded an hotel in Saaremaa…), we smoked joints together (sometimes too much…as when during Mathieu’s 30yo birthday…ehm…), we travelled together, we got married (not exactly together…but we were next to each other when it mattered the most) and we even took life changing decisions as leaving Stockholm and Tallinn to come down here and start our new Maltese adventure.
Once we also almost died together. But you better ask Evaldas about that – he was the cool one ready to die holding a can of Carlsberg, not me.
Yet, anyways –Carlsberg, Cisk or Saku, what matter is that we did all this together.
It has been a great, crazy ride and it has been a superb honour having been a part of it.
Thank you, everyone.
Thank you very much.