Today is my last day in Barcelona. After three years, I am leaving the city to move to a house in the mountains in the south of Spain. As usual when you are moving, there is a lot to do on the last day.
The first thing I want to do is cancel my membership at the co-working space. If I don’t turn in my access card today, I won’t get my deposit back. At 9 sharp, I stand at the entrance at the harbor and nod to the security guard. He waves me through, and I walk along the pier to the office building for the last time.
When I started freelancing in Barcelona, I needed a place to work that wasn’t my kitchen table or my sofa. I remember arriving there early every morning for the first few months, pulling a coffee from the Nespresso machine and starting to write. It was still quiet then and dark in the winter. In the summer, I didn’t get there until the afternoon, when it was so hot you couldn’t stand it anywhere else. The mornings were good for writing and the afternoons were best for editing.
That morning, my last in Barcelona, I hand in my card at the front desk and then sit on the terrace once more. Before I can continue, I have a team call. I pull my laptop out of my backpack, connect my headphones and join the meeting. My colleagues are already waiting as little faces at the edge of the screen in rooms I don’t know, rooms I’ve never been in.
Someone shares their screen, and we discuss some “issues” that have come up in the last week. Then we follow the agenda. Today we discuss how we can improve our Delivery Time. We gather ideas and form Action Points, which we distribute among ourselves. After an hour, the meeting is over, my camera turns off and I’m alone again. But not for long because today is my last day and there is still a lot to do.
## Brand Store
The house in the mountains where I want to move has no fiber connection. There is only mobile network there, so I still need to get an internet connection to be able to participate in life.
But first I have to cancel the old contract. At Plaça de Catalunya, my mobile provider has a brand store, where I am assigned to an employee without much delay. He explains to me that I can only cancel my contract by phone. Then I can hand in my old router at the store and take a new mobile router for the house in the mountains.
I let him give me the number for customer service and then follow first the instructions of the automated answering machine and finally those of the call center employee. There is, of course, a problem and I hand the phone to the store employee who, together with his colleague, begins to solve my problem.
While the two discuss in Spanish, I look at the latest smartphones and next-gen game consoles on display in the room. They shine in the neon light like all new technology until it is no longer new, and its successors fill the shelves.
My first articles as a freelance writer were still sketched by hand and proofread by friends. Now, machines accompany me every step of the way. In elementary school, I learned to look up words in the dictionary, and now I simply copy the text I’ve written into a program and the software automatically shows me my mistakes and makes suggestions for corrections. With keyword tools, I find the search term my content should be optimized for. SEO-Assistant tools evaluate how good my pieces chances are of ranking at the top of Google, and plagiarism software shows me whether my writing is 100% unique or not.
And that’s just the beginning. Soon the shelves will fill up again and other, new technology will shine and gleam in the neon light. Artificial intelligences, with the entire Internet at their disposal, are the next star in the tech sky. As an editor at BlogTec, I’ve already seen the difference these machines can make. Nothing works without professional human help, but this technology has the ability to completely redefine the role of the content creator.
My two customer service agents have fallen silent. I’m getting a little restless because today is my last day at Barcelona and there’s still work to be done. So I ask, and they tell me that the problem has been solved.
A technical difficulty, the Brand Store employee explains.
I know this one, I say.
## Taxi / Airport
I sit in the cab on the way to the airport and answer some mails on my phone. It’s done. The apartment transfer is complete and I am free. There is a window between me and the cab driver. We are wearing masks. He explained to me that the Ronda Litoral is closed and that’s why we have to go through Poble Sec. I trust him. It’s his job.
My job is to give our writers feedback on their articles. I type my notes into the comments section of our task manager and link to the individual writer. As editors, we meet regularly in virtual rooms or chat threads to set guidelines that will apply to our writing.
- Correctness of content
Despite coordinated processes and predefined topics, every piece of content should sound personal in the end. It should introduce our customers and appeal to people. The feedback the writers receive should also be personal. It should contain both positive and negative aspects, and encourage learning and participation.
I mistype and have to look up from my phone as the cab makes a sharp turn around the Columbus monument. The cab driver looks in the rearview mirror. Above the mask, his eyes contort into a smile. He says something in Catalan, but my understanding is worse than he thinks, so I just nod in the right places.
Communication and especially personal communication is important when working in a team. It’s important to set goals together and have everyone participate and see the progress. In a team that works completely remotely, that’s a big challenge.
I have never met any of my colleagues in person, yet we talk or write almost daily. We use the latest technology to do this. It makes our lives easier. It gives us freedom. I can do my work from a co-working-space at the port, from a cab, or in the mountains in Andalusia – it makes no difference.
Based on technology, I can connect with my team and technology helps me read and improve content. It is a part of me, but without me, it is nothing. Without the people, the people who work with technology, make mistakes with it and learn with it, technology is nothing.
This principle is what drove us to attempt this blog article series. We want to present our daily work from a personal perspective and give context. Context for the products, agenda items, meeting papers, and growth hypotheses we communicate every day within the team and with the outside world.
At the airport, I lift my bag out of the trunk. The cab driver and I shake hands as we say goodbye. Then I roll to check in, through security and to the gate. My last day in Barcelona, a normal day.