Connections, Ideas and Emotions

Can You Trust a Romanian?

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Damn right you can! 

Frankly I’m embarrassed to be British, the media hype around immigration and  morons espousing about “foreigners taking our jobs” blah blah blah.

In March this year, I had the very great pleasure of meeting an amazing man, Oleg. Oleg has a PHD equivalent in Design Engineering, a special visa to be in the UK because of his talent, a strapping teenage son and a wonderful wife who is a Doctor (Neurologist).

Oleg came to my home to fix my car (it wouldn’t start), I found Oleg on the Internet after two very poor experiences.

  1. Mercedes Benz wanted £80+Vat to just to plug my car into a computer before they would even take a guess what my problem might be.
  2. Greenflag recovery sent a lorry and a truly ignorant man to tow my car away, he didn’t arrive to diagnose a problem, just two it away to a garage. Useless.

Whereas Oleg (I now call him the Car Doctor) jumped into the car and asked me to explain what happened. We chatted for a couple of minutes. He said “I can fix this”. You know, that’s all you want to hear isn’t it? When you reach out to a professional, you want some little words of confidence to make you feel better.

Oleg checked a few things and within five minutes the car was started, amazing!

The problem? A fuse, a bloody fuse! I hope you are reading this Mercedes Benz and Greenflag! A FUSE!!!

Now, I would be lying if when Oleg first arrived and I heard his accent, for a split second I was doubtful, but I try to be a great human being and treat others fairly, no matter, colour or creed. I’m glad because I now have a true friend I admire and trust.

I had pre-agreed to pay Oleg £60 for the first hour of his time, I was very happy with £60, but Oleg refused to take my money! He said “It’s a fuse, I cannot charge you for fixing a fuse” – Amazing!

We settled on £20 for petrol and I asked if we could become friends and he work on other cars I had, I’d just started dealing in Mercedes SLK Roadsters. Lucky for me Oleg agreed.  I suspect a British mechanic may have charged me more by making up a problem and burning up the hour so he could charge me £60, it’s happened before.

Over the summer I introduced Oleg to friends and he helped others too.

Oleg had the time to help because he quit a job at a local garage because they were ripping off customers. Not replacing filters on services, charging for new oil when they were using old mixed oil. Customers were paying full price for servicing and were being blatantly robbed! Oleg said he just couldn’t take part in that, so decided to work alone, mobile.

I could make this blog post much longer and explain the racism I encountered whilst being with Oleg in situations over the summer, but I will try and end it here.

Oleg is Romanian, he’s an academic, he has principles and ethics and he is also highly skilled. During a conversation about the UK and Romania, Oleg shared how totally shocked and disappointed at the lack of ethics and morality in the UK. He didn’t expect it, he thought we would be a professional and ethical country, in his experience so far, we are anything but, some of his employers have been horrendous.

Take a good look in the mirror Britain, we are not all we think we are, I’d suggest we are living in the past, measuring ourselves against days gone by, and we are coming up short. Like I say, I’m embarrassed, but at least I have a new good friend that I admire and respect. Give people a chance huh and ignore the press, you never know, you may be delighted by what happens next. 


Author: darenbbc

DAREN FORSYTH Founder & CEO 140Characters.co.uk Daren Forsyth is the Founder and CEO of 140Characters.co.uk, a new venture dedicated to creating and promoting social change via strategic social networking across the corporate, governmental and nonprofit sectors. The company is based in London, England. A 15-year veteran of the digital media arena, Forsyth has earned the reputation of an energetic, dynamic and innovative business leader. A self-proclaimed evangelist for what’s possible when communications technology is employed to bridge brands and organisations with their publics, Forsyth believes that 140Characters can both tap and leverage the growing demand and need for productive alliances between the communities. The company will embrace basic social-media dynamics, as well as tools as simple as home computers, to connect diverse networks within a strategic design. The goal is to offer an unprecedented medium to collect, synthesise and generate the shared ideas, knowledge and feelings that, as a body, can effect change across broad sectors. Prior to launching 140Characters.co.uk , Forsyth served three years at the British Broadcasting Corporation in a variety of executive-level business posts, beginning April 2006. In 2007, he was promoted to Senior Business Development Manager in the Future Media and Technology division. There, Forsyth established the BBC's strategic partnership with Microsoft, orchestrating the meeting between Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, and the BBC director general, Mark Thompson. In addition, he created partnerships with IBM and was actively engaged in the BBC Archive and iPlayer projects. In late 2007, Forsyth was tapped by officials and seconded to become Director of Innovation and New Media for the Media Trust. The Media Trust is a UK, broadcasting industry-supported charity that promotes communication between the voluntary sector and the media. Over the course of his tenure, through early 2009, Forsyth shepherded a host of critical digital media initiatives, including an alliance with prestigious Siemens, which donated servers to the charity and helped update the technical infrastructure of the organisation. Before joining the BBC, Forsyth was a key player in the digital startup revolution. From 1996 until its sale in 2005, he was Founder and Managing Director of the highly successful Fernhart New Media, which he built into one of the UK’s most dominant digital TV and Web agencies. Now, returned to his entrepreneurial roots with 140Characters.co.uk, Forsyth is excited by the potential of his creative new venture. Daren Forsyth has been profiled in numerous business and industry publications, including: New Media Age, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian. In 2004, the UK Government recognised Forsyth as a “Top 100 Pioneer of the First Internet Decade.” Forsyth is available to conduct workshops for corporations and nonprofit groups; to speak at corporate events, digital summits, public relations and marketing conferences, and news-industry meetings. He is also a facilitator for assisting governmental agencies in effectively engaging and communicating with their constituencies via social media and new technologies.

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