Tobacco company-experience


As I mentioned in the previous post “Online English teacher”, my student visited me to whom I was giving classes in the Serbian language. The reason for his visit was our agreement on opening a tobacco company in Serbia, as well as his learning of the Serbian language. Not knowing that he was planning to start a business in Serbia, I asked him if he might know that someone needed an online personal assistant.

I was desperately looking everywhere for a new job, something that would bring me income. The skills I have corresponded to jobs on the internet and that is why I did not try to look for a job that I would do outside the home. Because I was already employed full time and it was impossible to work in another place. Job offers in Serbia are quite scarce, so today the greatest chances for part-time jobs exist on the Internet.


Dosao je dan kada smo zapoceli procedure otvaranja kompanije. Moj student ce uskoro postati  direktor duvanske kompanije u Srbiji a ja cu biti zaposlena kao officer manager. Bio je veliki rizik otvaranja ovakve firme. Trziste su vec preuzele mnogo mocnije i finansijski jace kompanije. Direktor je bio stranac a procedure za otvaranje firme koji nije srpski drzavljanin nije tako jednostavno kao sto je opisano u reklami koja je u to vreme kruzila Evropom. Strani investitori pozivani su da ulazu u moju drzavu uz brzu registraciju firme i manje birokratskih stavki. Ipak uspeli smo, nasa mala kompanija dobila je svoje mesto i sansu na srpskom trzistu. 

The trust between me and the director was immeasurable. The promise, the given word, was sacred to him. He was no longer just my director, he was a family member, a friend, a brother. The office was in my apartment and I mostly did the tasks from home, sending e-mails, contacting customers and companies with which we had cooperation. We got small jobs and only covered the expenses we had, taxes, my salary, the director’s salary.

The struggle for the tobacco market lasted for almost three years. During all that time, my salary was regular, even though there was a time when the company had no profit. But my director took care of me and my family. He visited us often, drove from Germany to Serbia, stayed for two to three days to finish all the work, and hurried to return to Germany. He had a permanent job and family there. It was clear that our company would close soon, it was not profitable and only created additional costs for the owner, my director.

He wanted to give another chance to our business. I say to ours because we were in that fight together, I wasn’t just employed, it was a sense of belonging, care, and commitment. We created a company together, started from scratch, and rejoiced in every success. Each time he came optimistic and said we had to think positive. He liked to drink coffee in a cafe called a book, he bought books in the Serbian language, he liked the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet. No matter what problem we had in business, he was always calm, he spread positive energy. At the beginning of our collaboration, he told me “I have invested whole my life in this company”, everything he earned in Germany. At that moment I felt responsible, not because of my salary because I recognized his hard work and suffer. 

He is a great intellectual, a book and learning is his best friend. Once when I was talking to a business partner he asked me  “ Do you know who is your director ”, he is a world-famous tobacco inspection expert, his word is respected in the tobacco industry. I had no idea how honored I am to know him and to work with him. 


The day came when we had to close the company. One of the saddest moments of my life. But my director’s words eased my sadness: ” You are not anymore my personal assistant and office manager, now I am your brother. If you anything need in your life, I will be always here for you “.  

We lose a lot of things in our lives, but at the same time, we gain.

Believe in yourself, even when you are insecure and aware that it will be a difficult path to success.

At the beginning of giving Serbian language classes, I didn’t know anything about it.

I didn’t know anything about tobacco either, but I learned a lot, gained work experience in various fields.

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