To all of you who work in Israeli start-ups, have Israeli colleagues or want to work with Israelis: here are some useful terms and phrases you are bound to hear in the Israeli workspace.
It’s 7:30 AM and you’re on your way to the office משרד (mees-rahd). The traffic jams פקקים (pkah-keem) are crazy and you’re trying to stay cool, sipping carefully from your coffee mug so it doesn’t spill all over your beige pants. You flip restlessly through the radio stations but nothing good comes on, so you switch it off. Somehow you manage to pull up in front of the office building at 8:00 sharp, and after greeting the guard שומר (shoh-mehr) at the entrance, you’re on the elevator, on your way to the 29th floor.
After you settle at your desk, you open your laptop and make some final adjustments to your team’s proposal הצעה (hah-tsah-ah). Then you enter the conference room for the morning meeting ישיבה (yeh-shee-vah). In the meeting you discuss today’s agenda with your team leader ראש צוות (rohsh tseh-veht), brainstorm with your colleagues and divide future tasks amongst yourselves. You go back to your desk and reply to some emails אימיילים (ee-meh-yee-leem) that have been piling up in your inbox.
After a few hours of intensive work (and some inevitable staring and contemplation about life) it’s time for the glorious lunch break הפסקת צהריים (hahf-sah-kaht tsoh-hoh-rah-yeem). If you’re in Israel you’ll probably order from Wolt or 10bis some indian food, hummus or a wannabe home-cooked-meal that includes chicken breast, white rice and a salad. If the mood strikes you, you can also go outside and enjoy the hot humid air of July in Tel Aviv, and sit in one of the busier restaurants across the street. Hummus is not recommended during working hours, because all you’d want to do after that is take a nap – שנ”צ (shnahts), which is an abbreviation of the words ‘afternoon’ and ‘sleep’ שנת צהריים (shnaht tsoh-hoh-rah-yeem).
After lunch the day is pretty much useless but you power through. You make yourself a double espresso in the office kitchen and log on to a zoom meeting פגישת זום (pgee-shaht zoom) with an overseas client לקוח (lah-koh-ahch). The meeting goes well despite the hummus, and the day is coming to an end. You type in the last updates as fast as you can, and at 5:00 PM (if you’re lucky) you shut down your laptop and head back to the elevator, all down to the first floor. You nod to the guard who by now is a different one, and prepare mentally for the ride home, tired but satisfied for what you’ve accomplished.