We bid farewell to Georgios Nikoletopoulos after 37 years of honorable service
For the last 37 years, Georgios Nikoletopoulos has been a vital member of our embassy team, and a regular sight in the reception of our embassy building. Now, we have said good-bye to Georgios after his long and honorable service. We have asked Georgios a few questions about his time here and about his retirement plans. It seems that one place you might catch a glimpse of this self-appointed young, smart, beautiful and healthy gentleman in the future is his olive farm in the Peloponnese.
- When did you start working for the Embassy of Finland, and how did you end up here?
It was June 1984 when I started. I heard that they needed a driver at the embassy and I decided to apply. It was almost like an accident that I ended up working here.
- What has been the most impressing experience during your time at the Embassy of Finland?
I have found impressive the way of working around here. It has always been well organized and planned, and for the most part, you always know what is going to happen and how the next week for example will look like. Of course, sometimes you will also get some surprising incidents but under normal circumstances, everything was in order.
I have thousands of funny stories and memories from the embassy. They have been part of my work but also part of my life. I´ve loved and enjoyed my time here.
- How has the work changed during the years?
Working here for 37 years, sometimes it was easy and sometimes we had some more difficult moments. We had to help all the newcomers that come to Greece and Athens and do not know yet how the daily life works here. We are a small embassy with only a few people so sometimes we could have some problems.
First years it was much more difficult, since we did not have all these electronic equipment and we had to do everything by hand. You have to work about 16 hours a day. Since then everything has gotten simpler with the computer and internet and all those things. The work has gotten easier in a way, but more bureaucratic.
- Is there something you miss now that you have retired?
I would still like to see the people that I worked with, but I am happy that I am now free to do whatever I wish. There are no time restrictions for me at the moment.
My aim was to retire before the beginning of summer time, because I think it is more difficult if you retire during the winter. Everything is so dark and cold and you will stay at home more so it can be boring. Retiring now I will get more used to being free, so in the winter it will be easier to adapt.
- What plans do you have for your retirement?
I am young, smart, beautiful and healthy. So the world is my oyster, I do whatever I wish. I have no plans yet but I like travelling around.
- I heard there was some talk about olive farms?
Yes, I like farming. I am a farmer as well. The production of olives does not need my attention every day. There are certain periods in the year when you have to work, but then you are free. I have a piece of land in the Peloponnese, and I can drive there when I need to tend to the olive trees.
- One last question, where have you gotten that shirt?
I got it from Eili, she brought it for me. I actually have another Finland shirt from the Athens 2004 Olympic games, which I also hold very dear. It is the official one that was used by the Finnish national team in the Olympics. I am taking offers, but you must pay a lot for me to part ways with it.
The Embassy of Finland in Athens wishes Georgios relaxed retirement days, and good harvests at the olive farm. Thank you for your service!