- 28th July 2005 - Olde England and Mrs. President
- Today I went back to England after wuite some time, the last was in April if I recollect correctly. The plane was delayed 2 hours for weather problems at Heatrow, which brought back many memories about the weather in Reading. Eventually we maganed to arrive. Yes this time is a "we" as I was flying together with Mrs.Donatella Ratti, the president of the company where I work. Doni is a nice woman, a bit strange maybe but nice. Apparently she wanted to go with me (so my boss said) and I have to cance 1 week holidays because of this trip. We were going to see Burberry with a selection of fabrics that are going to be featured in the upcoming collection. The business meeting I guess went well, as usual they were interested in many things, but my experince with this client says that we never manage to clinch any deal in the end, mostly because they think that we are too expensive, and because they have some historical suppliers that they do not want to change. No matter how much I have explained this to my superiors (including Doni), we HAD to go. So now I am stuck with a bunch of requests that it's going to be impossible to meet, mostly because Braghenti will be closed for 2 weeks during the summer, and we will not have enough time to develop what we need for the beginning of September. Oh well, we'll see what it can be done, I'll make up so mumble-jumble excuses/stories and I'll try anyways, since the president was there I cannot let it go without giving it a go. The trip served to know her better, to know what Ratti group is doing, to know that we are going to be moved soon to the headquarters (only the commercial+design staff, the rest will stay where it is). This last bit will be rather hard to actually swallow, as separating the production from the sales/design is going to creat a lot of practical problems that are going to further cripple a structure that is already suffering madly. I hope that they mange it in a good way, so that the shock will be minimized as much as possible (to that endavour I reccommended many times not to rush into decisions and good planning to the president). All in all it was good to see London again, it's a shame that I couldn't stop longer to meet someone there, but that's the life of the jet set salesman, as someone calls me...
- 26th July 2005 - Empty Stomach
- After the swiss cheese grandeur, I came back to my real life quite abruptly. My boss came back at work and managed to fuck up the holiday plans of half of the office (apparently he didn't pay attention to the holiday plan that we gave him 1,5 months ago), I have been sucked into the same old problems once again, problems that I thought I was going to leave for good. I have no regrets, which is good, but on the other side is like waking up from a troubled dream. To cap it all up we didn't have any food left in the fridge, so we decided to cook 500grm of pasta (160 is sufficient for one two people usually), and we stuck a lot of things inside, to make a cold pasta salad. As a result all food stocks have been drained and we are left with pasta for the next 3 days...
- Week 18th-25th July 2005 - Swiss Cheese
- I had to call it this way.
First of all sorry for not updating the site in the past week, there was a lot to tell but I think that it was better to wait to post about it, mostly for scaramantic reasons.
I have been entalgled in a very complex work related negotiation. Basically a Swiss company offered me a position, more or less lat Monday, they are a producer for a shoe-related technology. Before giving out the details I have to fill you in with some differences between working in Italy and in Switzerland.
1. In Italy as an employee you get what we call TFR, which is 1/12th of your wage put away from the taxes that you pay. This sum mounts up until you leave your employer.
So if you are earning 1200euro per month, the company puts away 100 euro, making your real net wage 1300 Euro, though this TFR is given to you later in time.
In Switzerland you don't have a TFR.
2.As bad as it may sound in Italy an employee is very hard to fire. Of course you CAN be fired, but it has to be for good motives, if they want to send you away they have to pay you quite a lot, as you have to resign willingtly. In Switzerland you can be fired ANY TIME, with a 2 months notice. Also because of that, for the same type of work, wages in Switzerland are at least 1.5 higher than the ones in Italy.
3. This is a small company, very good product (I think), but no chance of career, technological product is interesting but it's quite far from what I do now, though I really fancy a try at selling technology. Still for me is a step in a dark room, as I don't know them and don't know their clients/market.
Given these conditions their first offer was 100 Euro LESS than my actual net wage (if I earn 1000, they offered 900). Of ocurse I rejected this offer and I asked them to give me AT LEAST what I earn in Italy, plus the cost of fuel to get there (I'd have to travel 80km, instead of 2 as I do now), and the cost of exchanging the Swiss Francs into Euro.
All things considered it would not make my wage 1.5 times higher (but roughly 1.15), this already meant selling me under par, and of course I would not see much difference in terms of money at the end of the month. Of course since I want to change I would have sacrified thoose 0.35 happily.
Their counter offer was 200 Euro more than my actual wage, which is not enough to cover for the TFR + fuel expenses. To add a comedy value, the job agency that presented me gave me a wrong quote of the net wage that I was going to earn. So on Friday after the third interview, I was all convinced but then the Chief Administrator told me the what the net wage was going to be (almost 200 Euro difference from what the job center said), and we were back at point one.
Today I have gotten the final offer, which is the same as the one on Friday, with the promise after the trial period to put it up to what I was requesting.
The final decision was refuse the offer and the position.
Needless to say that I have been very much stressed all week, I have been thinking about this move a lot and wasted a lot of time worrying about things.
One good thing is that at least now I KNOW what will be the least acceptable wage for me to go to Switzerland. Of course should a company from Florence wast to employ me, if the company is a good one, I could think of going even with a wage cut, but that's because I wanna go back there. If I have to stay away from Florence I cannot accept to earn less than what I do now.
What to say? I hope that there will be more offers in the future, maybe "real offers" and not dummies like this one. Of course this might require some time, and I am fed up of the place in which I am working/living, but starting something completely new already unhappy would have been wrong.
Oh well, let's see, this is the second job offer that I turn down, I hope the third is the right one!
- Sunday 17th July 2005 - Bike and Rest
- Well today I couldn't sleep as much as I would have like. Thoose fucking contruction workers in front of my room are working on Sunday as well, and they make an hell of a noise, after 9 is impossible to sleep. So I just played some computer games, ate and finally went to the supermarket by bike. The ride it's an hard one as there are very steep slopes to climb when coming back, but once again I managed without any problem, the leg is holding in one piece fortunately.
Tonight I am going to rest, probably watching TV or reading a book...
- Saturday 16th July 2005 - Aquapark!
- Yessss, I went to this huge Aquapark near Novara, where I spent the day with some friends and their kids. The good news is that my leg managed to survive the whole day, a lot of waterslides, swimming, canoeing and so on. The bad news is.... Well no bad news today!!! Went to bed early as I was knackered as hell!
- Friday 15th July 2005 - Ship without a Captain
- Today we have had the confirmation (un-official) that the company where I' m working in is going to re-locate to the head office of the main company.
The funny side is that only the commercial staff and designers are going to move!!
Needless to say that if things are already very much pear shaped here with our presence, checking things with production, getting trials on the spot to save time and so on, tomorrow it's going to be even harder to get things going in a proper way.
I really need to go away, this is like a ship without a captain, our boss of course didn't say anything at this new attempt of killing us off... It's really sad, I need to get going real soon...
- Wednsday 13th July 2005 - Being Idle
- I haven't updated the blog quite a lot reecntly, mostly because there are several happenings that are preventing me to go online. The major one is job realted but I won't disclose the details until the matter is solved. The operation has also registered some news, my granmother offered to pay for it, but after I have asked for the price I have totally cringed in terror and I think that it's not going to be possible for me to get surgery on the private side. It's a shame but nothig that I can change unfortunately. Next time I play football I'll make sure I have an injury insurance. Theoretically I will start my holidays next week, should go to Florence to chill out and maybe get some sun-tan, then I should be off to Cote d'Azur with Marta and other friends. Let's hope the trip will be a nice one!
- Sunday 10th July 2005 - Roast Beef and Shopping
- We were meant to go to the swimming pool today as well, but the weather is playing with us and we had to postpone it to the next weekend. Decided to "move the economy" instead. Basically went shopping, bought a couple of t-shirts in a nice shop in Switzerland. In the evening we went dining out at Paola and Bogios's place, cooked a nice roast-beef and some roasted potatoes. Today we got the reply from a property owner in Cote d'Azur for our holidays, we are going to rent a house in Illes des' Issambres, near Saint Tropez. Let's hope is a nice holiday, the injury forced us to go there, as I cannot move around too much...
- Saturday 9th July 2005 - Angler, Curry and Rain
- Today I woke up wanting really hard to go to some swimming pool, the doctor said that it might be good to get some swimming and biking before the operation. Unfortunately the weather was pretty much "English" and we could not go. We decided to go food shopping and spent an awful lot of money, fortunately this grocery shopping should last for some time. We also bought some interesting Angler's tail medallions, which I cooked in a rather pleasant curry cream, served to gether with some roasted coujettes and olive oil. During the afternoon we tried to go out with the bike but after 50 meters rain started pouring down and we had to go back home.. Let's hope tomorrow I can do some work out.
- Friday 8th July 2005 - Ubuntu
- Today I sucessfully installed my first ever Linux system. I must say that I am really happy about this little achievement, mostly because it brings me back to the things that I was doing when I was younger, assembling computers and fiddling around with operating systems. I really like doing that, I know that it might seems strange but I like it! Now I have to study it a little longer. Linux is really nice, no need to install all thoose programs that you need in Windows (registry optimizers, anti spyware, virus sweepers and so on). Now I have to get my modeme working and the sound to actually play some music... Maybe during my next business trip I will not have to flatten the hard drive 2 times because of viruses or funny things like that! It always happens when I am abroad and I don't have any tools with me to re-configure the laptop!
- Wednsday 6th July 2005 - War of the World
- Today I was rather busy , which is a good thing, we have had a major Japanese client visiting Braghenti, I had a lot of matters to attend to at work, and I am going to see War of the Worlds tonight. Nothing more to report apart from a marvellous steak at Cascina Diodona, a great restaurant 10 minutes away from where I live...
- Monday 4th July 2005 - Back at work II
- Well finally I have come back. I have been completely stormed by 1000 snide comments on the fact that I broke my ligaments, no surprises there. I guess that I kind of missed beign at work, after all I have spent the last 3 weeks at home, playing computer games and putting this site together. Still a lot of work to do there. Nothing special to report today, had frozen pizza for dinner and ate an awful meal at Braghenti's canteen. Marta is away so I have the house all for myself.
- Sunday 3rd July 2004 - Last day off work
- Technically it's sunday so I am not required to work, but with tomorrow my injury leave expires and I am back full time to Braghenti. I am totally NOT looking forward to it, I feel I really need a holiday, which I was meant to take but because of the leg I had to postpone. I am feeling rather nervous today, don't quite know why, maybe it's just coming back here up North...
- Saturday 2nd July 2005 - Weaving Florence Goodbye
- Today I have left Florence. After 4 days spent there, looking for surgeries and seeing some friends, I have to make it back to Vedano as Marta has to work on Sunday and she needs to go home soon. I also managed to drive after 20days spent limping, actually I am almost back to normal walk, though I can feel that the leg is stiff and unstable. Maybe in one year's time, when I'll read the account of these days, I might even smile. Now it's not the best situation, it's summer but I cannot exactely walk, I was meant to have a week holiday in Sardinia, instead i have had 2 weeks injury leave spent at home..Oh well, I guess it's part of life, I can only hope that the future will be a bit brighter...
- Friday 1st July 2005 - Visiting doctors
- Late update of the blog, I have had some problems connecting. Anyways, the last day of June (idilliac month so to speak) had to feature the visit to the orthopaedic in order to assess the quality of my right knee. Basically I will require surgery, still we don't know when this is going to happen, but it is certainly going to take place after the holidays from September onwards. Maybe I was expecting to get a better result, something like "oh but this MRI is wrong you have just a sprained knee!", instead the result of the assessment was even worse than the MRI. Basically the doc thinks that I also have a problem with cartilage, together with a 90% broken anterior cruciate ligament. So in a way today I am rather sad, though it's more or less what I should have expected from start...
As for today nothing special, played some Magic with Stefano and waiting for Marta tonight...
- Lox, Lorenzo... ME!!
- A little introduction about the author and the blog itself. Plus contacts and CVs... You never know!
- A Selection of the best pictures that I have taken all over the world during the years, all nicely indexed by year and geographical area. Jolly good!
- History of this Blog
- A collection of all the articles that I have wrote so far, divided by month/year.
I have had the bad idea of writing my e-mail address on the board before, so this time I'll try to prevent some spam to get to me by putting this little image.. Let's hope it does the trick!
A reminder to Myself
Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round
For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round
You must set your sights upon the heights
Don't be a mediocrity
Don't just wait and trust to fate
And say, that's how it's meant to be
It's up to you how far you go
If you don't try you'll never know
And so my lad as I've explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
You see my boy it's nature's way
Upon the weak the strong ones prey
The human life it's also true
The strong will try to conquer you
That is what you must expect
Unless you use your intellect
Brains and brawn, weak and strong
That's what makes the world go round