- Major Setback
- [Friday 31st August]
I just wish that I could write something different on the blog something along the lines of "Finally" or "Fucking YES" or "the Wheel is turning!", but I can't.
Today I have suffered the first, and hopefully last, setback related to work.
Basically a company that I have visited several times, with whom I spoke a lot about potential employment, that I believed really liked me and that I quite looked forward working for, told me that I am not needed.
Officially they said that they really liked me and all, but their decision is not to invest in the Asian markets at least until the exchange rate cools off a bit and intercontinental sales are looking more "promising" than what they are at the moment.
To be honest the period for textiles in Asia is dreadful, a far too strong Euro and the competition from China is shrinking the possibilities of apparel companies to buy from Italy and I cannot really say that they have got it wrong.
Of course I argued that if you do not invest (i.e. take a dedicated person to do those markets) the situation will never improve for them, but the answer has been a polite "no thank you".
I was really cocooning the idea of working for these people, everything seemed right, but as a matter of fact it did not happen.
I'll skip all the explanation of the dreadful feeling about being let down, about the fact that the balloon popped right in front of me, with a strong enough "bang" to let me realize that I am left high and dry, and without that escape route that I was looking for.
Now it's back to point one, fortunately I still have a source of income, as much hateful and shite as it might be it's still paying so I'd better stick to it.
Morale is low, maybe the same level that it touched when my car was stolen.
Under that point of view (the car) things are finally moving and the solicitor that I have explained me the battle plan that hopefully will get me some money soon enough to start thinking about what car I will go for next. I'd love a bi-fuel car, but the choice is pretty limited in Italy and they are all sedans and I do not want such a big car... Oh well I guess I have more important things to worry about in the immediate future, like finding another job soon.
Sometimes I wish that things were easier than what they are at the moment....
- Lukewarm and bored
- [27th - 30th August]
On Sunday Fiorentina played the first match of the season and won against Empoli, I would say that this was quite an event for Sunday.
All the rest of the week I have been trying to get some work done, shame that most of the companies are still on holiday and in the end I didn't do much.
Workwise the situation is getting uglier and uglier, like a lukewarm pint of Guiness, and I am stressing a lot thinking what I have to do to get things moving in the future.
I'd love to just quit the current job, but as I need money to survive this is hardly an option, at least until I can get something different.
I have tried sending a couple of mails at the beginning of the week to potential employers but so far no answer came (I know these people so I expect them to tell me something at least)... All of this adds on the stress of course...
September looks like a very busy month for me, and the prospect of having to spend time with people that I really have no intention to see is not very nice to me. Probably this is also cause of further frustration, which is leading to an old friend of mine, back ache.
Yes it seems that when I am in deep stress my back starts hurting and I cannot sleep. Quite terrible if you ask me...
Tomorrow big meeting with the lawyer to start all the claim process for my stolen car, as yet I do not even know how much I can count on, so I have borrowed my grandmother's car for the time being... Chiara thinks that I should buy a Golf again, but I really do not feel like it anymore, I mean that was the very first car that I have bought and it lasted 8 months... I think that I'll move to something different, but it much depends on the amount of money that I can count on...
All in all, the bad period continues, little by little I am sure that I'll sort things out I just would like for things to be a lot smoother and quicker...
- [Saturday 25th August]
The weekend started with a quite interesting Barbecue organized by Chiara (not my Chiara another one), in her country house.
It was a great opportunity to eat some lovely meat and vegetables, drink lots of wine and hook up with Francesco, Federico and other friends.
Nothing special to report, the house in the countryside is grand, there are a lot of hares running up and down the hill (and risking to be run over by cars approaching), it was a very relaxing evening!
- Hotel Duty
- [Friday 24th August]
Today and yesterday night I have worked at Chiara's hotel, as they are having quite a lot of problems with the staff being on sick leave and they have a lot of people in.
Although I have to learn everything, I really liked the experience, it has been a long time since I worked with the public, and I still like it a lot.
Needless to say that making it my fixed source of income it's nearly impossible and probably it would not be a a good idea if there are problems or arguments at work, but it showed me that I can do something different from the field that I am walking at the moment...
We'll see what happens, on Monday the simulation of my losses this year will be shown to the general director of my contractor, depending on their answers I will decide what course of action to take...
- [7th - 20th August 2007]
So here they are all the pictures and explanations of the trip that I have just finished in Sicily with Chiara. I hope you enjoy.
The pictures are divided by day and activity, I am sure that you'll get familiar with the nested pages. I have just found out that on the actual pictures page there is not "back to day selector" link.
Sorry for the crappy programming I'll see to add it soon, now it's far to late to do it (almost 2 in the night), I am sure that the old "back" key will work wonders!
- Update and Sicily
- [Wednesday 22nd August]
I am back from the holidays, I am working on the picture/blog update for the Sicilian trip that I just finished.
The trip was generally great, saving from a tragedy that occurred to my camera, which was thrown in the bin after just two days of the start of the trip.
It's all my fault so that will serve me as a lesson I guess.
Back in Florence it's old routine, trying to sort out the problems at work, although since all the companies are on holiday I can only really start working from next week... Oh well...
Soon the picture and trip update!
- 45 Gigs
- [6 August 2007]
Technically the Ipod ordeal that I had to endure started two days ago, when I was trying to backup my music library onto the external hard drive that I bought in Japan and that will serve as a network disk attached to the Airport Extreme that I have bought before leaving for Asia.
Once I copied all the files onto the new hard drive (something around 9600 mp3s) I realized that the plain copy did not work in the way I expected, there were too many files and I believe that some of them went missing in the process, as comparing the two directories (the original with the newly created one) did not show the same number of files...
I hope to solve this issue by zipping the files in a huge single archive and then copy and extract it on the other drive...
But the real problem was the fact that when I was trying to import all the new songs from the network drive Itunes decided that the so important library.xml file with all the data of all my songs wasn't needed anymore, and thanks to a crappy network failure (my Netgear dongle keeps disconnecting when I copy files over the network and I do not understand why), basically the file got deleted!
So I had to re-imput manually all the ratings that I gave before (fortunately the Ipod still has them inside), and had to rename a LOT of songs as the ID3 tags were still screwed up (I really never bothered getting them right)... A two days work, boring as hell that I just finished now, and still I do not know if I will be able to have all the music on the network drive so that the Mac and the Pc can share the files...
I have to say that the fact that you cannot get that data off the ipod onto Itunes again is a pain in the arse, all the programs that would do that must copy all the music off the Ipod, but they are all payware and the free ones that I have tried made a mess of the songs and ratings...
Finally the work is over (I hope) and I have already backed up the Library.xml file in three hundred different places, but life could be easier if the DRM protections weren't there!!
Oh well, you live and learn I guess...
In two days we are off to Sicily for the holidays, I have managed to finish all the work related tasks and now we are about to prepare the bags. I still have a lot of ironing to do but I'll get around that tomorrow I guess!
- They think it's all over... It is almost!
- [Thursday 2nd August]
Well well, where do I begin?
I guess I broke the news on the board yesterday, but by the looks of it the collaboration with my present employer seems drawing to an end.
All the talks and discussions that we had during these days seem completely useless, under the light that has been shed upon the contract matter yesterday.
Basically it seems that although there might be a chance to adjust the contract under the monetary point of view, point that is starting to hurt quite a bit, the work side of things will pretty much remain the same.
During these two and half weeks my direct responsible hardly ever spoke to me, everything that he had to ask he did it sending other people to tell me. I have been a ghost to this person for a fortnight, at least I hope that I was a little bit scary!!
The bottom line is that my employer does not want to quit our agreement, but on the other side all the work that I must do, must be done through this person, and must be handled by him alone.
No other party can intervene, this is what the big cheese said.
It is easy to see why, in this way the blame and responsibility for my part of the job falls solely on this person, if I was to be "shared" with others also that part will be shared.
The funny thing is that there are several colleagues that want to work with me directly, but of course I told them that they must sort out the internal relationships before doing anything.
So in a way it was kind of hinted that I start making my own collection of fabrics, then try to sell it through my boss, but of course since he is not going to do any follow up, even if I have a Ferrari for a quid nothing will come out of it.
This brings the second point, if I do not bring results, even small ones, the company is going to cut the contract next year. In the meantime I would have to endure all the bad treatment and requests that might come, pretty much as I did until now.
As you can see this is a clear message that they want me out, but they do not want to "fire" me as it would look bad...
What to do now?
The notice period is six months before the end of the agreement, else the contract is renewed another year, since it expires in March I have time till end of September to decide.
I have asked the colleague that is helping me if they still pay me during those six months. Seems a strange thing to ask, but the contract that we signed states my tasks quite clearly but I have not been doing this job at all, quite another as a matter of fact. All the tasks are "supplier" related, there is no mention of compulsory travels or attendance of customers or direct sales on my behalf...
He said that surely they will pay while I look for another job position, even if I do not travel, but this time, before I make a decision, I want some sort of official answer...
My fear is that this thing will get messy and I might have to press legal charges against them, but even if I think that I have all the rights to do it, I cannot imagine a lawsuit on the other side of the world!!
Together with these great set of news, now I must start seriously thinking about a new job, task that doesn't appear all that easy at the moment especially because the holidays are starting tomorrow for many Italian companies and interviews are a no-no...
Oh well, set aside the total feeling of being a failure I really worry about what will happen next. Guts tell me to just leave this world of textiles for good, but it's also true that changing job completely is something that I have not managed to do during these years (and I have tried)...
I'm on board in half an hour, I can't wait to be home, this time Japan has really been bitter for me...
- Enoshima Island
- [Saturday 28th July]
Today I went with Yuki san, a colleague from work, to see the famous Enoshima Island, near Kamakura. The two other members of the expedition did not join us in the end, so it was only the two of us.
We set off in a very hot day, I think that during this trip the monsoon must have been at its peak because there were hardly "good" days under the weather point of view.
Anyways we got the metro to Kamakura and we stopped at one of the biggest and most famous shrines of the area (Kamakura counts more than 700 shrines).
Shame that I forgot the name of it!!
Well, Yuki decided that it was going to be a good experience to write some Kanji, so we got these prayers where the ideograms are all greyed out and we got to use the Kanji brush that normally it's used in these occasion to copy over the symbol.
I guess that I did a decent job, although Kanji writing was never my strongest point in University days!
After a tour of the shrine (that I must say I had seen before) we moved to Enoshima, the main dish of the day.
Enoshima is a small island, but it's rather interesting full of green spaces and hawks and eagles (yes, eagles and hawks also have this habit of flying down to physically take any kind of food you might have in your hands....).
We took a full tour of the island walking an endless number of steps to get to the other side where there are some caves that can be visited, but we did not enter.
After a great lunch on the island we had to go for the mandatory Enoshima Beer, which we quite enjoyed, Yuki told me that there are several breweries in Japan producing small amounts of beer only for the local areas...
We then moved back into Tokyo, or better Yokohama, and we went to the Landmark Tower area. Incidentally that was the VERY FIRST place that I actually visited in Japan, my host mother took me there on the third day that after I arrived for the first time, now ten years ago... Lots of memories coming back, but lots to look forward to, especially a very nice Chinese restaurant that served us great food for dinner. Yuki apparently comes here often with her friends.
That was it, after a coffee at Starbucks we went back home, a great day, took my mind off work related problems and stress due to the long trip!
- 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