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Visited the triangle Heidelberg/Mannheim/Ludwigshafen. Three close cities, but one is full of students and tourists, the second one is discreetly rich and full of theater and musicians, and the last one is a clear proletary island with a strong economic inmigrant component. All separated by ten minutes in S-bahn, and water. The first one is full of wine bars, the second of overdesigned cafés and the last one a lot of kebab shops (nonalcoholic) and beer gardens.

 

Apparently the Rhine was terribly low and they could not receive 2000 ton barges, being limited to 800 ton barges, even if it could probably swallow all rivers in Spain. But they got extra freight trains, to compensate. The huge rains the past week meant they could use big barges again, but there was still a big truck traffic jam into Ludwigshafen.

 

Each time I have a meeting, specially when it is a relaxed meeting with lunch or dinner on top, I wonder how it is to work for one of the alien overlords. Whether the perks balance the cog in the machine feeling, and if mobility is a plus, when I know that the only way I could rise more in my job would require marrying into the family (quite difficult now). Whether it is better to talk every day with the owner, knowing how fallible he is, or to have  a faceless top manager, and a changing roster of middle managers.

 

I have reached a point when I am quite involved in this company, because I see it as likely that I will retire here, in 15-20 years, so I really want it to thrive, while I am also usually the first contact point for big multinationals considering our acquisition. The temptation to just dismiss the request for a meeting with the owners, while my own principles make me pass on the request. So far they have all being turned out, due to a bad memory with a JV, but the current crop will retire a few years before I do.

 

A big customer that was recently acquired by a big Chinese conglomerate just wanted us to receive the owners of our main Chinese competitor. Rather, an almost friend asked me if I could arrange such a meeting. I cannot avoid the feeling that he would have preferred that I just say that we are not interested and avoid passing it on. Well, I am terrible with secrets, as this shows, but at least it is out of my hands.

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Went to see Aspie Girl today, and that was nice.  :-)  She hasn't said anything about my beard, or lack thereof, so maybe I should ask what she thinks of it.  The other day she looked confused, seemed to have trouble recognizing me, kept looking at me sideways like she was trying to re-familiarize herself with the lines of my face.  Now I think she's over that.

 

She had some social anxiety about mentioning her updated resume to a supervisor, and asking if he'd act as a reference.  Another volunteer and myself tried to cheer her on a little, but I wasn't sure if I was being supportive or annoying.  So I asked.  She said a little of both.  I said fine, as long as there's some support in there somewhere.

 

Anyway, she eventually did ask, which turned out to be a lot easier than the fussing and freaking-out about it beforehand.  I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere.  She's still pretty annoyed with herself for getting like that, but she is making progress, and I made sure to congratulate her on it.

 

 

Cheers,

Patrick.

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Not dying is really cool.  :-)  I do that on my bike sometimes.

 

Anyway, SLEEEEP!  Sleep is happening to me today!  I can already feel it starting to...  Uh, no, that was more of a fainting spell.  Sorry, false alarm.  But soon!  It's coming soon!  I'm so excited I can barely keep my eyes open.  ;-)   <-----==<<<<  [not a winky-face, just demonstrating].

 

 

Wheee,

Patrick.

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So i woke this morning, to a man made geyser coming from the back of my washing machine- My bathroom flooded, along with my hallway, and the entry to my bedroom- I shut off the water to my broken for over a week washer-

I had to babysit- my friends 3 year old has speech classes- I take care of the one year old while she takes him-

Bonus i got to used her brand new washer-

I sat around shooting the shit with her til i couldn't ignore the mess at home anymore and came home to find the water all gone- I figured it would be- But now i am cleaning the carpet in my bedroom cause it smells like a wet dog- and is soaked-

 

I think the washer did this cause it over heard me say i needed a new one- vengeful little bitch-

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So, I've landed in a bizarre love rectangle.  Oh yay.

 

It turns out Aspie Girl is *not* creeped-out by Mr.Motormouth's obsessive crush, just finds it irritating.  And that's a relief, because now I won't have to kill him.  I actually kind of like him, so that would have been difficult for me.  So I don't know, maybe her hushed tones and and reluctance to mention Mr.Motormouth's crush was simple caution about how I might react to it.  And that's perfectly sensible.

 

She sees him as a good friend, wishes he'd find someone else so he can cool it toward her [while remaining a friend], but of course when you're crushing hard like that you don't even notice other women, so that might take a while.  :-\  And since she's had her share of one-sided crushes, she knows how he feels.

 

Meanwhile, hanging out with Mz.Clean has gotten a lot more comfortable for me lately, because I *am* crushing on someone else [Aspie Girl].  It was nice to find out she's not at all uncomfortable with my feelings toward her, actually finds it kind of flattering.  Has also had her own share of one-sided crushes, so she knows how *I* feel.  And sees me as a really good friend, which I am.

 

She'd seemed a bit different toward me for a while, especially when I would mention Aspie Girl, which didn't make much sense to me but there you go.  Maybe a little apprehensive about the possibility of losing a friend, or about my motives.  Or something.  I guess I didn't help that when she asked how old Aspie Girl is, and I replied "Oh, only a little younger -- than you."  Seemed more okay with it after seeing what Aspie Girl looks like [and probably seeing the lack of resemblance].  She did know Aspie Girl isn't into beards, so my sudden facial nudity probably looked a bit dubious.  Oh well.

 

My initial reaction to that, several months ago, was something along the lines of `No, I'm not going to slice off half my face just to appeal to someone who might not even be into me that way,' although I hadn't actually said anything at the time, just kept my face on.  But eventually that attitude changed to `Fuck it, why not?  If I'm wrong, it'll grow back.'

 

I don't know.  Mz.Clean's had some other stuff going on, not the least of which is settling into a new place [yeah, finally moved  :-) ] and figuring out transportation to and from work now that she's further from downtown.

 

They haven't met.  Maybe they should.  Maybe they shouldn't.  Guess I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.

 

 

Cheers,

Patrick.

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It has been a stressful week, organizing a business meeting with a Chinese billionnaire that wants to buy the company I work for. I knew we were not for sale, but there was a moment of hesitation in our CEO (elder brother of the family that owns it) when he asked "Just say a price. Everything has a price."

 

The coming years will be "interesting". I am sure the third generation will sell it, but as the second generation will probably retire close to when I hope to, I hope I can fulfill my objective of retiring in the company before or as part of the sale.15-20 years from now, if we are still allowed to retire at that point.

 

We should have gone out to celebrate we just finished paying the mortgage on our condo, but it is prime corporate tax season so my wife was working all the week-end. As they must be done on Friday, we will probably do it next Saturday. Our favorite restaurant, that we can afford only a few times per year. 

 

Today I also got an autograph of a good friend of Vladimir Vladimirovitch, to guarantee that he would pay the debts of the shell company he established in Switzerland to evade the EU sanctions. Premium detergents. Things appear to improve in Southern Syria and Gaza, as they are manufacturing white paint again. Senegal is trying to reduce the phosphates in their detergents that cover the beaches in green algal blooms. A small Italian shoe sole manufacturer is improving the dust exposure in the workers that make the 5 € soles for 500 € shoes. 10 cents of those will be our share. The small indicators of progress where it is most needed.

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How does the saying go?  `Be the change you want to see in the world,' or something to that effect.  Nice to hear about the Russian cleaning products and so forth, and what it all suggests.

 

 

Went to visit Aspie Girl at Charitable Organization again.  I'm so happy!  :-D  But not so wired from the experience that I can't go back down for a nap before work, this time.

 

She smiled and blushed [just a little] when she saw me, said she wasn't sure if I'd make it today.  I was a little late, didn't mean to be.  Had a nice time hanging out, talking about stuff, pausing to let her do the things she'd actually *volunteered* to do there...  BTW, I've gotten pretty good at dropping everything in mid-sentence when there's someone there for her to help with something.  During the gaps, I help her not get bored.  Seems to work okay.

 

So.  Uh.  I think there's some chemistry, but if so she's too shy to admit it, and I'm too shy to say "Hey, woman.  You want man?  I man.  Hug now."  Besides, I'm kind of afraid it would actually come out like that, if I tried.  :-\  Also, I don't want to embarrass her in front of the people who frequent Charitable Organization and/or work there.  And she's quite shy, sometimes a little *too* easy to embarrass.

 

So, yeah.  Stalemate.  Shy, but lacking any grasp of subtlety.  Both of us.  :-\  I remember this part.  This is the part where it gets to be like defusing a bomb.  But unlike some of my previous girlfriends, she seems unlikely to detonate completely without cause or warning.  [I mean, I kind of hope she will detonate at some point, but not in an *angry* way, if you get my...  Yeah, you know that I mean.]

 

Okay!  :-)  Gently, but without ambiguity.  This can be done...  By me?  Yes, me.

 

 

Cheers,

Patrick.

Edited by Garage_Rubin
Forgot to comment on Psychophant's post.
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Got really pissed off at the mechanic today.  I had to walk a mile and a half to and from work cause there's no one to drive me there.  Then I get called at 10:30 and he says, "We can't fix your wiper system, the part you have is not the right part.  I tried calling around but I can't find the part.  You could try, but..."

 

What the fuck does that mean, "You could try, but..."  The part doesn't exist?  Were 95 Corollas wiped from the face of the Earth by The Rapture Of The Sedans?  

 

I don't need to deal with this scavenger hunt shit while I'm trying to get a goddamn game launched.  #FML

 

Anyway, I have to go back and try to get the exact damn part so I can go and "Try, but..." and hopefully find it.  

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On 25/01/2016 at 5:24 PM, Psychophant said:

It has been a stressful week, organizing a business meeting with a Chinese billionnaire that wants to buy the company I work for. I knew we were not for sale, but there was a moment of hesitation in our CEO (elder brother of the family that owns it) when he asked "Just say a price. Everything has a price."

 

The coming years will be "interesting". I am sure the third generation will sell it, but as the second generation will probably retire close to when I hope to, I hope I can fulfill my objective of retiring in the company before or as part of the sale.15-20 years from now, if we are still allowed to retire at that point.

 

 

You are wise to beware of takeovers. Beryl and I worked for a smallish computer consultancy (actually software development) company that was bought by a large general engineering company - mostly, we suspect, for accountancy purposes. Beryl was running our Scandinavian office (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland), I was tech manager and we were doing OK. When the takeover happened, loads of admin changes went on, but all that resulted were salary increases for us, and a pension scheme that we are now drawing. Meanwhile, the company that took us over fell into hard times, and they had to sell us again. Beryl and I baled out at that stage, and joined ICL, and the company soon fell among thieves, was bought and sold again and then died. Most of the stalwarts either ran away or were fired. It all happened in about four years. The original purpose of buying the company was the wrong reason - finance, not expertise.

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Thanks for the cautionary tale. I believe it is important to keep always in mind, even more so when you enjoy your job, what will be your benefit, rather than the company. Because you may confuse both when they are clearly separate. And indeed a purchase would be good for me for a few years, but no more than that. Well, I have also got a good champagne bottle, but that is incidental, a secondary effect of highly concentrated money, like the event horizon around a black hole.

 

Not all days can be as good as past Monday. Today we have two containers immobilized in Kazan because at -30ºC (-22ºF) the weighing scales are unreliable, so they cannot be sure we invoiced the right weight. I wonder if they will wait till spring... Another container, for a mining project in Mongolia, has been blocked at the Chinese border (we tried to set up a Transsiberian-Transmongolian rail trip, but it is easier to ship through China). Missing paperwork or missing gratuities? And a technical request, with follow up discussion, from a mortuary about ways to speed up a body's decomposition, as our cemeteries are getting full, and it is much better to handle skeletons than more "meaty" remains. They will be running trials with a mix of enzymes on solid support (our part is the solid support), and I feel a strong temptation to visit to check how it goes. Much better than the usual talks about money, energy costs, and transport costs.

 

 

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It's weird that i vaguely enjoy reading about to corporate dramas happening to my friends but can't stand tv show or books about them- Maybe it's the short format-

The warranty company i was working for had two things i wanted- Health insurance and a 401k- I watched my mom and grandfather worry and struggle about/with retirement- And i didn't want that-

Plus, i was curious about the corporate misery i had heard so much about, but the warranty company was as deep as i was willing to get-

I don't actually know how much of my soul is left to squander so, you know-

But the funny thing is getting sick there was the smartest thing i could do-

i was able to see most major changes coming before other employees did or i was informed cause apparently i could sue the pants off them- i had my benefits so i didn't care-

The bit that was hilarious beyond belief was the new company that bought the original had to shut down a center, ours or another- And of course they went by numbers- Ours fell below what was need to keep us open- So they offered severance to those where below performance and work at home to those that could achieve higher-

Didn't matter to me i was offered both because once again I am sick girl-

So that other call center got their head off the block-

Found out later from some of the managers i was having drinks with that other call center had doctored some of their numbers-

And even tho our call center  fell below what they wanted we where well above the bar in customer service and satisfaction-

I nearly pee'd my pants laughing-

 

the orginal company i worked for was a pain ass- they had some insane high standards- but we where really good at what we did-

Plus i really do enjoy all that technical stuff and limboing through the rules- i can read warranties all day long-

 

I think my brain is weird-

sorry for the hijack yur tales made think of it-

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21 hours ago, TwiliteMinotaur said:

Got really pissed off at the mechanic today.  I had to walk a mile and a half to and from work cause there's no one to drive me there.  Then I get called at 10:30 and he says, "We can't fix your wiper system, the part you have is not the right part.  I tried calling around but I can't find the part.  You could try, but..."

 

What the fuck does that mean, "You could try, but..."  The part doesn't exist?  Were 95 Corollas wiped from the face of the Earth by The Rapture Of The Sedans?  

 

I don't need to deal with this scavenger hunt shit while I'm trying to get a goddamn game launched.  #FML

 

Anyway, I have to go back and try to get the exact damn part so I can go and "Try, but..." and hopefully find it.  

 

I don't understand- are parts harder to find or more expensive since the have to be shipped so far? Is he talking about the islands or in the world in general?

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I guess because old car? Work is a constant trial (oh wait, phone is going to ignore the line breaks I put in there... ). Our Asian office let its email overload three times in last week. Which is obviously convenient as they get to pick and choose what to shout at us for. Though my answer at moment is you were told this weeks ago and did nothing, you were asked for teleconference, to get extensions!

 

 

 

 

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It is always good to know how is the life of others. It is the point of this thread after all. It is all different, and yet often it is all the same.

 

I am also surprised it is so hard to find the right replacements. I recently changed mine (2003 Renault Megane) because I had the yearly technical inspection yesterday and it is one of the things they check, got some Bosch compatible equipment and they work better than ever. The car passed, so I can keep driving it, though management is starting to suggest I should get something newer and shinier. That happened also in 2001 (I had a Renault Super Five back then, from 1986), but I plan, if the car kepps working well to stick to the plan and let it get to 15 years old.

 

Most of the morning has been checking the military list and the military dual use list, where are all the goods that cannot be sent to areas of conflict , except with special authorizations. Some of the entries make you wonder (lasers and particle accelerators with target destruction capability, radiation hardened mobile robots, superconducting magnetic pulse generators).And then some who just are bound not to work. Aluminium powder (of certain particle sizes) is out but aluminium and a fine grinder are in. We are still out in all our compounds, so we can go forward with some shipments.

 

 

 

 

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