Have a Good Feeling About This

I know I’ve said this a few times but one more time won’t hurt I guess. I have a really good feeling about this job that I’m starting on Wednesday at Thomas Cook!!

When I first read the ad for the job it really felt like an ad written for me. Every checkbox was ticked with ease. Everything they wanted I can offer. And the fact that I applied for it twice (once with a recruitment firm that never forwarded it to them and then again directly to them when I hadn’t heard anything from the recruitment firm) kinda underlines how badly I wanted that job. At the time I didn’t know how it was gonna go here at Carema so this was a job I applied for because I needed another job, this was because I wanted the job. When it was decided that I wasn’t gonna stay at Carema I applied for tons of jobs but forunately this was settled before any of those got beyond the first interview.

And when I finally got there for the first interview I was firstly really impressed with their lounge area they had which looked like someone tried to do a Japanese garden, a really nice play to sit down at for a coffee or something. And then I met my future boss and she was combined niceness and professionalism like I’d never seen. And she went through her slide about the IT department and on every slide I was thinking (and sometimes saying) “yep” “damn right” “I totally agree”. Even when she started talking about “practicing disaster scenarios” I was totally into it. And she could tell. Then I met my future teamleader and he was nice and friendly and seemed like a cool guy. So I left that place feeling I wanted it even more. So much more than I wanted to rush it as much as possible. Did the EQ test and met with a rep from HR to go through it and after she ok:d everything I was finally offered the job. And at the same time I was offered the most safe and secure job in the world, but I chose this anyway because it felt so good.

And so I went back to sign the papers and we went through all the practical things and signed the deal (which as I’ve said earlier doesn’t mean much, they can tell me I’ve outstayed my welcome as much as I can say “nah this sucked”). And I hope I can live with having an iPhone but I will really disagree with their iTunes license agreement so I hope I won’t have to accept that.

But I’m really looking forward to starting my job there. As always ask me again in a year from now if it was a good choice.

Deja Vu

Oh shit it’s happening again!!

About one month before I started working for Carema there was alot of reporting about how Carema was making so much money on the expense of the little guy. I didn’t really care that much about it at the time but it kept growing in November and December and I can safely say I wasn’t bragging about working for Carema then.

Well now it’s exactly one week until I’ll start working at Thomas Cook here in Sweden. Which owns the Swedish travel agency called “Ving”. And ofcourse the media is starting to write bad things about them now as well! Already last week I saw a small little article but today they have another article and how people travelling on their dream vacation only to be disappointed and ripped off.

What are the odds that AGAIN exactly when I’m supposed to start a job that company is having bad things written about them in the media!? I don’t know the truth about all the stories but I just don’t wanna be embarrassed that I work for Ving the same way as with Carema! But judging from what their PR rep is saying in the media, unlike Carema that mostly didn’t say anything about nothing, it’s not gonna be bad. Because I am really excited about starting my work there. And I’m not just saying that, I actually am!!

Getting Over the Pacifier

Sam has managed to get over it, it’s been two weeks without a pacifier now and he’s doing pretty good. However, the staff at the kindergarten noticed that he had trouble going to sleep after lunch so they ended up sitting next to him so he could feel calm enough to go to sleep. And unfortunately that has resulted in him demanding we sit next to him while he’s going to sleep at night. And that’s just not gonna work so we’re now trying to be harsh and just leave the room even though he’s having a fit. It’s tough and we’re not sure it’s the right thing to do but we really don’t want to sit there for 30 minutes holding his hand. I mean I could do it now and again but we can’t make it a habit for him so he can’t fall asleep if we’re not sitting right there with him.

But it’s just hard to say no to him cause we love him so much and he sounds so very needy 🙁

Let’s Talk Geek

Last friday to celebrate me signing on to a new job I bought a NAS (Netgear ReadyNAS DUO V2). A NAS is just a black box with harddrives that share them over your network so you can access them fro wherever in your network. It’s really geeky to have one but I thought I needed one. I used to have everything on a server but decided that wasn’t working anymore now that I’ve upgraded to a Windows 2008 server complete with an active directory and stuff, all of a sudden we noticed some lag when playing stuff off it. So off I went and bought this toy.

Function-wise it lives up to expectations. It does what I want it to do and it does it well and smoothly. But Netgear really should have take a page from Apples book and asked the question “how would the end consumer want the interface to work”. Because their interface is a giant mess with gigantic problems. For example, if I attach a USB drive to it there’s no way to tell the NAS to copy a file from the USB to the NAS – you have to have a computer to copy it through. So Say you have a 10 gig file on your USB drive and want to copy it. Instead of copying it straight away on the NAS, you copy it through the PC meaning alot of network being used for nothing! You have to enable the SSH through their site saying “you’ll lose warranty if you install this” and copy it through Linux commands! What’s upp with that!? Ok bad example since the bottleneck is still the USB port, but if you want to copy a file from one drive to another, you still have to copy it through your PC and all of a sudden the network is the bottleneck. And it shouldn’t need to be!
And you can’t create a directory on a drive that isn’t defaulted to the root and automatically shared to “everyone” with full rights. And you can’t manage the “admin” user access in any way either…

So if you can learn to live with a crappy “it made sense to us” interface, than yeah, go buy it.

Car Fixed

Today I took the car to the shop again this morning. As I expected they didn’t have a car for me to borrow during the day but instead they decided to fix it while I waited. So after an hour I got my keys back and off I went. Didn’t have to pay anything because of the earlier fuckups so happy about that. Now that I don’t have to worry about that or getting a new job I guess I’ll just have to worry about global peace.

Car Problems (!)

Remember a while back when I was just hating on car mechanics in general? Well that was after some bad experience with them and after all of that shit me and my wife decided that we’d prefer to have a set monthly cost for a car no matter what happens (almost). And that is called leasing. And Volkswagen was having a drive (no pun intended) on their smaller models at the time so we signed up for that. Since then we pay a fix amount and we don’t have to care about the car making a strange noise or anything. And it’s not cheap either but we get full service from their repair shop.

So you’d think that would solve all that? … well, nope. Cause mechanics are humans and humans fucks up. Sometimes twice per day! We had a chip on the front screen and we heard a weird noise a few weeks back from a wheel so we called them, set a date for me to come in with the car, we’d get a spare car over the day while they fix it, we didn’t have to pay nothing. So on Friday I drove it to the shop and got a spare car and drove to work. After about 40 minutes they called me. I’d gotten the wrong spare car! So they sent a mechanic over with the right car and we just switched. And then they called me again. It seems that as of a few weeks they don’t fix chipped windows anymore, they are using a third party for those repairs. So there was nothing they could do about that! So I went back to change cars again and the customer service guy I talked to thought that all sounded weird so he double checked it. And yes indeed the mechanic was wrong, they are suppose to fix those cars for people like us that have this special deal. So they asked me to come back with the car this week and they would definitely fix it. We didn’t set a date or anything so I’m thinking I’m gonna take the car there and be met with “but we don’t have a spare car for you today, can you come back tomorrow?” and that’s when the only downside to having a leased car kicks in – limited mileage. We’re only allowed to drive 1500 metric miles per year with it (or rather 4500 during the 3 year lease period). And we’re up to 1250 and 4 months to go so trying to be as efficient as possible there. And all these trips to and from the shop ads up.

So yeah, even though we’re leasing a car and paying a shitton per month for something we’re not even gonna own isn’t solving all the problems that we’d hope for. ‘Cause mechanics are still fucking us over.

Nothing Is Perfect

After having talked to my boss to be, my teamleader to be and a woman from HR I’m very hopeful that my new job at Tomas Cook will kick ass. Because it’s a job that I really enjoy doing and do well. It’s webrelated but I also get to explore the business intelligence side of Sharepoint which I haven’t really done that much earlier. I get a small salary increase, I liked the offices and I like the people. So everything felt awesome when I went there to sign the papers.

That’s when “I knew there was a catch!” kicked in. They have a strict cell phone policy. Namely … iPhones only! I can totally go onboard and support a decision to only have one type of phones to make it easier for everyone’s jobs. At the lawfirm we had Blackberrys only – for security reasons. If you bought your own phone that was OK but don’t expect to get your mail on it. At Carema we had HTC only, but if you bought your own phone you got no official support for it but you could still use it. But here it’s strictly iPhone. I felt like a sell out accepting that but I really wanted the job. And it’s not like I haven’t had an iPhone before. But now I have to pay for apps again and shit like that. And having invested in Navigon for Android you can guess how happy I am about that!

The only other downside is their location. Their office is in Stockholm, but not in the centre but a bit off (Marieberg) so I’ll be 5-10 minutes late every morning since I drop off Sam at kindergarten. And I’ll need to go like 10 minutes earlier to make it home earlier than 6:30 and considering Sam goes to bed between 7-8 that’s pretty important to me!

But still, this feels like it could be one kick ass job!

Getting A New Job. Again.

Last year after I came back from my parental leave I thought I needed to take another step in my career and move away from helpdesk. Even though I actually enjoy solving peoples problems I also enjoy making things just work, mostly from behind the scenes. So after the summer break I left my safe and comfortable job at the lawfirm and got a job at Carema, huge healthcare company here in Sweden. But after a few months it got a bit unsettling here and getting vibes of outsourcing. So I started looking around and found an ad for a job at Tomas Cook, the travel agency. After some interviews and EQ tests and psych profiling (I wish I was kidding!) I was offered the job. Unfortunately I already had another interview planned since I didn’t know how it was gonna go with Tomas Cook. And that interview was for a huge contractor here in Sweden. So I went there for the interview and even though they offered all the job-security in the world, a better monthly salary (but not many benefits) I spent the night actually losing sleep over which one to go with. But I chose Tomas Cook! Partially for the benefits, partially for the job itself that is 100% up my alley (compared to the other one that was like 95%) but it was also because I liked the feeling you got at their office. It was calm and warm. All the people I met were very friendly and nice but professional and that goes double for the boss.

Who would’ve thought that I, the most professional, factual almost Vulcan when it comes to work, would chose one place over there other mostly because of how I felt for the people I met and not only because of factual things like salary and the actual work.

And who would’ve thought that I, the person who had only changed employer twice in his career (once involuntarily) would change jobs twice in less that 12 months?

But here I go. Wish me luck!

Things Are Looking Better

By the end of today I should have a new job signed and done. Although in sweden you have a 6 month grace period when it comes to employments and during that period the employer as well as the employee have full legal right to just say “nope, it’s not working out” and you’re off the legal hook. So as fark as “signed and done” goes there’s still no guarantee. We’ll see later today.

But Sam has really adapted quickly to life without a pacifier. It takes a bit longer for him to realize that he’s suppose to go to sleep now without it but once he does there’s no problem at all. Even at kindergarten it’s working out nicely. So all good on that front too.

Quitting Cold Turkey!

And now it’s easter weekend which is 4 days off from work and we’re taking that opportunity to force Sam to live without a pacifier. About 24 hours in and so far he’s doing well and accepts it that we reply “gone!” whenever he says “app” (the swedish word for pacifier is “napp”). Fortunately for us he’s never been that obsessed with having a pacifier. Actually during his entire first year he was always spitting it out so we really never even should’ve started using one. But we’re weak 🙁

Waiting For Things To Get Sorted

Right now there’s a bit of uncertaintity to say the least about my job status. Or if I’ll have one in when April ends. When it’s sorted I’ll post a longer update about what’s going on, but right now I don’t know for sure but I’m pretty comfortable that I won’t be unemployed for long! More to come later.

New Soffa

It’s finally arrived. We waited them out but now the wait is over. And it’s big. And comfy and cuddle-friendly as hell! It really is in the face of adversity that you need this 🙂

Parenthood

This parenthood thing really does suck sometimes! Right now we’re having issues with Sam that we have no idea how to deal with. He started feeling sick last week, probably got the some stomach flu and that started on Thursday. Since then he barely eats anything at all ever. And he can get a fever for no apparent reason at all. We thought he was good to go back to kindergarten but then on monday night he started crying and then threw up. So I was home on tuesday as well and H took over on wednesday and today he looked and felt fine enough for kindergarten again. It’s just so worrying as a parent when your kid get sick like that and gets a fever when you thought he was OK. But during the days that we’ve been home with him he’s been very bored at home so even if he’s not 100% I’m still sure he’s better off at kindergarten than another day lying in the soffa watching Nickelodeon and playing with the same toys and cars that he’s played with for over a week. But what’s up with this “don’t wanna eat”-thing. It’s not that he’s just protesting or anything, he’s just not hungry.

But then he says something like “sit close” and his smile and it’s all worth it!!!

I Love NASA

A few years ago someone at NASA’s PR department must’ve gotten a weird idea and said “hey, we have the ability to produce some of the most amazing visuals with out technology and access to ISS so let’s start doing that” because in the past months we’ve seen some amazing videos and images from them, including the incredible hi-res shot of the americas.

But this goes about and beyond!!!

NASA – Aurorae from Space from Camilla SDO on Vimeo.

Sleeeeeepy

One thing noone told me about being a parent is how tired you are and feel it’s ok to go to bed at 9 pm. Me and Helena have done that basically every night for the past 2 weeks (except the weekend) ann we feel it’s totally ok. But I also feel we’re missing out on alot of “us” time. I remember when I used to play WoW to 1 am every night, go to bed and up at 6 again, that’s right now not even conceivable how that would work!!

What a weekend :)

If we disregard the actual result from the F1 race, that was a helluva weekend!

Saturday morning we went to do a bit of last minute shopping (even bribed Sam with a guitarr) and on the afternoon my sister AC, her son Alex and my brother Jocke came by and we had a small little BBQ (just burgers and bacon and all that good stuff), then watched the F1 qualifying (yeah, I waited a full 12 hours to see it ’cause it’s more fun to do it with other people). Then we played alot of PS3 move and some normal board games into the wee hours. Well for us anyway, we went to bed at 1 am and I think the last time we did that was when we took the small cruise together! Then woke up early on sunday to watch the F1 race, some more PS3 move and just talking and they went home. Great fun!

Then my wife had invited two of her friends over with their kids so we had our hands full until around 6 when they went home. Then it was a quick dinner, Sam to bed and after 8 we decided that we’d had an awesome but busy weekend and just went to bed. And it didn’t take long for me to fall asleep.

Awesome 🙂 .. if we disregard the actual F1 race..

Time for F1 again!

It’s finally time for Formula 1 again! As usual it kicks off in Australia again. And as usual me, my sister AC and brother Jocke are picking up something that we started 10 years ago – they come over to my place on saturday evening, we eat, drink, watch movies and try to stay awake all night (with varying degrees of success) and watch the race in the morning. Ofcourse this was easier when they started the race at 2 pm local time which was like 5 am here in Sweden but for capitalistic reasons they are now started 4 pm local time which is 7 am here so we’re gonna have to stay awake even longer. Or we’ll just go to sleep at 2. I dunno. We’ll see what happens.

But it’s good to keep up with tradition 🙂

Followup

A little followup on yesterday’s post – I updated my Samsung Galaxy SII with the officially released Android 4 and I kept an eye on the connection indicator to see if they had gone the same route as Apple. Nope, still only HSPA+ 🙂

Btw, gotta love flashmobs (although this seemed a bit TOO well organized)

I Hate …

Time for another “I hate…” post.

I hate it when marketing departments screws with technology terms and twists them. The latest example is .. can you guess… that’s right, Apple! Read this if you’re interested in the technical aspect of it – or let me summarize. We all know what 3G is on cellphones today. It’s pretty fast. So the next thing is ofcourse 4G which is really really fast. But there have been a technical debate about what defines each. Most people agrees that the technology called “LTE” is what really is 4G. Actually as far as I knew there wasn’t anyone saying anything else. Well in the latest iOS update Apple and AT&T decided to redefine it and include HSPA+ as 4G. HSPA+ has been available for years through the 3G network. And yes, in perfect conditions HSPA+ can come up to the same transfer speed as LTE. But that don’t make it 4G because it still uses the overcrowded 3G range. LTE is a new technology that uses new infrastructure which is what I, and every other sane tech nerd, call a new technology – when you need to change the infrastructure!

I mean, did Intel ever overlock a Pentium 3 CPU to ~2 Ghz and call it Pentium 4? Ofcourse they didn’t since Pentium 4 is a completely different architecture!

But I guess the marketing departments at Apple and AT&T decided that doesn’t matter and just went for calling HSPA+ 4G and BAM! overnight Apple has the most 4G capable devices in the world (but not a single one publicly available that actually uses the 4G network). Good work And it also makes it easier for them to sell the new iPad in europe as a “4G” device even though it can’t handle European LTE!

Now the big question is how will they sell the iPhone 5.. I mean they can’t brag about “it has 4G!” since the iPhone 4S already, by their definitions, has 4G!

Let these technical things be for technical people and let marketing do ads. I mean if technical geeks where to make ads it’d probably be something like this –

George Takei

I really like George Takei. You know, that asian guy that played “Sulu” in the old Star Trek. I can’t say I either like or dislike his acting or whatever, but I am a huge fan of his facebook-page. It’s one of the big downsides to deactivating my account – I don’t get to see the funny pictures and clips and his posts that are always full of Zen-isms. And I loved his roast of William Shatner!!

And then the guy goes and does something like this…

It’s hilarious shit! I wish Hollywood had more people like that!!