Posts in the category "Work".

You know, the thing that brings a little bit of money to your bank account every month.

I had a dream

I’ve been quite busy — to put it mildly — at work for about a month now. It all escalated when I received a massive project to finish in half the time that was originally scheduled for it. That was because I received it a month late…

I’m usually good at forgetting the stressful work stuff outside of 9 to 5 (or 9 to 6/7 which is often the case) but when I’m extremely busy (“don’t know if I’m going to manage this” kind of busy) I find myself thinking about schedules when I’m trying to fall asleep. I suppose it’s not all bad since I often have good ideas then. (During the day I only have time to do not think.)

But last night I had apparently had enough: I dreamt about working! It was as if my hectic day continued all through the night. If that’s not a sign of proper stress I don’t know what is.

This story has a happy ending, though. Just this morning (perfect timing! Although I could’ve done without the dream…) I received a message letting me know that the schedule had been extended by a month. Finally!

Sorry, can’t help ya, I’m reading…

Just when you think — again — that you’ve misjudged someone, they remind you that you were right all along. Or maybe my sense of humour is too different from theirs.

Today as I was eating my lunch and reading Duma Key (S. King) one of the nice co-workers noticed that I’d read a lot since yesterday (yup, I started reading before bedtime and suddenly noticed it was wayyy past my bedtime). The annoying one made a comment that I’m probably reading secretly in my cubicle. I replied, “yeah, I’m known to be such a lazy and slow one.”

Accusing me of reading on company time? Unbelievable.

Rise and shine

Waking up is not so hard to do after all.

This morning I had to wake up at 5:30 am (we had to leave for a faraway meeting). That is really early for me; even 6:30 when I normally wake up (or 6:43 more accurately) is really early for me. I tried to be the good girl and went to bed at 11 pm but what good did it do: after playing some mobile sudoku, remembering I’d forgotten to set a timer for that night’s Lost episode, I was still up after 12 am — leaving barely 5 hours of sleep.

But, I jumped up at 5:30 and, really, only the first 3-5 seconds were difficult. The biggest problem is how do I stay up for the rest of the day. (Luckily, I don’t really have to, I got off work early.)

You know, it’s probably like a sugar rush: you quickly get high but then you crash suddenly.

One Pepsi, hold the vodka

Last Friday I went out with a couple of colleagues, “for a pint.” We were walking to the subway station when the other asked me to come along and I had to make sure, “You’re asking me? Even though I don’t drink alcohol?” I was told that was beside the point. So, I tagged along.

We went to a beer house and I ordered a Pepsi (I was treated, how kind). The bartender asked, “you want some vodka1 with that.” My response? A loud “god no!” When we sat at the table my colleague laughed and asked if I get asked that a lot. I don’t but that might be because it was my first time “out for a pint.” (I had a wonderful time!)

I’ve never drunk alcohol, nor tasted, nor wanted to. Usually it doesn’t cause any problems but in the company’s summer festivities we were at a Greek restaurant and I asked for something to drink other than beer or the lukewarm water they served at the tables. The waitress shrugged and said “this is a Greek restaurant in Finland, why would we have something else?” (What about kids?!?)

Finns are big drinkers and I’m one of the odd ones out. Proud of it, too, although I don’t remember making a decision between to drink or not to drink. There has been no need; drinking has never even crossed my mind.

I suppose it’s “common knowledge” at work that I don’t drink alcohol. (It certainly is common knowledge with my family and friends.) In our last Christmas party I won a bottle of wine and a promotional t-shirt. I asked if the competition organizer would mind if I gave the bottle away to everyone. I kept the t-shirt although I don’t think I’ve worn it once.

On Monday a colleague of mine had emailed a project manager saying that he hadn’t had time to finish a task so he’d buy a beer to whomever finished it for him on his day off. And either the PM or the colleague had added, “or a Hyvää Päivää2 to Minna.” Today — I got a bottle of vitamin C + caffeine Hyvää Päivää.
(Yup, caffeine is my drug of choice. I’m not pretending to be a goody two-shoes.)

1. Well, he said “kossu,” but who cares. (See Wikipedia if you do care.)
2. Hyvää Päivää wellness drinks, another site, in English

Permanent for the time being

I signed a new employment contract today. Until now I’ve been on a fixed-term contract and paid by the hour because it has allowed me to study freely; I haven’t had any obligation to work from 9 to 5. But most of the time I do.

Now I had the option of continuing the temporary contract, get a permanent part-time (80% of full-time) job for the next year or a permanent full-time job starting right away. I’ve missed so little work that I decided to opt for the full-time — with benefits. Full-time is quite flexible to everyone as it is, and my boss additionally said they accept the fact that I’ll go to lectures.

I feel at ease now. I know exactly how much I’ll get each month and I’ll have more money for living after the loan instalments. With the current pay it may’ve been quite a scrape — I can’t say because I have no idea how much it costs to live on my own. (I’ll know “soon.”)

Wandering virus

You’d better protect yourself — by locking your computer when you leave the keyboard for even a second. If you don’t, a nasty computer virus may walk by and select you as its next victim.

Nasty computer virus

(It says “Hahaa!!! Your computer’s been infected by a virus!!! You’re a dead man!!!”)

That’s not my screen, though; I always lock my computer.

3-D screensaver

The other day (Nov 10th) while I was away from my computer for a while, I saw my boss sit there and do something. After thinking “gasp, did I lock the computer” (just instinct, no security issue if he saw what I was working on) I went to look what he was doing. Well, take a look:

Fancy screensaver
Fancy screensaver, closeup


The bottom Post-It has, I was told, dog treats (I had to ask what on earth were those) and it reads “yum!”.

(Hmm… I was missing my favourite pen this week, those are maybe written with it. I’ll have to go get it back.)

On Wednesday I was voted employee of the year (thankyouthankyou) — it was a tie, though, and I had eventually won in a paper clip draw. Luckily I won because the other one got a bottle of wine. I got a whopping gift certificate to a fancy restaurant chain so I’m taking my sister, Grandma, and an aunt/godmother to eat. It should be fun but the restaurants are so fancy (everything has mushroom and/or alcohol) that I don’t know if I, let alone my sister, find anything to eat.

Promotion to a superlative

This post is the first in my new category, PM.

I feel so special now. :)

In 7th heaven on the 4th floor

Last night I had a Moment. It was a moment when I realised that what I do at work is really really fantastic (or should I say fah-bulous).

I’m not really talking about the technical stuff. It’s mostly pretty monotonous and, most importantly, only temporary. I do My Thing to the files and wish them well, and the projects go on living their lives I’ll never be a bigger part of (except when I get the files back and do My Other Thing before they’re sent to the client). But the projects I’m managing are really interesting! Of course, I can’t talk about them, which sometimes is a shame when I’m itching to tell about something great that happened at work and I can’t.

These Unspecified Fancy Operations make me feel very cutting-edge — which I’m not. But because I’m not, they feel very hip and groovy. (Convenient.) Anyway, it doesn’t matter what I do. It feels great to have settled in, found my place, and actually be excited about what I do. It takes one over the stressful times quite nicely, doesn’t it? (Today was pretty hectic, as a matter of fact.)

4th floor is the floor I work on. I’m one of the upstairs people.

Recycling UI strings is bad

I work in localisation among other areas of translation and I know it’s very tempting to re-use texts that one might think are “the same”. (What a money-saver it is, too!)

If only it was that simple.

One problem is caused by the grammatical gender. Here’s a simple example from a text I was working on today (it won’t give anything away): the word “Saved” — that was the whole UI string. In English and many other languages it can easily be translated and re-used without a problem. But in for example Spanish (I pick a language I know) you need to know what has been saved because the adjective/past participle is inflected depending on whether the subject is masculine or feminine (salvado or salvada respectively). You can’t use the same 7-character string in all contexts; I suppose most of the time it would just be annoying, in worst cases it might even be confusing.

Just now I borrowed an eBook from the library and looked at the file properties in Adobe Reader 7.0. Here’s what the window looks like:

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 file properties

I’ve circled the word Tulostetaan (Finnish). In an English program I’m sure it would say “Printing”, that is “Printing is allowed/not allowed”. The word can also be used when you print a page and the program lets you know that it’s busy doing something by displaying “Printing” or perhaps “Printing…” with animated fullstops. The words do look the same but they don’t mean the same. The problem in Finnish (and other languages) is that, if translated correctly, the words do not look the same. “Tulostetaan” can be used in letting us know that the program is busy but not in this context. Here the word ought to be “Tulostaminen”.

Usually recycling is encourageable — not in localisation I’m afraid.

Addition, Thu 5th October

I don’t know what has “gone wrong” with the above localisation, and I don’t know if the two (or more) strings are perceived as the same (i.e. use the same resource) or if they just have been copied to save money/time/trouble. They shouldn’t be perceived as the same because they clearly aren’t. Some problems could perhaps be solved if at least words that are of different parts-of-speech would be separated from one another (noun printing vs. gerund printing). Perhaps they are. Do remember that I don’t know a thing about application development or the inner workings of Windows applications (among others) so I have no idea what’s going on under the hood.

I suppose WordPress functions similarly (“the wrong way”) because it uses GNU Gettext framework where texts are translated on message level. At closer look it does look like the context is taken into account, though, so problems like in this example on multiple meanings of “post” are avoided. Way to go!