Posts in the category "Work".


Often one of the co-workers who lives quite close to me gets on the same bus to/from work. This morning, for instance. She started talking about work stuff — in quite a loud voice — and suddenly said one of our clients’ name (or is it clients’ names?) out loud. I couldn’t believe it! I have a very tight filter in work related things and couldn’t be caught dropping names. Client information especially is confidential. I told her she shouldn’t be talking about those things. (And she said, “nah, it’s ok.” :shock: Well, no, it’s not.)

She’s kinda annoying (oh, 2nd person I don’t really like) because she talks very loud all the time and sort of dominates the conversations around the lunch table. In one-on-one conversations I don’t mind it because I just nod and hum but in bigger groups I’d like to hear other people’s thoughts (and chime in myself…), too. Oh well.

Who’s the translator?

Today I was putting the finishing touches to a complex Excel sheet and noticed that some translations were missing in formulas. The cells looked empty, so I understand it was easy to miss them although I mentioned about it in my instructions. I wrote the translator asking translations to the missing words; one of them was a place where calves are fed (with milk, probably). The word for feeding with liquid (juottaa) is the same as ‘weld’ in Finnish and the translator had used that in the translation. I asked if it meant ‘to feed’ as well and pointed them to a word list I had found and suggested some translations, also asking that I didn’t accidentally suggest some sort of machine that feeds calves to some other being! (As a sort of joke that would make the email not so serious and finger-pointing.)

The reply was, “Why are you asking me about animal feeding? I have no idea what it should be!” :roll:

Practically joking

This was waiting on a chair — not mine — this morning:

Bulb head

There was also a long USB cord that hung between the bulb and the ceiling lamp where that bulb is from… Apparently some of the tech guys were a bit bored the night/evening before (so I heard).

A crocodile-shaped lollipop holder gets its share of jokes, too. (For a long time there was a rotten-ish mandarin/tangerine in its mouth. That was around the time when there was some grief with our Chinese vendor.)

Things you shouldn’t hear from a tech support

Today our latest tech support addition (probably/hopefully just for this summer) was doing something on Adobe Framemaker. I overheard him telling our DTP specialist that the program had given a message about something like “uninstall all TrueType fonts to continue” so he was asking what to do about that. He continued “I guess I can uninstall them because the program said so.”


Unicode detective

I was asked to provide translations for a couple of words in “tricky” languages and in the message it said “Unicode values will do.” Well, I can ask the translations from vendors but I started wondering about the Unicode values. It isn’t too difficult to search for the character values one by one this time but what if I needed to process bigger chunks of text? is a wonderful site — I use it all the time (at work). There you can find oodles of information on a character, and you can even enter a character, e.g. Devanagari as I did, in the search field and it really finds it! Of course there is the official Unicode site but I haven’t yet learnt to use it to my full advantage. Its best feature — in my opinion — is the ≡ information (a character is identical to another character or a combination of characters).

Macromedia Dreamweaver is quite handy in determining the HTML entity (decimal) behind a character. (I’m not actually sure if you could choose to convert the characters to HTML Hex instead.) You just paste the text in the design view and the entities appear in the code view. For this particular assignment the client eventually needs the HTML entities.

But the question is, if I needed to find out the Unicode value of each character for a big chunk of text, how would I do it?

Judge a co-worker by the stray email

At work there’s a woman who has irked me from the beginning. I don’t know why she gives out this stuck-up vibe. I suppose it’s like anti-charisma. (Note, she’s the only annoying person in the company — in my opinion.)

We have mailing lists at work for downstairs people and upstairs people (and several different group combinations). I’m on the upstairs list but the person I’m backing up is, for some reason, also on the downstairs list. Today someone sent an email to downstairs people to remind them that the person who takes the last cup of coffee from the pot should put more coffee brewing. Then someone forwarded the request to us upstairs people because we also use the coffee maker downstairs.

Mrs/Ms Stuck-Up sent an email to all downstairs people that they definitely can blame the upstairs people for hogging the coffee when they come downstairs for meetings. Because “upstairs it’s ‘who wants coffee, makes coffee’. Isn’t it amazing how there can be such different practices inside a workplace?” (It was better worded in the email, in Finnish.) I took it that we upstairs people don’t have any manners. Upstairs we really do make coffee when we want it, not when it’s out. M(r)s Stuck-Up didn’t realise that upstairs we don’t drink coffee non-stop and not that many people even drink coffee. (I can’t say whether some people hog the coffee downstairs. I would think so, but that’s not the point.)

I was already starting to think I had judged her too hastily but that email verified my first impression. I’ll try and not look at her too murderously.

Small milestone

Today I finished my first project! It’s wrapped up, invoice and all. The client sent us a very nice email telling that everything’s gone well and we did a good job even though it got a bit hectic at times.

One of our managers has a theme for this year: he tries to meet up with as many clients as possible. So he asked me to suggest a lunch meeting with this client and the client said it was a great idea. I’ll get to go to Turku! Earlier we had made plans to meet up with a client in Tampere. I’ve been to Tampere once or twice (in Särkänniemi) but never in Turku. It’s only going to be a short (and geographically limited) visit, but a visit nevertheless!

8 days

That’s not a typo — it’s a fact! I only have 8 days of work and then I’ll have 14 days of summer vacation!!! It’s depressingly little compared to past when school holidays were 2½ months or as much as 4 months (in Uni) and I didn’t work or worked only for a part of the summer but it’s a great improvement to last year. I don’t know yet how I’ll spend the precious little time except that I’m going to an art museum and a restaurant with Grandma one day, but what I will not do is get up at 6:30.

I know I haven’t been writing for ages but that’s because I have nothing to write about. I just work and I can’t talk about work. I’ve been playing Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones and I think I’m almost finished (with PoP, you never know). I had to find some help with an abominable fight and found a great place, Stuck Gamer, that has video walkthroughs. Very wow-y! It also has a guide for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory which I haven’t played in ages and I’m horribly stuck, but I’ve decided to re-start the level or take an earlier save game to save some sticky shockers and try again.

Thanks to Kory I’ve been listening to some wonderful music by Stabilo. I’ve listened to the songs so much that it doesn’t matter anymore whether I have them playing on computer/mp3 player or not. The other day I had recharged batteries for the mp3 player, replaced the old batteries but then forgot to take the player to work. Of course, inner player isn’t as effective in blocking the outer noise as a tangible player with earphones but it did keep me entertained. If nothing else, go to the Stabilo site » Albums » Happiness & Disaster » listen to Don’t Look in Their Eyes. Listen to all the songs if you have the time!

Owning — or having the possibility to borrow — a season boxset of a TV series is unbelievably liberating. The reruns of the X-Files started last week. They’re shown at 10pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and — hold onto your chair now — I haven’t been watching them. Instead I’ve been watching other channels or dozing off if I’ve felt like it (and boy have I). No need to stare at the little channel logo (it disappears just before the commercial break) in the top right corner with my thumb on the Pause button, no need to keep my fingers crossed that my stupid DVD player records the episode properly. I’m hoping to borrow season 1 box of Lost on my summer vacation so I haven’t been watching that either. Now, if only they had season boxes of the news I’d know what’s going on in the world…

Tired but happy

Yesterday we had a “closing of accounts” gathering at work. Well, we weren’t at the office but at a restaurant. At very first we met in a small conference room at the stadium — we took a private bus there (oh and how we laughed on the way). After the formalities we spent some time at the exhibition there (sport stuff, whee). I looked through the medals and things pretty quickly and then went to stand at the door to wait for everyone. A couple of guys had spotted a table football in a corner and went to play. After a while one of them came back and said “Minna, come, we need a referee.” That was a very sweet gesture because I was standing there all alone. So I went and I was even asked if I wanted to play but the boys were so excited about the game, I let them play. In the foyer there was this stand with a big photo of a pair of ice skaters on it with the faces cut out (I don’t know what those are called even in Finnish) and on the way out our sales manager put his head out the other one and people started taking pictures but first he needed someone to fill the other face. He said “someone? Minna?” I declined (cameras, eep) and the managing director went instead (much better!). It was so odd to be asked to take part in all those things, I’m not used to it which is why I don’t “butt in” but rather keep a distance.

We had a lovely — and very loud — time at the restaurant. It was very fancy, I was told, but it looked pretty normal to me (of course, I didn’t see the prices so I wouldn’t know the truth). The person who sat opposite from me said that you know you’re in a fancy restaurant when you’re not really sure what to do next and how to eat something. Very true; our first appetizer was some sort of vegetable soup served in a small glass mug. It took us a while to realise that you were supposed to drink it. The staff tried to offer me wine a couple of times (“are you sure you don’t want some red wine with the main course?” after I had turned down the initial white wine) but by the time we had coffee (and brandy or amaretto) they believed that I didn’t want any alcohol. :) The food was delicious; it was the first time I ate asparagus, it wasn’t too bad. Sort of silly to eat just that with a little sauce.

I left shortly after 10:30 and was at home after eleven, went straight to my room and toppled into bed. I’m still tired so thank gawd it’s Friday.

I had been a little sceptic about spending free-time with co-workers. I didn’t attend the christmas party (the possibility of seeing drunken co-workers was a little too much to handle) or a double birthday so now I decided it was time to start participating. I’m glad I did, the people are as fun and easy to be around with as at work.

No more days like this, please

Mum says I’m an addict. No, it’s not that, not really.

When you gotta work, you gotta work. At least where I work. A bunch of translations have to be returned on Thursday 3 pm sharp, and if the PM is sick and you’re stuck in a lecture all morning — too bad. Now I wish I hadn’t gone to the lecture because I decided not to continue with the course (boring ethics stuff).

I arrive at work 12:15 to find out that I have the PM‘s job to do. You’d think 2 hours 45 minutes would be enough to check a few files but it’s not (alright, it’s not ‘a few’). To add to all the fun, the FTP server was full and the first uploads failed. At this point I was giggling hysterically (remaining composed, though). I called it a ‘desperate giggle’ and I was told I’m too young to be desperate. I don’t think desperation depends on age. At least it isn’t harmful as long as it isn’t a permanent condition.

I was supposed to meet up with a Hungarian friend today (she’s studying in Finland, though, but I don’t know when she’s going back) at 3 pm, then at 4 pm, and two minutes to I realised I probably wasn’t going to make it. So I had to call her and cancel. “Alright, I’ll be out by 5 pm,” I thought. Had to think again. The next patch of files has to be returned by 10 am Friday morning and no one’s going to get anything done in the morning anyway so I stayed to check those files. Finally, at 6:45 pm I had to leave because I didn’t want to miss the 6:52 bus. 3 files were left to do in the morning.

Now I’m wondering if I should try and go earlier tomorrow. I have a fluey kind of thing so I don’t really feel like it. When I was the main PM I think I managed fine even if I arrived at work at the normal time, 8:45. Yeah, I guess I’m going in the normal time. Maybe I’ll even get to leave a little earlier. Perhaps at 4? Alright alright, 5:30 at the latest!