Thursday, July 30, 2009

Portuguese Newspeak

The portuguese government likes to change the meaning of words frequently. I provide you with three examples so that you can keep up with the changes:

Error or mistake - Small incorrection
Janitor - Operational assistant
Undertaker - Graveyard operator

Elephant painting

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Young norwegian engineers

Fear sells

Reporters say almost everyday that yet another person was infected with the pig flu virus. However, they don't speak a lot about the people who get cured..

I guess what applies to weapons manufacturers, also applies for pharmaceutical companies:

If people don't die, they can't sell bullets.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

5 Ways Your Boss Stops Time

"Time might heal all wounds, but it certainly doesn't solve all business problems. In the working world, most of us are at the mercy of the clock: punching in, lunch hours, time cards and so on. Early in our careers we are trained to be as efficient as possible, cramming our hours to be multi-tasked to the max. One lesson seldom taught in the power of inefficiency. I've already talked about how the 'experts' waste time at work. Today we're going to look at clock stoppers. These are bosses who know how to get your projects stuck in quicksand, and in the process, stop you in your tracks - or at least slow you down to a tortoise's crawl.

Here's how they do it...

DROWNING IN PAPERWORK. Paper has power. It can make things move forward or grind them to a halt. Usually, the more of it there is, the longer the delay. Any boss worth his/her salt knows the best way to get an employee off their back is to ask them to produce more paper. It could be a memo that gets rewritten to death or a request to provide backing documentation for every move you wish to make. This busy work will keep you at bay, spinning your wheels for days...weeks...months...

WARNING SIGNS. Your desk is filled with folders and binders. Yet, when it's time for your annual review, you realize you've accomplished nothing.

UNAPPROACHABLE. Looking busy at work is an art form. If your boss wants to get you off his/her back he'll make himself scarce. And when you do see him, he'll be harried as hell. You'll begin to doubt yourself and worry that you will be bothering him with your needs. He clearly has bigger fish to fry, right? In lieu of being the "busy" boss, your fearless leader might take the "dick" approach. This is where he makes you feel stupid and/or small when you ask him something.

WARNING SIGNS. You make excuses to avoid asking your boss anything."

Read the rest here.

Art with sand


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Interesting philosophy


Politics explained


Bacalhau à Brás

- Codfish (up to 500g) without any scales or bones;
- 2 onions; 
- Olive oil; 
- Garlic (optional); 
- 4 eggs; 
- Salt; 
- Pepper; 
- Straw potatoes; 
- Olives (optional). 

Start by mixing the olive oil in a pan with the onions and garlic. Separately boil the codfish and cut it in very thin slices, usually this can be done very easily with a fork. Join the codfish and the olive oil and onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Add the straw potatoes to the pan and mix everything. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the mixture of codfish and potatoes. Mix everything to soften the potatoes. Turn off the stove and leave the pan covered for about 5 minutes.
Also, you can use some olives and a good salad to eat with this dish.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Past experiences...

My last job was a very constructive experience. It contributed largely to my decision of one day emigrate to Norway. 
I worked for five years in a company X where i was responsible for providing the product to customers while working in a team of 10 elements. The day of the opening was memorable. On the inauguration day, there were still people in the building welding and laying cement on the floor. Work done at the last minute is typically portuguese. 
Over time, some elements of my team were fired or left the job by their own initiative. Unfortunatly the management skills of our boss were inexistent. Sometimes, he took money from the safe just because he felt like buying horses, others he did not felt like paying the suppliers, etc. The case went to the courts and the company was sold. Fortunately, many of us were hired by the new company, which was logical because experience is something to which is given much value. I remember that everyone was full of dreams and hopes, thinking that under new management things would improve, I was one of those people. 
Unfortunately, that was not the case. I saw everything: from managers smoking in the corridors during work hour; to the director, whom really liked chatting with his friends on MSN Messenger instead of actually managing the place. 
But the most memorable thing of all was our new team leader. This “man creature” presented himself to the team as an experienced and highly professional person, who had several years of experience in other companies. He really seemed like a nice person, an impression that lasted for half an hour. Here is a list of his wonderful and “productive” deeds:
- On the first day, he fired me and my colleagues a few dozen times; 
- Changed the location of the raw materials, putting them 20m farther away from the workplace just because it looked more beautiful to his eyes (despite the work now taking twice as long to complete because of the extra trips that had to be done); 
- 80% of his work hours were spent in front of the computer surfing the Internet and watching videos on youtube; 
- Arrived on the workplace usually 2 hours late and also got out earlier; 
- Took the day off whenever his car needed to replace a tire on his car (although he lived 20 minutes away from the company); 
- We discovered that he had been expelled from other companies where he used to work, and that in one of them, there was a party (with cake) when he left; 
- Despite having no training in mechanics or engineering, he disassemble parts from the machines on the pretext that they were not necessary. This action increased the rate of malfunctions on the equipment; 
- He accused me of being late to work in front of the director,although I am known to always arrive 10 minutes earlier to avoid any unexpected delays; 
- And the list goes on ... 
It is clear that his actions could not go unpunished, and so i spoke to the director and confronted him with the situation. As he refused to resolve it, I decided that there was no future in that place and resigned the job. I came to discover later on that the director and the “man creature” were friends. As such, and despite all this incompetence, they continue to "work" in the company. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Today at work..

A technician to another colleague: 
- Some countries do not use drinking water in toilets. 
- Yes, there are third world countries that already have implemented that system; 
- Portugal does not have it; 
- But Portugal is a country of the fourth world.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On the portuguese economic crisis

In Portugal, former presidents have the right to:

- A car with a chauffeur and gasoline;

- An office, a secretary, a phone and an assistant;

- Monetary help whenever they travel out of their area of residence;

- Private security 24h per day.

All this is paid by the state, which is a nice way to say it is paid by the portuguese people.

How to tick people off


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cartoon of the day

Although it is not the worst place in the world, this is how it feels live in Portugal.

Monday, July 6, 2009

This is living

Today in Lisbon

Some guy speaking to a friend on the phone:
- What are you doing? ... Studying for the exams? ... Why? There is no purpose in going to school!

Friday, July 3, 2009