Monday, January 25, 2010

Portuguese journalism

"Mr. X, you have lost your home, property, your entire life's work is gone because of this awful fire. Please, tell us, how do you feel?"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mathematics of an office

smart boss + smart employee = profit

smart boss + dumb employee = production

dumb boss + smart employee = promotion

dumb boss + dumb employee = extra hours

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Nº2

Today, I was told about the story of the Nº2 manager working at the factory. A few years ago, a newspaper add was published asking for engineers, but it did not refer to the field of work, neither to the name of the company. Mr. Z was an electricity technician, and after seeing the add, and despite he was not an engineer, he decided to send the CV anyways. Because no one else had tried to answer the job add, he got the position as Nº2 manager of the factory. The person to whom I am referring is a good hearted one, but he is emotionally unstable, as he handles things in a very stressful way (this is important to better visualize the temper of this guy). In the last eight years, he was sick and went on vacation two times for psychological reasons (i.e. he was losing his mind). Anyways, a few years ago, he ordered one of the technicians (let us name him Mr. T) to build a support structure near the cooling towers of the factory. So, Mr. Z arrived at the work site and yelled at Mr. T “you have to use a breathing mask to continue that job”. Mr. T, seeing some chemical engineers performing some tests with the water of the cooling towers, found the request a little bit odd, and decided to confront Mr. Z to find out the reason for having to wear the mask. So, Mr. T asked:
- Why do I have to wear the mask?
- Because I said so.
- Because you said so? That is the answer the Nº2 manager has to provide? I’m going to speak to manager Nº1!
After reaching the office and asking the same question, manager Nº1 answered:
- Because wearing a mask is a part of the procedure.
- Because it is a part of the procedure? That is the answer the senior engineer/manager has to give me? What kind of an engineer answer is that?
- OK. We have found bacteria in the water of the cooling tower. That is why you have to wear the mask.
Mr. T was really f*cked up because he was putting his life on the line and was not informed of the risks he was taking. Then, he went to speak to the chemical engineers and tried to get some answers. They told him there was no danger because the bacteria in question were not harmful, and that manager Nº1 had been misinformed.
A little bit later, Mr. Z arrived at the work site, screaming:
And after these words.. he opened up a valve, and started drinking the water directly from the cooling towers while saying:
Well… the water of a cooling water... is not exactly of the drinking type. It is full of other microorganisms, bacteria, seaweed, chemical products to prevent corrosion, etc. Conclusion of this story: Mr. Z had to stay one week at home with heavy diarrhea.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Welcome to Portugal

This video shows the aftermath of a court ruling of a murder case. The scenes are happening in front of the court.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How the Portuguese judicial system works

Case 1: A man runs over a woman with a car and tries to escape the scene; he realizes the body got stuck in the car. He drives 2 Km with the body of the victim stuck to the car while driving to get rid of it. When the man is caught by the police, he is taken to the police station, identified, and released again (source).
Case 2: A man makes living by selling jewelry in is jewelry store. He gets robbed by four young men with guns pointed to his head. He goes after the robbers and gets involved in a shooting with one of the robbers, whom gets hit and dies. Finally, the owner of the jewelry store is sentenced with murder (source).

Sleeping on the job

During my time in company X, sometimes i find people sleeping in the workplace. Although it is better not to judge the reasons why people sleep during their work hours, some of these situations are funny.
The first situation i can recall was when I was entering a room where the ventilation system is located. Suddenly, I am surprised with a security guard sleeping while sitting on an improvised box. Immediately, he rose up, greeted me, and said something like “I was just resting my eyes, the fumes from the garage make a burn sensation in my eyes”. 
But the funniest case yet was today. I was getting out of a service elevator when I noticed this castle-like structure made of goods waiting to be transported. Then, a face rose up from a little spot hidden in the middle of the goods, he looked at us, mumbled something, and then fell asleep again. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On the Nobel Peace Prize of 2009

Obama will send an extra 30000 troops to Afghanistan! Way to go Mr. Nobel Peace Prize!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

Many people in Portugal like to celebrate the new year either in the streets watching fireworks, or at discos, or at home. Having my fair share of the first two i have become a more homely person, and prefer to celebrate the new year at home with family and friends. We spend the evening cooking sea food, where i am usually requested as a "saucier". At midnight, we went to the top of the building to get a view of our surroundings. We were able to get a glimpse at the fireworks in Lisbon, in the Vasco da Gama bridge. I hope you all have a Happy New year, and also, i am hopping the next year will bring us less wars, because frankly, i am getting very tired of this war crap. Godt nytt år!