Once upon a Time…

Everyday Life Experiences and Thoughts online and offline…

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Written by Samantha A. P. Ocean

January 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Random

J’ne suis pas Charlie, je suis égalité!

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As millions of others I’ve been glued to the news channels since the attack on Charlie Hebdo first was broadcast.

While I feel for the families of the dead and condemn any use of violence in the strongest terms, I cannot help but feel extremely concerned for the future of our (worldwide) society and the path it is taking and the loss of equality and freedom of speech.

The hypocrisy shown by all sides is, in my opinion, incredible and leading us straight back to the dark ages. While each side is pointing fingers at the other calling them racist, fascists and claim they ridicule their values, they do the exact same themselves when it comes to who or whatever they don’t (can’t or won’t) understand.

And it is not just in France, but all over the world. France just showed it quite plainly by banning comedians for statements which questions their values, while insisting that they have the right to discriminate and ridicule even those they pointed their fingers at.

How can I expect to be respected when I don’t show any respect for the ones I asked to respect me?

Do not misunderstand me, I am not taking any side. I find either equally appalling and disrespectful. Why do I have to make fun of others for their believes or culture in first place? Who am I to put myself above others and belittle their way of life and / or thinking? Is it really that hard to agree that we disagree and that we DO have different values and that neither is better or worse than the other?

And all the while, the Devil is patting Hitler on the shoulder as they watch us decimate one another, saying: “Aye, I couldn’t’ve done it better meself, friend.” And Hitler rubs hands, while smoking a cigar, replying: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Written by Samantha A. P. Ocean

January 18, 2015 at 5:44 am

The Netherlands and ACN Europe B.V. Amsterdam – A Review

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by Sanshiru

The Story:
From beginning of December 2007 till end of May 2008 I was working for ACN in Amsterdam.
It started all when they found an old C.V. of mine on Monster and contacted me, asking if I were willing to relocate and start working for them. They offered 1700 Euro pretax as fixed income per month (about 1200 Euro after tax), 6 months accommodation in a company house (the first 2 months were free, 3rd and 4th months I had to pay half the rent (200 Euro) and the last 2 months the full rent, utilities were included, but there was no internet/phone). In addition they paid the flight (you had to pay it first but were reimbursed afterwards) and also offered a voucher for a clothing store where you as employee would get a certain percentage off the price at all times. Read more..

Written by Samantha A. P. Ocean

January 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm

IBM Greenock, Manpower & Adecco – A Review after 1 1/2 years

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by Sanshiru

Chapters:
The Story
So in Conclusion..
About working for Manpower/Adecco/IBM
About Greenock and Scotland
Living costs

The Story

1 1/2 years ago I got an offer from Adecco, to move to Scotland and work for IBM as technical support.
Thrilled by the idea to go to the UK and work for IBM I agreed and left my former, well paid and everything but busy job behind. The offer seemed good since they were paying the flight, accommodation for 10 days and 400 pounds cash after arrival. Everything was as they said when I arrived in early June 2008, but that was just the surface.

Enthusiastic I started the training, sucking in all the knowledge like a dry sponge does with water.
I was told that I would have some sort of newbie protection at first for at least 6 months, until I am a full fledged agent, meaning that they wouldn’t pressure me when it comes to meeting targets. So I was relieved and enjoyed every moment, taking pride in being an IBMer.

1 month after I had started there was a centre-wide meeting announced, in which the highest managers of this plant announced that all technical support was going to be outsourced to Hungary, but they also promised that they wouldn’t stop the service here. Rather we were supposed to work together with them as one team. Of course the first question that came to my mind was: ‘Why would a company who is seeking to reduce costs, keep employees that cost more than other while doing the same job?’

Back then I didn’t bother getting up and asking cause I already knew they would only come up with some bloody lies to make it look like they are an all great and generous company. So I kept quiet and watched them fail since they had not planned things well enough. While people started to leave the company, strange things happened:

They started to rebuilt the floor which we were on, so there was constant loud noise making it even harder for you to work, aside from all the stress. On top of that they started painting the office walls and heaters (and in that building it’s not possible to open the windows!!). Everyone got at least severe head aches from the fumes and some even got rashes within 1 hour. When we went to the Adecco HR office we were told: ‘Stop acting! It’s just water-based paint!!’. For days it went on and even the team leader had enough of the constant head aches and went home earlier with half of the team, which rewarded her with more than just dirty looks from the HR ladies. Continue reading..

Forced to work 12h Nightshifts

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by Sanshiru

Yesterday afternoon our manager, the head of the HR department and the HR assistant who’s responsible for our team, popped up out of the blue. It was about the change of department. Our current department is outsourced to Cairo and our team is going to work for a different client within the company now. The news those three had to announce was, that they needed four of us seven to work a regular 12 hours night shift, from the moment the new department is being started.

Of course it would come with a 30% raise of income, but when I asked what happened if there weren’t enough people willing to do the night shift we were told that in that case we would receive a change of terms and conditions notice. If we don’t agree to they will try to find a different vacancy for us within the company and if there is none which we successfully apply for, then they look country wide for us, but only for a month, then we’re on our own.

So basically: Accept the change of terms and conditions or be fired.

What is so ironic about it is, that 2 weeks ago we had the latest new starts in our team, who are now screwed. I am starting to wonder if the company’s practices are even legal, specially since I had similar bad luck when I first started to work for this company 1 1/2 years ago.
One month after I had moved countries and started that job, they announced that the department I was supposed to work for was going to be outsourced.

After that was done half a year later, I changed departments within the company, and again they outsourced. This time we were told on a Friday, that we’re going to work for a different department the next Monday. And now this. I really cannot wait to get a job away from this company. The only thing I am going to miss will be the people here. Our HR assistant is an angel, always trying her best to help and make things better for you as much as she can, and my co-workers are just awesome people, always having a joke on their lips, making it a great time to be at work, even tho the customers are horrible.

© 2010, Sanshiru. http://san.icopyright.com

Written by Samantha A. P. Ocean

January 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

Cooking for Singles – Savoy Hotpot

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by Sanshiru

This is an old recipe I learned from my granny, therefore I do not have any precise time line. The way everything is done indicates when it’s the right time to add the different ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 savoy cabbage (you only need half of it, the rest you could use for e.g. roulades)
  • 3-4 new small potatoes
  • 1 hand full of baby Brussels’s sprouts
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 thin leek
  • 1 bunch of coriander (again you only need half of it)
  • 3 Frankfurters or 4-6 small meat balls (if you use raw ones cook them separately first)

Spices:

  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1-2 table spoons of cumin seeds

Instructions:

Wash all vegies thoroughly, then start with the cabbage: cut it in half and remove the stalk, then cut into bite-sized slices (remember you only need half the savoy!). Put it in the pot, add water so it’s covered, cover with a lid and put on high temperature.

Add salt and pepper, be careful with the salt though, since the sausage or meatballs will be salty already.

Then peel the potatoes cut into small bite-sized pieces, reduce heat to medium and add the potatoes to the pot.

Take the baby Brussels’s sprouts and check if they have any dark or dirty spots. If so cut them off or peef of the leave and then add them to the savoy and potatoes.

Add the cumin seeds. If you like you can use more or less than mentioned in the list depending on your likes.

Now peel the carrot, cut into slices (cut them in half if too thick). Take the onion, cut it into medium pieces and add both carrots and onion to the hotpot.

Boil on medium and check every now and then if the potatoes are done by piercing them with a fork. If they easily fall off the fork or fall apart they are done and it’s time to cut the leek into slices and add it.

Cut the Frankfurters into slices, or take the pre-boiled meatballs and add them as well.

Last but not least, take half of the bunch of coriander and chop medium to fine and add it to the pot.

Stir and check if more salt is needed and then serve.

Tip:

If you let it rest over night, it tastes even better, like with all hotpots.

© 2010, Sanshiru. http://san.icopyright.com

Cooking for Singles

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by Sanshiru

Since I am living on my own I always had problems finding good recipes for only a single person. As I tried to find the right measurements for making a meal for only one person, I also rediscovered old recipes that have been passed down from my granny’s granny, to my granny, my mom, and finally me.

When talking to my co-workers and friends I noticed I am not the only one who, at the end of a long working day, doesn’t know what to cook, and tends to simply goes by some ready meals, which isn’t the cheapest and healthiest choice.

So here now I am going to publish the recipes as I remember them and come to cook them again, in hope I can help others with the same problem.
I can’t say how frequent I will add one though.

If you have any good single recipes feel free to contribute! Good ideas for a simple and tasty meal are always welcome! :)

© 2010, Sanshiru. http://san.icopyright.com

Written by Samantha A. P. Ocean

January 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Note to Self – An everyday Guide

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by Sanshiru

A list of personal fails of mine, updated as soon as they occur (if I am still able to post them afterwards..).

Note to Self #1:

Don’t keep your fingers in between the door and door frame when attempting to close the door.
Result if you don’t follow that advice: Very painful!

© 2010, Sanshiru. http://san.icopyright.com

Written by Samantha A. P. Ocean

January 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm