Once upon a Time…

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Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category

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..


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

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by Sanshiru

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..

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.


  • 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)


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


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.


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 Ocean

January 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm

A Shopping Guide: How to find what you’re looking for

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Lately lots of people come up to me, asking me for help concerning PCs or laptops. Since it’s always the same pattern of them not knowing what they actually want, and me saying the same thing over and over to everyone who asks me, I decided to write this little guide which can be applied not just to IT equipment, but also all other things you wish to purchase.

First of all think of what you want to do with the item, in this case a laptop.
Do you want to play games? Do you want to surf the web and stay in touch with friends? Do you want to use high end graphic programs? For each question you need a different type of set up, which will be the ‘main ingredients’ or ‘frame’ of your search for the right item.

Let’s say you only want to use the laptop to surf the web and communicate with friends, so now you have to go into more details. Think about what you need in order to do all that. For sure it will need to have a network card so you can go online at all. Since you’re not planing on using it for graphic programs or games, you won’t need a high end graphics card, sound card or a lot of memory (both RAM and HDD). So you might just need up to 2GB RAM, and a 100GB HDD. Nowadays most messaging programs offer video chat, so a built-in webcam can come in handy. A fancy new Operating System might not be needed either, so Vista or XP might be the cheaper alternative to Windows 7. Since it’s the very basic things you wish to do with the notebook, you might as well consider buying a netbook, which are made for even this purpose. Unfortunately though, they are very small and it can be a hassle typing or reading on them. So think about what is more important to you: The weight and size or ease of use. What you shouldn’t forget to take a look at is the battery. After all you want to be mobile, but what good is it, if it lasts only 30minutes? Read more..

Written by Ocean

December 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Guides, Shopping

Tagged with , , ,