Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where are we going?

Of course I’m not the first one to discover a crisis is going on, that worldwide banks experience difficulties and so on.
In order to explain the situation, I need to write a note mainly for North Amercian readers, I guess.
In most of Europe, and definetly in France and Italy, you cannot simply “lose your job”. Once you’re past the junior stage, you have a “permanent” contract, and unless you do something very serious, they can’t fire you. I know Americas usually find this weird, but if you see it from the worker side, this is absolutly great.

Anyway, even though the crisis has fully hit down here, we still thought that we would have work to do, probably because my tream is still recovering from the last job and the 7 weeks spent on work leave.
Apparently we were wrong. We all knew that corporate companies would stop M&A deals for a while, but we were confident that Private Equities would instead take advantage of the situation. This would have given us enough work for the following 5 or 6 months.
Instead, today the partner told us that he has already called most of our PE clients, and they are all out of cash, so they don’t consider any deal at the moment. Since the banks are not making any loan, this means no work for the next few months. UGH.
The partner pretty told us that if some of us should decide to quit the Company, it would be good.

Yeah, great, only who the hell does he think would hire us???

So right now most of my coworkers are wondering what will happen to us. Some actually say that withing 6 months or 1 year our job will disappear, at least in continental Europe.
I don’t think it’s so bad, but who knows really?

On my side, I’m waiting for some news from the Milan office, and meanwhile I managed to have myself staffed on a mission for the Paris office in November. And I really hope this shows some people from my office, that while they have nothing to do, the Paris office WANTS ME TO WORK. Just so that we can make things clear about whose work is considered valuable.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Step 1: done!

Yesterday I finally found the guts to tell the big big boss I want to be transferred to the Milan office. Given the world economy situation, he was pretty cool about it, confiding me that he would surely not mind if someone else would leave as well, since (according to him) we’ll have no business going on for the next few months.
Let me explain that this is pure hypocrisy: my office makes TONS of money. I myself invoice 350 Euros per hour I work to our clients. Out of these, less than 20 get to my pockets. The difference? Well, let’s just say that the big big boss bought a castle last year and renewed it.
So I pretty hate when he complains about the economy, and it’s not about me, because let’s be serious, I do pretty well, okay I work hard but I have no reasons to complain. But in this part of Europe a recent study proved that over 10% of the population lives in poverty, meaning they do not have access to basic services (hospitals, food and a roof over their head). So I hate this hypocrisy.


The only objection the big big boss opposed is that, given the situation, the Milan office may not want to hire at all. Which of course is my main issue about the whole job thing, but you cannot know if you don’t give it a try, right?

So last spring, when I went to Milan to work with people of that office for a week or so, I hinted that I would eventually like to join them on permanent basis. Of course, since it was Milan and I wanted to make good impressions, I had worked my fingers to the bone, as well as dressed up in my best tailleurs during the whole week, and I had even invested in hairdresser.
So at the time, when I mentioned I would eventually like to move to their office, I had some pretty positive answers.
So I called the senior manager I had spoke to, which I’ll refer to as O’Frog, because his family name means frog and due to his red hair, people often refer to him as the Irish.

So I dialled O’Frog’s number and introduced myself this way:

“Hello O’Frog, this is DDgirl from the French office…” (and I was going to ask “Do you remember me?)
His answer “DDgirl! So nice to hear from you!! So did you finally decide to join us?”

In my opinion, this is a good start isn’t it??
We discussed a little, of course the economy may be an issue, but he seemed positive to me and told me he will get in touch with me soon.

So hopefully, fuck my boss, I’ll be out of here in a few months! Yay!!!

PS: A hairdresser appointment is ALWAYS a good investment!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Something is starting to fall in its place

So, as you all know, each time I go to see my parents (which is definitely not often enough..), the leaving is pretty devastating.

A song I really like, half in French and half in English keeps running in my head in these days… I actually rearranged the lyrics:

I walk into the streets, God in my pocket
I walk in the big city, and it’s cold
The Earth is my friend, and sometimes I sleep on it
And I think about my country, which was so small

Farewell my small country, farewell my family
Farewell … Italy! Farewell my lake!

I remember my country, Down Memory Lane
The wind is my best friend: it alays blows for me
Neons in the distance dear as daylight
Sometimes I think that I'm not of this world
I remember this song

Oh farewell my country, my Mediterranean land
Oh farewell Italy, the sun I just can see

I remember the streets, and the nights in Milan
And I’m always a foreigner, at the train station
The wind would blow on me, as far as he could
And I know this sound

Farewell my small country, farewell my family
Farewell … Italy! Farewell my lake!
The sun I just can’t see

Well, to make story short, I finally took matters into my hands and spoke about my leaving to KS over the weekend.
He didn’t take it very well, but not very bad either. I the end we agreed that I’ll try to make arrangements to move in March.
Now if I don’t sound super excited about it is because I still have to talk the company into transferring me to the Milan office, and due to the crisis, this may be harder than expected. But somehow I’ll deal.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Smoke and snow

I’m still working in the middle of nowhere, and office bookmaker forecast say we’ll stay here for another month. Ouch.

This morning I got up at 6h30 (as I do here at the hotel) to running. Now I always have a hard time running this early in the morning, but I don’t really have the chose as long as I’m staying in this place. The main problem is that days are getting shorter, and today I already had difficulties in seeing my path, because well, at 7AM it’s still night and I run on a trail in the country (I even spotted a fox two weeks ago!)

Today it was even colder than usually (note to self: next week don’t forget bringing a long sleeve top), but while running uphill it was still so dark I didn’t notice what became obvious after breakfast: 200 meters higher on the hills, it has bee snowing all night long.
Now it’s afternoon and the landscape is still pretty much covered in snow. And in case you were wondering, no, this is not normal around here on October 3.

Anyway, in order to shake up the daily routine of the factory I’m staying at, today a fire exercise took place. Which would have been normal, except for here they spread real smoke EVERYWHERE in the building. Now I stink and I’m coughing and afraid my asthma may settle in. Yay!!

I really need to focus on the fact that tonight I’m going clubbing…

PS: I finally read the first Twighlight book, and well, I'm totally a sucker, but I CAN4T WAIT TO RECEIVE BOOK 2!!!!!!