Monday, July 27, 2009

The NE job and its closing dinner

I know I have deserted my blog for a long time, and I apologize.
What happened, in short, is I went on working like a slave in the North-East, then went home for a weekend, hiked the Monte Rosa, and then I was sent to France for another project (where of course I had no internet-access).
I haven’t even logged into my FB account for weeks, I have been chastised from family about having forgotten both my nephew’s AND my grandfather’s birthdays, and plenty of other things happened. I’ll try to write about the weirdest/most interesting, but you’ll have to forgive the lack of consequentiality. I’ll post things over the next few days, and here come the first taste.

The North-East job and its closing dinner
This project was pretty important for my career: I’m still in the first 6 months in the new office, so technically I can be dismissed at any moment without any explanation/leaving package. (Once the six months are over, in Italy it’s pretty impossible to be fired. Other bad things can happen of course, but it feels good to know they can’t fire you, especially in this economy).
The senior manager who directed the project is pretty well known to be the toughest of the office, and I don’t even need to find him a nickname, because the guys from the office call him (behind his back) Fast & Furious (F&F), and it’s the best possible nickname for the man.
Anyway the thing about F&F is he has power in the office: he thinks you’re great, your career is granted, he thinks you’re dumb, you can consider yourself out of the business just as if you had leper: nobody wants you on their projects and you end up doing nothing all day (cool for a while, but in the end you’re stuck and your career is stuck as well).

This long introduction obviously means one thing: I had to work my fingers to the bone for almost two months. Meaning days, nights, weekends. In the end, it seems he did appreciate my work, but we’ll see once I get my evaluation done.

On the last week of the project we got back to the city on Thursday night and F&F decided to take the team out for a big dinner: work was almost over and he wanted the team to feel a little better (I guess). We had a nice time, drank delicious French wines and ate a good deal (but if you have been following the blog for a long time you’ll know already I don’t really enjoy these dinners, since you ALWAYS have to be careful about plenty of things).
On Friday morning I was finalizing some detail on the report that had to be sent to our client, when F&F called me and a colleague into his office, asked us to close the door and, with funeral face, said we needed to talk.
My stomach twisted, and I prepared myself for the worst (being fired/humiliated) and then he actually told us that due to the economy we couldn’t charge the dinner to our client so each member of the team had to pay his share (mind, staying home that night WAS NOT AN OPTION). Honestly, I was so relieved I just said “Ok, no problems”, and anyway how can you argue with the one who decides about your career/promotions/salary increase?
In the end, I’ll have to pay 150 Euros. Like the kind of money I personally spend in 15 nights out with my friends. Amazing, huh?

Thursday, July 02, 2009



they just told us (my colleagues and me) that we're going to stay in this stupid place for the whole month of July (we arrived on June 3).

Life sucks dudes...