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Dear Grandpa,

I am on the train to Norwich as I am writing this. I made the mistake to cram all my stuff into two big suitcases and not hire a company to move them to my new place. My back is paying the price now. I have a propensity to do everything alone but again I was never famous for my wisdom. Yes I know you know that already 🙂

It is a long journey. I am watching the English countryside go by from the train. I’ve done many cross-country trips in England, from South to North, from North to South, it’s funny, I know England better than Greece and I have only been here a few years. From the people I asked, I gathered Norwich is half the size of Liverpool and it is one of the most isolated towns in England. Proper country town. It will be a new experience.

I wanted to rent an apartment initially but the agencies were horrible and I didn’t want to risk signing an one year contract for a place I have only seen in a short video they sent me. Eventually I found a room in a nice house in a nice neighborhood with two roommates. I had a virtual viewing and chat with the property manager, a nice lady from Manchester (originally), she appeared more trustworthy than the agencies. It’s a six-month contract so no big deal, I will find another place if I don’t like it. She said she was very pleased to have someone from the North hahaha even though I told her and it’s quite obvious I hail from Athens she still counted me as a Northerner.  I took it as a compliment. It’s funny when people consider me one of their own in every place and country I go despite the fact I am very different. I guess my integration skills are better than I believe. Or maybe it’s because I get in tune with people very fast.  I think a more accurate description would be the one a British lady gave from my last job “we consider you a special guest”. I like it, special guests have the best roles in the movies hahaha

Sometimes when things get more difficult I wonder why I don’t go back to Athens. Thanks to you and my parents everything is ready there, a big apartment or a whole apartment building only for me if I want to without paying any rent, a car, I do not even have to pay for groceries. When things get tough comfort seems so nice. And at the same time it’s a trap for misery and reality is not as ideal as I imagined. Interesting how things work in life. Imagination and reality do not go hand in hand, they do not go their separate ways either, they coexist in some bizarre way I can’t describe.

The unknown and changes always cause me stress subconsciously, it’s human nature I believe. I make conscious effort to welcome every new experience with a positive attitude. I like to be an optimist. Perception does not change reality but there is no point of being pessimistic. There are always ups and downs, this is life, ups and downs. I do try to keep my childlike attitude and look at the future with anticipation and excitement. Besides, living in the past does not work.

I got to tell you, I really liked a gal, like really really liked her but I couldn’t have her unfortunately. It’s painful when reality doesn’t let you have or do the things you love. Everything is so frustrating when there are other people involved, you cannot do anything to control the situation. I guess this is why I like doing things alone……

The train is crossing cities and villages, rivers and creeks, forests and fields……..and I am asking myself what is next….?

It’s been almost a year since grandma passed away. It’s so sad I couldn’t hug her before she left. Take good care of her.

Your grandson,

Dias

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It might happen this month. Fingers crossed.

Good morning Dias!   And no, no not at all! I am a big ridiculous romantic so I feel the urge to stick up for love 🥲 I can understand where you are coming from completely, I get it, and mine

It is getting better and better every day. Damn, this place is my lucky place, everything goes so well since I came here.  I have a feeling the planets will align this month. But I don't want to

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Hmm, definitely country town. 

No seaside. Way less cosmopolitan. Girls in the north are way better looking. Good the property manager is from Manchester, she is quite younger than I thought (and better looking in real life).  

I will miss Liverpool for sure. Liverpool is by far the best place I've been in the UK. Liverpool ftw. Although tomorrow I will have to lie to my local colleagues about how much better Norwich is compared to Liverpool. 

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16 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

It looks adorable from the photos I'm seeing on google. But obviously it's impossible to get an idea of what it's really like from google. 

Yes on the photos it looks much prettier. It's not bad, it's different. City without a coast is ... well, not that great. It's much more provincial and less cosmopolitan. The Manchester lady agrees but she does not say it to the locals of course. 

North England vs South England -> North wins hands down, by all aspects. Only the weather is mildly better here.

Anyway, I don't regret it, I like the change. I will try to get the best out of it. 

Edited by dias
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I asked for feedback from my roommate before I left to see if people have the same opinion about me as I have for myself. I wanted to know how I appear to other people. It’s easier if I convey her exact words: “at first glance you seem a very chilled guy who does his own thing, you are quiet, definitely on the introvert side but not shy, as we conversed a bit more you appear to be clever and that you have strong opinions. You give a this is me, take or leave it vibe. And for some unknown reason you appear very trustworthy, I trusted you for the first moment”. I think it’s a pretty accurate description of me. I always wondered why I appear trustworthy, how can people judge this, you can’t know if someone if trustworthy at first. I guess this is why children like me and not because my brain stopped working at age 5 haha. I believe the trustworthy vibe is because I don’t have an inherent motive to use people for my own benefit.

Anyway, then we talked about flirting, relationships and why she pigeonholes men into two categories, the “bad boys” where there is chemistry but they are d*cks and the “nice guys” who are subservient and resemble dogs. Pretty difficult to disagree with this since it’s true, it’s the same with both genders though. Everyone wants the top 1% who has the right balance of personality traits. Too bad only another 1% gets it. I was lucky enough to meet a gal from this one percent, not so fortunate enough to make her mine. I asked her to place me on the bad boy/nice guy scale and she said I am definitely on the nice guy side, I don’t give any bad boy vibe whatsoever but I have very strong personality and views. I found it pretty accurate again. I am not “cool” but I am certainly not a p*ssy either.

I find it interesting how people are classified into leaders and followers, like there is no other category. There is a third smaller group of people. Those who don’t lead but do not follow either. I am one of them. I don’t have any typical leaderships traits or skills but I am not following anybody. I just do my own thing, what I believe is right at this particular moment regardless of whether people, society or laws agree or not. I used to be very open about my opinions in some controversial subjects, I’ve learned my lesson, directness should be used in moderation. Silence and slyness have to be used instead. Besides, opinions do not matter, only what you actually do matters.

Edited by dias
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Posted (edited)

It is true that different location/environment molds different characters. I feel like a different person than what I was in Liverpool. I don't know how to describe it. My brain and way of thinking adapt according to the external environment and Norwich is something new and different. I have been here only one week and I have noticed I am changing in some ways. 

My initial impression of Norwich still stands true. On the bright side, the weather is a lot better, it rained only one day this week, I almost forgot I am in the UK lol. Moreover, there are more places and paths for walking/running which I really like. I like the house I am staying, it's pretty nice. I like the job although I am very busy and I am working overtime a lot. 

I don't have much time to write on ENA and when I am free I want to spend all my free time outside. 

 

Edited by dias
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When there are more than two people involved in the decision making it's just a big motherf*cking mess. Stop changing the f*cking requirements every couple of days. Every change means working in the evenings and on the weekends for me. And then you change the requirements again..........At least move the f*cking deadline. 

I am still during the "understand who is who" phase. As I am becoming more comfortable I will contact the clients directly (whether my manager likes it or not). It's easy dealing with clients, dealing with colleagues though is difficult and unproductive. Everyone has a motherf*cking opinion. 

On top of that, my housemate is doing the same work for another company making twice as much and he doesn't even have a degree. I have undersold myself so much.............It's good I got this job though, it's a stepping stone. 

 

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1 hour ago, dias said:

Every change means working in the evenings and on the weekends for me. And then you change the requirements again..........At least move the f*cking deadline. 

Say it isn't so... it's sounds like my job. 😥

1 hour ago, dias said:

It's good I got this job though, it's a stepping stone. 

  At least it's a step in the right direction!

Edited by Jibralta
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On 3/31/2021 at 11:51 PM, Jibralta said:

Say it isn't so... it's sounds like my job. 😥

 

I don't believe it is so bad, fingers crossed. There is a lot of overtime (unpaid of course), it doesn't match with the salaries. These huge corporations have a certain budget for the majority of positions no matter how well you perform or how many hours you work. Hypothetically, the upside is stability but for me it does not matter. A recruiter called me and he verified that I am so underpaid for my experience and degrees, I should be making at least twice my current salary. Well, I am stupid or unlucky, probably both, I always end up underpaid. Good thing, this company is the largest insurance in the UK so it really carries a lot of weight when you say you work here. I am trying to get involved in the projects with the new technologies, combine this with the firm's name and it's a good stepping stone.

Anyway, regarding the deadlines I will use an analogy. Imagine your company was about to deliver the draft for a house. The client requests an extra room the last minute. You step in and you claim you can do it although with a bit of guidance because instead of Revit you have to use another software tool which you barely know (the new technologies for me). Your colleague who was supposed to give you guidance is not responsive at all, he does not provide any technical guidance or explains the client's requirements. You have a very generic idea about the end goal that you got from a couple of team calls and that's it. Nobody on the team has a clear idea what this room is supposed to be. Is it going to be a kitchen? Is it going to be a bathroom? Is it going to be a living room? So you start designing a kitchen because that was your understanding and impression from the calls, you show to your manager your drafts when you have made some progress, he says yes this is the right direction. Two days later, you discuss with him again and he says "no this is not exactly what we want". Ok you work extra hours to implement the new changes since the deadline is the same. And this cycle is getting repeated. They come with ideas on the fly. We have to be agile they say. This term is so overused in software engineering. Yes agile, fine, but don't f*ck my evenings and weekends for your stupidity. 

Mind you, I asked to get involved into this project and I am responsible for delivering the task. I thought I would have a bit of help but I am doing it without. Turns out, I made the right decision on taking on this project despite the long hours. I am learning a new programming language extremely fast which is very important. 

All in all, I am taking what I want to take from this, it could be done without the extra stupidity but hey way of the world! 

Edited by dias
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4 hours ago, dias said:

Imagine your company was about to deliver the draft for a house. The client requests an extra room the last minute. You step in and you claim you can do it although with a bit of guidance because instead of Revit you have to use another software tool which you barely know (the new technologies for me). Your colleague who was supposed to give you guidance is not responsive at all, he does not provide any technical guidance or explains the client's requirements. You have a very generic idea about the end goal that you got from a couple of team calls and that's it. Nobody on the team has a clear idea what this room is supposed to be. Is it going to be a kitchen? Is it going to be a bathroom? Is it going to be a living room? So you start designing a kitchen because that was your understanding and impression from the calls, you show to your manager your drafts when you have made some progress, he says yes this is the right direction. Two days later, you discuss with him again and he says "no this is not exactly what we want". Ok you work extra hours to implement the new changes since the deadline is the same. And this cycle is getting repeated. They come with ideas on the fly. We have to be agile they say. This term is so overused in software engineering. Yes agile, fine, but don't f*ck my evenings and weekends for your stupidity.

Dias, I don't have to imagine. This is my life right now!! You have exactly described my current job (sorry to tell you!)!!! Except in addition to this dysfunction, the owners (my bosses!) categorically deny their lack of guidance, and the lack of clear expectations, as if it's a threat to their very existence. They become mortally offended if it is mentioned. Instead of acknowledging and addressing operational issues, they are resentful and suspicious of their employees, blaming us for not reading minds, and for being unable to do the impossible. How can an owner of a company be so irresponsible and incompetent??? I tell you, it's possible. More than possible--it's happening.

I feel like a crazy person, which is why I started talking openly to my coworkers about the issues, and why I posted my coworker's text in my Oblivious Bosses thread--I am at a point where I desperately need to see tangible proof that I am actually not crazy!! (NOT that I recommend at all that you behave in this way. I definitely do not recommend doing what I've been doing. I am behaving this way because I have finally lost my mind at my job and become a crazy lady (but not incompetent, as they'd have me believe). My only 'advantage' is that they've already denounced me and cut my salary. What else can they do but fire me?). 

However, I will say that my refusal to give up has resulted in me learning a ton of knew skills in a relatively short amount of time. For that, I am grateful. I will have something to show for this experience.

In retrospect, I can honestly say that I have something valuable to show for all of the negative experiences that I've had in my career. I've gained knowledge and insight into this industry in ways that I never imagined possible, mainly because I didn't know these issues existed until I experienced them myself. It's been won at a high price, but it's still been well worth it. And I will put my knowledge and experience to good use when the time comes for me to strike out on my own.

Edited by Jibralta
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Despite working during holidays, I managed to steal some time to wander around. 

 

51082415676_799ddc4db2_o.jpg

51088365391_e169336868_o.jpg

 

 

I loveee the last one, I have it as my desktop background image. I took it today. I don't know why but I love it. 

Whitlingham Country Park.jpg

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5 hours ago, Jibralta said:

The perspective of the third one is very deceptive.

In layman's term? lol

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7 hours ago, Jibralta said:

The foreground is much closer than it initially appears. How large is the knot and the piece of wood in that photo?

Quite right my perceptive Jib. The knot and the wood are a lot smaller in reality, I focused on the knot when I took the picture and I was about one meter away. 

On 3/31/2021 at 11:51 PM, Jibralta said:

  At least it's a step in the right direction!

It is the right direction indeed. I am back in the game after a 2,5 years hiatus of doing "irrelevant" jobs. I have to start almost from the beginning again but I know how the game is played now. Taking this job regardless if I like it or not was certainly a great decision.

I like the technical aspect, I don't like when people change requirements on the fly. For my team, the clients are internal which sucks because when we provide solutions nothing is well defined or written. They throw ideas without knowing or defining what the end goal is. From the kitchen we switched to a living room and then to a bathroom. I am sure next week they won't like the tiles, then the tap, and then I will try not to give them the middle finger because I want the job. 

 

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I bought a couple of dumbbells, 10kg each. The doctor said I am not allowed to lift due to increased likelihood of getting retinal detachment. The heavier the weights the greater the risk. I can't stop working out though, I will end up in the shrink pretty quickly. I don't lift heavier than 20kg. It's enough for me, I do countless reps more explosively. It's like doing at the rowing machine in the gym, it's mostly endurance but it still provides stimulation for some muscle growth. I don't care about building more muscle, I am pretty happy with how I am now, I workout because I love exercising. 

I think I have mentioned my love for exercising. It's like eating for me, I can't function otherwise. I can't describe it, I loveeee it so much. It's such as shame I don't have an athlete's genetics, I certainly have the mentality. There are two things that make me feel "alive" whilst doing them: exercising and acting. When I am doing these two I feel such an immense gratification I can't describe. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, dias said:

I think I have mentioned my love for exercising. It's like eating for me, I can't function otherwise.

Send some of that my way please, I have some serious weight to shift 😐

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On 4/5/2021 at 12:17 AM, hidden_kitten said:

Send some of that my way please, I have some serious weight to shift 😐

I wish I could, it's enough for 100 people. It's genetics, both my parents loved working out, I inherited it on steroids.

You don't need a lot of exercise to shed some pounds. 30-45 minutes walk everyday is enough. Then you need to fix your diet and replace trigger foods with low calorie dense foods. If you can stick to this, it is as guaranteed as Newton's laws that you will lose weight. 

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12 hours ago, dias said:

You don't need a lot of exercise to shed some pounds. 30-45 minutes walk everyday is enough. Then you need to fix your diet and replace trigger foods with low calorie dense foods. If you can stick to this, it is as guaranteed as Newton's laws that you will lose weight. 

Yes, I do think an underactive thyroid makes it a lot harder... studies have shown you don't even begin burning calories until after 27 minutes... so I literally have to work out twice as hard as a regular person if I want to stay fit (not fair LOL)!  

But you're so right about the trigger foods!  For some reason mine are spaghetti noodles, its such a trigger food that I can eat way too much of it like a crazy person, so I replace it with spaghetti squash and that works great :D

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