Friday, September 5, 2008

Corporate World

The English labor market is indeed a very fast-paced one compared to, let's say, Germany.

It is not unusual to be jobless today, start a new job tomorrow, quit after a couple of months (sometimes even after weeks already), and start another new one seamlessly. There are just way too much opportunities luring around over here to stay put for quite a long time. I guess that would explain the equally fast-paced housing market as well (common rule of thumb is, you change your job, you change your residence).

Same thing happened to my workmate Freddie today. Little did I know that it was the last time I was seeing him when we were just sitting together chatting about Bruce Lee yesterday.

So who gets to do his job now he's gone, you ask? Why, the fresh hires of course.

Soon after the news spread this morning and a 5-minute notice from my teamlead, my workload spiked from ~20 % to 163 %.

All these crazy things people do for money.


Quality Service

I arrived at the office a few minutes later than usual this morning.

Me: (silently grumbles upon reaching the desk and starts to unpack stuff)
Jeff: (looks up) "Hello, how are you this morning?"
Me: "Friggin bus just drove away right in front of my nose this morning, with the evil bus driver smirking at me."
Jeff: "Oh, they have special training to do that and go on various courses to piss off the passengers, think you have just experienced a driver who has been on the advanced course as he knows how to give that smug grin."
Me: ???
Jeff: "Hope the next one along has only been on the introductory course which means he will stop and just be generally miserable."
Me: (raises eyebrows and blinks a couple of times to check if still asleep)
Jeff: "You shouldn't begrudge every penny that you pay, where else can you be that insulted for the money..sounds like it is great value for money!! Next you will be complaining that you have to stand on the journey and it won't stop at your stop, which clearly would be your own fault" (smiles)
Me: (still blinking) "Wow, now everything makes sense. So I've been getting quality service all this time after all!"


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mobile Accessibility

When I arrived at the Terminal 5 of Heathrow International Airport last July 1, the first thing I did (after exchanging my money to Sterling Pounds) was to get a SIM card which would enable me to telephonically exist in the UK.

So I went to the first shop (it was actually more like an information booth) I found at the terminal, and after waiting for the two clueless tourists (who barely spoke English I doubt they barely even knew the city they currently were) to have the assistance and guidance they were looking for, I asked the by then slightly irritated sales lady to give me a SIM card which offered the best deal.

I ended up getting a Vodafone SIM card which turned out to be one of the most expensive networks in the UK. The best deal indeed. For them.

By the end of the month, I switched to T-Mobile and was far more happier with my price plan.

Eventually, I started longing for an upgrade, but as a UK-newbie free from all records you are just not eligible of anything. Nothing.

After a few weeks of biding I decided to give it another try only to be declined by three different phone shops again. So I phoned my current mobile network provider and literally begged them to prettyplease upgrade my contract.

Three days later all my patience and persistence paid off.

Blackberry Curve 8310


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Short Term Parking and Congestion Charging

Mission: Driving to Central London with your own car.

Impossible? Absolutely not.

But it ain't that cheap either. Not to mention the mission you will be on for, which will definitely put your forbearance to an ultimate challenge.

First, of course you get to pay the beloved-by-all congestion charge which they by the way now increased to £10.00 (yes I can hear you all applauding).

Congestion Charging in Central London

And it does not end there. You will still have to find an appropriate parking space to avoid penalty charges. With appropriate I mean a legal spot where you can park your car for a couple of hours without you having to worry about your windows getting smashed or your radio getting purloined (or both) once you get back.

So you park in a car park. Make sure to make your business quick or not be short on cash.

Car parking

Terribly sorry for the terrible copy.
Let me break it down for you:

Duration: 15:26 - 20:18
Total Period: 0d3h53'
Gross total: £20.80

That's roughly £5.35 per hour *rakes hand through hair*

Let me just sit here and assimilate that for a while.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Love in London IV

Me standing at the bus stop (obviously waiting for the bus). Chilly and windy. Workmate Fabio comes up.

Me: "Hey Fabio, how are you?" (smiles)
Fabio: "I'm cold and I need a hug." (puppy look)

That's Italian charm in London for you.


Four Ridges Must Be Destroyed

New findings for today: Four Ridges Must Be Destroyed

I stumbled upon this page whilst browsing through YouTube and never got to figure out what the site was all about. A horror flick? A video game?

No and no, it is a creepy CREEPY website promoting a... milkshake.

The site is a somewhat subtle focus on the product's new features which are "thicker, slower, better".

Now I am really not the milkshake type, but I do am very impressed with the whole clever and creative idea behind all this!

The campaign was developed by a London-based advertising agency, Grey London.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer In The City

It's a sunny Saturday with 23°C (which feels like 30°C in this hot and serried city), and everyone's out and about half-naked.

I love London.


TfL Is Watching You...

And you're never alone...


Friday, August 29, 2008

London Bus Strike

Thanks to today's London bus strike, it took me a little bit over an hour to get to work when it usually takes me no more than 10 minutes on regular days. If it wasn't for the kind gent who actually told me that the friggin' bus ain't coming today, I would still sit there and wait. If I was lucky enough to have a car I could actually make it in 30 seconds to work :-D.

Never did a single morning pass by when I did not mentally swear and curse at the buses that never came on time. It almost always makes me wanna buy me own ride.

But then again, you'll have to deal with all the pain that goes with it: left-hand traffic (I won't survive a day I swear. Either that or someone else will die), MOT hassles, taxes, insurance, charges, and of course - I almost forgot - the rising high gasoline prices.

Nah... I'll just have to work on my temper then.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

GCSE Answers

Got this via e-mail today... Is this for real???


The following questions were set in last year's GCSE examinations. These are answers (from 16 year olds) in Swindon Wiltshire

Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists

Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs

Q. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow

Q. How are the main parts of the body categorised (eg the abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A,E,I,O and U

Q. What is the fibula
A. A small lie

Q. What does 'varicose' mean
A. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium

Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure
A. A Roman Emperor

Q. What is a terminal illness
A. When you are sick at the airport

Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas

Q. Use the word 'judicious' in a sentence to show you understand its meaning
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face

Q. What does the word 'benign' mean
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight

Q. What is a turbine
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head


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