The morning rise

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There is one small town in Europe I visit every year. Almost always I drive through the same shady streets. And every year I try to notice a little differences on the face of that old town. EUROPE is conservative, they don’t like to change things. They repair, remake or redo thing again if they are old. But If something is taken down most likely for a restoration.

Once I noticed that one of the iconic bakeries took their store symbol off the roof. The bakery was sold to a bigger chain and a new contemporary design was introduced to the neighbourhood.

Shortly after I witnessed that the store symbol was put back in its place. The new, shiny and fresh Baker (the roof symbol) offered a bread and suggests a little more to the citizens of the town.

I don’t know if it is on purpose or not, but this baker has a bread sticking out from his basket as he promoting a men’s health together with a freshly backed rolls. Hot bread, hot guys – I guess, now I understand, why people loved him. Back in place above everybody else’s heads he is like a Cupid reminding everyone about the early morning rise.

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Day number 3

20170629_105634 (2)Today we are at almost 3000m altitude. My bum is on fire and the rest of the muscles are on strike. That path with a steel wire wasn’t quite straight (photo).

Reaching the peak I see…snow. Some sort of a Christmas in July. It certainly feels that way for me and I’m celebrating every second. Mainly because there is no more walking for today. But Champagne wouldn’t hurt. I’m sweaty, standing in snow in my short pants. Hot and cold «feelings» mixed together.

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Tonight we are staying in a hut on top of the mountain. It is busy here and we are too early. Bedtime is a few hours away and to be honest I’m looking forward to sleep, especially knowing that I gonna share a room with 11 other hikers. What could be better than a room of farting and snoring people? Oh dear! I find this thought is too disturbing to keep in my head. I need a help.

No book in my bag, only a phone with empty battery, so we decided to play cards for the rest of the day. It is not that kind of reward you are waiting for after a long and painful climb. But I quickly change my mind when I look at the snow and wind greeting newcomers. Anything is better in comparison. My mind, body and spirit are getting numb at that point. I’m reaching my summit. Looks like in altitude the air does become thin and less concentrated so do my thoughts. But there is always a reward when you least expect it.

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Clouds are gone and we can see that we are on the top of the world with a breathtaking view over Dolomites. The sun is visiting the peaks for the last time today to kiss and say “Good night”. It always does this way. Every day. For million of years and nothing changed. Time stopped. This feeling is worth millions. At this point nothing else matters, even not a few snorers.

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A cold invitation

20170701_111007 (2)Cold skin. Very cold. I touch my cheek again and to experience this feeling once more. It doesn’t feel like mine anymore. Rain and hail kissed my cheeks million times within the last hour.

Now it’s time to dive into a cloud.

Uncertainty disturbs. Especially on 2000 meters above the sea level on a sharp rocks.

I feel a brush of cold air on my lips, hairs and arms. Finally this milky universe swallowed me and there is no way back any longer. I even don’t know where is that «way back». Everything is white. Everything is the same.

Don’t stop.

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Now I can’t efford this luxury. I just look straight ahead and follow the marks on the track while I still can see something.

Fear. Joy. And curiosity. All mixed in a cocktail that I’m drinking now.

But the thought that I’m walking with a cloud makes me smile. A scarf of thick wet air thrown around me to protect from the cold.

I’m feeling strange here. I feel like I got invited for an event by mistakes.

This experience is impossible to forget. What a treat!

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Attempt failed, but recorded

20170525_094815I’m in Sydney again and I stayed at the same hotel as last time.

For those who don’t remember – last time I had a post about a marihuana shop with a signage: ”Who are we hurting?”. This time I thought I gonna check on the growth of the plants.

Well, the only thing I saw this time was an empty shop with a sign “FOR LEASE”. I guess, those plants grew too quickly and harvest is over. A restaurant next door didn’t get the reward from food traffic as much as it had planned initially.

But it did bring a small reward to the rest of us. If we do feel like something has to be done and changed then we are the ones, who are responsible for it. If you know that your attempt will fail it doesn’t mean that the attempt is a failure. We gonna keep trying and one day we will change something. For some people it is about marihuana, for others about their lives. A brave step was taken and surely it left its traces.

•••

 

Cost of recruitment or a Price for being nice

IMG_4192 (2)Once I met a boutique shop Manager. She just left a high end store to work for a local designer. On my question: “Why did you leave that place?”. She answered: “… they didn’t look after me. I was their best sales person, but I had no incentives, no “thank you” at the end of a working period, no appreciation, only plans to meet. Felt like they were using me.”

And I thought “why would people want to leave their employer if they got paid for what they did? Isn’t the whole point of work to get money you agreed on for a service you agreed to provide?”

I started to think and did my research.

It is not a secret that happy workers are 12% more productive than unhappy and more willing to stay after hours; they do extra work too. Unfortunately there are only 30-33 per cent of such happy workers. So 70% of workers are working on their 88% of capacity. That’s too much money to loose.

Find a new employee is an expensive exercise. Not only that their’s cost involved in the process of recruitment alone: advertisement, time of the internal recruiter, time of the person conducting interview, background checks and various pre-employment assessment tests. Studies show that “an average cost to replace an $8 per hour employee, determining an average cost from $5505.08 to $9444.47 per turnover.” “Chartcourse estimates it costs $40 000 on average to replace a nurse, while technology companies can run replacement costs of more than $125 000 per vacancy,”-says Financial Review. Studies like SHMR predict that it costs 6 to 9 months salary on average. That is a cost of training and speed and quality of performance.

What if an employee doesn’t need to leave? The other option is an internal promotion, which costs almost nothing to a company and brings more benefits not just for customers, but for other employees too. But sometimes it might be not an option at all. People have to or should leave a place and new blood has to enter the veins time to time, but holding on to a right person is a very necessary exercise, because it cuts costs for a company and gives stimulation for others. I’m not even mentioning the appreciation from employees, new ideas, faster up to speed performance and extra effort too.

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And here I remember another story from another industry. A Company didn’t want to employ anyone to fill up a position, they decided to wait for a the right person. When that person came in, they checked him in every possible way. He got offered a position as Sales Rep. A few days later he got to know, that he had to undergo a surgery which he might not survive after all. Besides, it might lead to complications and long recovery. He notified the company and said that he is sorry that they went through all that trouble. This company decided to leave the offer open and wait for the result of that operation. Kind? Wait a bit…

A day or two before the operation he was invited into the office where the director arranged a welcome lunch for him and gave that guy not only a signed contract which would cover his sick leave, but also a premium insurance for every occasion and family support.

Nice story? You would say that a right person deserves it? Surely, he deserves it even if they don’t know yet his performance, KPI and communication style? What do you think, does a person who has been working for a company successfully deserve acknowledgement too then? Yes? And even that person, who leaves after 3-4 years of employment deserves a “thank you” gift for all the money saved and the progression of a company? After all, knowing that average job change in Australia is 1,5 years, 4 years of employment history saved a company at least 6 to 12 salaries.

6 to 12 salaries? Well, in my case it was an email saying, that I was “one of the best employees they have” and that I  “will be truly missed” plus an offer to catch up if I want.

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Drug test or Painful question

mmm.jpgI haven’t been here in WordPress for a long time, but I gave myself a word as soon as I find a new job I will write at least once a week. Life a bit too hectic at the moment. Talking about hectic life and relaxation.

This week I was in Sydney. And while I was strolling through the streets of the biggest Australian city I saw this:

“Who are we hurting?”- said a shops signage. You might ask me what is this shop about?

If somebody didn’t get it yet – it is about giving love, sun and care for the plants. And I’m assuming people are waiting that those plants gonna “pay” them back. If they not gonna give them sun, they might provide some love and TLC.

And a restaurant next door got an extra traffic. It would be funny, if in a restaurant instead of the question: “What are you gonna drink today, guys?”, would ask: “Which drug are you gonna take today?”. Or something like: “We don’t supply marijuana, there is a shop next door. We are B.Y.O only”.

After all I guess there is no answer on the question “Who are we hurting?” apart from:  ourselves. But saying this, many people think this “pain” has to be legalised. We need to be free to choose our life, our death, our pain and our drug too.

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Среди повседневной беготни, где- то в Сиднее, я прочла такую вывеску магазина: “Кому мы причиняем боль?”. Приглядевшись, я поняла, о чем вопрос.

Посреди самого большого города Австралии люди выращивают марихуану, надеясь не только получить желаемый урожай, но еще и социально взбудоражить общественность.

Общественность взбудоражилась, трафик пешеходов увеличился, ресторан по соседству поучил все дивиденды. И мне стало интересно, если все же марихуану легализуют, то, например, в ресторане будут спрашивать: ” Вы пить будете или курить? По сути дела, посетители будут отличаться только скоростью выхода из ресторана и прямотой ходьбы.

Hard work

IMG_4263 (2)Two questions are now on the agenda of our professional workforce.

First one: Shall we implement siesta or not? And second one: Shall we cut penalty rates for Sundays or not?

First question is important for those who go to bed at 11 p.m. or later (that’s me, but not my partner). Here is why it’s important: if you have a nap for an hour and a meal for two hours and go back to work after that, it might stretch your working hours to the “forever” point. And you have to live and breath your work space literally, staying there till 9 or 10 p.m. Who wants such a life? (I know the answer -lawyers! But I’m not a layer.) Latest statistics shows that only 9-11% are happy to work where they are. So stretching an “unhappy practice” would not help to improve our world.

Other news sound almost insulting: from now on Sundays will get paid less. To be honest, I never understood why Sundays are so different to Saturdays, for example. Working on Saturdays means you are missing all the parties, but working on Sundays is quite boring (read: easy) anyway. So my verdict is – No sleep during the day, but more money on Saturdays and resting on Sundays.

That would be great! Better would only be the Swedish way: implement a robot which would work for us and produce goods, but money gets paid to the citizens because the robot decided not to take salaries or a siesta. So “Yes” to Sunday siesta, Saturday high pay and robots at our workplace. The only thing I’m worried about is if robots don’t care about pay and rest, I hope, they also don’t care about promotions.

•••

Два рабочих вопроса сегодня на повестке дня- сиеста и отмена высоких окладов по воскресеньям.

Ну с первым, все просто. Два дополнительных часа во время обеденного перерыва увеличат рабочий день до 9-10 вечера. А это значит, что с семьей я увижусь ночью. Не вариант. Зная, что большинство из нас ходят на нелюбимую работу (только 11% любят то, чем они занимаются), то продлевать пытки на целый день не хочется. Так что решено! Оставляем сиесту итальянцам и грекам.

А вот вопрос номер два не шуточный. Я голосую за поднятие почасовых ставок в субботу вместо воскресенья. В воскресенье все равно мало, что происходит. А вот в субботу – все вечеринки можно пропустить.

Так что, вот мое мнение- живем субботами, а спим по воскресеньям. Или еще лучше – все как в Швеции – робот работает, а население получает дополнительную выгоду, так как робот решил не брать ни денег, ни сиесты. Так что я голосую за расширение семей по швецкому варианту путем принятия робота в ячейку общества.

It’s a killer!

img_3633-2Recent news from Europe made me laugh and here is why.

One very passionate priest from Austria declared that yoga is evil and people, who practice yoga  are consumed by a bad spirit and already in devil’s hands. His argument was that after practicing yoga people feel out of their inner peace, less focus and other people even don’t want to see anyone (to be honest, when I’m tired and sweaty I also don’t feel like socialising).

Well, saying that in the Catholic centre in the same city they offer yoga classes openly and “shamelessly”-  obviously for some priests it is not a problem (they are probably more comfortable around sweaty and strong people??).

And I was thinking that Austrian priest’s worries are kinda understandable, because yoga is a part of Hinduism and he, obviously, doesn’t want people to experience it. Looks like Christians can share one church with other religions, but can’t tolerate “non-Christian” physical exercise. I’m wondering, does that priest experience yoga before saying his verdict or did he just assumed that yoga is a bad spirit? But if he did try yoga before then I completely understand him, cause on the second or third day after the practice I also feel that “this was evil”.

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Где-то в далекой, заснеженной Австрии, слегка подмороженный священник извлек из коробочки с мозгом постулат о том, что йога- это дьявольская практика, наставляющая людей на путь сатаны. Однако, в том же, все ещё заснеженном австрийском городе, в каталическом центре поблизости дают уроки йоги без всякого стеснения… видимо, не согласовали с “начальником”.

Священник попал в новости и даже во множество интервью; а я лишь надеюсь, что “начальник” оценил инициативу, и отметил его знаменем. И мне интересно, как тот самый священник решил, что йога – это от дьявола? Делал ли он умственные предположения или все же он попробовал физически ощутить это на себе, перед тем, как заявить во всеуслышание о необходимости отказа от сатанинских практик? Если так, то я его очень даже понимаю, потому что на второй или третий день после занятий, я тоже чувствую, как у меня всё как -то чертовски болит.

 

Favourite sin

img_1013-3A friend of mine asked me once about my favourite sin?

-As if it made sense that a sin could be a favourite?

-Yes, we all are sinners sometimes. You don’t lie, respect your parents, didn’t kill anyone (I hope). What is it you are doing? Is it lust?

I started to think.

I think I have a big chunk of pride sitting in my heart. And even if it was lust it would way better than hatred or gluttony. I then realised how much information one sin tells about a person. I guess there is nothing much to add.

What is your favourite sin?

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Pixel and Collectors

img_0139-3Sometimes it seems to me that we are divided into two different groups.

The first group is a Pixel group and the others is Collectors. The Pixel group is focused on the Here and Now: Insta pictures, fast tweets, short words, cut sentences, everything must be visited and ticked off the list.

The second group is about long sentences, less pictures but more texts, eye contacts, no sunglasses, boring text messages and books at home. It was quite obvious to me that we as a society are splitting up. But I didn’t think that it already became a reality until the moment when someone, who I know well and who is always starting his morning conversations with eBay pictures and Facebook videos and Instagram, had to write a big letter to a management.

Those long sentences and boring black letters were cut short, mistakes uncorrected, no capital letters and unfinished thoughts seemed to be O.K. There was no logic throughout the entire e-mail. He couldn’t attach the documents to his e-mail because he didn’t know how to use Microsoft Office. He is 40. He is not dyslexic. He always owns the newest model of phones. And I’m not jugging.

I just never thought about it that for someone pictures are the only thing which deserve the attention. Just because it is fast and doesn’t require any effort. Those people are here and our society is split – as real as it could be. Thanks to the new technology, Pixels find it easy to navigate in this world and  we see them everywhere (and yes, they are not necessarily dyslexics).

But here is an interesting  question: Who is it, at the end of the day, creating the technology for the Pixel group: Pixels or Collectors? Who is holding the instrument that is pushing us apart? Who is creating a power stick?

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