May 21, 2018

Finally new stuff


It sure took me a long time to start working on my shops again. Truth is I am bored now. They're going nowhere and I want to make new things I don't have the skills to make...and I am very reluctant to invest time and money in new skills due to my lack of  succes in pretty much anything I have an interest in...
Not in a good place...







My Plug shop on Etsy
www.dinafragola.com
My Etsy shop
My Dawanda shop

May 18, 2018

Dayjob, part 2 - Second Day

The neverending story...
The least I can say is that I was majorly under impressed by my first day.

Comes day 2...I finally met my boss...and, well, trust your first impression...this is not going to be a smooth ride. One of the first things she told me is that she had many lovers. Do.I. look.like.I.care? If she couldn't find anything more important to tell me on our first meeting...
I also met my new colleagues as the Polish girl was gone. Turns out I already knew one of them, so that was cool. Also turned out that she hated the boss...with a passion...
On top of my 2 colleagues there was also a "volunteer". I never found out what she was doing there (other than spilling coffee and bread crumbs all over the place, no we're not supposed to eat here but she had hypoglycemia, or so she said)...why would you choose to "work" for free...in a shop anyway? Thankfully she left after a couple of months. Maybe she was just a spy for our boss, a thing we really can't put past her...just kind of funny the "spy" was not too strict about the rules. I won't say more as I don't want to get anyone into trouble.
Colleagues were less than kind with their comments on the boss...everything they told me was true and still not quite strong enough as I soon found out.

I started using the "in house" shop software. Very dated. Very poorly written. Full of bugs. Full of loopholes. Cost 5000 euros according to boss. Not sure if it was that badly designed on purpose or just out of sheer incompetence. How can I describe it? In a couple of weeks I basically discovered that you could change whatever you wanted in there...stocks, prices, tickets. I still have no idea why we could access that as there would have been easy ways to lock us out of those options.
Then there was the  ticket issue. We were supposed to print out the tickets on a regular office printer (as our cash register was just  a regular desk computer). Boss was adamant we had to print tickets on a sheet of paper cut in 4. But it was not possible. The paper would get stuck in the printer EVERY SINGLE TIME. Also the ticket was blank  as we couldn't center the print and everything would get "ghost printed" before it reached the paper. And we didn't have administrator access so we could change that ouserselves...Right, we could change everything we wanted in the shop software but not in the printer settings.
I gave up telling the boss after the third attempts...and we kept a pile of pretend cut-in-4 sheets by the computer and printed on a whole sheet. And when the boss would come to the shop, and saw us printing on a whole sheet...we just kept saying we forgot...and each time we were lectured about the waste of paper. Really.
We were soon accused of not only using lots of paper but also ink, and cleaning products. Oh, and water too. Not very suprising as we learned through customers and previous workers that the  teams before us never printed anything (no, no tickets) and never cleaned anything either (I could tell). So, yeah, we were indeed using more ink, paper, cleaning products and water.
But to our boss, she were printing stuff for ourselves (not sure what), stole the cleaning products and probably did our laundry with the shop washing machine too. Oddly (or not) we didn't have any laundry detergent  even though we were supposed to wash the shop stuff there. When I asked for some, boss said there was no budget for that. So laundry was done with hand soap. Whatever.


You can read part 1 here.

May 11, 2018

Day Job Part1

Whiling away the hours...
When I got offered that full time job 5 minutes away from home in late 2016, I seriously couldn't refuse. I needed/wanted the money,and well, in the Belgian job market it was quite unexpected. Of course I knew it would be way below my skills and education but I sincerely didn't mind. I felt a bit guilty  because that position was usually for people without high school education, but as I just said, job market is so bad, even those types of jobs are being taken by people with higher education.
So, there...I was going to work in a "social shop". A shop for people with very low income where food is cheaper and where you can also get free European Union aid.
I, very naively, thought it would be like any small grocery shops. Ha ha ha, right, a shop run by the Belgian administration.
Day one. When I arrived on the first day I was told that my direct boss and 2 colleagues were absent that day...and that  a former worker had been called back and was going to guide me through day one.
OK. Fine. A nice Polish girl with medium knowldedge of French and... 8-month pregnant.
Second surprise, the shop is located in another building...across the parking lot from the main offices...and  we work there unsupervised. OK.
The shop itself was the third surprise. It was an old grand house with stairs everywhere, turned into a shop on the ground floor and flats on the other levels. Though it was clean, the whole place looked kind of decrepit...and not suited to be a shop. To get to the storage room you had to go down 2 stairs and then up 2 stairs...so practical when you're carrying boxes...and to get the stuff in that room to start with...well, muscles required as there was no way a truck, nor a car, not even a cart could come near the building.
The main shopping space had super high ceiling, was lit by ancient neon tubes...and had a large fridge dating back to the disco era...and it was barely...staying alive...staying alive. When it turned on, the noise would make everything vibrate and the electric tension would drop in the whole building. New tennants above the shop always came to check what was making that horrendous noise.

Shop was only opened in the morning and  the afternoons were for re-stocking and cleaning.
The morning went by very slowly...the afternoon was even worse as there was nothing left in the storage room and cleaning was not really necessary after our 5 clients.

What I learned on my first day:
(Imagine the Polish accent) :"You never count the till money here, but we always count the till money here" and "we cannot have lunch in this building  but we usually have lunch here".
Fine, I'm flexible  ­čś╣ I was now officially a civil servant!

To be continued....

May 04, 2018

The day I (almost) died

Contemplation - Karen Hollingsworth www.karenhollingsworth.com
End of February. I started feeling really under the weather. I blamed it partly on my unfun job (that was coming to an end), the weather and a flu bug that all my colleagues seemed to share.
I went a first time to my GP who indeed diagnosed a stomach flu.
I didn't feel I was getting any better, went back to work and then one afternoon had to go back  home. Second visit to the GP, who again said it was a  nasty stomach flu. I was not convinced as pills for spams did nothing, but, well, you tend to want to trust your doctor, right?
I dragged myself all weekend, running a high fever...on Monday I tried to get another doctor appointment. Mine didn't have any spot until Tuesday morning...and I really didn't feel like I could wait that long nor drive myself anyway.
After 6pm I finally managed to get a doctor to make a house call. And just in time too as it turns out I had sepsis and was, well, dying.
An hour later I was in hospital under heavy antibiotics. My GP had missed an appendicitis...twice...
The week I spent in hospital is kind of blurry and feels very unreal. I am better now. I still have my appendix as the infection had spread too much to try to remove it. But I am completely exhausted both physically and mentally and to be honest I feel absolutely terrible.
If I could just sit at that desk on the painting and stare at the ocean...in peace and quiet...

November 02, 2017

Halloween 2017


Even when things aren't that great,  I can't miss Halloween!


Halloween pasta

Orange and chocolate cake, complete with cat hair...

Chocolate and  salted caramel cake
Pumpkin soup from last year because this year photo turned out all blurry.