Mar 03 2018

Iuliana’s log, stardate 13409.14

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 15:34

I haven’t been writing on the blog for a while. I did have the urge to, but I seem to be going through a tough time when I don’t feel like anything I do is useful or important enough to mention.

But here I am, trying to fight through it. Because logging your life, keeping a journal is important, that is why psychologists say. And they are absolutely right.

There was a time in my life when I thought everything I was doing was interesting, impressive and meaningful. And I was writing about every single thing with the excitement of a person born the day before. Now here I am, looking at my life, my daily activities and nothing seems worthy of being mentioned here.  It seems, and I feel that way. Rationally I know it is not. So I will try to write here a few thoughts, I will list a few things I have done these days, because maybe if I take the time, if I make the effort to write about them, maybe I will feel like my life is meaningful and still worth it and that I am meaningful.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when my bitter state has started. Maybe after I released my last book. After one of my books is published I have a period of a few months when I have way too much time on my hands. And I start thinking of stupid shit. And usually all that shit is meaningless and goes away as soon as I have stop having time for it. But now it is different, because it hasn’t stopped. My bitterness is growing and festering to the point of metastasis.

I have forsaken the normal way humans live their lives so I find myself forlorn most times. I do not live the normal lifestyle for a 30 year old. I enjoy my reclusive existence and my time  alone, I read, I play my piano, I play with my cat and watch a lot of series(because damn… there are a lot of good series these days). I do not expose myself on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks, not unless there is a serious(professional) reason for that. But I do use them, and I think this is where my bitterness comes from. Everybody seems to be involved in something meaningful and everybody seems to be living their life to the max while I am just… exercising in the gym, working, playing piano, writing some text, writing some code, reading, sleeping. Seriously, this is my routine. And it is not a bad one. I do not go out much, so I don’t spend much. I travel from time to time and talk on the phone with friends and family. I don’t do this often, because I am quite anxious, but I force myself into it. I try to keep my existence at least a little … normal.

But lately, I just feel stuck. I do not like my job, I do not like the house I live in, I do not like the city I live in anymore, I do not like the country I live in(and for good reason, just search on Google Romania corruption 2018), I do not like my life and worst of all… I do not like me. The reason I do not like myself, is obviously all this bitterness I cannot seem to get rid of. And I am so terrified that people will become aware of it and try to distance themselves from me. Or worst, they might try to help. Why do I say this is worst? Because when people try to help me, it makes me feel weak and inept at living. And boy, I do not want to feel that way! Plus, rationally I know there is nothing wrong. I just gotta get my shit together. I am the one who said a few posts ago, that one of the commandments of my career is If you do not like it, change it. I just wish I could apply that to my life! Also, lately I cannot apply that at work either, which frustrates me like crazy. I got promoted to manager, and I never asked for it or wanted it. Of course I could have opposed it a little bit harder, sure. But I work with people that I respect and admire and most times trust their judgement.

But I might have got it wrong this time. Because I am not the managerial kind of person. I do not feel comfortable talking to people about their work and trying to convince or push them to do it right or faster. I do not like to contact them and talk to them just so they feel like I’m paying attention to them. It feels weird. Especially since I know how it feels. I had my manager calling me a little bit way too often to be comfortable and I had the feeling he was checking up on me because he did not trust me on doing my work. And because I know how I felt when he did that, I cannot do it to somebody else.

So I made the decision to change something. I started applying for jobs abroad. A piece of my heart was left in Scotland two years ago, and I started looking for jobs there. I started in November. I’ve passed tests, I’ve passed interviews, or so they say. But rarely a job panned out. And when it did, they did not want to give me the salary I wanted and they did not provide support for relocation either. So I had to  say no. But the ones that took a toll on me were the jobs that I really wanted and lost them. Until now there were four of them. I have the utmost respect for the companies and HR departments that came back to me and told me why I was refused. The ones that hurt the most were the ones that just stopped communication altogether. Because, if it was something in my attitude, or in my coding that made me fail them, I would like to know. Because my mind goes in very dark places trying to find an answer. I started doubting my expertise in this domain. Maybe I am not a good coder. Maybe I am just a fraud, I’ve been able to navigate my way through corporate hierarchy because I have other qualities, but being a good programmer might not be one of them. Maybe I am overestimating myself. Maybe there is something wrong with me that is so disturbing and that some people can see. Maybe I am too old. And so on. I even got to the point where I suspect I was promoted to manager because I’m not good at coding, which makes me even more reluctant about my promotion.

But I do not like it and I will change it. Maybe I am not as smart as I wish I were, maybe I am not as good a coder as I wish I were, maybe I am just … unfit for living. But I am alive, I am still here and I am still fighting. So, I’ll apply to more jobs,  I’ll do more tests, I’ll participate to some more interviews. Because I know that I just need to keep doing this until I get the stars aligned perfectly, until that sheer moment of luck comes when a representative of one of this companies will conclude the interview with: “When can you start?”

Clarification: I do actually consider myself a software engineer. And I am a pretty good one. I just wish I were a little more better at coding than I currently am. ;)

Stay safe, stay happy!

Jan 20 2018

Ce inseamnă instabilitate economică

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:09

N-am mai scris de mult în română, dar ținând cont de ceea ce se întâmplă de ceva vreme în țara asta cred că este momentul să vă arăt ceva.

Eu colecționez bani. Cea mai veche monedă pe care o am este o moneda de 5 bani din 1867. Cea mai veche bancnotă este o bancnotă de 5000 de lei din 1945.  Nu o să pun pozele cu astea două aici, pentru că nu sunt relevante pentru ideea postului.

Pozele pe care am să le pun aici, o să fie cu toate tipurile de bani pe care eu mi-am permis să îi colecționez. Subliniez expresia mi-am permis, pentru că veți vedea niște bancnote și monede ce vor părea valoroase, dar faptul că eu, un copil dintr-o familie foarte săracă am reușit să le adaug la colecție înseamnă fix inversul.

Sunt născută în 1983 și în pozele de mai jos sunt toate tipurile de bani românești ce mi-au trecut prin mână până să trecem la versiunile de plastic din ziua de azi.

Prima imagine este cu toate tipurile de monede folosite de mine, din 1988 până azi:

Următoarele trei imagini arată bancnote de dinainte de revoluție. Cea de 100 de lei mi-a fost dată de unchiul meu și valora foarte mult încât mă temeam să nu mi-o fure cineva așa că o perioadă am dormit cu ea sub pernă.

Când au fost scoase din circulație nu mai valorau nici cât o ceapă degerată și chiar am chiar niște cunoscuți care au fost prinși de schimbarea banilor cu mulți bănuți vechi la ciorap. Trecerea la noile bancnote i-a lăsat efectiv fără economiile de o viață. Eram prea mică să înțeleg ce exact se întâmplase.

Următorul set de bancnote este primul de după revoluție:

Apoi când și-au dat seama politicienii că e nasoală treaba, că bancnota aia de 10.000 de lei n-avea nici o valoare, au rezolvat ei problema inflației tăind un zero din coadă și uite asa ne-am ales cu următorul set, din care eu am doar două bancnote:

Dacă ar fi să adăugăm și genul de bancnote aflate în circulație astăzi, deja înseamnă că în 34 de ani România și-a modificat banii de 4 ori. Am avut bancnotă de 10.000 de lei în 1994, monede de 1000 și 5000 de lei în 2002 și toate fără valoare, pentru că dacă ar fi fost cu adevărat valoroase, n-ar fi ajuns în colecția mea, pentru că părinții mei nu mi-ar fi dat niciodată bani serioși pe mână la vârsta aia. :) Între setul de mai sus și banii pe care îi folosim azi, diferențele sunt în faptul că s-au tăiat încă trei zerouri și am trecut la bancnote de plastic.

Asta în timp ce dolarul nu s-a devaluat niciodată din anul apariției lui, în 1792.

Faptul că nu în 30 de ani am schimbat banii de 4 ori  este semnul clar al instabilității economice, cauzată desigur de instabilitate politică. Nu am să menționez nici un partid, dar cred că este evident că draga noastră clasă politică poate face multe, dar  să conducă o țară nu este unul dintre lucrurile astea.

Deci da, bucurați-vă de ăia 100 de lei în plus la pensie cât timp banii ăștia vor mai valora ceva.

Tags: , , ,

Jan 08 2018

Work memes

Category: FunnyIuliana @ 14:39


Jan 04 2018

10 Commandments Of A Career

Category: English posts,TechnicalIuliana @ 23:18

I don’t know if 11 years of experience in programming and three published books can be considered a career, but in this 11 years I got promotions I did not chase or even wanted so this must count for something. I do not know if I did anything different than others that try to succeed, but my attitude and hard work got me from a low place to a place higher than I even dared to dream so I thought it might be useful for others.

So here there are, the 10 commandments of my career.

1. Do your best. Sounds easy, sounds simple, but it is difficult to do your best. Especially on your bad days. The truth is you will spend at least 8 hours at work, you might as well use it properly, to deliver quality products and acquire quality knowledge.

2. If you do not like it, change it. Nothing is perfect in this world, thus companies are not either. You will get defective management, defective products to work on, defective people to work with. But nothing changes its state without interference and stimuli. So do your part: speak up and act. You would be amazed how much much you can change. A strong warrior is forged in battle so be thankful for the battles you have to take part of.

3. Ask. Do not expect people to know or care, what you want or need. If you do not ask, people will rarely know what you need and give it to you. There are also people who are shy and can’t say no, even if they don’t really want to give you something. So ask and insist when necessary.

4. Read your contract, know your rights. This should be obvious, but many people skip this part. You have more rights than you think. There are rules put in place to protect you from bullies that are high up the corporate ladder, because with great power sometimes it’s not the great responsibility that comes, but great assholeness. So know them and invoke them when necessary.

5. Never stop improving. This should also be obvious, but some people get cozy at their jobs and get complacent. The only constant in this universe is change. So ride the change like a surfer rides the ocean. Keep your mind fresh and open and enjoy all the wonders of changing time. People who are reluctant to change fade into the background of the company, those who welcome it shine like the sun.

6. Speak up.Do not be afraid to voice your concerns and make proposals. Be open. Be creative. Even in companies that are known to have rigid hierarchy and fixed processes, exceptions can happen when good ideas are strongly voiced. Provide feedback whether is positive or negative. People like being complimented for their good work and even if uncomfortable, people accept that they have to improve. Those that do not want to improve, will most likely quit at some point anyway.

7. Establish boundaries. Be explicit about your do’s and dont’s. For example, it’s ok to state upfront that you do not like overtime, or working in shifts. Preferably do this at the interview, but if you were ok with this at first and then later some changes in your life  make you incompatible with this sort of activities, do not be afraid to communicate it. Contracts are not always explicit about your responsibilities and anything you are asked to do that is not in there, you can be negotiated upon.

8. Work with friends, not colleagues. We are humans, not robots. We make mistakes, we change, we have good days and we have bad days. Know your colleagues. The key to a productive team is to figure out when people are having a bad day and not pushing them and to figure out when they have good ones to challenge them. Also, building trust and friendship with your colleagues leads to a more comfortable working environment, that ultimately… does not feel like work. The truth is, for at least 8 hours a day we share the same space, breathe the same air with a select group of people. The key to a good collaboration is to know their strengths and weaknesses, and harness any of them to build a quality product.

9. Learn from the best. Learn from the worst. Learn from mistakes. And teach others. We are humans, we have genius epiphanies and brain farts. We have cheerful moments and we have low ones. Every experience is learning experience. From the best, copy behaviours that will make you the best. From the worst you can learn what not to do. From mistakes you can learn what was tried and failed, so you will know what not to try. And yeah, preferably learn form mistakes done by others. And teach others. We all die not knowing a lot of things. But be generous with your knowledge, share it so we all die knowing more things. ;)

10. Keep it simple. To make things complicated is easy. You don’t even have to try too much, just take something that you know and build it in your own personal way, thinking that you will never share it with anyone. To people that do not know what you tried to build and how, it will look complicated. The hard part in any domain is to build complex things in a simple way, so that others can understand it and contribute to it. So keep things simple. Implement complicated things in simple ways. Simple is the most practical way after all.

I know some ideas in the above paragraphs might related or even repeated. But, as Aristotle says: “We are what we repeatedly do; thus excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Stay safe, stay happy!

Dec 26 2017

The butterfly effect

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:22

When you do something do you ever think of the unknown consequences of your actions? Let say you walk down the street and you kick a stone changing its place. What could be the consequence of that action in 24 hours? What about 1 day? Or one month? Or one year or 100 years? Did you ever think what are the chances statistically, that a child might crouch down to lift up that stone, loose his balance and fall into the street and cause an accident? Seems an improbable scenario, right? And maybe too pessimistic and too creatively morbid, right?

Indeed, that is maybe too creative. I’ll ask you another question then: do you ever think of the long term consequences your actions and decisions have on your children?

Today I was visiting my parents and I stayed there for three painful hours. During these three hours there were some fights and some shouts, but some information made it’s way to my ears as well. Both my grandmothers were taken of school in the fourth grade so they can help around the house with their younger brothers, six and seven of them. Apparently they had a natural talent for learning, because they were able to get first prize(in Romania I think they are still rewarding the best pupils this way) even with little time to learn or do homework. Good news: intelligence runs in the family and seems to be “affecting” mostly females. :D Both my grandmothers never forgave their parents for stopping them from going to school. The one that died a month ago, was 87 years old and on her death bed she mentioned this again. She died pissed off on her parents, and blamed them for the mess of a life she had. Because even after 77 years she thought not being in school was one of the worst thing in her life and the first bad moment that allowed the rest of them to unfold.

I think most people say that, in life it is better to regret the things you did than those you didn’t. My grandmother regretted on her death bed that she did not go to school, and her parents were to blame for that. There were dead and buried a long time ago, but she could not forgive them. Maybe a psychologist could have helped, but Romanians believe psychologists are con-men.

What I’ve heard today made me sad. Not only because I found out yet another sad event in my grandmother’s life, but because I’m starting to think the consequences of my tormented childhood might never be healed. And my childhood was tormented because my mother never received a proper education in parenting, so she did what she thought best. She still thinks the regular beatings she blessed me and my sister with were justified and necessary. And those are just the physical abuse. I don’t really want to think about the emotional abuse right now.

So, how could I think of having a family and bringing a child into this world just to raise it broken? How can I break this bloody loop of bad decisions and abuse? How can I raise and educate a child when I am still a broken individual? How far away should I move to break this loop? How do I do it without feeling guilty for not being empathetic with my own parents?

And least, but not last, I asked them to give me one reason why I should have a child? An answer that I might give to my child one day if he or she asks me why I decided to bring them into this world. I asked them why did they have me and my sister. I would have loved a typical communist answer like “me and your father really loved each other and had a lot of good sex and because there was no contraception of the time you happened.” But they were not able to say that, because it was not true.

Well, no idea what is waiting for me in the future, but if I ever have a child, I really hope it is a girl. And I hope from my whole being that I will be able to guide her and help her develop her bright mind while keeping it whole. Because I’ll be damned if I continue this’s  bloodline of bright broken minds.

So if you read this and you have a child, reconsider your behaviour towards him or her. If you do not have a child yet, check if you and your partner have whole minds and as little frustrations as possible before choosing to have a child. Because there is a chance your child will never forgive you and die hating you, if you wrong him or her.

And this broken world is the consequence of broken people, wether we are able to accept it or not. So, let’s break this loop.

Dec 23 2017

În vizită pe acasă

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:06

Bună dragilor,

Cum v-am obișnuit deja, de trei ani încoace, în preajma sărbătorilor de iarnă vin înspre Iași ca să îmi văd familia și cei mai dragi prieteni. Mâine mă pornesc încolo (nu vă faceți grji, este cine să aibă grijă de casă și de pisică) și până pe 1 Ianuarie 2018 cînd mă pornesc înapoi spre Sibiu o să fiu  o să cam umblu între Iași, Piatra Neamț, Roman, Pașcani și Bacău, în funcție de cum vă aranjez în programul de vizite.

Așa că, dacă  vreți să ne vedem și când dați un semn, să văd cum mă învârt. Dacă doriți ceva din zona Ardealului, dacă doriți cărțile mele de Spring sau orice altceva, dați un semn până mâine.

Acestea fiind zise, vă urez sărbători liniștite și fericite.


Dec 17 2017

About sexual harassment

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:59

I did not want to write about this until the scandals toned down a little because it would have looked like I was “milking the cow”. But I need to address this because surprisingly I did not read anywhere an opinion similar to mine and I wonder why there not many people with a similar view.

If you take the sexuality element from the sexual harassment, all you are left with are some bullies, some sad individuals, that feel pleasure in making other people feel weak and in hurting them. Or in taking advantage of other people’s weakness. And unfortunately, most women are weaker, because this is how our species has evolved. We do have more feeble bodies and stronger minds. Because well, you need that in order to deal with shit that people stronger than you will do to you.

If we take the sexual element from sexual harassment and look at the bigger picture, we are left with a disturbing culture, in which strong individuals are allowed to treat weak individuals like shit. The bullies were raised by some parents that did not educate them properly in the civil spirit that humanity prouds itself with. Unfortunately, education and respect for any human being could control this kind of behaviour. And I say unfortunately, because education is something that is not prioritized in most countries.

The most ridiculous thing is this world is that we have religions, we have so many of them, and any religion in this world has a basic rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” I can’t imagine that being sexually harassed and raped, is what Weinstein, Trump and others are actually what they desire done unto them.

The downside of all these scandals is that we might see gestures like stealing a kiss disappearing, because no man or woman will ever try this for fear of being accused of sexual harassment. The upside is that we currently have a generation growing up with a new sexual conduct that will lead to a lot more sane relationships. And sane relationships might mean more educated children, that will become more sane adults.

I really hope I will still be here to see it.

Tags: ,