Apr 04 2017

Head Hunters … I despise them

Category: TechnicalIuliana @ 23:14

For the following two months I will be replacing my manager, so I’ll do less code(he hopes none at all) and more people/project managing. I’m scared like hell, but I’ll do my best to fill his shoes and make sure all the projects will be stable and maintainable in his absence.

While he in on parental leave, apparently I should hire two more people in Frankfurt. Until now, the way people are hired here was a mystery to me. And I was quite confused how some people ended up working here when they seemed quite .. unsuitable for the job. It’s not a critique, it’s an observation. The bigger the company, the bigger the chances some people do not fit their role, and even bigger the chances for nobody to notice it. But I digress. So, this company is using a head hunting company to find potential candidates.

I hate head hunters. Even the term “head hunter” seems aggressive and sends me into defensive mode. I’ve been “hunted” on LinkedIn and it always felt like an invasive process. It’s a weird sensation, because they seem amiable and diplomatic, almost likeable, but pushy in a way. They push you for a meeting, they push for an answer and so on. They are oblivious to the kind of person you and they do not seem to care if you are going to fit in an existing team or not. All they care about is the technologies you know and the number of years you have in the field. If you worked for a renowned company, even better. These are they details they flash in front of their clients and they push them too for a contract, because the commission for a successful interaction is about two salaries of the person they delivered. So yeah, I guess they are quite motivated.

Unfortunately, head hunter companies are useful in a big city, with busy people with no time to maintain a LinkedIn or Xing account and no way  for companies of verifying their credentials. Head hunters are for people, what real estate agents are for houses. They are mischievous and elusive because they want to sell you something that you might discover later it does not fit you. It’s like a shop keeper selling you pants two sizes small and with a no return policy.

They are despicable indeed, but you, the professional that do not want to invest a little time in your career are to blame for this. Wrong people will get a job and wreck projects, and drive other people to desperation and  onto other jobs. Because you cannot find it the motivation within yourself, if you are not satisfied with your job, to invest a little time in creating  a proper LinkedIn or Xing profile. Or a personal site, why not do it if you have the expertise?

The “Iuliana Cosmina” brand was not born in a day. It is the consequence of more than 10 years of work. But Google knows who I am. Of course, Google only knows what I want it to know. There is no need for a head hunter to hunt me or convince me. There is no need for a company to hire a head hunter to “get” me. They just have to send me an email, or a message on LinkedIn or Xing. Because I am currently at a certain level in my career that allows me to choose my employer. I will do this based on a set of criteria. Money is important as long as it provides a comfortable lifestyle in the job area. But if I do not like the project, the team leader and feel like I do not fit the company culture or the team, I will never say yes to a job. Interaction through a head hunter is unfair, because I cannot meet the team I would be working with, I cannot test the chemistry, the “feel”. And this is important for me, because people are “feeling-based” creatures. And the difference between feeling comfortable and uncomfortable in a team, shows its teeth in a person’s productivity.

So dear head hunter, if you want to create a brand for yourself as a competent professional and be sought for your services, allow the people you propose for a job to meet the team without asking for money. Pretend that you actually want for both parties to be satisfied with their arrangement. Dear head hunter, I know you have to survive too and pay rent. But if you play the game right and build a reputation of integrity you will win much more on the long run.

And reputation gets you really-really far. And sometimes you can learn things from movies too.

“When I propose a candidate for a job I don’t do it because the person in question is the best but because he is the one the client will employ. I provide them with a head that is good enough, placed on a body they want. […] The world is full of people who pay serious money for bad pictures by good artists. And mediocre heads on tall bodies.”

Tags: , ,


Mar 27 2017

Today’s good manners code

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:55

In the image on the left there is a picture of the book I’m reading now. It is in Romanian and it is called Today’s good manners code.
It’s not that I lack manners, nor I want to learn how to act as a princess, but I’m just curious how much manners I already have.

A while ago, I had the intention to write a post about titles and what they really mean. I did some fast-scanning of my blog and realized that I did not do it. I wanted to say something like this, if you were given a certain title in a certain context, or small society, or universe you are part of, if you do not act the part perfectly, the title means nothing. And I wanted to give myself as an example. I only mention my company given title if somebody asks me, otherwise I am just Iuliana from the XBRL team. Why ? Because the work I currently do, does not match the title. They call me a software architect, but I haven’t designed a full software solution since I got promoted. So I don’t feel comfortable when being called a software architect, thus I don’t mention the title in social situations unless asked. Actually, I go so far and not mention my title even in work situations. I let other people that know me mention it.

And apparently, according to this book, this is the right way to go. Of course, I was not mentioning the title for other reasons, but in my world, still counts. And when writing these lines, I can only think of president Trump. He’s got the title, but he does not have the behaviour, nor the manners, nor the expertise. Must really suck being him. If he is not retarded and totally oblivious to the world around him, he probably knows this too. And he probably feels like shit.

Another thing this books says is that you should never refer to your superior as boss.  Apparently it is impolite to do so, and it is most of the times used sarcastically, or it is used by ass-kissers. How should you refer to your boss then? Just call him sir or mister, and you can also add his family name, probably if he is a good guy, he will tell you to call him by is last name quite soon into the first interaction.

Also, this book is the one that basically convinced me to never write about politics ever again.  Also religion should never be a topic as well. These two topics are known to cause fervent disagreements which can actually dissolve friendships. Giving up politics was easy, but I cannot give up criticizing religions tough, especially since my almost 18 years of being in the church quire, basically growing up in the church and the fact that I’ve actually read a few versions of the bible gives me quite a lot of expertise.

I’ll probably come back with some more details related to what I read in this book, other sources of inspiration I do not really have at the moment.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Mar 19 2017

Freaky brains

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:38

I was just talking to a good friend of mine and he just told me he was doing some work around the house and he started day-dreaming about some old time in his life when we were living together and I was wearing some sort of dress. And I just had a realization, if it’s good or bad I don’t know but here it goes.

When I think of the past, I only think of not so pleasant things. It’s actually really easy to do, because there were not many pleasant things anyway. But I digress. Really, when I think of the past, I tend to get lost only in bad memories. I do that because I want to educate myself to appreciate the present. Because it’s not all good days and sunshine, but it is not that bad either. My life is way better now than it was for the first 30 years of my life. So when I tend to slip into dark thoughts about the present, I think of bad things in my past, to have something way worst to compare it to. I do not know if this is normal or not, but this is what I do.

When I day-dream, I day-dream about the future. I dream about my future career and my plans, I dream about cities I will see and people I will meet. I day-dream about unreal scenarios involving people that I know in different contexts, I day-dream cartoons and movies that were not made yet. But I rarely day-dream about good times in my past. And if I do it is really short. And the strangest thing is when people start telling me about great things I did for them in the past, and I cannot remember them. And it makes me sad a little, because I really… really want to remember things that were meaningful to others, because they should be meaningful to me as well, right?

No idea why I am this way. Maybe it is a survival mechanism. Maybe I’m stuck mentally at my child-adolescent level, when all I wanted was for time to fly faster and to wake up when I’m an independent adult with the strength to work and fight for what I need and want. All I did as a child/adolescent was to read, learn and dream of better times.

Maybe I’m defective. But maybe it is in a good way.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Mar 17 2017

Made my day

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:05

I’m going to a rough period at work, I’m struggling a lot to get some work done and nothing seems to work. And my manager got sick so I had to deal with the hellfire of some releases being late. Today I was at the gym, and left without my equipment knapsack. So yeah, I am that tired, and that out of this world. I went there and I have no idea how I could focus, because all I was thinking of was how to tackle down the problem I had at work.

No I’m not an workaholic, but here’s the thing: my career, my problem solving skill, my ability to deliver high quality code and solutions is the sole source of satisfaction for me at the moment. Seriously. I was not able to buy a ticket to a John Mayer concert, the sabbatical is not happening, neither is learning to play guitar and I’m sort-of broken hearted as well. Believe me, work is all I have at the moment. If work does not bring me the satisfaction I need, I fall down into the darkness of low self-esteem and depression.

It is during this times when I start thinking about who I am and what I am actually doing. And I remember that all I wanted to become was the perfect wife and mom, I wanted the family I never had. I wanted somebody to love me and a couple of hyper-active kids. And what did I get. Apparently… the ability to make money, to inspire people, to motivate and lift them up. And I have no idea how I’m doing it, because I cannot do the same for me, at least not now.

But tonight, after a bad and disappointing day somebody’s words made my day. One of the people that bought my book, left me some messages on hangouts telling me that she likes one of my books, that she is very impressed with my work and that will help her prepare for the exam.

It is not the first time I receive thanks for one of my books. And sometimes they come at the moments then I need them the most. Thank you Sindiso Mpofu, you made my day!


Mar 07 2017

Just in a damn fine good mood

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:03

I started doing a lot of things this year. I am slowly steering my career into a new direction, I am writing a new book, I have at least two teaching activities and I am getting fit.(Or die trying :D) Sometimes it seems as I am biting more than I can chew, but then again I know myself better now. I lived for many years not trusting myself and always doubting my will and my abilities. Sometimes I still do that verbally. Sometimes I still do that in my mind. But when I lift my head up from my pillow and I see the sun shining in my window, I know that this new day, is just another day that if I use correctly it will bring me closer to my purpose.

What’s my purpose? To make this year a little bit better than the last one. To make me a little bit better this year. To bring my contribution to making my small universe a little bit better.

Sure, there will be stormy days, there will be bad troughs and low self-esteem. But they will pass. They always do.

I’m feeling particularly optimistic today, no idea why. It wasn’t such a good day, but here I am, after a good movie and some Sinatra, thinking positively about tomorrow.

I’ve been thinking a lot these days. You see, I had some many plans for this year. I wanted to take a sabbatical. I wanted to listen to John Mayer sing live. I wanted to go to Australia. Maybe US. I wanted to buy a house. I wanted to fall in love and try being with someone again. I wanted to learn to play guitar. I wanted to get my motorbike drivers license and a motorbike. None of this will happen, but some other things that I did not plan for will. And they are nonetheless amazing. And I am happy and grateful. There is one thing this year that might happen that will make me the happiest I’ve been in my lifetime. I’ll tell you about it in a month or so.

Sure, nothing in the TODO list will get done this year. But at least I’ve managed to get all my ducks in a row and get my shit together. That’s gotta count for something. ;)

After how my life started and how it unfolded over the years, I never thought I deserve to be this happy. I guess I was wrong.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Mar 05 2017

Always late to the party

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 17:36

In Romania, we have an expression that goes like this: “Never run after women and never run after trains. Others will always come.” This also means, that if you missed your train, no matter how much you run, you will not catch it.  In English you have a similar, but shorter expression to describe people that miss their moment, “The ones that are always late to the party.

I am one of these people. Since I’ve been born I was always late to the party.

My first love died and never got to tell him how I really felt.

The second is happily married with a 5 or 6 year old kid that has his eyes. He probably does not know how much he meant to me either.

The third, well I could not have made it to that party unless I was born 20 years ago, because he is a lot older than me.

The forth, he’s either married, or he has given his heart to somebody else such a long time ago, that it does not belong to him anymore. I really do not want to know at this point.

I usually do not care. When I start caring, I become weak. I lose sleep and my imagination tries to compensate for the sadness of not being loved back, by giving me weird dreams. I turn to logic and try to turn cold. I hide behind my glasses and behind the awkwardness of my introvert nature. And I dive deep into work, I dive deep into sport. I make myself physically and mentally tired so I cannot think of my feelings anymore. I keep myself busy so I do not have time to think about feelings. I ignore them until they disappear, or turn into lesser versions that do not have the power to hinder my judgement.

Sometimes I lie to myself that what I’m doing is actually working on myself, becoming a better person, because I will meet him one day and he deserves to meet the best version of me. But sometimes, all my work and all my effort seems so pointless. I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing this for an imaginary lover that I might never meet, or miss him by a few hours, or years. Because that is how I roll, apparently.

I’ll just have to wait for the next party. Or train. Or man. Unless I die until then. And if I die, there’s not much loss anyway. We are all born and die without a reason or purpose, in a  few generations there will be almost no trace of the real us anyway. I’ll find comfort in my loneliness and pain, and I will use them as fuel to move forward. No idea towards what or whom.

And meanwhile, life goes on, the sun keeps shining.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Stay safe, stay happy!

Tags: , ,


Mar 04 2017

Românii și homosexualii

Category: Romanian postsIuliana @ 21:44

Am auzit de la colegii de lucru cum că s-ar pregăti un referendum pentru familia tradițională, la sensul că, populația să aleagă dacă vrea ca cuplurile gay să se poată căsători sau să le interzică prin lege asta. Mă mir că nu fac un referendum prin care să se dea o lege împotriva oricărei deviații sexuale care să impună eventual pedepsirea cu moartea prin ardere pe rug, ca pe vremea vrăjitoarelor… în fine.

Eu cred că am mai scris despre subiectul ăsta, pe aici, dar aparent sunt nevoită să mă repet și să tot mai dau detalii. Eu până prin 2009 am fost oarecum homofobă, de fapt… destul de vehementă, hai să nu mă  mai ascund! De ce? Pentru că așa fusesem educată în spiritul minunatei biserici catolice. Pentru că părinții mei erau homofobi. Pentru că în anturajul meu aveam fie homofobi, fie oameni care preferau să nu își spună părerea despre asta. Dar mai era un motiv pe care nu am avut curajul să îl recunosc nici față de mine. Eu nu m-am considerat niciodată frumoasă sau deșteaptă și mai eram și săracă, așa că mereu am crezut că șansele mele să ajung să mă căsătoresc sunt foarte mici. Deci mi se părea de neconceput că după ce că și așa nu erau prea mulți bărbați la care aș fi avut șanse eu, să fie și mai puțini din cauză că unora le-ar cășuna să fie gay.  Plus, aveam așa o teama și o scârbă, de faptul că aș iubi un bărbat și acesta m-ar putea înșela cu un bărbat… Deci da, așa gândeam eu pe atunci. Între timp mi-a venit mintea la cap. Am înțeles că nu alegi pe cine cine iubești și că orice te face un om mai bun ar trebui să fie acceptat de societate.

Acum am să revin cu o idee pe care am mai aruncat-o pe aici: nu suntem o societate perfectă. Deviațiile sexuale pe motive anatomice sunt naturale și prezente la toate speciile. Nu înțeleg de ce noi oamenii ne credem așa speciali. Deviațiile sexuale pe bază mentală sunt cauzate de abuzuri fizice sau psihice pe care individul le suferă în perioada de creștere și educație și arhitecții acestora de cele mai multe ori sunt persoane apropiate sau chiar părinții. Ar trebui să acceptăm deviațiile sexuale naturale, pentru că o data ce sunt parte din natură, ei bine …sunt naturale. Normale chiar. Ar trebui să acceptăm deviațiile sexuale pe bază mentală, pentru că sunt consecințele societății pe care noi ne-am creat-o. Sunt responsabilitatea noastră.

În România, împotrivirea împotrivă căsătoriilor gay își are rădăcina în îndoctrinarea bisericească și în nebunia conformismului. Nu înțeleg obsesia oamenilor, de a-și manifesta un minim de putere și a face un rău altora. Probabil vine din frustrări proprii și lipsă de control asupra propriei vieți așa că simt nevoia să o controleze pe a altora.

Am auzit, păreri și cum că, ok să se căsătorească, dar să nu adopte. Asta e o idioțenie și mai mare. Nici unii dintre oamenii homosexuali nu s-a născut din părinți homosexuali (Dooh!) sau a fost învățat să fie așa acasă. Dacă ar fi după mine, le-aș da voie să se căsătorească și l-aș da voie să și adopte. Orfelinatele din România sunt pline de copii ce cresc într-o societate paralelă, aproape ferală, au parte de abuzuri de la cei dominanți și chiar de la îngrijitori. Când ies de acolo, fie ajung în pătura de jos a societății, trăind de pe o zi pe alta, făcând slujbele de jos sau poate chiar ajung răufăcători.  Presupunând prin absurd, că dacă este crescut într-o familie homosexual, un copil ajunge homosexual, mai bine un homosexual educat, îngrijit și fericit, un cetățean apt de muncă și plătitor de taxe, decât oricare din cele de mai sus.

Uneori mă gândesc că mulți dintre cre(ș)tinii ăștia care se opun legalizării căsătoriei gay și se opun ca bieții oameni să aibă orice fel de drepturi, fac cumva o asociere între homosexuali și violatori sau pedofili. Se tem cumva că dacă homosexualii vor fi parte acceptată a societății, vor fi obligați și ei să fie homosexuali sau ceva. Sau poate, dacă au citit biblia, fac asociere între homosexuali și episodul Sodoma și Gomora, în care se povestește că o turmă de înfierbântați ar fi vrut să violeze doi îngeri. În concluzie, așa zisul dumnezeu atotputernic a decis să ardă cele două orașe. Dacă ați citit biblia, nu v-a trecut niciodată prin cap ca dumnezeu poate nu a pedepsit oamenii ăia pentru că erau homosexuali, ci pentru că erau niște violatori nenorociți?

Așa că, dragii mei români, înainte să limitați drepturile altora, nu vreți voi să faceți un exercițiu de empatie? Ia imaginați-vă că trăim într-0 societate în care nu ai voie să faci sex/căsătorești prin lege cu o persoană cu culoare diferită de ochi. Dacă iubitul/iubita/soțul/soția are ochii de altă culoare, imaginează-ți cum ar fi să fii hulit, să nu ai voie să fii cu ea, să o atingi, să o iubești, să fii privit în scârbă de alte persoane, doar pentru că tu o iubești. Tu vrei doar să fii aproape de persoana asta, să locuiți împreună, să îi oferi tot ce e mai bun în lumea asta. Dar n-ai voie. Nu pentru ca asta ar provoca cine știe ce cataclism, ci doar pentru că, undeva, cuiva în trecut i-a venit o idee creață și a reușit să o aducă la nivel de lege. Cum te simți? Cam nasol, nu? Ei bine, prin asta trec oamenii ăia.

Dacă se va face referendumul sau nu, chiar nu știu. Dar dacă se va face, mă voi duce să votez împotriva regulilor destinate a face niște idioți să se simtă bine, pentru că au reușit să decidă soarta unor oameni pe care nici nu îi cunosc și nici nu le-au făcut vreun rău vreodată.

Stay safe, stay happy!