Business trip

I’m back from my business trip! I had several good days filled with learning new things and meeting my German co-workers. It’s nice to meet people that you talk to on the phone on occasion and get a real face for the voice.

At first I was supposed to come home on Wednesday but the trip got extended in order to allow more time to transfer knowledge. I’m taking over the duties from a co-worker in Germany who will quit the company this week. It was good that I stayed two extra days as we had more time to spend on certain items.

I’m happy to say that the somewhat warmer weather and more sunshine made most of my tiredness to disappear. Yeah! 🙂 I’m hoping it won’t return now when I’m back though… (3 weeks until I go on vacation to the Canary Islands and then there will be lots of sunshine and warm weather!)

The not so fun part was when I heard that the security personnel where on strike. At first I was told that one security checkpoint was open so I took the 30 minute fast train north to Frankfurt but when I arrived at the airport I was told that all security points were shut down and I needed to stand in line to rebook my flight. 2,5 hours later and with plenty of hurting joints due to the long period standing I had my flight for the next day. They did not get me a hotel though so I had to stand in another line in order to do that… at that time my joint was hurting so bad I could barely feel them. 😦 Standing in long lines for many hours is not to recommend with RA!

I got a package including hotel, breakfast and shuttle service (to and from) the airport. Great I thought! Well… when I was ready to depart the hotel Saturday morning I was informed that I should have reserved my seat and that nothing was available. I got very annoyed as no one said I had to reserve whatsoever, but the hotel people had no intention to help me out. Only option was to take a taxi… cost me 30 euros! And I had paid 66 euros for the package the day before! I’m very unhappy about it still!

Finally on Saturday afternoon I landed in Stockholm and my wonderful hubby picked me up at the airport.

The main building of the hotel in Mannheim.
The main building of the hotel in Mannheim.
The hotel offered very taste food! Here it's salmon on a bed of spinach.
The hotel offered very tasty food! Here it’s salmon on a bed of spinach.
You can't be in Germany and not eat Schnitzel and bratkartoffeln (fried potato with bacon and onion)
You can’t be in Germany and not eat Schnitzel and bratkartoffeln (fried potato with bacon and onion).
There most be something special in Germany with standing pillows. This was my hotel in Mannheim...
There most be something special in Germany with standing pillows. This was my hotel in Mannheim…
... and here is the second hotel close to the airport in Frankfurt.
… and here is the second hotel close to the airport in Frankfurt.
Security personnel on strike.
Security personnel on strike.
Of course the news were there too!
Of course the news were there too!

Back in business

I have now worked a whole week at my new job. I’ve not done much due to the fact that I’m still waiting on getting access to the systems. I’ve surfed on the Intranet and read several documents in order to learn the configuration management process for both the company and for the specific project I’m going to work with. After several months without an assignment at the consulting company where I previously worked I’m so happy to finally have somewhere to go every weekday. I love the fact that I’m now an employee at a company and not a consultant.

The great thing with working is that I enjoy the weekends so much more! 🙂 We started our weekend with visiting hubby’s niece Sandra and her son Charlie. We have not met Charlie since before Christmas so it was finally time for him to get his Christmas present. We had bought a train set from Lego Duplo. He was so excited as soon as he opened the package and noticed it was a train and he started building the track immediately! The rest he needed some help with but after a while the train was running (it moves by itself once you put batteries in the train) and he stood in the middle and just looked at it. So cute! 🙂

Charlie enjoying his new gift.
Charlie enjoying his new gift.
All finished!
All finished!

 

Grey Christmas

It seems like there will be a boring grey Christmas this year! 😢 We have not had much snow at all so far and none that has stuck to the ground. It’s just rainy and wet outside…

I’ve been prepping for Christmas for the past two days. Yesterday I decorated the apartment and we put up the Christmas tree. Today I made two types of pickled herring and two types of candy.

I’ve also received the first Christmas present of the year! 😊 Four days ago I was offered, and accepted, a new job! I’m so excited! I few weeks ago I thought the year would end terribly as far as my career goes but it turned out completely opposite! On January 13 I will start my new job!

Gnome parade in my kitchen window.
Gnome parade in my kitchen window.

New challenges

Excuse my lack of posts lately but I’ve not felt particularly compelled to writing. I’ve had lots of fun things going on plus a major not so fun thing…

Last week my manager told me I was one of the 180 people in the company to be dismissed. I knew since September that the company planned to lay off 180 people but you’re never quite prepared that it will happen to you. I’ve been without an assignment ever since I left Linköping and had started to get really bored with not having anything to do so I started to apply for new opportunities anyway. I’ve not been in any hurry and I’ve just picked the few ones I could find which really interested me. I guess now is not the time to not be too picky though…

I was given until yesterday to decide if I wanted to sign the agreement (severance pay etc) or if I should go with the union and try to get my job back (and if not the job probably a not so good new agreement minus the severance pay). After some major thinking I decided on the first. I’m not interested in getting my job back at this point. I just want to find a new one where people are interested in my knowledge and what I can offer.

My last day working at the company will be on Thursday December 5th. After that I’ll have some months of “free time”, i.e. I will get payed but no requirements to work. I will actively work on getting a new job though!

This was not how I planned to end 2013…

Achieving a professional goal

One of my professional goals this year was to attend a Technical writing course. Even though my (earlier) boss and I set it up as a goal I had some issues with trying to get it approved once it was time to sign up. A few things such as an reorganization and two new bosses (first new boss quit after 2 months) happened in between the goal setting and the signing up for the course. Eventually I got a YES and yesterday was my first day.

Conference room where the course was held.
Conference room where the course was held.

Half of our first day we had introductions of technical communication (as well as the obligatory introductions of the instructor and the participants). The second part of the day we worked hard trying to write our first instruction. The aim was to write how to replace a broken window. Tricker than it sounds as you really need to pay attention to what words you use and which needs to be avoided. A few hours later we were all finished and critiqued our work.

The second day started (just as the first day) with a second breakfast for me. Not that I needed it as I’d eaten my breakfast at home already. But, hey, who can say no to a nice table filled with different types of bread, ham, cheese, veggies, fruits etc.

Second breakfast
Second breakfast

The rest of the second day contained writing assignments with a little short lecture before each assignment. I’ve learned to write process descriptions and technical function descriptions. I’ve written about plywood boards, coffee makers and a kitchen stove.

Writing assignment in action.
Writing assignment in action.

Now I have finished two of my four days of the course. The next two days are at the end of October and before then we’ll have weekly assignments to accomplish.

I’m truly enjoying the course! That I like to write is probably no surprise, but technical writing is lots of fun and requires many brain cells along the way. 🙂 I’m hoping I’ll get some work assignment where I can put all of my newly accomplished skills into use.

Back to business

After a fun two days away we are now back home again. Now it’s back to work tomorrow for Mathias who has been on vacation for 5,5 weeks!

I’ve been “working” for the past two weeks but as I don’t have an assignment life has been fairly easy. I’m hoping that will change quickly now as summer vacations are over and companies might need some new people/consultants. If my eye permit I will catch up on some reading. I have a few IT and management books I want to read.

Tomorrow I’m going back to the hospital for a check up of my eye. I’m still not feeling completely well so I’m anticipating more days with my meds. 😦

On our way back home today we grabbed 4 caches. Two of them was in the middle of roundabouts and it was very hard to try not to be seen. The by passers seemed very curious and stared at us. It was very funny to see them.

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Bye bye Linköping

Today I said goodbye to my life in Linköping.

I started the day with saying goodbye to my apartment.

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Next goodbye was to my co-workers. I’m truly going to miss them. They are a talented and engaged bunch of people who really enjoy what they are doing. It was refreshing and inspiring to work with them all. During the last month I also had the privilege to meet a fantastic lady (my replacement) whom I’ll miss extremely. We quickly established a great friendship and it would have been so much fun to keep working together. She gave me a beautiful knitted cape/poncho as a “goodbye and thank you gift” which I’m truly grateful for. Can’t wait for a cold day so I can wear it! 🙂

Last I said goodbye to Linköping by visiting Old Linköping.

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I’ve had a fantastic 10 months in a beautiful town. I’m really going to miss the calm pace of a smaller town. Thankfully we’re moving to a suburb away from the big city within a year. I’m also going to miss my bathtub! Can’t wait until we move. I’m going to take a bath the first day in the house! 🙂

I’m so excited to be back in Stockholm close to my hubby and family though! I’m also looking forward to a long and hopefully warm and sunny summer full of exciting events.

Hello Stockholm 🙂

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