April 05, 2016

When work feels like an eternity.

It has been a while, hasn't it? Well for those that wanted more stories, you should have asked!

I've recently (Recently is about a year now since this writing) changed jobs.
Changing jobs is always a different experience, an adventure of sorts. The first days are filled with wonders, hopes and confusion as you find your place in your new environment.

Yay, new experiences!

You feel like you want to show them all what you can do, ready to take on anything they can throw at you! Your mind is racing at the possibilities of what can come. But, then, you find out, things are different then expected.

We sit, and we sit.

The first few weeks are just sitting around and learning your new environment, the names, the people behind the names, and the people behind the people behind the names. Also you quickly learn where you can get coffee as the days are getting longer and longer.

So here I was, ready for work, and I kept getting a bit more and more. But it never felt like I was being challenged. Now speed forward a year and we're now at a spot where the day seems to last forever as the challenges are few.

Some might think "Wow, wish I had a job were I could sit most of the day doing nothing, and get paid still at the end!". And if it was a year ago I would reply "Yeah, that be so great". But now having gone through it for a while, I can honestly say "GIVE ME MORE WORK!".


Imagine yourself being stuck at a place, where you are not really allowed to do much other then wait for something to happen. Your mind feels like it is dying, the beats of your heart start to grow in their loudness, and all you can do is wait..

This is the issue, the waiting makes work feel like an eternity. On the off days where I can be nice and busy it makes the hours fly by. On most other days, it feels like my mind if battling the clock to move faster. Superpowers always take their time to grow don't they?

The good news is, soon I will be switching positions again. This with the hope that I will be able to get my brain to dust itself off, and once again show what I can really do.

So my friends, if you really think it would be amazing to do nothing and get paid, think again. It's like sitting in the waiting room for the doctor hoping he won't find anything wrong.

Till the next time.

July 17, 2013

SVB, here we go again...

SVB, 3 simple letters that makes most shiver with fear (At least on Curacao).

For those that do not know, SVB is basically our health insurance, the place to go when you are sick and so to get sick days, approval for surgery and get a free doze of insanity.

Once again I bring you a lovely story of this building that very clearly is a portal to hell.

Actual picture of SVB patients.

It seems that SVB seems only to exist to create more insanity in the world. Don't believe me, well lets see what you think after my new experience at SVB.

A few months ago I have injured my knee pretty badly in a fun game of beach volleyball. Ever since I've had to go back to SVB to see if they will give me more sick days to recover. Previous times have been bad experiences, but nothing to weird for SVB. However, stupidity can always be improved upon.

I walked into SVB, a building Indiana Jones would run out screaming. I walk straight to the security guard. You have to go to them to get the a number, so you can start the process of torture through governmental mandated health insurance. 

I got the magical number 463.

Why can I still remember this number so clearly you might ask? Am I a genius? Do I have photographic memory? Did this number come up so many times that it got burned into my brain and most likely will haunt me till my deathbed?

Well, if you choose the deathbed scenario you would be correct and won nothing.

463 463 463.......

Not knowing yet the patience I would need to muster I gladly took the number. Knowing from past experiences that I need to look at the number boards hanging from the ceiling to tell me when it was my turn. So I looked at the bright LED lights change numbers. 451, 452, 458, 456, 460, 450, 462 and then suddenly 463. You might have noticed that the numbers went a little weird there, don't ask me what the logic is but that is how they where announced. 

It showed I had to go to counter 10, which is the first counter you usually go to at SVB so they can take your information, after which you can sit down and patiently wait for the doctor to see you.
As I walked to the counter with my forms, SVB card and ticket number ready to give to the kind and gentle lady behind the counter.

Nothing says "Happy to help you" like looking angry.

I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of eye roll, angry looks and plain being uninterested I was greeted with. The woman looked at me like I was a little kid that had been jumping up and down her car for the past 3 hours. In a very cold voice she told me "It is not your turn". I felt puzzled and confused. I looked at my ticket, it said 463. I looked at the LED hanging signs and it also said "463" and that I had to go to counter 10. I looked at the sign above the counter, it showed 10. I looked at the lady again and showed her my number, and explain calmly that according to the sign I had to go too this counter. The lady just shrugged a little and told me in an even colder voice to sit down and wait till my number would be called. So I sat down.

453, 468, 481, 482, 483... My brain was trying to understand what was going on. People that came in after me where going before me even while they had higher ticket numbers. And you might think, well maybe they came on appointment or they here for different reasons so can go before you. No, that's not how it works, it says even on the ticket "Walk-in". Basically you walk in and get a number and it goes through the numbers logically. That at least is how it went for the past 15 years I've had to go through this crazy fun fair. When the numbers reached to around 486 I decided to walk to the counter again and ask if there might have been a mistake. I once again showed the lovely lady my number. She replied this time with a lovely voice as sharp as a needle entering my colon. "You didn't come when your number was up". My blood boil went up by at least 20 degrees, as I had been staring at the numbers on the sign for the past 30 minutes and it never came to 463 again! But I kept my cool and asked if she could help me now. So she took my information that she could have taken 30 minutes ago when it actually was my turn, but at least I was going to be helped.

So I sat down and massaged my now hurting knee. It hurts when I sit to long and as I was already there for a nice hour it felt a bit stiff.

I watched the numbers go by once again and suddenly! 463 too counter 3. As some of you, that know SVB like I do, know. The doctor counters run from 12 till 18 (Think it is 18 can also be higher but it around there). And the lower counters are for "other" things. For instance counter 3 is to receive special forms for "things". What these "things" are I am not sure as I never needed a form. So with great confusion I walked to counter 3.

At counter 3 the previous customer was still being helped, so I waited. To the right of me a lovely lady asked if she could help me. And for the first time that day I was shown a smile in that hell hole. She asked me my number and I said 463. The lady looked at me confused and said "Not sure if you are at the right place". My brain felt something growing inside pressing against my nervous center. As the previous customer got up and walked away from counter 3 I approached and sat down. I greeted the lady who ignored it while she was still typing away on her computer. After a few minutes she stopped her typing with a hard hit on the enter key of her keyboard and finally looked at me. 

"How can I help" she asked me. My brain felt something growing even more. "Well" I said "The signs outside showed I had to go to counter 3" as I showed her my number "463". The lady looked at it confused and actually looked up to see that the LED sign above her counter showed "463". I could read in her eyes the following "But that can not be, by the fires of our job my counter doesn't serve those numbers! We serve 100-300 range and not above!". As she got up to talk to another person I felt  my confusion level rise even higher. The lady came back and said I was at the wrong counter. But how could I be when the counter showed the right number. It called me to counter 3 for some reason! So what was the reason, why did I had to go there. Was I to receive a magical sword to defeat the witches of OZ? Was I to become the king of the rusty throne of slight pointy things? Nope, I was there to receive a new number and a note so I could go to counter 10 to once again give my information. With the new number being, 492. With great joy and excitement to what I would find at counter 10 I returned there to find my lovely ice witch! 

 What a witch...

She looked up at me with her eyes looking right through me. I gave her my new number with the note. I saw one of her head veins pump as she took down my information again and told me to sit down and wait again.
I spend my time waiting mostly by trying to figure out who are the real sick people and who are not. There were for instance 3 ladies next to me loudly talking and laughing while eating breakfast. Clearly you could see they were not sick, and by the way they jumped up and walked away when their number was called there was also nothing physically wrong. Yet apparently one of them got 2 weeks sick days, because that what she told with a smile to one of her friends when they where done. They skipped away, half dancing and singing. I in the meantime could feel my heart beating in my knee again from the pain, and as I had been standing up and sitting down for what was now 3 hours of waiting I had reached my limit. 

But suddenly my name was called, so I got up and walked into the doctors office. She greeted me, asked how I was doing. I told her I was doing better and would like to try to work again, or at least try to. She told me "Good, you can work half days till the end of August", signed a paper and told me to return by August 22. From the time my name was called till the time I was outside the building about 3 minutes had passed. This I still find strange because they just take my word for it that I'm healthy enough to work again. They never checked the leg, my scars, or that I was grunting now with pain while walking.

But I was out now, walking to my car. It took in total 3.5 hours but it was once again done. I almost lost my temper a few times, but I kept my cool. Mostly as if you go shouting inside SVB they will not help you at all. 

So there, another fun story of my dealings with the SVB of Curacao. What did I learn from all this! Nothing at all, there's nothing to learn. Everybody knows it is a giant pain in the ass to deal with SVB. But is one of those pains you just got to bite through. Like going on a place and dealing with airlines.

Well my friends, not looking forward to August 22, but I can tell you one thing. I will never forget the number 463.

July 02, 2013

How to mess up your knee, easy as 1-2-AAAAAAAH

Well hello there, some might have wondered where I've been for so long. I really have busted my knee bad. how did this happen you might ask? Well that my friends is a long and mostly boring story. So lets begin shall we!

It was a normal day, like any other. The sun was shining, the birds were coughing from the air pollution and the radio-active plants were trying to eat people.

Yum, blonds!

I was invited for a day of fun by a sweet girl. Her sister was going out to ride mountain bikes and she asked her sister if I could join them. I of course just wanted to spend some time with the sweet girl. So if that meant to sweat, breathe heavily and most likely get a heart attack while trying to move forward in 32 Celsius weather with no shade and failing deodorant, then why not.

Ah CuraƧao, the Island of heat.

You might think "Ooh he fell from his bike and so busted his knee!", well, no.

I prepared myself as most men do for this battle of the extremes with a small bottle of water, lightly cooled. And sun block, plenty and plenty of sun block. And with the high hopes that a white t-shirt will be enough to keep me cool.

So we head out, driving our way to the road we'll cycle on. It looked innocent enough, the bikes looked well used but still drivable. So I picked one that seemed to have some working suspension. With that I mean some suspension that did move, be it almost no movement at all. I hadn't ridden a bike in over 10 years. but after going for a few minutes it all came back to me. We were off, the dirt road at first was nice and flat. This soon changed as we got to some big hills with plenty of holes and rocks. So at the first hill I already found out that the gears on my all terrain mountain bike only worked in 3 gears. 

Gear 1: Use a lot of energy but can still get forward. Kind of like a car using a tank of gas just to get out the drive-way.

Gear 2: Spin so fast that a hurricane warning gets broadcasted over local radio, while moving so slow you can see snails laugh at you.

Gear 3: I would like to call this gear, the gear of "Just give up and walk". As even going down hill with this gear is impossible unless you got the legs of an Olympic runner. Trying to move forward in this gear is impossible in every way.

So I spend most of my time in gear 1, this meant that after 10 minutes I could feel my heart trying to crawl out of my ear. I was sweating so much I looked like I took a shower, face so red it could have made Rudolph the cocaine sniffing red nosed reindeer jealous. Basically I was ready to just sit down in the shadows and give up on life.

But I learned from other survivors I met on the way that we were going to the "Blue Room". This is an underwater cave on Curacao that you can swim into. It is beautiful to behold, and largely gets used by local men to bring woman too so they can seem romantic.

Romance is on!

So with the new found potential of cool water and shadow I intensified my efforts. So after a test of endurance and significant loss of water weight we reached the Blue Room. By this time I could barely walk. So little did I know we had to climb down to get into the water and swim to the Blue Room. I decided, as I could barely move anymore, to not do this and instead sit in the shadow that was thankfully there. 

While I was sitting trying to regain the water I lost my mind created a thought. "So you got here, you will still have to get back". As I tried not to laugh manically at this thought I just covered myself with water and tried to talk to the sweet girl. 

After this short talk it was time to head back I thought. Well no, we had to bring the bikes to a nearby beach. This meant more cycling, unfortunately my tire decided to make my life slightly more interesting. So I had to walk the rest of the way, not a problem you might say. But by this time the temperature felt like being in an oven and the wind decided "I'm not going to blow today". Eventually we did reach our end point, a beach! Great I thought, we can go for a sw... nope. The group wanted to go to another beach. Ok, sure why not. At least there I can maybe sit down and recover my hydration level. 

So after a short car ride we got to Knip, one of the more popular local beaches on the Island. It is also one of my less favorites as it is always busy there and as it was already late in the day meaning that the only shade spots would be mostly near where people throw their garbage and other fun things (Fun things do not include actual fun things).

Arriving at the beach we walked all the way at the back were some shade was still to be found at the back. The lovely smells would be carried by the now again blowing winds back and forth (Thank you wind, you sadistic piece off air current!). At this time my body informed me, by growling in Klingon, that it needed some food. So I asked the sweet girl if she wanted something also to eat. As there's a small food joint on the beach we went there and ordered the hamburger with fries. It sure looked good on the picture! 

Who stole the vegetables?

So after receiving the food I opened the Styrofoam package to behold a burger that most likely has been homeless for some time. Seriously, the bread was most likely made during the stone age with a salad that was created from undead vegetables and fries most likely made from plastic. So after having eaten very little of it I decided to just sit down and relax.

After a little while it was decided to play volleyball on the beach. Great, I thought, I'm already half dead. But the sweet girl looked with so much hope in her eyes that I could not say no. So we went off to play. 

As I played volleyball when I was younger I found I could still play it still pretty good. So I was hitting the ball with more and more confidence and eventually jumping left and right to get the ball. Until my foot actually got stuck in the sand while I tried to do a backwards jump to a ball. 

I heard a nice crack, as I could feel my knee coming apart and snapping back into place. I fell face down into the sand and was screaming in pain so loud the whole beach came to watch what was going on. The sweet girl, who's also a doctor rushed to the rescue. She inspected my leg and moved it around, which made her conclude it was not broken and made me conclude that pain hurts. I was helped up and guided to a bench where I got a nice ice pack to decrease the swelling, and increase the pain. After using 4 bottles of water to get the sand off me and out of my mouth I called my parents to help get me to the doctor. Yes I called my parents, every person does that when they are in pain. Maybe it has to do with our instinct, or that we know they will help us no matter what. 

But there was a problem, the beach I was at had stairs going up to the parking lot. And as I could barely move the 10 meters from beach to bench even with help it seemed unlikely that I could get up the stairs. But thankfully there's an emergency road for emergencies going up! But this was locked. So some people went to the restaurant to ask if they could open the gate so a car could go down to bring me up. The owner refused, as it was only for emergency vehicles. Apparently having your knee injured to the point were you almost faint from the pain is not an emergency. But some rather large men decided to inform the owner that indeed it was an emergency and so I was driven up to the parking lot where my parents where able to take me to the doctor.

So now it has been 3 months to this day, and I am happy to say I can actually walk again. Stairs are still hard for me without crutches but it is getting better everyday. I would also like to say that, while I was screaming at the beach helpless and in pain, a ton of strangers came to my aid. It was interesting to see this many people wanting to help out. I wish I knew them all so I could thank them personally, but I don't. So maybe while writing this I might be able to still thank them. To all those that where there to help me, thank you very much.

I would also like to say that me and sweet girl are as close as can be, mostly because during the recovery time of my leg I was able to spend a lot off time with her. 

So all in all the story does have a happy ending, I now got a sweet girl in my life! Just wish it didn't had to almost break my knee for it. 

Well my friends, I will write more soon again, as there's a lot more to this story. 

Till next time!

September 20, 2012

What a computer is and is not! (Part 1)

Hello my friends, one again I see myself writing complete and utter nothing. So let's get started with part UNO! of my little guide.

I am a IT geek, this means computers are a large part of my life. So large a part that I spend more than 10 hours a day behind them (Closer to 16 hours, but who's counting). I get a lot of requests from people to help with their computer issues, so I have a lot of stories of these "Issues". Let's start with one of the earliest computer "Issues" I got as a geek of the computer age.

1. Cup holder?

I was a System Administrator, that is a person who basically works with computers at a high level. In short we know what you installed, downloaded, watched and yes that means also those fun pictures of slightly under dressed donkeys! One of my clients called me telling me they could not read their cd-rom, the drive would not close all the way. I went to the user and found something I did not expect, mostly due to my inexperience with user stupidity.

You see this is a cd-rom.

Compact Disc, round and shiny.

And it goes into your cd-rom drive to read/write, and this is a cup for liquids to drink.

I never knew those lines meant that, the more you know!

Now a cd-rom drive has a hole in it to allow the electric motor to click in and rise up into the cd-rom so it can spin it, allowing it to read or write the data. However, some apparently see a hole and just have the need to stick things into it.


A cd-rom drive can fit a cup, but it is not made for it. It is like seeing your dog yawn and think, I can fit an umbrella in there!

Also fits walking sticks, bricks, PS3 controllers, the list goes on and on.

A cd-rom drive is filled with electrical motors, one being too close the door, another to spin the disk, one to move to laser left and right and some more. These are however the most important ones to be able to use the drive. Now the thing is when a cd-rom drive (at least when you have one that opens electrically) it will close itself after some time again (Depending on brand it can stay open until you restart the system). When it closes, if your cup is not so strong or small it will fall, leak, etc all over the drive. Causing a lot of "stuff" to leak into the drive jamming it up eventually. And this is what happened, the whole drive was filled with cola, coffee and what I can only describe as a small forest of fungus. The user informed me he had been using his "cup holder" several times a day but now it had to read a cd and it just wouldn't. Now I can't slap any client on the head, but I sure wanted to. This user didn't understand me when I told him the cd-rom drive was not got cups. After several minutes of trying to explain it I gave up and replaced his "cup holder". I had to replace it several more times after till I finally left that strange place. 

2. Zombie Keyboard.

Most people might not realize, but your keyboard is several times more dirty than a public toilet! It holds deceases, fungus, bacteria, food, dust and specially fats. You might think "What you talking about fool?", well studies have shown some disturbing things. "Out of 33 keyboards swabbed, four were regarded as a potential health hazard and one harbored five times more germs than one of the office's toilet seats." Now think about that word "Health Hazard". Ever heard anybody say "Hey don't use that toilet it is a Health Hazard" or "Stay away from that hooker, she's a Health Hazard". Ok well, the last one might somewhat be true. Still we're talking about keyboards here, not hooker, unfortunately.  Now my story.

One day, while I worked at a service desk for computers, a client came by saying her keyboard no longer worked. I asked her to show me the keyboard and what I saw was just horrifying.

Alphabet herb garden!
No, it was not growing green weeds, but it was growing white fungus, keys yellow from tar and nicotine, most keys sticking because of spilled drinks, and many, many food crumbs. The keyboard was doomed, I didn't even wanted to touch it fearing I would get the Ebola virus. This keyboard surely was found in a dumpster, that was sunk into a pile of shit. I informed the client that unfortunately there was no way to safe her keyboard, I instead informed her to buy a new one. She bought a new one, after which she threw the old keyboard in the dumpster outside. Now comes the interesting thing, after work when I went to the dumpster, all the garbage was there, except the keyboard. I can only imagine that it now walking the earth, forever looking for memory to eat as a zombie keyboard. 


Well this ends part 1 of my special guide to what computers are, and what not! I hope to write more again soon so I can maybe inform the few that actually take my advice.

Till next time!

September 17, 2012

Work, it seems to work!

Well my friends, it has been a while has it not. Well for me it sure has been a long time since I felt even the urge (or time, energy, stamina, willpower or courage) to write something in my blog again. Now you may think "Wow, he is still alive" and you would be right, I am still alive your Ninja army has failed! And failed for obvious reasons!

Give us your happy meal!

So I am still around, and while I am not sure what to write about some things did happen in the past few months. First I worked, and I worked and worked and than, yes my friends I worked some more!
While I can not go into any details I can say that my job involves a lot of people that have tiny issues that I fix all the time, also some bigger things but those do not matter. It is the small stuff that matters my friends, the tiny things. Like saying hello to a co-worker, giving a smile to a person who's working harder than you are. Maybe even just sending a cute puppy email to your boss who really has no clue who you are! Yes my friends the small things matter!

So after walking around with a big smile on my face for a while, and making people think I am drunk as a skunk from life. I actually got promoted at work, how about that. It helps to crawl through the shit also.

When your wings are covered with shit, you can only crawl!

Work is work, and it works. You get paid to pay for gas to drive to work. It all works! We just spend and buy, trying to achieve higher and better for ourselves. But at the cost of abusing the time we have to live life. I'm no philosopher, nor will I ever claim to be. But something is not right when you work, to work, to buy life to work. Not everything works out the way we want, and they say life gives what you need, but not what you want. Well maybe it than time to look at it in another way. Live life, let work what works. But never forget the small things, that make life work. 

I think I now have officially lost you, so time for a cute picture of a kitten to make your brain get back to its normal mode.

 Look into my closed eyes and get back to reality!

So yeah, what have I been doing in past few months, mostly set out the path I wish to take in life. And I'm not talking about "I want to get married, get a house, make some kids out of lego and rob a bank!". No I mean I want to further my life in some way. Study more, see different cultures and mess with them! Go out and explore new way to see the world, to see people in different views, mostly non naked.

Work the work that works, let go off the fear that nothing may work and just work on it. Ok maybe I am just rambling, maybe nothing makes sense. But in a way I feel that I need a different perspective in life. No not want you to do the same, find your own ways of thinking find your own work that works. 

A little story, some time ago I sat down with a man. Everybody was just ignoring him while he was selling peanuts, dried fruit and other delights. I sat down and listened to his story, I learned he was only selling these because it gave him time to think. You see he had made his money already, had his house paid of and his car ready to go. He had no debts, no worries in life other than sit and sell his delights and think. He told me he enjoys just sitting there thinking of new ways to better life. Think of inventions, ways to improve the old and better the new. I listened for over two hours while he sat there calmly and barely sold a thing. This man told me how he had seen the world, how things changed around him and how he found himself in life. I could only admire him. The weird thing was, in the end he did not tell me how he got where he was now. But the story got stuck in my mind and just wouldn't let go. This man sitting in an old t-shirt and shorts gave me part of his story to share with you, and I come back to him whenever I can and all I can do is listen. 

So I found out something, and that there is wisdom in many of us, all we need to do is listen. But it is important that we are able to look past the shit, and see what really matters. 

Well my friends, this made no sense I know. But I hope you did enjoy my rant!

Living life, it works to listen..