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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:31 pm 
Smeric
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It was her that had initially mentioned values, and I asked her what she meant by that.

A major thing is that she defends hitting children because her parents did it to her, and she turned out alright. I oppose it on the grounds of it being violence, a bad example, and ineffective.

A new thing is that her mum say a crime was 'probably done by Comorians'. I replied 'not necessarily' and my girlfriend then complained that I wasn't letting her have her opinion.

I think she would say they were cultural too, but other people here wouldn't do the same things as her family.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:13 pm 
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jmcd wrote:
When asked about one's values, do yous think it's appropriate to respond 'to be respected' and 'to not steal'?

I'm not sure I understand the question. Appropriate for what context? It's probably not socially inappropriate per se - i.e. it is unlikely to invite public shaming.

You seem like you might be using 'appopriate' and 'inappropriate' to mean 'moral' and 'immoral', but I'm not sure. It's not immoral to give any answer to any question - what if someone has a gun to your head?

If you mean "are these good answers?" - well, it depends on what they mean. What sort of values are you talking about here? Being respected isn't a moral value, but it is a very understandable hedonic value (like "not being in pain" and "having enough to eat" are indeed things that people value). Or it could be a misspoken way of saying being worthy of respect, which is a moral value.

Values are indeed important, but it's hard to have clear opinions about values unless it's very clear which values they are, and what type of value they are...
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I'm thinking about whether to leave my girlfriend and the main thing that blocks is the question of how to raise our hypothetical children, most particularly how to deal with misbehaviour. And other things about what is appropriate to do in life e.g. she thinks it's inappropriate to wear unironed clothes


If she thinks it's immoral to wear unironed clothes, I'd find that impossible to live with. But of course if she thinks it's merely inappropriate to wear unironed clothes, she's completely correct, at least in certain situations. It's clearly inappropriate to wear unironed clothes to a job interview at a bank. Your girlfriend might also quite reasonably find it inappropriate for you to wear unironed clothes to your wedding. On the other hand, is it inappropriate to wear unironed swimming trunks? Probably not. Is it inappropriate to wear unironed clothes while playing football in the rain? Again, probably not. Claims like "it's inappropriate to wear unironed clothes" are generally generalisations, and it's important to work out exactly which specific judgements they're generalising (because "it's inappropriate to wear unironed clothes" and "it's not inappropriate to wear unironed clothes" can both be valid generalisations of exactly the same views...). And what sort of inappropriateness is being discussed.
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and I think it's inappopriate to chuck rubbish in a ravine.

This is obviously immoral, but whether it's appropriate will be a cultural issue.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:24 pm 
Smeric
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As expected, you look at this from an unexpected angle. And it helps a bit.

For values, I expected to hear moral values. Which was why I started at what seemed to me to be a (to use your term) a hedonistic value.

As an appropriate answer, I mean more or less "does this actually answer the question?".

As for ironed clothes, as far as I am aware, there is no context outside of a house in which she accepts unironed clothes. I have never tried playing football in the rain while with her. I suspect she would consider it unseemly. So it's maybe a good thing I'm not a major fan of football.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:16 pm 
Smeric
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jmcd wrote:
It was her that had initially mentioned values, and I asked her what she meant by that.

I think she may be asking for more information from you than you may realize.

I can't pull up examples offhand, but I get the impression that a wide variety of people (and I'm very much including Indian people in this) have complaints like "you don't have any values" or "your values are different from mine" towards white Americans and (white) British (or Scottish!) people. I think that may be because a lot of cultures have strict moral codes, and questioning them is not necessarily as accepted as it may be in a white American/British/Scottish cultural context. A lot of people also seem to believe that the principles they live by are more firmly established than they really are. "What are your values?" may really be intended as a way of saying something more like "if my culture has these strict rules and yours doesn't, how do you know what to do when an unexpected situation comes up? What process do you use for resolving problems? What do you consider an authoritative source for this purpose and why?"

I've lived my whole life in a majority-white country, I've been interacting almost exclusively with white people online for years, and yet, even I still don't get a lot of things about those people's culture, and my behavior doesn't always work well with that culture. I get into huge arguments about this sometimes. They cause trouble for everyone. I can only begin to imagine how hard this sort of thing must be for your girlfriend. But we still have to have some sort of conversation about these things, no matter how unpleasant it may be, if we're going to resolve them!
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A major thing is that she defends hitting children because her parents did it to her, and she turned out alright. I oppose it on the grounds of it being violence, a bad example, and ineffective.

This is another common problem that I think is probably caused by a lack of information. The problems that come out of hitting children are often psychological, and psychological problems are often far from obvious (I speak from personal experience here; I've had psychological problems for many years and was completely unaware of them until about five years ago), so I can kind of understand why your girlfriend might feel and/or say that hitting children is unproblematic, especially if the alternative is a novel concept for her.
Quote:
A new thing is that her mum say a crime was 'probably done by Comorians'. I replied 'not necessarily' and my girlfriend then complained that I wasn't letting her have her opinion.

In a case like this, I think it might help to learn more about why she thinks what she thinks (e.g. why specifically Comorians? What is it about Comorians that makes her suspect them in particular? Has she had bad experiences with them? Did she hear something bad about them? Is it a tradition to use Comorians as scapegoats in Reunion? What does she have to say about that?). Questioning strongly-held beliefs is tricky!
Quote:
I think she would say they were cultural too, but other people here wouldn't do the same things as her family.

People have all kinds of different experiences, though, so they could still be cultural. Maybe there's a crucial difference between her family and other families in Reunion, who knows? I mentioned how I get into arguments about cultural differences sometimes; there have been times where there were other people of South Asian descent involved, too, and they were just as baffled by my reactions as anyone else was. But the other people of South Asian descent had parents who were much more Westernized than mine are, so there are crucial cultural differences between us, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:44 pm 
Smeric
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I think there may be an element of questioning codes when it is seen as inappropriate (that word again!). There is also the aspect of codes that I am used to seeing applied not being applied.

To clarify, she said "I have values" followed up by my question "what do you mean by your values?"

She does have (partly) South Indian origins.

Comorians are a minority that are often scapegoated here. Her mum has very little, if any, experience with Comorians. It's just rumours AFAICT. And it's not an attitude she's mentioned previously. I suspect the rise in anti-Comorian statements and actions accompanies the massive jump in vote for the Front National here, who historically were almost non-existant here. The FN representative at the presidential election said she doesn't 'feel' the statistics on Comorians' prescence in Réunion are real.

In any case, I know I need to compromise in a relationship. But I also know that there has to be a limit.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:48 pm 
Smeric
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Well, she has to compromise, too. I mean, if she wants to be in a relationship with you, she has to at least be willing to let you try to explain your perspective on things as well, instead of just making you listen to hers. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:12 pm 
Smeric
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Yes, which is why I was very disappointed to hear that me expressing my opinion was stepping on the opinion of her or her family.

I would hazard an American comparison for the Comorian thing: it's a bit like a village in the Midwest suddenly Concerned about Mexicans when Trump starts his campaign.

In general, the things that I don't like are also present in Scotland, if less frequent. The way she acts like her mum does something therefore it's ok and hitting children are maybe the two things that are markedly more common. But, even then, I think there are diferent ways of doing it that are less bad, even if I still wouldn't do either way. When I think about my friend that I knew already a few years back, her mum hit her little sister, but she barely felt it. My girlfriend's family, it seems like they deliberately make the baby cry.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:12 pm 
Avisaru
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jmcd wrote:
When asked about one's values, do yous think it's appropriate to respond 'to be respected' and 'to not steal'?

For me, having (good) values means treating other people as though you were involved in a common enterprise. (Because you basically are IMO, but that's a long argument.) Respecting person and property seem like instances of that principle, so it makes sense to me to say that.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:04 am 
Sumerul
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jmcd wrote:
I would hazard an American comparison for the Comorian thing: it's a bit like a village in the Midwest suddenly Concerned about Mexicans when Trump starts his campaign.

I don't think that comparison does what you want it to do.

Let's say you live in Ruritania, and Ruritania has started allowing mass immigration of Elbonians. Now, immigration policy is essentially irreversible, and diversity is a ratchet -- that is, Ruritania is much more likely to become less ethnically Ruritanian than more ethnically Ruritanian. In fact, even if Ruritania reverses course in ten years and ends immigration completely, it's still likely to become less ethnically Ruritanian over time, because immigrants in Western countries generally have higher fertility rates than natives. (And probably reproduce at younger ages, although that's less talked about because it's not exponential.)

Since we're dealing with irreversible policy changes that will keep pushing in the direction they push even after they're ended completely (i.e. since Ruritania can't really become less demographically Elbonian or more demographically Ruritanian, and since Ruritania will continue to become more demographically Elbonian and less demographically Ruritanian even after Ruritania completely ends all Elbonian immigration), an astronomical amount of caution is necessary. But there's no caution at all. IME, supporters of mass immigration prefer to ignore the consequentialist argument entirely and insist on either naive first-order utilitarianism (taking as an axiom that governments ought to be run as charities and ought not to draw any distinctions between citizens or residents and foreigners, defining 'utility' in such a way that the utility of immigrants can be trivially shown to increase upon immigration, and insisting that higher-order consequences are unpredictable and incalculable and can therefore be discarded, in order to argue that the first-order gain in global utility from allowing immigration outweighs any conceivable first-order negative consequence) or straight-up deontology (it's immoral that where you're born is at all relevant to your life) -- which is dishearteningly irresponsible and has no place in a serious government.

The village-in-the-Midwest argument is a common one, but it doesn't really make any sense. The implication is that, if people in areas that aren't affected by a problem are more likely to oppose the problem than people in areas that are affected by it, there's no problem at all and the people in the first areas are just ignorant. But if there is a problem, it's unlikely to affect all people equally -- so the people who stay in the areas that are affected by the problem are going to be the ones who have abnormally high tolerance for it. (In the case of immigration, this generally means the rich, who can afford to live in expensive areas with few immigrants and benefit from strengthening the bargaining position of capital vs. labor. And, of course, in the case of immigration, there are also the immigrants themselves -- although it isn't necessarily the case that immigrants will approve of further immigration.)

In extreme cases, such as Langley Park, which shows a demographic shift of such scale and in such short time that one would, on general anthropological principle, expect machetes to have been involved (and rightly so), you would expect particularly high support for immigration, because everyone who would oppose it left. Similarly, after the completion of the ethnic cleansing of Boston's 'Jew Hill' area in the '70s, one would expect an unusually low rate of concern about antisemitism, because all the Jews had been driven out! And you'd expect Tel Aviv to be more concerned about antisemitism than Lviv.

So, given the nature of the policy, extreme caution is necessary, but there are selection processes that decrease caution about the policies in the regions that are most affected by them.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:18 am 
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My husband was an avid art collector. A few years before he died, he talked to someone from a local art museum about selling or donating some of his collection. She was very interested in his Japanese graphic art, but for some reason the museum didn't approve the acquisition. I've been struggling with what to do with his collection after his death--we're talking hundreds of pieces, some of them quite valuable--so I got in touch with her again. She sounded enthusiastic about trying again, which should have been a relief but is actually making me feel queasy. It doesn't make sense for me to hold onto indefinitely, but I might not yet be emotionally ready to let it go.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:18 pm 
Smeric
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@Nort:
The comparison was to say that it is a rash judgement/overgeneralisation about people one has never met, based on hearsay. The implication was that Comorians were the most likely source of crime when there is no proof. Any question about demographics and who is immigrant who is not ws largely irrelevant to my question. After all, negative judgements about creoles by immigrants from Metropolitan France are no better. The same would also for two communities that have lived alongside one another for centuries e.g. Christians and Jews in Europe.

Of course, people could say 'they probably had spiky hair' or some other stereotype or overgeneralisation. Or people could say 'they were likely low-status young men with self-control and anger problems and exposed to violence at a young age' which would probably be correct across social/ethnic situations, across humanity basically.

One similarity is that there were more Mexicans in the US beforehand, particularly in the South, as they were previously Mexican territories and more Comorians a century ago in Réunion

There are differences between the two scenarios though, most notably that the population of Comorians is a lot lower (0.3% of the population) and that Comorian culture is close that of the ancestors of Réunionese people. So basically it's like 'you're too much like my grandfather'.

As for demographic shift, we can distinguish between shift in racial origin, identity and culture. These shift at different rates from each other, depending on the status of the immigrants involved. High status/powerful immigrants will make a much more rapid change in culture, and belligerent immigrants i.e. invaders will make more pajor structural changes.

If we look at a case like Mauritius, the population was long majority Afro-descendant, and is since the late nineteenth century majority majority Indian descendant. But the main language stays Mauritian Creole, and the main music genre stays sega, even if the majority religion has changed. Similarly, in the US, Latinos are generally more and more anglophone unfortunately.

So that brings us to a second difference: Mexicans influence the general culture in America to a greater extent than Comorian lunfence on Réunionese culture at the moment.

Of course I can understand it can be annoying for foreigners to have more chance at getting a job than you in your own country, but Comorians are not in the least bit priority for school or house places, let alone jobs. If people are looking for where do all the jobs go to, the obvious target would be people from Metropolitan France, who are demographically more numerous and more often employed, more highly placed when employed.

I'm not saying mass immigration is necessarily a good thing (it would generally be better to resolve the problems of inequality and negative self-image in the home country),

And its important to keep one's culture, but I'm not sure to which extent the culture of Langley Park differs from that of other Anglo-American neighbourhoods.

So basically my comparison was intended to be about not being a dick to people who've never met based upon stereotypes of their origins, whatever the demographic or immigration situation.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:03 pm 
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So today we had a "secure spaces" walkthrough of the building. The idea is to acquaint all full-time staff with the various nooks and crannies of the place in case we get another "shelter in place" order due to a suspected "active violence event" on campus.

It was worth doing--there are so many odd little spaces in this complex that "hidden places" tours are regularly one of the most popular events at our annual staff appreciation day. And who knows, maybe some day there will be an incident to justify all this preparation. But I couldn't help thinking, "If I were planning to shoot up the place, this is like a tutorial on where to go and what do do." Like I had no idea where to go to make live announcements over the PA system. I'd always assumed it was the main service desk, but no, there's a setup in the loading dock and another in the "Fire Command Center" (which I now have the keycode to in case I need to shelter there!). So now any staff who wanted to prevent us from making announcements in a crisis knows exactly where to go to do that.

But, you know, it's not like employees ever go over the deep end and shoot up the place where they work. It's only crazy ammosexual strangers who do that.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:48 pm 
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Going back to work next week at last, after fifteen months.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:21 pm 
Avisaru
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alice wrote:
Going back to work next week at last, after fifteen months.

Good luck!

I actually just came to this thread to post that I'm quitting my job. I gave a month's notice about three weeks ago, and after some negotiations today with the boss (apparently it's way easier to figure out the payroll if I leave by the end of the month), my last day has been moved up to today. My job has been horrible, featuring a nasty bully who's been awful to me for the last seven or eight months and who was assigned to manage me about a month and a half ago (by the boss, who was fully aware that she was bullying me!), incredibly tedious work with zero feedback. Also, there's a profound level of company-wide unwillingness to change anything about the dated-ass software I'm supposed to be (magically) making succeed, to the point that you can still select a "Happy New Year 2006" theme, replete with pictures of dogs that look like they were drawn in MS Paint, because "someone might want to use it." I am not at ALL optimistic about the future of this company and need to get out of here ASAP.

The contradictory feelings are mostly just about money; I'm losing a few hundred dollars by leaving now instead of by the date I said on my resignation letter. But I'm going back to my English teaching job in the meanwhile and have managed to pick up quite a bit of freelance work. Also, the hours in this job have been pretty great, and I'm going to have to work more than I have been, so I'm not excited about that. But screw it, I have enough to survive, and it's just not worth the panic attacks anymore.

Also, my office is actually in the same building as my English teaching job, so elevator rides are going to be awkward for a while.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:40 pm 
Smeric
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I feel a sense of deja vu when you mention this bully. This is a person you've mentioned here before, right?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:54 pm 
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Speaking of quitting jobs, I am torn between staying at my current programming job and potentially switching over to a different programming job. Normally I would not be looking for a new job, but the engineering director of this company was my engineering lead at a past job and specifically wants to bring me on, personally. My current job sounds really nice - I get to program MRI machines - but in reality it is a lot of endless debugging and testing with no end in sight, with an uncertain future - they like me at the job, but have specifically told me that there is no guarantee that my position will be there forever - and no hope for advancement due to the nature of my contracting arrangement. At the same time, the potential new job is a web development position, which I am not sure if I am happy about, is at a small company, which can mean fewer benefits, and this will be a contract-to-hire arrangement - but at least that means a potential for becoming a permanent employee, whereas in my current arrangement there is no potential to become a permanent anything. All in all, though, I do not like change, and tend towards conservatism in how I do things, unless I unequivocally decide that something is the right thing to do. Regardless, I will be interviewing at this potential new job tomorrow, and we will see how that goes.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:05 am 
Avisaru
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Vijay wrote:
I feel a sense of deja vu when you mention this bully. This is a person you've mentioned here before, right?

I have. I don't think I've talked about the worst she's done, though.

Up until November, she was just doing things like yelling at me and talking about me behind my back. But in November, she put air fresheners all around her desk and started putting on a mask every time I came near her, and she told the boss that I smell bad. The boss pulled me aside and gave me a talk about how "I know how in foreign countries, you don't value hygiene as much as we Japanese, but this is Japan so you need to not stink."

I was, of course, mortified, and I:
  • started taking half-hour showers every day where I'd scrub down every inch of skin on my body (I was already showering daily, so this was the next step
  • replaced my deodorant with a Japanese brand
  • cleaned my apartment to ward off any possible lingering smells from home
  • bought special foot deodorant
  • changed to a different laundry detergent brand and washed all my clothes with bleach
  • scrubbed down the balance ball I sit on & started spraying down my desk area with Febreze

I also asked five friends, my boss at my other job, and my doctor if I smelled bad, and they all said no. And yet, the mask kept going on every time I approached. Still keeps happening.

That's the big one, but she's also done things like writing a list of all my shortcomings to give to the boss and saying nasty things to me (like calling me embarrassing, that kind of thing). It takes a lot to make me genuinely hate someone, but she's done it...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:09 am 
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Travis B. wrote:
All in all, though, I do not like change, and tend towards conservatism in how I do things, unless I unequivocally decide that something is the right thing to do. Regardless, I will be interviewing at this potential new job tomorrow, and we will see how that goes.

I totally get you re: not liking change. I think you're probably approaching it right: interview, and THEN decide. I find that decisions are easier to make once there's a solid opportunity (like a job offer) instead of just the possibility of an opportunity.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:10 am 
Smeric
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Risla, I want to say thanks for some of your posts, especially in response to someone talking about being accused of making someone feel suicidal. It's comforting to hear from someone that it's probably not really our fault when that happens to us because I've been wondering. I wish I could figure out how to respond, though. I think I'm gradually beginning to feel increasingly desperate.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:43 am 
Avisaru
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Risla wrote:
alice wrote:
Going back to work next week at last, after fifteen months.

Good luck!


Thank you!

Risla wrote:
I actually just came to this thread to post that I'm quitting my job. I gave a month's notice about three weeks ago, and after some negotiations today with the boss (apparently it's way easier to figure out the payroll if I leave by the end of the month), my last day has been moved up to today. My job has been horrible, featuring a nasty bully who's been awful to me for the last seven or eight months and who was assigned to manage me about a month and a half ago (by the boss, who was fully aware that she was bullying me!), incredibly tedious work with zero feedback


Eugh. You're doing the right thing in quitting; I hope your teaching job is much more satisfying.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:14 am 
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jesus. well at least you've got g*** :roll:

good luck. come visit tokyo sometime :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:44 am 
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finlay wrote:
jesus. well at least you've got g*** :roll:

good luck. come visit tokyo sometime :)

I am now trying to figure out what g*** is. :P

EDIT: oh doh I figured out what it is

I definitely want to visit Tokyo sometime. Probably this summer...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:35 pm 
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Welp. I just gave my notice, talked with my manager, my contracting company manager, and my team lead about leaving, and this all just happened, practically unplanned. I was never really looking to change jobs, but rather this new job just fell in my lap and I never did anything to not change jobs. But of course, this was the right job - the location is ideal, I already know the engineering manager, it gives me the opportunity to work on a new product, and it will advance my career by giving me an opportunity to work in an area which I had been unable to break into previously - at the right time, and while I was okay with my current job, I was not exactly happy with it either - it had turned into unending drudgery that was doing nothing to help my career - so I let this happen.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 10:53 am 
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Travis B. wrote:
Welp. I just gave my notice, talked with my manager, my contracting company manager, and my team lead about leaving, and this all just happened, practically unplanned. I was never really looking to change jobs, but rather this new job just fell in my lap and I never did anything to not change jobs. But of course, this was the right job - the location is ideal, I already know the engineering manager, it gives me the opportunity to work on a new product, and it will advance my career by giving me an opportunity to work in an area which I had been unable to break into previously - at the right time, and while I was okay with my current job, I was not exactly happy with it either - it had turned into unending drudgery that was doing nothing to help my career - so I let this happen.


It's always really nice when that happens. Hope it works out well for you.

Meanwhile, I just about managed my first half-day back at my job, although I had to rest quite a bit when I got back home.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:16 pm 
Sumerul
Sumerul

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:47 pm
Posts: 3581
Location: Milwaukee, US
alice wrote:
Travis B. wrote:
Welp. I just gave my notice, talked with my manager, my contracting company manager, and my team lead about leaving, and this all just happened, practically unplanned. I was never really looking to change jobs, but rather this new job just fell in my lap and I never did anything to not change jobs. But of course, this was the right job - the location is ideal, I already know the engineering manager, it gives me the opportunity to work on a new product, and it will advance my career by giving me an opportunity to work in an area which I had been unable to break into previously - at the right time, and while I was okay with my current job, I was not exactly happy with it either - it had turned into unending drudgery that was doing nothing to help my career - so I let this happen.


It's always really nice when that happens. Hope it works out well for you.


What had happened is that I had sufficiently impressed said engineering manager at a previous job we were both at that he had specifically asked for me to be hired for the team he is building at his current company, which really smoothed over the hiring process.

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Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
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