Screaming in Sweden

Monday + Swedes = Grrrr….
October 29, 2007, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Sweden | Tags: , , ,

I had a bad day (it’s Monday, duh). Woke up with a slight cold, I literally had to drag myself out of the house to get to work. Not forgetting the pouring rain, gray sky, 10°C, and a bad umbrella.

And guess what?

I had to deal with the Swedes *winks*

Swedes are an odd bunch. And if you’re a Swede, you’re probably enjoying this – because you Swedes do secretly love reading and hearing about yourselves. Whether you like it or not, it’s fun to be reminded of how you are to foreign eyes, even if you’ve heard it all before.

After almost a year working in an office with 99% Swedes, I begin to believe that they are quite odd. For example, Swedish people like to have meetings. Rather than one long meeting, Swedish people like to have many short meetings. There would be some vague agenda, unclear meeting objectives, or a checklist, etc., but generally, these short meetings are quite informal.

I’m not saying that they are inefficient, in fact, these meetings are necessary in a Swedish office. As we all know, consensus is the key here. Swedish people like to make everyone happy. That is more important than the final decision itself. The risk is that we make a decision that makes everyone happy, but not exactly the best one.

But I guess, if something turns out bad, there’s more reason to have another meeting…

And then, there is no boss around here. Really. You’re pretty much working on your own, make your own deadline, postpone it if you like, organize your own meetings, in fact, plan your own goals, tasks, actions, and so on.

Of course, it all depends on what you do… like the programmers in our office (they do the scrum thingy), they have daily status meetings (standing up) to talk about what they did the day before. Pretty intensive.

Did someone say intensive? I have to deal with at least one (Swede) every day. Now THAT is intensive.


Agony Aunt won’t help me
October 15, 2007, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Life | Tags: , , ,


I know I haven’t written for ages, I’ve been so busy. My parents were here, I started “thinking” at work (I don’t do those robot-crap no more, thank God for that!), I bought a new e-whisk ;), a new pair of leather boots, a new coat, et cetera.

And now… I have got some existential questions.

One of them is in everyone’s head.

* W h y a r e w e h e r e ? *

I know this isn’t getting anywhere. I know you’ve thought of it too some time in the past, and are still living now without having any real answers.

But if you know where you’re going, would you still be interested in living? I wouldn’t. What would be the purpose of living then?

You know when you were a little kid and people would keep asking you, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” And you’d say “a doctor” or “a teacher” or something lame like that. I used to say “a scientist”, without having any clue at all what a scientist does. It just looked so cool with those test tubes, white scrubs and all.

*You know it’s cool to be a nerd in my type of social circle*

So anyway, I know that the purpose is not:
– to be a scientist, or a doctor, or a lawyer whatsoever
– to know where you’re heading to in the next five or ten years

I envy those people who seem to know that they have a life purpose (lpp). The people who’s not afraid to die today because they are already living for their lpp. The people who will die living for their lpp.

And I still don’t know why I am here. I don’t believe that everyone has a lpp but I’d like to have one. So that I can give it all up and start now. What if what I’m doing right now isn’t going to lead me to my lpp?

I don’t think that I have accomplished anything big yet. I always feel like I can do better no matter what I do. But I wonder why do I have to have that kind of need? The need to be something or to fulfill some sort of lpp.

I envy those people who seem to be happy doing what they have been doing for the past ten or twenty years of their lives. They seem so content with what they do, not wanting any change or any other new stuff.

So… am I going mad?

Please help me, Agony Aunt (although I’m quite happy with how things have turned out so far…)