Friday, November 29, 2013

Family secret

As a compulsive organizer, I had to begin with the sorting of the beads. In the midst of my transition to "No more procrastination" and before beads become obsolete, I put aside the sorting and began to do the family's portrait.


After a long battle to get pregnant of our Highness, it striked me as an evidence to set aside the career, the social, the woman and … the waistline to commit to being full-time mother. I guess by lack of having a loving mother and father (they tended the basic needs but did not provide the love I look for). I refused to redeem the past, I committed to be the "perfect mother". My mission was to give all my love and attention with consigning myself to the oblivion. Surely I strongly counter-reacted to my lack of loving parents. 

Now I need to swap my full-time mother costume to a working woman/mother with a social life. The consequence of this trade will be less time to give to the kiddies and the husband. Does it make me a less caring mother and loving wife.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


That day I was on a search mode to find a 500ml or + white matte acrylic paint of any brand to paint a wooden birdhouse. After browsing the net, I found an arts&crafts shop in Paris 6th. To my great disappointment, none was found. The alternative was to buy a matte paint with silky effect (which is a contradiction if you ask me) and mix it with a matte gel. As a procrastinator, this solution will only but postpone the end of the whole project.

On my way home I decided to cheer me up with sweets and I bumped into a chocolate shop, here.
I already tried the one in Saint-Germain en Laye, I was very excited to repeat the experience.

I bought a few chocolates. They are a good balanced between cacao, sugar and butter.
The packaging was made of heavy stock paper.
The decor was a mix of dark colours with a touch of mystic green. It's nice, mysterious and elegant.
About the service… well… could be better.

Transcript of the dialog of my encounter with an employee (I will name her Dionne).

Dionne: Goodmorning. What can I do for you?
I: It's just for a little bag of goodies, just for now.
Dionne: How much (gram) are you taking?
I: I don't know…. Hum. 15 pieces or so.
(She takes the plastic bag and she begins her speech about the variety of chocolates)
I: I'm taking anything with milk.
Dionne: How much of those would you be taking?
I: 2 of each variety
(She fills the bag with the milky ones and starts the speech on the dark ones)
I: No thank you. I'd like to try the one I saw on the web, something with ginger, the spherical one.
Dionne: We don't make any ginger flavoured chocolate. The spherical one are not ginger flavoured.
I: I don't know I saw on the site, a chocolate with ginger. I want that one.
Dionne: W-E D-O NOT sell any ginger spherical-shaped chocolate. And they come 12 a box and it costs 4.6€ a piece.
(WTF! Why is this? The price argument !!! I look at her in disappointment, see here = ginger)
Dionne: We also have gianduja chocolate.
I: No thank you. I think it is time then to update the website.
(She keeps on describing the chocolate)
I: Yes I think I saw it on the website.
Dionne: W-E D-O regularly update the website.
I: I don't understand. I'm sure I saw the ginger-flavoured chocolate on the website (see here). I don't remember if it is square or spherical shape.
Dionne: We describe our chocolate on the website.
The manager: Everything is alright? (looking at Dionne)
Dionne: Yes
I: (wondering what was the point)
Dionne: And some of our chocolates can be ordered online.
I: (looking dazzled by the stubbornness of the madam). Then the website should be updated. I want to buy some and they are not available. (I have my share of stubbornness). Do you have truffles? I'd like some.
Dionne: Yes. How much would you like?
I: 2 please.
Dionne: That would be all?
I: Oh! Do you have some marrons glacés? I'd looove to have some. I saw it on the website.
Dionne: No.
I: When will it be available?
The manager: Next week.
I: Would it be available in this very shop or any shop or online?
The manager: any shops.
She: That would be all?
I: Yes
She: It is 14 euros.
(I hand over the credit card)
She: We don't accept credit card for amount less than 15€.
(I go trough all my pockets. After a desperate search of long endless 6 minutes, I found a note of 20).

I walked out of the shop and was deeply disappointed:
1. I guess not accepting credit card for amount under 15€ is due to economic reasons. However, you walk into a MOF institution, you expect some effort to make the experience unforgettable : from entering the shop, to picking the chocolates and finally to paying.
2. Service inconsistent. In Saint-Germain en Laye, the lady took time to identify what chocolate would suit my taste and even offered some to try, and everything not mechanically repeated and above all with a smile. In 6th, they looked more uptight and were not customer-orientated.

This experience made me think. Michelin stars for restaurants are difficult to earn and to keep you have to provide a constant service at all level. If they can't keep up, they lose credits and stars. Apparently, the MOF institution (chocolate, flowers, …) don't obey the same rules. One can earn the title but can NOT lose it, even when providing poor service. 

See any similarities?! The price argument, it is from far the apotheosis. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Express yourself

During the week, Our Highness complained about having no time to adorn her bedroom walls with nifty crafty drawings. We make it up to it by painting with fingers. Of course, some paint slips right to the face and we end up having fingerpainted faces.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy dad

Daddy spent his B-day far away from home (on a work duty) for a month. It was surreal to celebrate his B-day with 6 hours time difference and 5000 km away from each other. 
Our Highness is missing daddy a lot. She tried to convince me that is was possible to sleep in a suitcase so that next time she could go with daddy. 

The silly girl spent the entire weekend working on daddy's B-day gift. She's only 5 years but really mature for her age. She told me the other day : "A gift must come from the hart, [...] not quickly buy at the store, something [...] your heart hears and [...] people know you love them." Still have a lot to learn from her. Upon his arrival back home, daddy was very happy.

Heart made out of maxi size hama beads

Friday, November 15, 2013

Time shifting

My pursuit of a white-collar job in a cruel world of finance is still on the go (I will elaborate in details in a post and apologize for this lack of in-depth analysis in this post). 
So far no interviews sapping my morale and surely sinking my self-esteem. Instead of drifting into depression I choose to cope in my own way: learning some new skills to boost my chance to get noticed, doing some voluntary work to promote scientific research in finance, founding an association promoting Dutch culture, visiting pastries, etc… and sightseeing. 

That day I felt like strolling with no particular exhibition to go to, nor MOF pastry cook to visit. After a few corners I bumped into this street and noticed this rack of scooters. It just made me smile, few years ago one could see a rack of bikes, sometimes motorbikes and now scooters. Strangely I found it funny this time shifting.  

As I was strolling suddenly I saw "la Tour Eiffel" hiding behind trees.

 Here in its glory.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

From my heart to u

Eight years ago, I discovered "swapbot" : it's a worldwide creative community who exchange themed swaps through postal mail (mostly), great fun in perspective! Take a look !

Here are some swap results.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

In the jungle of job searching

I have been short on posting for a month now. My excuse is the last month was entirely devoted to finding a job. The result has been... Z-I-L-C-H.

Time to assess the situation and take further actions

I did research about the company and put a personal touch to each cover letters. I applied in my field in different sectors, even applied for position not in my field but for which my skills can be used. 

In terms of time spent in job searching after a month :

  • 20 hours in writing/updating resume and cover letters including completing online profiles and inputting resumes into employer databases 
  • 30 hours in searching for and applying to specific posted job through online job site and employer site 
  • 60 hours in preparing tests, reading news/reports related to my field
  • 10 hours in networking (asking family, friends, alumni to share contacts working in my field) and follows-up of job application
  • 1 hour in interview ending with no result (a temporary employment agency called me for a specific job post that I answer. She interviewed me. In the meantime, I called the company directly and I found out the post was already taken prior to my interview. I came for a position I applied for, not to fill the job applicants database. Afterwards I never heard from her again despite my many attempts)
  • 0 hour in attending job fair (no job fairs organized)

Please! Spare me the B*S* about economic and financial turmoil ... bla bla bla. If so, there would be a sky-rocketing rate of employment (according to INSEE : 10.5% for 2013T2 compared to 10.4% for 2013T1 and 10.1% for 2012T4, little differences for my age through years). 
So what do I do wrong? Can you feel the frustration?! It is a cry for help, folks! HELP ME!