Team Life

Ideaport Riga blog about day-to-day life in a human centered IT company

Intern chronicles. Weeks second and third, when I’m groping two big elephants in a dark-dark room

— What do you do for work?
— I solve problems whose existence I did not know about using methods I do not understand.

(From an eavesdropped conversation)

Oh, my! Has it really been two weeks already? Honestly speaking, it’s a little hard to believe, but it’s even harder to argue with my calendar. Last time I promised to report if I would still be alive. As you are reading these lines, you can probably guess – I am! Still alive and kicking… that is, clicking. At my new metal computer. Good morning!

IKEA and meatballs, or how people behavior can elevate your success

Grand opening of IKEA store in Riga. It would be rather hard to find a single person in Latvia who would not be excited about this occasion. It looked like people split into various groups. There were those who cancelled their trips to Lithuanian store and counted days left until the official megastore opening in Riga. Hundreds of Latvians kept themselves busy with rewriting and rethinking their shopping lists, picking things to buy at local IKEA. There were also those who were getting impressed with the speed of construction and how quickly engineers made the new building “stand” above the city scenery. There very also those, of course, who ‘hated’ it all - the overall quality of the build and cheeky store guidance system that takes you through predefined routes and spits you out at the counter, seconds before you end up with miles long receipt and are guided to the exit.

Intern chronicles. Week one, during which I burst into thousands of tiny overwhelmed pieces

-Come on, Tell me! The world's at war again, a new crisis is coming, banks are falling, neighbors are renovating their apartment for the third year, your wife is cheating, your daughter started smoking, you got fired, your wallet is empty, and yet you're still calm. How do you manage?! Share your secret!
(Old joke)

Bureaucracy in your company has no "DELETE" button. It's time to do something about it.

On your own, you - even you! - will not be able to design or develop this feature, no matter how talented of a professional you are. This requires collective effort, and not just from management - from absolutely everyone. So, where do you start?

"I was not hired to write this report!" or "Four reasons not to love the bureaucracy in your company"

Spent two hours in a meeting discussing the outcomes of the last meeting. An hour and a half writing a report on the number of reports in a reporting period. Visited my boss with, as dad would say, a “rationalisation proposal”. My boss promised to discuss it with his boss and find out if it might interest his boss's boss. Just between you, me, and the watercooler, this means either "forget it" or "we'll discuss it, and if Venus leaves the shade of retrograde Mercury, we might approve it in half a year, axing the best bits". What? Did I work on my project? Well, yeah, of course... a bit, during lunch break. Why'd you ask?

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Photo of Katerina Alfimova - System Analyst