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A while ago I joined different online groups where people sell, exchange or give away all kind of stuff. I did use these groups few times to buy mostly books and linen but I also used them to sell some of the stuff I don’t use anymore. In general, the groups are very easy to use and never had any problems when I purchased goods but I did have issues with selling things. Here I compiled a list with few of the things I found very annoying while selling stuff online.

  1. If you are interested in a product, PM me. Some people commented under the photo of a product saying “I’m reserving it” and after that I never got a message from them. If you reserve something, send me a private message. I did try to contact them but they never replied. This is very disrespectful and you are basically wasting my time.
  2. Sending a message about a possible meeting to pick up a certain product. The person mentions that anytime is good for them but when I try (several times) to suggest a time, they are never happy with it. Why do you say that anytime is good and then when I suggest a date, you don’t like it? It would save both of us the headache if you said what time is good for you because “anytime” obviously doesn’t work.
  3. The person books a certain product, we arrange a day to meet so they can purchase the product then on that certain day (usually few hours before), they say something has intervened. We establish another day but the same thing happens. This has happened to me when the respective person changed the date around 4 times and the fifth time I tried to contact them in order to establish a new day but they never replied back. Look, if you don’t want to purchase something anymore, say it but don’t waste my time.

Sometimes there are other people who wait in order to purchase a certain product and the type of people mentioned above make it difficult for them as well as for me. If you don’t plan on buying something, don’t reserve it for an unlimited period of time and after one week of trying to establish a pick up time, you decide that you don’t want it anymore or worse, stop replying. Of course, it is the person’s right to change their minds but please, do it faster because in most of the cases I want to get rid of the stuff I’m selling quite fast. For example, if I move somewhere else.

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I wanted to work in the cultural heritage field since I was a kid. Many people have asked me why, where does this passion come from. I can’t give a simple answer to this question although it seems so plain and straightforward. There were many factors along the way that made me fall in love with the museum profession but I can’t say that I had the utmost goal to work in a museum from the beginning.

I learned to read from a very early age, around 4 years old, 3 years before I went to school. And I started reading whatever I found at home. We had lots of history books magazines and I remember I enjoyed the subject a lot. Later on, at school I was a lot into history and culture subjects in general and I decided I want to continue studying archaeology in university. I didn’t have any romantic expectation about the professions like many kids have (Indiana Jones and adventures in exotic places). I knew that the job might include working on archaeological sites but I also know it would include lots of research done in several places like museums and archives.

I think that a big contribution that developed my love for cultural heritage was also my personality which wasn’t typical of a crazy kid but mostly the introvert, shy one who just likes reading and researching. I remember that my mom tried to put me in childcare aimed at working parents but I didn’t like at all their rigid schedule which involved playing, eating and sleeping. It was very boring and I couldn’t resist more than two weeks.

My mom’s workplace back then was exactly near the city museum and by chance, one of her friends was working at the museum. She left me with her friend for few hours while she was at work. Mom thought I will get bored eventually and she’ll pick me up very fast. She was so wrong! I lost myself in the museum’s exhibition, reading the texts and looking at the artefacts for hours on end. Mom’s friend was quite surprised because usually kids weren’t that interested in the exhibition (back then they had a very typical traditional museum exhibition that was not quite appealing for children who were 4-5 years old).

And that’s how it started. Seeing that I enjoy being at the museum, mom left me there in the care of old artefacts and natural history collections. Museum workers weren’t bothered to have me around and I’m really grateful that they had the patience to answer to all of my questions related to collections and museum work in general. I think I learned from them more than I learned in school at the history classes. I remember being very impressed with the conservator’s work which I think later on awoke my curiosity into conservation field.

Later on I tried to go away from the field, mostly also due to my parents, who didn’t allow me to study archaeology, because that’s a bankrupt profession in their opinion. Which is not entirely wrong. But being in love with such a field is at times very contradictory. On one hand you do what you love but on the other, is very hard to find employment and the salaries are not at top. Well, that’s an aspect of museum work you have to deal with – one doesn’t choose a cultural heritage career because of money. They choose it because of passion. If your priority is a good salary, then I suggest you look somewhere else.

It’s true, I didn’t study archaeology but later on after studying languages and digital cultural heritage, I landed in a masters’ degree in museum studies and all started from there.

I’ve been working in a museum for a while now and to be honest the moment I got the job (even earlier when I had the chance to be an intern) I was one of the happiest persons because that was the field I wanted to get in since I was a kid.

The place I work is a small university museum and like in all small museums, one does not have a certain job description but one can do various tasks besides their main job description. And I actually like it because there is something new to do all the time and you do learn new things.

My main job is customer service which includes taking care and monitoring the exhibitions, being in the museum shop and offering guided tours and information. I do help with other tasks, too like building exhibitions, organizing events, having workshops, documenting artefacts or taking care of collections.

Being in customer service, I got asked several times if I had difficult customers. I can gladly state that I didn’t. Usually people who come to the museum are interested in what the museum has to offer and some do ask questions about various issues from history related to tourist or studying related. I do enjoy offering guided tours as I get to meet really interesting people and it’s always an honor to have the chance to present our university history to them.

If I am to mention one of the most challenging tasks until now is one of our exhibitions which deals with mathematics. It was quite challenging because I have a background in humanities but I had to learn to offer guided tours and workshops to several age groups (from small kids to seniors) and that involved learning all kind of mathematical concepts for that in two foreign languages. After this small adventure I realized how much one can learn in a museum, especially, if there are different temporary exhibitions with various themes. Of course, a museum employee, especially in customer service has to learn everything possible about an upcoming exhibition in order to inform the visitors and for possible tours. I usually do that by attending meetings about the exhibition, reading the material related to it, finding more information and also talking with the curator(s). If I have the chance or help is needed, I also volunteer to help building the exhibition.

Another thing that I found challenging it was taking care of the museum shop – the financial side. I have never used in my life devices for card payments or managed sales but I learned that very fast to my surprise although I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. I say skeptical because I was never a math friendly person and I am a bit hesitant when it comes to numbers. I did learn that numbers are nothing to be afraid of and nowadays the software embedded in many shop systems does the math for you very efficiently.

One of my goals in museum work is to work more with collections mostly getting acquainted and taking care of them and for that I think I’ll take up some volunteering work behind the scenes along with the curators and conservators.

Regarding my last post and some of the claims that students get too much money and they spend it on going out and drinking, I decided to write about living on student financial aid. The student financial aid includes the aid and some help with the rent – which depends a lot on the rent. Also the aid is given taking into consideration the degree so you might have it for 36 or 25 months or for another period of time depending on the length of the studies.

It is a while since I got my student aid but as far as I remember it was for around 25 months and about 450-460 euros per month. The rent was about 235 euros per month in a student apartment. Now, let’s do some simple math: after paying the rent I was left with 225 (given that the aid is 460 euros, rent includes water, electricity, internet + other administrative expenses). Finland is one of the most expensive countries in EU area and the food is quite pricy.

What can you eat with 225 euros per month? If you take the lunch at the student cafeteria it costs 2,60 euros. Let’s say you eat one lunch almost everyday at the student cafeteria – that is about 80 euros. So, you are left with about 145 euros. You also need to buy food for breakfast and dinner and one may assume that vegetables, fruits, meat (a generally balanced diet but nothing extravagant) would cost about 20-30 euros per week – 4 weeks = 80-120 euros.

You are left with 25-65 euros. There is also the phone to pay, I have a cheap operator so I pay around 10 euros per month. What’s left? 15-55 euros per month.
And here I didn’t include: products of personal hygiene, clothing items, kitchenware, books, office supplies, bus card, medicine, electronics and other items that one uses in their everyday life.

So I wonder, where do these people get the idea that 460 euros is enough to go clubbing and get drunk? This sum is barely enough to survive if parents don’t help you and if you don’t have any job. Many students do work during the summer if they are fortunate enough to find a job and save money for the school year. That was also what I did.

Of course, I’ve heard the ones who blame young people that they don’t take blue collar jobs because they are lazy and entitled. My observations show exactly the opposite but unfortunately not even these jobs are enough for everybody. It’s not that we are lazy and entitled – it’s just that even these jobs are hard to find and get. But that’s another story for another time.

Bad science teachers

I’m the typical woman when it comes to my studies. I always followed humanities path. Sometimes during my childhood years – I think it was primary school – I decided I wanted to become an archaeologist. I didn’t have the rosy colored image of digging and finding lost treasures and solving mysteries as many of the kids have (lots of them want to become archaeologists) but I was rather more into research. Since then I flirted with less feminine jobs so to say including truck driver and train engineer. My parents were quite an authority when it came to my studies so in the end I had to choose something that would get me an university degree and a job.

How was I drawn to humanities though? Archaeology belongs to humanities but it involves a great deal of science though. It started in secondary school to be more exact. Then we began studying, besides mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics. I was very excited to learn new things and I never thought for one second that I would hate any of these subjects. I was wrong. After I met the teachers and especially their style of teaching, I started loathing these subjects.

To start with, the teachers were women well in their 50’s and had a horrible style of teaching. They followed their teaching schedule and had absolutely no interest if we remained with something after the class or not. It gave me the impression that they didn’t even enjoy what they were teaching. We got into the lab very few times and there wasn’t enough material for everybody to do the experiments. They went really fast when teaching and when you asked them to repeat smth. because you didn’t understand, they called you stupid. “Didn’t I explain that thing once? Are you stupid?”

My biology teacher got a weird pleasure in teasing me for an unknown reason. In fact, at a test she marked two of my good answers as wrong and when I confronted her about that she didn’t take it too well. Since then she was always testing me – getting me in front of the class to recite the previous lesson and to draw cell structures on the blackboard. And insulting me occasionally. I remember that one of my pens dropped on the floor (unintentionally) and she started yelling at me saying that she’ll throw me out of the class if I don’t behave. Plus commenting on my outer look or making snarky remarks about me and my back then boyfriend.

I can’t say I hated the respective subjects but the teachers made them so horrible, I had no will to learn them anymore. And another thing specific to my birth country were the private lessons. All students took and are taking private lessons in order to succeed at exams because most of teachers fail to do their duty in class. If you don’t have private lesson with your class teacher then you should expect small grades for no reason. That’s what happened with me in math. Although my dad knows math and he was helping me, the grades started going up the same time I started private lessons with my math teacher. Which was weird, because I can’t say my math improved at those private lessons.

I do look back at these things sometimes and cannot help but wonder if my path had been different would it not been for so bad science teachers. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing I know for sure: I don’t hate these subjects and they are not particularly difficult for me. My interest in sciences came back across the years to the point that I am reading medical books just for fun and I want to learn chemistry as I wish to specialize in conservation.

I didn’t realize the power of a teacher until I had to deal with bad, uninspiring people who represented a field and basically turned a subject (that was otherwise interesting) into a repulsive burden that one needs to pass in order to get a diploma.

Some people have been cringing when they heard that i own seven budgies, mainly reffering to the costs of maintaining them. It’s true, it’s not free to maintain budgies but i can’t say it’t very expensive either. It depends a lot on your priorities and if you are willing to invest the money in them. To start with, i spend around 200 euros per year (sometimes even less) for their food, vitamins and sometimes equipment (perches, toys, cups). I was fortunate enough not to buy any kind of medication until now.

When i bought my two budgies we already had two cages because my parents in law used to have budgies and they stored the cages plus some cups, toys and perches. Whenever i bought budgies from people who wanted to get rid of them i got extra accessories and one time even the cage.

After my parents in law’s cockatiel died we got a huge cage plus a lamp which i use during the long and dark winters. Daily light is almost non existent and budgies need light a lot. So that came for free. I did buy though some food cups, occasionally toys whenver i see something nice, or when they destroy them (wood toys are the ones that go first).

There are the local pet stores where i usually buy stuff but mostly online pet stores are better as some have really good bird department. 24pets and Zooplus. They also have 25 kilos bags with seeds which last around a year and very good vitamins. 24pets has a wide range of vitamins for birds, i usually prefer Birdcare company products. Apples, salad, broccoli are bought from the grocery store along with normal food shopping. During the summer, we have our own apples and salad; i never grew broccoli though. So, i would say that most of the expenses go on food, usually vitamins and pellets.

Last time, i also got perches for free as i found them in the forests around. I do wash them and cut them in such a way that they fit in the cage. I do not advise for plastic perches as they are slippery. I also have pedichiure perches bought from the store and budgies also chew on them. Sometimes i also purchased chalk, sepia or mineral blocks for them to chew on. I have one mineral block on the form of icecream but still, sepia remains one of their favourites.

I didn’t organize a special playground outside of the cage as they usually prefer to stay on the cage, chandelier or above the window. The budgies do have a small wooden playground with perches and stairs and some perches which hang from the celeing. It looks like this and now it’s also on discount: http://t.zooplus.fi/shop/linnut/lelut/leikkitelineet/143235

Here is their wooden playground also bought from zooplus few years ago, i see they don’t have it anymore. On top of it, my youngest budgie Didi salutes you.

image

Occasionally i noticed that people buy budgies as pets because they are easy and do not demand much. Compared to other bigger pets that might be true but it depends a lot on the number of budgies one owns and even if there are only two budgies, some people do treat them like decorations. I’ve seen that with bigger birds, too. For, example the owner did not pay attention to the bird at all and the bird was left without food or water for a day or two. Some people even sell their budgies because they don’t have time for them anymore or their lifestyle has changed. Better like this than just ignore them.

Usually budgies feel very well if they have same feathery friends around, and it’s advisable to buy them only in pair. I started with 2 budgies and the number grew to 7. I don’t intend to buy more as i don’t have space and i don’t want to cram them under any circumstances. Also, they need food and vitamins which are not that cheap – if you want quality. Food must be available to them daily as well as fresh water. I also noticed that some people give them just seeds or even worse seed sticks which are full of sugar and birds get fat quite fast from those. Budgies eat much more than just seeds, at least mine love salads, broccoli and apples.

As they have a big cage, i usually do the cleaning once a week or even once at two weeks, depending how bad the mess is. Also the cage, perches and toys are cleaned. The room where they live is also cleaned quite often especially the floor as there is lots of dust and food. They are also free to roam around the room so cleaning is necessary more often – vacuum cleaner though does it.

My budgies are not trained to talk or do tricks although some are not afraid of sitting on the hand. I do socialize with them everyday but i never thought of stressing them out with training as i prefer letting them socialize on their own.