What Bankers Talk About

I think I’ve officially gone over to the dark side and become a true banker, everyone. Today I talked about my credit card limit with my account manager at the bank. Apparently, this is what I talk about during lunchtime phone calls now…


I just posted my first multilingual blog post ever and it is so, so bad. My written Russian is worse than I thought! And now I’m actually afraid of the feedback I’ll get because I probably chose the wrong words for everything.

Speaking a foreign language is so much easier than writing it.

First Week

Well, I survived my first week at work. It was a bit strange, because I feel like I got paid to do nothing. We are in the training phase of our program, so the only actual thing we did was a presentation. That was fun, but was internal so we could show off our knowledge of the company.

A few other observations:

  • My company is massive! It’s a subsidiary of a multinational conglomerate and we have a ton of employees all around the world.
  • The management really want us to like the company. Almost every day, we had people come in to talk to us and extol the virtues of the company. I think we’re all very proud to be there after hearing so much about how great it is…
  • I don’t want to reveal too many details about this company, so I’ve dubbed it The Bank for the time being. Unless I come up with a different nickname, I’m going with this. My manager is all about people expressing themselves on social media, but I still don’t feel comfortable doing that under my own name or naming the company itself on this blog.

One nice thing about an actual job (as opposed to school) is not being expected to work after hours. In other words: no homework! This weekend, I don’t have to think about anything work-related if I don’t want to. And, of course, there’s the whole getting paid thing. I haven’t been paid yet, but I’m looking forward to my first paycheck in a couple of weeks.

Note: this is my first multilingual blog post ever. I think the Russian version is very, very bad. I have almost no experience writing longish pieces in Russian and my vocabulary and expression are unfortunately lacking. Please, correct my many mistakes. And if you’re learning Russian, don’t use my post as an example of actual good writing, because it isn’t.

Ну, я выжила первую неделю на работе. Это чуть-чуть странно—мне кажется, что мне заплатили за то, что ничего не делала! В программе мы тренируем, и мы только сделали презентацию. Она мне понравилась, но она была внутренной, чтобы мы показали знание о компании.

Несколько другие соображения:

  • Компания очень крупная! Она—дочернее общество транснационального конгломерата и у нас есть работники во всем мире.
  • Менеджменту очень хочется, чтобы мы любим компанию. Почти каждого дня, к нам приходят людей, чтобы говорить с нами и похвалить компанию. Я думаю, что мы все очень гордимся работать туда после того, как мы слушали о величии компании…
  • Я не хочу рассказать много деталях об этой компании, так как я давала ей прозвище «Банк». Если не я даю другое прозвище, у компании есть такое прозвище. Мой менеджер очень любит социальные сети, но мне не удобно писать в каких сети под ФИО или назвать компанию в этом блоге.

Хороший факт о настоящей работе (в отличие от университета)—мне не надо работать после того, как рабочий день закончился. Другим словами: нет домашнего задания! На этой неделе, мне не нужно думать о работе, если не хочу. И конечно, есть зарплата. Я все еще не получила зарплату, но я жду ее с нетерпением через пару недели.

How The Soviet Union Could Have Won The Cold War

Wow, it’s been eleven days since I last wrote! That’s what happens when you pack up your stuff, move, and start a brand-new job. I’ve been getting used to getting up and going to work and I’m still trying to fit blogging into my new schedule. Anyway, I am back, attempting to get a regular posting schedule again.

Historian Tom Nichols has a great article on five ways the Soviet Union could have won the Cold War. In this case, he defines “won” as meaning:

Or at the least, could the Soviet Union have survived until today, and remained a viable competitor to the United States while celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 2017, or the centennial of the founding of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 2022?

Considering that there are still a very large number of people in the world who wholeheartedly embrace the murderous ideology that is Communism, I’m not wholly convinced that the Soviet Union did lose the Cold War. Yes, the country splintered, but the ideology survives around the world. That’s a post for another day, though.

Of course, Tom’s article leaves us with this thought:

I think the Soviet Union fell because the Soviet idea was as insanely unworkable as the Nazi, Imperial Japanese, Napoleonic and other dreams of imperial conquest. (U.S. policy played a role, too, especially in determining whether the USSR collapsed inward or exploded outward.) The Soviet Union, as former Soviet officer and later Russian historian Dmitri Volkogonov once put it, was hatched by a bunch of vicious but ineffectual intellectuals who had no idea how to govern a country. Soon, they turned on each other and eventually, the revolution ate its own children.

It’s a great article, so go read it.

Multilingual Blogging

I’ve been wanting to try this for some time, but I have been terrified to do so. It’s called multilingual blogging. You see, my written Russian is just atrocious. I read a lot, I listen a lot, I speak a fair amount (not as much as I would like), but I rarely write, and therefore my writing is terrible.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll be translating every future post into Russian, but I’m going to do my best to start blogging in this fabulous language. I’m a little afraid of making a fool of myself, but I’ve actually spent the past six years making a fool of myself while learning Russian. (Bottom line: when you learn a foreign language, you’re going to make silly mistakes. Overall, I’ve learned to embrace it and move on.)

Russian-speaking readers (especially native speakers!), I welcome your corrections if I say anything that sounds a bit off or is blatantly wrong. I promise I won’t be offended if you correct me. :)

You Can’t Make This Up

I’ve been feverishly packing for the past few days, everyone, hence the lack of blogging. (Believe me, it’s been killing me not to blog. I hope to develop a proper blogging routine once I’ve settled in to my new place in a few weeks.)

Anyway, I read this hilarious blog entry in Russian and I couldn’t not share it with you. Nikolai Starikov, a historian who is very Eurasianist, pro-Russia, and apparently pro-Soviet Union, wrote this in a recent blog entry:

The USSR, despite its many shortcomings, was a more successful system than the capitalist West.

Therefore, western civilization had to destroy the Soviet Union in order to survive in the global competitive struggle.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the original Russian from his blog.

СССР, при многих его недостатках, был более успешной системой, чем капиталистический Запад.

Поэтому западной цивилизации было необходимо разрушить Советский Союз, что бы выжить в глобальной конкурентной борьбе.

I understand being a Russian patriot—there’s nothing wrong with loving your country. I’m just marveling at how someone can honestly believe that the Soviet Union was a better system than capitalism.

I haven’t read the entire article yet, but I hope to. I would translate it, but I am not sure I have time right now.

In Which I Opine On Ukraine

I was reading The American Interest this morning (if you don’t read this site, you definitely should because it’s really good) and stumbled across this article on Ukraine. In it, the author talks about the sad future of Ukraine. The analysis was sorely lacking in one important area, though, so I felt the need to leave this comment. (I feel unbelievably pretentious quoting myself, but there you go.)

There is one reason and one reason only why Ukraine has so many problems that are unlikely to be resolved soon, and that reason is corruption. The entire system is corrupt: bribery is rampant, and there’s no political will to enact real reform that would modernize the country.

That’s why I get frustrated with Westerners when they condemn Yanukovych. Yes, he was corrupt, but do you really not think Tymoshenko, Yushchenko, Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, and others are, too? Sure, Yanukovych had that ridiculous residence—but have you seen where Tymoshenko lives? Have you seen Yatsenyuk’s mansion? Yatsenyuk is forty years old, yet he has more money than most of us reading this website will ever have in our entire lives.

Sorry for the longish rant, but I just get really frustrated sometimes when people act like these revolutions in Ukraine are a wonderful thing.

What do you think, readers? Why does Ukraine have so many problems?