WORK FLU combo

Hey-ho kidlets, God I realize how bad I am this when I begin each and every post with a preamble about how sorry I am.

Well not today, I’ve got the flu (again) so I have a chronic case of bitch-face, coupled with a lousy sense of boundaries and civility.

This is how it be.

This is how it be.

This morning I got to become an expert on GPS and RADAR guidance system legality on imported goods. Now boring as that appears to be, this kind of information is solid gold in awkward silences. I mean who doesn’t want to sit next to the person snotting into their beer, who turns a red-rimmed hooded eye to you and says in a voice hoarse from coughing and heavy from mucous “Yo buddy, did you know the FDA approved 35 new drugs in 2011, that’s 15 more than in 2010, and those figures are based on the Fiscal calendar, not the annual one, oh yeah…” at which point I charmingly fall into unconsciousness and whack my head against the bar top then decorously crumble to the floor.

Oh yeah, what’s not to like. Anyway, this week I have a seminar and a conference, to explain the difference, a seminar eats up a couple of hours of my time and I have to look presentable for it, a conference takes up at least one day and requires me to look like a team of Hollywood make-up artists have been primping and polishing me since dawn, while I run around ensuring the conferenciers are not chewing on electric cables, beating each other with their iPads, and generally not peeing on anything ( swear to god, juiced-up business douches are worse than 4 year olds). So this afternoon I get to have a super early lunch and then buzz off to a conference about the  role of ‘ knowledge-intensive business services’ which as far as I can tell means “telling people what they should do”. Which is funny, because my job is nothing like that.

es... this simile is peculiar.

I am a sailor on the sea of life, and conference attendees are my giant floating babies... this simile is peculiar.

In fact usually I tell people what not to do. Due to the impartial nature of my job, and the fact that we are not diplomatically chained, I get to tell people how bad their ideas really are. In a totally polite and non-cruel way… most of the time. I mean once in a while when someone call up and says “I WANNA SELL MY CAR” and  I explain that we don’t that and they should call a car dealership and the response is “I WANNA SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER”. This makes me laugh, because a) I’m the head of the damn investment section & of PR, and b) because my directors told me to hang up on a**holes like that because it’s a waste of time. SO, what I tend to do is to pretend I misheard them and say “Ok then, it was lovely talking to you too, bye!” then hang up. If they call back, I put them on hold, forever. I mean I will put them on hold until the end of the working day. I will put the phone on answer machine and leave them there. If they cannot guess that we do not deal in used cars from our business name, then they deserve all the pain they can get (I’ll explain that my business is essentially called ‘Big-Business Trade: from Country A to Country B). It really is quite obvious what we do from the name. I really resent having the switchboard phone, yeah sure it means I’m aware of what everyone is doing, but also means I get the douchetards who have somehow managed to divine how to use a phone and more impressively, make outgoing calls.

Mr Bush I told you last time you called, we do not deliver pizza..... no we don't make it either.... Mr Bush could you just put your wife on the phone for me, 'k? Thanks.

Now I hear you ruminating back there. PR… and yet I seem to hate people. Well you’re right and wrong. I hate people who want me to do things that have no purpose for free. Now all of the facilities my company offers are for free, BUT and this is a big ‘ole but, they create jobs, trade, investment, and help the global economy. So when faced with people who can make this happen, I am a dream. I walk on soft clouds, I gleam like I am enlightened by the strength of a thousand glowing moons, I am gentle as a summer breeze, and as warm and delicious smelling as the air from a bakery. I am a goddamn sight to behold. I’m good at schmoozing, which is comical considering how hard I find it to make friends. However when working I put on the war-paint, and I make things happen.

....and someday I'll be as cold and numb to humanity as Veronica 😀

Now that I’ve told you how sick I am, how mean I am, and why I haven’t been fired. I think I’ll call it quitsies for today and go check on my lunch.

Punched My V-card (Volunteering)

Odd socks, hammers and tongs! It happened again, I got busy and I forgot my internet life. It’s surprising to me that this happens considering how little activity outside of work I do in my daily life, but occasionally I do things.

Last weekend was pretty exceptional for me, firstly I went out with some people I know, and secondly I volunteered. Really, selfish-me worked for free for people who I never met prior to the day. And you know what? I even enjoyed myself.

As I recall it was just as this picture illustrates (p.s. I ❤ Fozzie)

Before making this sound like I developed a halo and brought life to a dreary soup kitchen let me warn you, it wasn’t for a charity. My Alma Mater were participating in a universities fair in the city, I’m on their mailing list and they said they’d like to meet up Friday night to chat and just generally have a little community alumni drink. What the hell, it’s not like I had anything else planned. Actually I will now digress from this and tell you a weird story of that Friday night.

So I finished work around 6, and we were supposed to meet up in the bar ‘from 7’ which meant no-one would be there until say 8. So I put a call out to some people to see if anyone was near me drinking. I got a response from a film critic/journalist friend (who else is drinking at 4:30 on a Friday?) so after work I went to have a drink and some food with him. He was already seated with a friend of his. Now children, let me warn you, if there is one friend of a journalist you don’t want to meet it is the journalists pseudo-intellectual, lecherous, attempted journalist friend. Guess which friend was there? Yup it was him, I’m gonna call him Fletch, not because he is like Chevy Chase but because he is a f—ing letch. Now the bar we were in isn’t what you’d call a dive, but it is by no means trendy. It serves burgers, chili, general bar snacks like fries and onion rings. Nothing fancy, but decent enough. So I join my friend at the bar order a drink and some food. Now here I should point out, I know the bar tender. He used to work in a different bar, and I bitched about that bar’s wine, how t was more paint-stripper than grape juice. Now he remembered me, and told me to avoid the wine, and we joked and laughed and chit-chatted away. Until, Fletch decides to invade the conversation. Fletch demanded I buy him and my friend , who we will call Cronkite (because I can’t think of any other famous journalists), drinks. I complied and asked the barkeep for a round. The drinks came, but I had two. Confused, I asked why.

I'm sorry you want me to do what now, for the why?

Friday night is ladies night, buy one get one free style. Now the problem is Fletch decided to be a goddamn asshat. He demanded free beer as I had place the order. Barkeep explained in an incredibly polite way it was a promotion to encourage ladies to drink, and now I’ll paraphrase: not to encourage jobless, gutless winos, I think his actual words were “you”. Fletch then demanded to speak to the manager, yelled at the barmaid and the barkeep, yelled at the bar-back who was changing barrels, yelled at Cronkite, yelled at me and eventually huffed and puffed himself bright red. He then sat down. Cronkite and I apologized to the bar staff. It was at this point my food arrived, as a joke I asked if he’d be sending another plate when I’d finished this one, barkeep gave me “that’s funny but this is really not the time as I’m still pissed off” look. I took a bit of my burger and realized half my fries had vanished.

I lifted my plate to see where I’d knocked them, nope not on the bar. So I held onto the bar and peered down to the floor on the other side of the bar, with my feet resting on the brass railing running around the base. Nope no fries there either. I sat back down and resumed my burger. Where the hell did those fries go?

And then I noticed Fletch’s fat hand making a second kidnapping run of my fries. Let me explain that this was no mean feat as Cronkite was sitting between us and there were six or so glasses of varying fullness. I just stared as his fat hand grabbed another fistful of fries. Cronkite stared too. Barkeep started staring too. There was silence. The usual background noise continued but we were silent aside from Fletch’s loud-as-hells-bells chewing.

Opportunistic sumbitch!

When I finished my burger I got up to leave, it was nearly 8 and I thought that If I stayed longer I would kill Fletch. I hopped off the bar stool and began paying my tab. Barkeep beckoned me to come close and leaned in, “I’m charging you for one beer and the burger. The other beers and the fries are going on Fletch’s tab. I’m amazed at how you handled that, considering how often I’ve seen you blow your top over nothing.”

Barkeep, you changed the angle of my night. I was about to go meet up with some complete strangers in a pissy ‘I hate everyone’s guts, the nerve of some people, imma break your fingers for touching me’ mood, and you made me happy. You gave a douche what he deserved, and you rewarded my lack of hissy-fit. Thank you times a trillion.

Apparently Japan feel the same way and they drew a cartoon for their bartender O_o

So I tottered off to meet with the Alumni group. Luckily for me I recognized two people immediately and we struck up a nice conversation, I was impressed by how easily we engaged everyone else in conversation too. Having one thing in common immediately made us a lot happier to speak to each other, it reminded me of those halcyon late summer days of university.

Anyway, somehow I ended up assuring the host I would drop by the universities fair to say hi even if only for 10 minutes. I got up early the next day, went to the bakery and picked up some breakfast, they were having a muffin sale (I mean wow, people who do this, I am amazed at your marketing skills) 6 giant muffins for $12 SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

Hey muffin, what are you doing there? Get in my mouth right now.

So armed  with some tribute I shuffled off with my coffee on the cold winter morning to go and chat for ten minutes and then spend the day doing whatever it is you can do when broke. I got there and noticed that one of my friends who wasn’t at the alumni meeting the night before was helping out, just chatting away to  people. Somehow I started chatting to people, and from 10 until about 5:30 I encouraged people to go to my old university, explaining the different departments and the different Masters courses available. I had fun, not only reliving my glory days, but also being an example for people to strive for, I’m so used to being a horrible warning rather than the shining example. It was a nice change. I’m glad I did it.

On douches

Lemme see, what interesting things do I have to talk about today… hmm well I’m trying a new shampoo, and uh, I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist next Monday. Er… yeah, so I’m doing nothing, and I have nothing to say. My brain is running on auto due to transcribing the entire 6hrs of a conference. It wouldn’t have been too bad except for a couple of things. Firstly, the speakers were all heavily accented and kept interrupting each other, and secondly the person making the recording was a million miles away from the speaker in a swimming pool telling jokes about the French.

Ahmed, say what?? I can't hear you, the FBI clicking noise is too loud....

Funniest part for the office was watching me plug my earphones into the tower for audio and realize that I couldn’t quite reach the keyboard if my earphones were in. The next 20minutes were spent working out the ergonomical (see only) way to type, see my screen and have audio all at the same time. It started as a yoga exercise and ended with me balancing the tower on a low rolling gurney so that I could do my task.

How I looked tying up the conference recordings...

Another thing happened yesterday that made me realize that although a mild-mannered little oaf, I’m a lot more tolerable than most. I realize some of my posts I swear and yell-type to high heaven but I’m not that bad, really. I’ll tell you why. I went to a meeting with a Chamber of Commerce that will remain unnamed. Three people greeted us and we gave a presentation about what we do, they nodded along and gave encouraging noises, asked good questions and generally were pretty nice. About half way through the meeting in pops their director, who by the way was supposed to head the meeting. He buffalos in and demands that we re-start the entire meeting. Now bear in mind, they were clear that they had an hour and a half slot for us. Now half an hour in to our 40 minute presentation we have to restart. I turned to my colleague who looked like someone had just told her they had repealed sliced bread and we would all have to eat PB&J on potatoes from now on. So I took up the slack and gave a cliff notes version of the presentation so far. Only I got about a minute in and he got up and left.

That’s right, after demanding a re-start he buzzed off. So I continued the previous presentation to the other three, just as I was concluding the guy returns with coffee and a Danish, sits back down and tells me to continue. So again, I stopped what I was presenting and started the cliff notes version again. At this point he whipped out his iphone and spent the rest of the presentation playing on it, I’m guessing Angry Birds but it could have been the bubble bursting one because that is fun too. Now at this point a vein on my neck is starting to try to escape my body for the sole purpose of strangling this guy. Eventually they give us a briefing on their plans for the next year, and tells us they want to work with us. As we are leaving the douchebag with the phone, looks me up and down and says “charmed, next time you and I should have a private meeting”. Remember this guy has been doing screw-all during the entire meeting, and then in front of his subordinates and my colleague decides to flirt in the most obscene manner.

-____-

So I did what I usually do in these situations, I simultaneously turned purple, laughed it off, and swore to destroy that douche in fire, thunder, ice and other Icelandic natural resources.

Too snowy for ya? Here have some bruning steam!!!!! MUahahahaha

The nerve of some people…. Also my hatred of corporations and businesspeople only grows daily, maybe I should just resign myself to a life of corporate assholery.

I don’t think pictures are appropriate for this…

A couple of months ago I wrote about how the bar in my little street was out of control. I’m going to revisit that with some updated info.

I live in a trendy area that bridges boho and young families, and the bar is… well it’s basically where you go if you want to screw someone up against a wall.

Now I’ve lived opposite this bar for about two years now, every Thursday they have half-price drinks, and every Thursday the patrons of the bar get into a massive amount of fights (proportionally speaking). Somehow the amount of fights hasn’t diminished the popularity of the place. The thing is, like every other normal human who isn’t in college (and we are nowhere near a college), I work on Friday mornings. Which means being woken up at 3AM to a chick screaming her lungs out at two guys fighting to the death with broken bottles really messes with my chi and zen and other things that make me calm. Also these fights tend to die down after ten minutes to re-awaken just as I’m getting back to sleep, until the bar closes at 6, and then my alarm goes off at 6.30.

Essentially, they have deprived me of sleep for the last two years every Thursday between the hours of 3 and 6. So let’s get quizzical: 2 years =730days. 730days/7= 104.2Thursdays, 104.2x3hrs of sleep deprivation=312.8. Now that might not seem like a lot split up like that but let’s say 312.8 hours into days=13 days without sleep. Now as the UN is still trying to decided whether sleep deprivation is torture I cannot in my right mind take the bar opposite to the International Criminal Court. BUT having done a brief web-search, Wikipedia informs me that the effects of 11 hours of sleep deprivation are serious cognitive and behavioral changes.

“These included moodiness, problems with concentration and short term memory, paranoia, and hallucinations”.

The experiment was on some poor army boy called Gardner,

“On the fourth day he had a delusion that he was Paul Lowe winning the Rose Bowl, and that a street sign was a person. On the eleventh day, when he was asked to subtract seven repeatedly, starting with 100, he stopped at 65. When asked why he had stopped, he replied that he had forgotten what he was doing.”

Seriously, that is what that bar has done to me over 2 years…. No wonder I’m so incoherent.

On a more serious note the reason that I’m writing about this is because last night there was another fight at 3 AM, I went to my bag and got my ipod out, and slept with the earphones in and the music on, I heard vague noises beyond that, but I drifted in and out of sleep for about an hour. At 4.30ish the club music got super loud and the bass bounced my bed up and down and made my spare change fall off the table, so I got up and had some milk, and read for a while. At 5 someone shut the club door and the street went back to being relatively quiet so I hopped back in to bed and tried to get back to sleep. I could hear people arguing but no actually screeching until about 5.30. Two chicks decided to stand on opposite sides of the street howling at each other and throwing threats. I used to think that girls fighting in the streets were some rare occurrence that guys made up in order to have fantasies about. But it really isn’t, and it is not appealing. Watching two people curse each other to high hell and then gouge at each other with their fake nails is not something anyone aside from the most depraved of psychos enjoys.

So I resigned to the fact I was going to get little sleep and I turned my music back on, though it no longer drowned out the yelling. At 6 I heard an almighty shriek. Followed by silence. Thank Christ, I though, finally someone punched that girl out.

And that is the root of my guilt today. I felt total relief. I thought, I’ll snuggle down and get an hours shut eye before the conference today. But I didn’t sleep. Voices kept me up, blue lights flashed, I went to the window.

Lying in the street was a guy. Paramedics were crouching over him as cops restrained three people, apparently his friends. A swarm of blue milled around until 8AM, the bar was cordoned off, the three friends, one male and two female yelled, and screamed and cried, and sobbed as the police attempted to question them. They spat and tore at the cops with their nails, punched and clawed. The cops continued to ask them questions, attempted to calm them. The paramedics removed the body. And that guy was no longer a guy, just a limp body, lifeless and devoid of anything he was or could have been.

I feel guilty that I didn’t call the cops. Out of habit I try to zone out the noise of fights from that bar. Maybe if I hadn’t that guy would still be a guy, not a lump of meat in some mortician’s morgue. Now he’s another tragic story of wasted youth, a cautionary tale, a statistic, a corpse.

When I left for work this morning the area was cordoned off and the forensics teams had been dispatched, the cops outside my house asked if I’d seen anything, and I told them what I had seen, heard, and what I hadn’t seen.

The cops told me they weren’t surprised, that it was bound to happen one of these days, I mentioned I’d been harassed by people from the bar, nearly mugged, seen fights, heard drunks run in front of traffic. The cop nodded and understated, “it ended badly tonight, at least he died quick, one to the heart, he wouldn’t have felt it for long, not in this cold”.

So that is how my morning went. I’ve tried to give a truthful recounting, and I feel as though I should care more about the dead man, but through the constant aggression emanating from that place, I feel as surprised and as numbed to it as the policeman I spoke to. One dead fool on a drunken night, life goes on. My generation is heartless.

The Vikings are here, and they’ve brought us something to watch

Sweden vs. Britain, hard-boiled only

About 5 years after my Dad recommended a tv show I’m getting round to watching it. Wallander, the BBC version, is as good as the Swedish version. The two beasts aren’t that similar but I feel they both have quite a bit of charm. I watched the original Wallander series in Swedish with subtitles an age ago, I liked it. Unlike the formulaic typical cop shows that I have talked about before, these tend to be a) more in-depth and self-contained and b) a lot better at using character to drive the narrative as opposed to ‘splosions. Not that I have anything against asplosions, but let’s put it this way, I don’t appreciate Michael Bay films.

Pride and Prejudice by Michael Bay, 1,000,000,000 times more C4.

The thing about the BBC Wallander is this: it is well written, interesting, dynamic, tragic, hopeful, but it has one fatal flaw.

KENNETH BRANAGH AIN’T GOT LIPS!!!!!

Great actor/ check- Good dialogue/check- Interesting perms on 80% of cast members: check and double check

THIS is what happens when you give the stylist a new set of curling tongs at the beginning of filming, PERMS FOR EVERYONE.... it looks like the Gene Wilder impersonation society...

Upper lip for Ken: ERROR 404 LIP NOT FOUND

I know it’s no big deal, at first. However after the 2 episode I started to get concerned, is his stubble eating his face? Was there a Royal Shakespeare Company accident in which his upper lip was lost in a fight to the death over the Bard? Good God man, what happened, has it always been so small? I’ve never noticed it before, well time to crack out the Shakespeare and pay attention to everyone’s lips!

or lack of lips. Aw c'mon Branagh, don't give me that look, I watch your films anyway, it's just your face is unbalanced now!

I guess what I’m doing right now is promoting Wallander, and simultaneously insuring that the only thing you remember after watching this great show is that Ken Branagh is missing some face. OH WELL OOPSIE DAISY!

That aside it’s well worth watching, the characters are well fleshed out, even if given little to no screen time. The bleakness of the BBC version is contrasted with the poetic and mostly hope imbued majestic dialogue between Wallander and others.

The Swedish Wallander is a different animal, yes you could call it bleak, but it’ s not that simple, it’s more plain, less self aware. Being the original this makes a lot of sense. The acting is decent although once in a while is a little hammy, but they get away with it, possibly because I was concentrating on the subtitles, possibly because suspension of belief is part and parcel with tv.

Either way go watch one or both of these, and if you feel strong, watch the original series of The Killing (Forbrydelsen) an excellent Danish show, just remember that not everyone gets away with knitwear that cool- you’ll see what I mean.

Detective Lund, upstaged by a pullover, sad but true.

Haggling is not my superpower

I am aware of my limitations. I think of it as a healthy dose of reality in today’s age of braggarts and phonies that if someone says to me “You aren’t smart” I can happily admit that I am not a rocket scientist and that the reason that I tip a lot or not much is because I’m terrible at math, and working out percentages makes my brain cry.

Knowing your limitations is a good thing, for instance I know that I am a good cook. I know I am relatively funny, and I know I am abysmally un-musical. So I can bake you a cake, try to make you laugh, and hurt you with my caterwauling.

" I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. "

This weekend I came face to face with another limitation that I had previously no knowledge about. I haggle incredibly badly. I think the problem is I am at my rudest with people I like and trust. The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” is spot-on in my case. I tell obscene jokes to my 70-year-old father, and we laugh like drains. I say truly soul-crushing things to my best friends because I can get away with it. And when someone jumps in front of me in the check-out queue at the mini-mart, I stay silent, placid and polite.

On the inside however, I look like this, and all I can say is "WARGLBARGLDRRRGHHHH!!!"

That really should have been the clue that I was going to be godawful at haggling. I’m not terribly respectful of people in general; I deem respect as something earned. BUT manners and politeness are the measure of a good person. Not being a dick, is how we distinguish ourselves from the douchebags and skimpyskirtedslut gang. To people I don’t know, I am courteous, thoughtful and generous. It doesn’t mean I like them, it’s just how I was raised.

Let me set the scene. Saturday I spent baking and cooking my little heart out. Just to let you know, I made Brushetta, and cold cuts for starter, roast duck with forest mushrooms and roast potatoes for the main, and red velvet cake for dessert, everyone over-ate, as is my style of cooking.  The dinner itself was pretty good, I made dinner for seven and then got blind drunk and stayed up watching videos of animals in people clothes and Fringe until 5a.m. God knows why, but my drunken self has some weird ideas.

How could this possibly backfire?

Regardless of sleep deprivation my body-clock rang at 9a.m. and I got up feeling like something had died, and was going through a late stage of decomposition inside my skull. Add to this the stabbing pain I was experiencing in my kidneys and liver and you can visualize how my day should have gone. I SHOULD have stayed in bed and recovered. BUT I DIDN’T. I got up and did the washing up of 7 plates and 7 dessert plates, and oodles of cutlery. I cleaned the wine cellars worth of bottles off the tables. And then I made breakfast. After a couple of hours I recalled promising to go to a flea market the night before.

As my flea-marketing buddy had been present at the debauchery fest the night before I sent a message asking whether the plans still held for the day. They did indeed. So I cleaned myself and gathered my shaking, sweating, nauseous bones together and walked the 15 minutes to the agreed meeting point. Never has fresh air done more for a person. By the time I arrived I had stopped sweating, the film of grey had begun to lift from my eyes, and my kidneys had stopped throbbing inside my body, although my liver was still doing a square dance for no apparent reason.

Everybody switch seats with the person two seats to your left.

We met up and walked down to the flea market, the goal was champagne flutes and a tiered cake plate (because we are bourgeois pigs, comrade).

We found some crystal champagne flutes from 2000, and I asked the guy how much. Totally deadpan he says ’20 bucks’. I stared at him and my mouth opened. I stared some more, and just said, “you are kidding right? Two glasses 20 bucks? That’s 10 a glass, haven’t you heard of IKEA?” Admittedly that was probably a stupid choice of argument. He said ‘You don’t like it go somewhere else”. I looked at my friend, and she stared at me like I was losing. “Damn” I thought, “I’m hungover, I don’t care about these glasses, but now I HAVE to fight”. SO I started saying things like “I’m not rich, how the hell can I afford something at that price, give me your best offer”. The guy stared at me and then said something that hadn’t anticipated, or even though of “Why the hell do you need champagne glasses if you’re so poor?” I stared at my feet, they avoided my eyes, eventually I looked said “ Crystal or not, you won’t get more than 10 bucks for both, and that’s my last deal”. He agreed and handed them over. The next guy who had three matching champagne glasses made circa 1990, with the color paint flaking off, and the glass worn from cleaning. Refuse to budge from his price, at all. I asked him, haggled, haggled, and eventually he just said buy them or go away. My friend bought them. We overpaid everything and the thing is I knew we were, but I was unable to avoid it. I just can’t haggle.

Well that totally blows my next move out the water.

Does anyone have any tips? I feel like this skill would be worth knowing, or at least worth knowing the theory of, even if I’m incapable of following through.

“People are becoming better and better at less and less, soon they shall be superb at nothing”

Let’s be honest shall we? Everyone hates someone sometime. I hate lots of people lots of the time, I’m just one of life’s whingers. I know this, I’ve come to terms with it, and I have moved on as much as a whinger can. BUT one particular person is causing me to want to punch them a little more in the face with every passing day.

Eventually my fist will come for your face.

Before I go into the face-punch-urge inducer, a quick side note about the title, I cribbed it from Kenneth Williams. It does however accurately reflect my feeling on pretty much every profession though, so HA! Back to the main event.

Yesterday K2 told me that this Friday I would be making a presentation about our company to our 3 heads of staff. Bearing in mind, she wants this to be a half hour-long presentation with PowerPoint. Now to give a small frame of reference, I am responsible for every query which passes through the floodgates of the e-mail system. I’m currently doing a deep in-depth piece of research for a company that wants to import rugs from here (the reasons for which I cannot comprehend, as far as I know this country has no rug making history that I am aware of). Which makes my job tricky, because I get to be the chick who calls up saying “Hi, so do you make your own rugs or are you just the vendor, I really need a rug-maker, tell me your sources!” Believe it or not, the amount of rug munching jokes doesn’t get funnier the more you hear it, nor do the chat-up lines that go “you sound sexy, I know you’re looking for rugs but how about a date?’. To the man who asked me this, is it that your mother hugged you too much or not enough?

"It's true!!! I treat women badly due to my typically tragic childhood, how did you know??"

Yeah so my week is joyously filled with wall-to-wall carpet info. As well as the 2 conferences I’m organizing. Heaven’s to Betsy, forgot to mention that while organizing these two conferences my boss also wanted me to work out who was cheapest. So I called around every hotel, conference hall, auditorium, theatre and social club which would meet the needs of our company (of which there are many). And discovered about 4 places cheaper than the current one we use. Having compiled all this information, such as prices per head for menus, coffee breaks, DVDs of events, lighting, sound systems, translation, rental of equipment, food menu requirements, pricing, location, parking, contact people, and all the other stuff that goes along with it, I imputed it all in an easy to read, easy to access excel sheet (I think I’ve made my disdain of excel known). To which my boss promptly ignored the best options and went with the same place the company has gone to for 10 years. No I do not feel I wasted all my time, just every moment after the initial input of the first company.

The justification I'm given for doing about 60% of my work

I’m also having to learn a lot about import laws. Also some light intellectual property laws, despite saying several times that this company should just contact an attorney, not us.

The worst bit about this Friday presentation? I get writers block every time I try to type up anything I want to say about our company. Looks like it will be a college style presentation, last minute, thrown together, I mumble through it while turning the color of a fire truck.

It is while I am this particular shade of scarlet that I usually pick up kittens, chomp on stogies, and save the world from hell beasts from another dimension