dog poop pitchers
British D-list celebrities
bad ass shock collar
So I sent my UK bosses an e-mail yesterday telling them I want time off for good behavior. In other words, I didn't take a trip home for my time here, so I should get to leave a week early.
Crickets. Leaves rustling. Eerie silence. No reply.
This mystifies me because I have been bored out of my skull and they haven't been thrilled with me, either. So why would they want me to stay longer?
(Every time I use the word "mystify" I think of Puddin', my very favorite most handsomest pretend gay boyfriend [actually gay, I pretend he's my boyfriend], who tells this tale of his grandmother: She used to spend entire weekends drinking Canadian Mist, and the kids would all say, "Grandma's getting Mist-ified." HA!)
Back to the topic at hand -- it's not that I'm lazy or incompetent, the problem seems to stem from a) very poor definition of the job, b) very poor timing of the project, c) very poor planning on their part, and d) no management skills at all. For example, they are forming partnerships with two other entities to produce the product I was brought here to develop. I've been here for four months, and there are still no signed agreements in place with these entities. It makes it hard to continue onward when any false step might queer the whole deal. It also makes it hard not to make a false step when these partners want to do crack-headed things like not measure readabilities of stories. Would you ever publish something that children (you know, they're our future -- treat them well unless they deserve a caning) are supposed to READ but refuse to measure whether or not it's TOO HARD for those children to read? Fuuuck. But I can't say the reasonable thing ("Umm, are you crazy, or are you stupid? Because I don't see many other possibilities. Pick one.").
Another example: I was supposed to go out of the office and visit rural areas, but they wouldn't/couldn't furnish me with a car because I wouldn't be covered by the company insurance. So I'm not sure if they expected me to take the bus, or walk, or what. This might sound very prima donna-esque (as long as it doesn't sound pre-Madonna-esque, I'm OK with that) but it really was just going too far, what with expecting me to live in a hostel with a pay phone, etc.
Anyhoo. I don't know. I don't like to fail. At all.
More details of Ireland:
So we spent one whole day being all touristy and shit, which was really quite fun except for the fact that I had a ginormous hangover (or food poisoning). We started with Dublin's two cathedrals, which we had both assumed were Catholic, but which weren't (Church of Ireland, which is sort of Episcopalian as I understand it, which I may not).
First, I believe, was Saint Patrick's which is the final resting place of Jonathan Swift and also held a wood carving of Strongbow, which led the Greggers to give me a tour in the voice of Strongbad. Giggling in church. So we took our time, looking at all of the plaques and reading the placards at the exhibits, which really annoyed the tourists who were there to walk past those things as quickly as possible, stopping only to take comical photos with religious relics. We discovered that there is a particular breed of tourist who is only happy when he/she is standing two inches behind you, shifting impatiently from foot to foot while you read and sighing on your neck. We picked some of these up at St. Pat's, then they followed us the 3 blocks up to Christ Church and sidled up to us there for a while. Christ Church has a big crypt which holds bodies as well as a lot of bling bling. Because it's stone and underground, sound really bounces around down there. That's why people who have screaming children should not take them down there and should instead take them outside and beat them. Ignoring a screaming child may be a viable tactic in some circumstances, but for fuck's sake, not in a stone basement where people are trying to look at the crunk chalice and watch a movie about the cathedral.
The rest of the day is a bit confusing (due to the hangover/food poisoning) but I believe we went to Dublin Castle where people walked right in front of Greg as he held his camera in front of his eye. And they stopped. Because they wanted to be in our pictures.
On to the Guinness Brewery "tour." The Greggers and I have been on many a brewery tour -- I mean, I'm from Wisconsin. So we expected, you know, a tour where we'd see how they make the Guinness. Because that's what a tour does.
Not at Guinness! Nope, they instead "treat" you to a multimedia exhibit that looks like a marketing MBA's kick-ass final project, but bears zero resemblance to a tour. We watched movies about Mr. Guinness and watched movies in the bottom of casks about the coopers and their wacky nicknames (like Fatty). We read about brewing and looked at hops and barley and re-creations of the machinery. But we didn't actually go anywhere near the brewing. We paid a lot of money to watch a two-hour commercial. A lot of money.
One of the little film-ettes that you see is just a bit too artsy (not enough fartsy, in my opinion), and it consisted of single words [INTEGRITY] projected in a room (all four walls at once), followed by disjointed photographic images and accompanied by Enya-sounding muzak. The rest of the "tour" Greg kept coming up behind me and whispering "Obsession" and making me guffaw.
So when you pay your admission to the commercial, they give you a piece of plastic with cough syrup suspended in it and tell you that this entitles you to a "complimentary" glass of Guinness at one of the bars. The bar on the 7th floor does have a magnificent view of Dublin, but I was too queasy to drink my "complimentary" serving anyway. So I just kept the glass. Seemed fair since I'd paid a LOT of money to see a really long COMMERCIAL.
The tour of Jameson's Distillery (not the same day) was similar but not as bad and you got whiskey at the end. One of the sidlers was there (she seemed to have followed us from the Dublin Writer's Museum) and kept pushing to the front of the group. At some point she demanded to know why "bourbon" was called "bourbon." The guide looked at her like she was stupid, which was a very appropriate response.
Then we went to the Jameson's Shoppe and Greg bought a butt-load of Irish Whiskey. He didn't drink ALL of it before he left, but it wasn't due to a lack of trying.