Thursday, November 25, 2004


Business trips are not what they're cracked up to be. Below is a rant about what happened to me over the weekend. But first, an observation about me.

I have a theory about nice people. Nice people are people who are nice to people they don't like, and people they don't know. They are nice to people because that is what is the right thing to do. People who are not nice to people they don't know or like, are not nice people. I like to think I belong in the earlier group, but I am acutely aware that I very easily fall into the latter. Last week I was not a nice person.

I don't cope very well in adversity. Last week I was very stressed about the work I had to do. Unfortunately I started snapping at people. Including my friends. Anyway, on with the story.

Friday. My colleague Idris started moving things around my desk for gentle amusement. My response was to tell him quite vehemently to 'Fuck off, I'm not in the fucking mood for this, now put the bloody thing back and piss off.' Idris stopped and made some snarky comment and wandered off. Idris is one of the more fun people to work with so my response was totally out of order. Arrived at heathrow at 2.30 for a 5.55 departure. A little early. Don't like being late. Hate being late. Unlike BA. Sent Idris a text message and apologised. Plane left HR at 9.00pm. Managed to forget my pin for my phone. Tried three times and locked it. The less said the better. Wanted to get a phone number off it for my cousin who was meeting. effectively goosed. tried to use the time wisely by finishing the research for my paper. Battery life was 30 minutes. tried to get into BA lounge to work. they said no and gave me a £4 light refreshment voucher. this got me a pint of stellar and a packet of crisps. Got to Amsterdam at 11.30pm their time. had to walk up four flights of narrow steps with a display case the size and weight and ease of carrying of an office cubicle divider. Great start.

Saturday woke up with a health issue, which I won't be going into but thank the good lord (and some people who didn't pray, thanks, I appreciated it and you know who you are. It's an in- joke) it went away. Still had my research to do and no way of getting in contact with my cousin. So went to some amsterdam cafes (no, not those kind) and drank beer and looked at canals. Eventually managed to get my cousions number and then went to a music shop and bought an album by the Frausdots. Who aren't dutch but from LA. And here. Then did what I always do when in a foreign place for work. HAd dinner by myself. Began to feel a lot less depressed about it all and then finished my research. Slept well.

Sunday, had lunch with my cousin and wandered amsterdam with her some more. Went to Delft. Found out my hotel was only booked for one night. was remarkably philosophical about this. Found a new hotel. A better one. Ate with colleagues for a change and flirted with a waitress. fell in love with Holland. Again.

MOnday. Phone now unblocked. Got a text from Idris where I am called a grumpy numpty. Got bored silly at the conference hearing about research from people who have or a doing phds in all sorts of infinitely higher mathes than I will ever comprehend. Decided that I was ok with this as at least I have a life. Went to dinner with the rest of them and talked to some folk from Manchester, Delft and Bristol. wandered the streets and canals of Delft and shared what I could see with Justice, Meredith and Wendy. Had a great time telling them what I was looking at. there are no ugly dutch cities that I've found. Actually, there are no cities with less than stunning city centres. remain in love with Holland.

Tuesday. Start to full my trousers as I wait for my paper. Which is the last one in the conference. flirt some more. give paper and deflect awkward questions to my senior author. down beer and then run for train. then 'run' with above display stand down several platforms to catch connecting trains. Actually, run down one platform and then discover that the train was simply on the other side of the one I got off, so 'run' back up the platform. Sweat. Sweat profusely. Finish sweating and then start again. fly back on time and arrive in Oxford. Still love holland. But feel like I had an affair with it behind oxford's back. Decide to forgive BA.

If i ever see the display stand again I'll run it over.

No comments: