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Bloody mess. 11/30/2004

A lifetime ago, a group of us were riding in southern Thailand, running up the road towards Phuket. I was leading the group, barrelling down the road at well over 200 km/h, with my head tucked under the bubble, when I saw a chicken cross the road. Why did the chicken cross the road? I have no idea. But I had a choice of trying to avoid the chicken, and placing myself and my motorcycle in a dangerous position on the wrong side of the road, or hitting the chicken, making it an ex-chicken.

I was still tucked under the bubble, when I heard the chicken hit the front wheel with a ‘thump!’. There was an instantaneous burst of feathers, and I lifted my head to see over the debris. And a split second later my visor went blood red…with blood. I now had chicken blood streaming over my visor, at a speed well over the ton. I was effectively riding blind.

I resisted the tempation to slam on the anchors, and shed my speed gradually. I flipped the visor up when the worst of the blood had dissipated in the slipstream, and came to a halt. I flipped the side stand down, and got off the bike, with blood all over my front, shoulders and helmet. I looked like I’d run into an abattoir. My mates pulled up behind me, having seen the whole incident, and I took my helmet off and flipped everyone the middle finger, warning them that there were to be no chicken crossing the road jokes.

I sat by the side of the road, cleaning up the visor as best I could, and one of my friends looked under the front of the bike, behind the front wheel, and pulled out a slightly mangled chicken, looking the worse for wear after an encounter with a Michelin Pilot Sport at high speed. And he held this dead chicken in his hand and asked, “We having chicken curry tonight?”

The Dark Side Part II. 11/22/2004

In response to reader’s requests, I’m posting the picture of the shop where I had the opportunity to be discriminated against last week.

And if the owner of the shop ever happens to read this, get fucked, because the picture of the front of your shop is public domain.

Secrets Part II. 11/19/2004

Just got an SMS asking certain site staff to attend a meeting at 1630 hours. Looks like the shit is going to hit the fan. Or something. Or we’re going to be told off. Or something. Lies, half-truths and insinuations. Someone heard something from someone who heard something else who was told something by someone else. That’s probably what happened. And the final distilled version when it reached the ears at the top was something else all together. Like a game of fucking chinese whispers.

Secrets.

The Project Director just called me, and told me that he had just come out of a meeting in HQ, and was told that one of the 3 of us on secondment had blabbed about an upcoming project and that news had reached the M.D. Who was now very upset.

I reacted badly to this. If there is one thing I know how to do in the corporate world, is to keep a secret. Yes, it’s a prestigious project. Yes, it’s big money. Yes, everyone wants to get involved. But the only other people whom I’ve told about it … well … one sleeps with me on a daily basis, and the other has absolutely no concern in this industry at all, and is located in another country in a different hemisphere, to boot.

If someone is trying to smear my name, I’m going to go on a hunting expedition.

The Dark Side. 11/18/2004

I had a rather unfortunate experience over the weekend. I walked into a random store near where I live, intending to purchase a bottle of carbonated beverage to go with lunch. I was standing at the counter, waiting to pay for my purchase, and I was totally ignored by the young Chinese lad behind the counter.

Who instead went on to serve to Chinese ladies who had obviously come to the counter after me.

I wondered why, and realised it might have been because of the colour of my skin. Damned shame, because sometime this evening, I’m going to drive by and take a picture of the shop, and perhaps post it up in here.

Emergency.

We had a mild flap over the weekend where I lived. Someone in the other tower block reported smoke, and informed security. Security called emergency services and they responded in short order.

The firemen performed a floor by floor search, but could find nothing out of the ordinary, including any signs of a fire. I was down in the parking, being a typical nosey parker, taking pictures of things and people with my camera, when I asked one of the firemen, “Is anyone cooking?” They looked at each other for a moment, and then started knocking on doors to see if anyone had left something on the stove.

And sure enough, in one of the units, a blackened oven was found, with the remnants of the Sunday dinner stuck to the sides.

‘Er…’

I seem to find myself at more and more of an impasse these days.

Work has suddenly become all consuming, but I find myself rapidly losing even a sembelance of interest in the project. I was given a 2 month extension, on time, half of which is going to be consumed by the company’s requirement that I utilise my annual leave, or lose it. No big deal you say? Well, I have 23 days of annual leave left. And there’s no way in hell I can finish it, unless I disappear for the entire month of December, which isn’t going to happen.

Hence the impasse. I have work to do, and a project to finish, but I also need to take a vacation, something I haven’t had since 1999, and finish off the leave. The company doesn’t allow more than 3 days to be carried over, and there is no mechanism for the leave to be compensated with cash. I had this same problem last year, except that it only involved 13 days. So the M.D. who treats everyone like employees said, just carry it all over. Which compounds my problem. Because I will now have 55 days of leave to finish in 2005.

I suggested selling my leave to the other colleagues in the project who have finished their allocation, but the lack of laughs around the meeting table suggested that this wasn’t a solution.

So I have reached my ‘er…’ point.

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