jump to navigation

Minutes of meeting. 7/2/2007

I hold my Department meeting every Monday morning.  3 managers, 1 assistant manager, 3 consultants, and my secretary.  The time limit I impose on this meeting is 30 minutes, no more.  Anything more than that in a meeting is a waste of time, in my opinion.

This morning, I queried the table about some submission drawings that were not in my department’s records.  I had earlier sent out a letter making an official request for the many missing drawings, and that all the consultants were supposed to submit the drawings immediately.

Today’s meeting managed to piss me off and make me do my “House” impression.

Consultants : Mr Snark, we have already submitted our drawings to your predecessor.

The Snark : What do you mean, submitted?  There are no drawings in my department.

Consultants : Maybe you better check with your D&C section head.

D&C : We don’t have the drawings.

Consultants : We gave you the drawings.

D&C : We never got the drawings.

Consultants : We sent you the drawings.

The Snark : (shouts) Gentlemen.  I have D&C saying we don’t have the drawings, and you Consultants are saying you sent them over.  But I have no drawings in my office.  Are you trying to tell me that I have a giant fucking rat in my office running around eating drawings?

D&C : (laughs) (laughter quickly dies when he realises he’s laughing alone and no one else around the table is laughing with him).

A silence descends around the table…

The Snark’s secretary : Boss?

The Snark : Yes?

The Snark’s secretary : Do you want me to put the word “fucking” into the minutes of meeting?

“This is the Police” 6/1/2007

“Mr. Snark, here are the keys to the apartment building you wanted to inspect.”

“Thanks KK.”

“By the way Mr. Snark, just to let you know, we leave the doors of the untenanted units open.”

“What do you mean, open?”

‘Yes, open.  We lock the outer grille doors, but we keep the wooden inner doors open.”

“Whatever for?  Doesn’t that mean anyone walking along the outside corridor can see into the empty units?”

“Yes, it’s better that way.”

“Better?  How?  KK, you are not making sense.”

“Yes, because the Vice Squad raids the apartment block regularly, and they keep kicking in the doors of the locked units, even if they are untenanted.  The maintenance guys got fed up of replacing the doors, so now we keep the doors open.”

The Snark’s Management Tip #3,719. 5/15/2007

Never park in the reserved parking space of the guy who:

1. Heads your department.

2. Does your yearly performance review.

3. Has the authority to transfer you to Siberia.

RC is about to find out that the Snark has no sense of humour when he comes barrelling into the basement carpark in the morning to find his reserved parking space occupied by her car.

Depth of perception. 3/3/2007

Last night, I had to attend a business dinner.  The venue was a ritzy hotel in the middle of the city, in the Japanese restaurant.  Dinner was supposed to be at 8, and by the time I shut down at work after a full day of meetings and negotiations, rushed home, had a shit, shower and shave, it was already 7:30.  This meant that driving the truck into the city was out the question, since the traffic was still horrendous after the afternoon’s rain.  I got on the bike, and rolled quickly into the city.

I drew up into the driveway of this hotel, and pulled to a stop in front of the main entrance.  I flipped up the visor, and looked for the doorman, or someone, to ask where I could park the bike.  I sighted a doorman standing just inside the glass doors of the entrance, and I motioned him over.  He looked at me, and very reluctantly came over.  I asked him where I could park my bike, and he had a look on his face that suggested that I was the equivalent of something unpleasant that he might have found stuck to the underside of his shoe.

I repeated my question, and he finally deigned to answer me.  He hold out a hand, and said that I could park my bike in the motorcycle parking around the back of the hotel.  I gave him a stare, recording his face for future reference.  He was quite obviously thinking that anyone who rode a motorcycle couldn’t afford to be a guest in that hotel.  Or that guests in that particular hotel were not the kind to descend to being anything as low class as bikers.

I rode round the back, and located the bike park.  I muttered a heartfelt “fuck you very much” for the place where the so-called motorcycle park was located.  By the side of the hotel’s building access road, like an afterthought.  It was a long, long row of motorcycles parked by the side of the road, perpendicular to the road direction.  I looked at all these little scooters and step-throughs, and realised my bike wasn’t going to fit in any of the spaces.  It was definitely going to stick out into the road.  I shrugged my shoulders, and parked the bike anyway, hoping that some drunken idiot wouldn’t come too fast down the access road and side swipe the rear of the bike.

After dinner (which was rather quite enjoyable, and much laughter and merriment was had, because contracts were on the verge of being signed), I went down to the lobby of the hotel.  I was wearing all my riding gear, and was holding the Skull helmet in my hand.  I walked past the doorman.  Who didn’t hold open the door for me, although he did so for 2 of my colleagues who were walking a little ahead of me.  This doorman was beginning to piss me off.  First was that he had formed an impression of me that wasn’t flattering, based on the vehicle I pulled into the driveway on.  The second was not holding the door open for me because I was a local, and my colleagues were expatriates.

I walked out of the hotel, and went off about my business for the rest of the night.  I thought no more about it.  Until the next morning.  I had made plans to meet up with the business guests who were visiting us in the morning, so that we could procure some local food items for one of their wives, and make a visit to a facility located outside the city.  And I suddenly realised, as I was going down in the lift at home, what was different about today.  I wasn’t riding in, neither was I driving the truck.

This next morning, I rolled into the driveway of the same hotel, sitting in the back of a long, sleek, black Mercedes with blacked out windows.  As the driver pulled the car round the driveway, I smiled as I saw the same doorman from last night come rushing out of the doors, and grabbing the handle of the car’s door.  He pulled the door open, stood up straight, and uttered a “Good Morning Sir!”, with a smile on his face.

I got out of the car, glanced at his name tag, looked him straight in the eyes, and replied, “Good morning, Doorman.  Do you remember me?”  He frowned for a second, trying to recollect who I might be of the many people he might meet in a day, and I savoured the look of shock on his face as he recognised me as the biker he had treated rather shabbily the night before.

Vehicular Discrimination. 1/30/2007

I was in a management meeting this afternoon.  The usual type of meeting.  You know how it is.  Everyone was there, and when the M.D. asked for feedback on other issues, one of my colleagues raised her voice, and asked about parking.  One of the perks I am given is reserved parking in the building, in the multi storey car park, paid for by the company.  Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of spaces allotted to the office, and everyone else has to park their cars in the public car park in the basement.  Although my colleague’s parking fees were also paid by the company, she was obviously angling for a parking space on the upper floors, which are better, parking wise, and you don’t have to fight for a space if you come in a little later.

I was sipping my coffee idly, and staring at someone’s office building through the window, when the M.D. asked me about my parking space.  I turned to him and asked “what about it?”  He asked me if I was using the reserved parking space, and I had to say no, since I ride a motorcycle to work most days, except for the time when I couldn’t ride due to the fractured foot.  I knew what he was going to get at, and his next words confirmed it.

He asked if I would give the space up.  I told him to drop dead, and said I rode a motorcycle by choice. I pay the parking fee for the motorcycle out of my own pocket.  He then offered to pay the motorcycle parking fee for me, and I said no, because it was a third cheaper.  I said if everyone else who wanted a reserved parking space could also ride a bike, and they would get a chance to park on the second floor of the multi storey car park, which was reserved for motorcycles that paid their fees monthly.  I then asked if the company was discriminating against me because I rode a motorcycle, and didn’t use the parking space.

I pointed out that the space was a perk extended to me by the company, and just because I chose to ride to work, instead of spending 3 hours a day stuck in traffic like an idiot, that wasn’t a reason for them to take it away from me.  I then said that if they really wanted me to give it up, could they please put it in writing, and I could then sue them for constructive dismissal.

The M.D. went quiet at this, said nothing, and moved on to the next item in the agenda.  And after the meeting, turned to me, and said that I could have the last unoccupied office, located in the corner.

Donkey balls. 12/14/2006

This place sucks.  Big time.

They’d have to pay me a lot of money to think about coming out here long term.

Panzers. 11/21/2006

I have had many ways of travelling to work across the course of my career. Most usually by motorcycle, or sedans of some sort, but sometimes, helicopters, or Land Rovers. For a certain short time, hover craft. Or planes, way too many of them. Never by bicycle though, for some funny reason. Trains featured as well. Walking in loaded for bear, definitely. But my first choice, where ever and when ever possible, has been a motorcycle.

But I guess I’ve reached a certain stage in my career where sometimes, people assume that I take certain luxuries for granted. I am now moving into a phase in the tower, where travelling is again consuming a large amount of my time. Maybe not as much as someone, but for a person like me, where I’m used to having to arrange much of my ground logistics myself, i.e. grabbing a taxi from the airport, I’m beginning to more and more enjoy the luxury accorded by my status in this particular area of the game I play.

So, yesterday morning, just before an extremely important meeting, with an extremely, extremely important man, I walked out of his office, to have a roll-up. I walked out on the driveway, and stood by the side, smoking. I saw the drivers standing on the other side of the driving, smiling at me and nodding their heads in greeting. One or two even gave me a salute.

Now, there was a time, in my youth, when I took salutes for granted, and gave them equally quickly to superiors. And now, in a very strange twist of events, I am near the top of my game. High enough to get nosebleed, or pulmonary edema. I don’t have to salute anyone anymore. I think the number of people I’m required to bow my head to can be measured on the fingers of 2 hands. I am very aware it’s a long way down, from where I’m standing. Easy enough to fuck up my entire career, and find myself sliding down a very slippery pole. So I tend to practise a certain amount of humility, especially when dealing with those who are in the service industries. Politeness never hurt anyone.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Whenever I visit this place, I am accorded a significant status promotion. Strokes my ego, certainly. Not because I’m rich. Or because of power. They want what is inside my head. And thus, I am given a lot of respect and deference by everyone around me. I am sometimes a little uncomfortable with this. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with having servants, and maids, and my dad still has a chaffeur. But as I got older, and certainly when I started working overseas, a lot of privilege that I grew up with I learned to do without. Well, I started doing without when I moved out of the house at 17, but that’s another story for another time.

But, standing there having a smoke, I saw this…

A group of Panzers, as I like refering to them. No big deal you say? Mercedes all over the bloody place, in the driveway of any hotel? I doubt if you’d see this. All four Panzers above are the V-12 600s. I can just imagine all my biker brothers cringing right about now. But I have never so many of these top of the line S class Mercs in one driveway. What you don’t see is the parking lot to the left, and the rest of the driveway. Filled with these things. All V-12s. About maybe 40 of them.

I guess you would have gathered by now that this was a very important meeting. I’m going to give myself an ego boost and let you know I was sitting by the left hand of the head of the table. And when he heard something from further down the table, he would sometimes turn to me, and look for either a nod, or a shake of the head, from me.

And after the meetings, and the discussions, and a specific order from another even more important man, where he looked me in the eyes, shook my hand, and gave me a choice between playing polo or golf with him, I have suddenly found myself being given a large amount of responsibility by the MD. And no, this wasn’t because I fucking saved his life and his sorry arse the night before.

Anyway, in the picture above, just outside the entrance of the building, the Panzer with the flag belongs to the extremely important man. The one on the far left belongs to someone a little less important. The one in the middle is mine. As in, “Mr. Snark, we’ve assigned this vehicle and a driver to you permanently.”

| older posts »