that was the weekend that was (part 1)

30 January, 2006

If I was recovering from this weeknd in Yuendamu, I would probably lean back on a chair, and exclaim, ‘yakara!”

But I’m not. I’m in Melbourne. I’m at work. So I say other words, that a re best left unsaid.

Let’s just have a look at what my weekend entailed, and you tell me the best words to exclaim…..

We’ll start it a little early, on Thrusday. It’s a Public Holiday, and it’s HOT, which means we truck off to my folks’ house for a bit of cool, calm relaxation (and cricket). While we’re there, I get paged. Luckily, it’s not too bad, just a silly clerical error that’s messed up a few things. Easily fixed by dialling in and manually fixing. Except that my folk’s house and my work’s XP laptop don’t like each other, and I am stuck with a 14.4k connection. It’s like 1992 again. Other than that, Thursday is fine. And HOT, did I mention that it was hot?

Friday. All goes as expected. It’s a little wetter than anticipated, but that’s what car’s have headlights for, right? Right? Well no, actually. Cars have headlights so that Idiots (with a capital ‘I’) like me can leave them on all day, and run our batteries flat. Cars also have electronic fuel injection, so that you can’t roll start them when the battery has gone the way of the Dodo. It’s also perintent to point out that at this very moment, it starts raining again, and that this is the one day of the week that I have organised to pick up my darling wife from the train station – an engagement that I am now sure to miss. So, with the rain gently sprinkling my shoulders, I call our security department, just so that they can tell me they are no longer allowed to jump-start cars – on management’s orders (Ask me how much I love management). Luckily, my good wife was smart enough to renew our RACV roadside assistance two weeks ago. So I fire up my work’s mobile phone to call…. After 25minutes of waiting on hold, I spy the marvel of a yellow RACV van entering the work car-park, here to help some other sorry capital ‘I’ dill. I wander over for a brief chat, and the absolutely charming man behind the yellow wheel says he’d love to help, all I have to do is let head office know he’s here and get them to dispatch the job to him when (and if) I come off hold. Of course, it’s never that simple. 5 minutes later I get to speak to an operator, who informs me that he can’t allocate a job to a specific driver, it just doesn’t work that way. I hold my tongue, keeping my ‘I’m the bloody customer!’ rant to myself, and politely inform the operator that the driver has already offered to help. Another ten minutes on hold , and then, lo and behold, I am the customer, and I am right, and the lovely man in the yellow van has started my car.

As I drive out of the carpark, my pager wobbles and beeps at me, oh joy. I’m less than a hundred metres from my work, going to have my wife stranded at Bosnia Station for half an hour in the rain, and now something, somewhere, is broken. Luckily, the problem is at a satellite lab, so I don’t need to turn around. I tell them I’m in traffic, and I’ll check it when I get home. Two minutes later, my wife’s on the phone: the train’s are stuffed, she’s stranded at a different (but stil Lowest Common Denominator) station, and I’m forty minutes away. Oh, and she’s used the last of her coin to call me.

Eventually, she gets a lift home with her aging father, I get pizza, and the problem at our satellite lab has cleared up by the time I call them back (it was just the line-of-sight microwave connection being spooked by the bad weather).

And that was Friday….. There’s still 2 days to go….


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