You Can’t Choose Who You Work With

Work colleague is not the greatest communicator I’ve ever met. There are a number of things he just didn’t mention this week that he should have, and he has this habit of asking you a question completely out of context. For example, you’re sitting quietly working away, and he’ll suddenly mumble something out of the blue like “what’s different about the script?” or “does it return zero?” with no prior conversation frame to give you any idea what he might be talking about. Then when you hesitate over the answer, ’cause quite frankly he might as well have spoken to you in Chinese, he looks mildly irritated and says “don’t worry about it.”

This morning I called him at 7.30am, as that was the time we agreed last night that we would leave to get him to the airport for his 9am flight. He answers the phone and tells me his flight has changed to 10.50am and he has just woken up and needs a shower etc.

I’ve already packed my bags in the car, and my hotel room is empty of my stuff, so I say OK and sit down to watch some Batman on the telly until he’s ready for breakfast. At breakfast it turns out he sent me an email at midnight telling me of the flight time change, which apparently he had known about since Monday.

At 9.30am we’re finished at the hotel, we get in the car and I start driving. “So, are we going to the airport now?” he asks. I tell him yes, what else did he think we were going to do? “My flight isn’t until 11.50am” he says. That’s an hour later than he said earlier.

“You said it was at 10.50,” I say slowly. “I mispoke,” he tells me. He says he supposes he can just go to the airport and read, but he thinks airports are noisy and distracting and not very good for reading. I stop the car and we look at the map. I ask him where he wants to go instead. He says the airport is fine. I restart the car.

Why didn’t he tell me earlier in the week that his flight had been changed, then I could have got some more sleep instead of getting up at 6.30am on the same day that I have to spend all night on a flight back to the UK? Or why didn’t he say in the morning lets leave early and do something, ’cause my flight is not until much later? Why wait around, eat a leisurely breakfast, and then be put out that you’re going to have to kill 2 hours at the airport because you can’t manage to COMMUNICATE what on earth your own travel arrangements are?

Sigh. And he MUMBLES. Why do people mumble? For gods sake if you’ve got something to say, say it clearly. I can’t tell you how many times this week I’ve had to say “pardon?” or “sorry, what exactly do you mean by <insert random out-of-context question>?”

But enough of that.

I’ve spent a cool day on my own today in Seattle, visiting the Space Needle, seeing more of Pikes Place Market (we saw it on Friday too), seeing some random live bands on an outdoor stage, browsing lovely 2nd hand bookstores and visting the Pacific Science Center.

The PSC had a great insect exhibition, including a tropical butterfly house. I got to see a real, live, giant african millipede. Amazing.

And they had naked mole rats!! These are the funniest, most adorably ugly little things I’ve ever seen. I had a PG Tips card of one when I was young, and this is the first time I have ever seen a real one. No pics of them unfortuntately as it was too dark and they were behind glass (glass + flash = no photo)

And… I got to hold a Madagascan Hissing Cockroach.

Madagascan Hissing Cockroach

He had sticky legs (they have little barbs on them), that I could feel pulling on the skin on my palm. The picture shows him with his handler (obviously I couldn’t hold him and take a photo). Isn’t he great?!

I’ve got lots more pics to upload from today, but overall I’m not overly enamoured of Seattle. It’s got so many homeless and drunk people, and it smells in places. I suppose it’s a bit like Venice (although Venice didn’t smell when I visited) and it’s nowhere near as nice as San Francisco. Well, I’m off to get on the plane soon. Hopefully I won’t be too much of a fidget-bum and the 9 hour flight will be bearable. At least I can have some free wine now I’ve finished my antibiotics 🙂


Apologies for yesterday’s clueless post. I was so knackered when I got back to the hotel, it made sense to me, but in the light of day I can see it’s really a bit too random. Microsoft gave out some gifts yesterday (groovy USB light for starters!), and we also had a trip to the Microsoft shop, where I unleashed my credit card and purchased some software, a T-shirt and some gifts for folks back home.

We’re now finished for the week and it’s about 3pm on Friday afternoon, so I have about 24 hours to play with before I return home. Work colleague and I are going to head off into Seattle for a bit now.

Seattle Life

This is one of those entries that I’d like to write more on, but restrictions on what you can say about your working life (if you want to remain employed), mean that I have to be careful. So, what can I tell you today?

For a start, here’s my hotel room, nothing too provocative there.

hotel room

And here’s the inspiring view from the balcony:

hotel balcony

It looks vaguely like a dodgy motel from the outside, but inside, this place is actually very, very nice (apart from the corridors, which need a bit of a re-decoration). And it has free Wi-Fi, which you can’t turn your nose up at.

I’m here for a software event, and I am here with a colleague from the San Jose office. The people I’ve met today all seem very nice, and it’s very encouraging to see several women here. We also get breakfast, lunch AND dinner included at the centre, plus free snacks and drinks. Very groovy.

I can’t really tell you any more than that. I want to though! There are lots of opinions I would like to share this evening… but I am afraid. You see, people really do lose their jobs by writing things like “The 10 most annoying things about the woman in marketing.”

Before you think anything, I don’t even know anyone in marketing.

I’m really very, very tired though. I have now missed two days of training because of the travelling and the fact that I am just exhausted. Zzzz.

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