Maintaining Order : Weekend Coffee Share

This week I’ve been in Holland.  Regular readers will have known that.  It seemed a stressful week not because it was hard in itself, but that it was hard to keep things in order, if that makes sense?! That was a theme of the week.

I should have known before the trip started that it would pan out this way.  I didn’t want to go because the trip had no point (in my eyes).  It was “facetime” and I don’t really buy in to that in this circumstance.  Not only did I not want to go, but at the time of booking I had neither a company credit card nor a passport.  The guy I was going with didn’t even have a personal credit card either, so I had to book his travel at my own (temporary) expense too, which grated a little.

My week started at 3.45am on Monday, ready for a 4.15am taxi to arrive at the airport just before 5am for a 6.20 flight.  I saw the usual stuff going through security.  There was the guy who thinks you can take anything on a plane as long as it’s in a clear plastic bag, stag and hen parties galore, people inappropriately dressed, and a thing I’ve never seen before – a guy asking if he could have special dispensation to take a knife on board and couldn’t understand why the person said no.

On the plane, we were informed of an 85 minute delay because Schiphol only had one runway open.  Once we got somewhere near our destination, we were put in another queue to land.  One would like to think this in the order of the first there being first to land, but it’s kind of too much of a coincidence that KLM never seen to be the victim of the same delays in Amsterdam!

The train to the factory took forever.  We eventually arrived at 14.30 and went straight in to meetings.  The next day was also dominated by meetings, with the annoying aspect being that I had 4 hours of them on the phone to people based at my home location.  If one is going to work away from home, they should spend more time working with the people they are on site with, rather than the people at home.

We found out the canteen at the factory only takes cards for payment – just not Amex, MasterCard or Visa.  It’s presumably the only place in the world that actually accepts Diner’s Club.  That meant a 20 minute walk each way to the supermarket which was pleasant enough I guess, if not unexpected.

That night we went out for dinner with one of the guys we were working with.  Two of us could claim expenses and the other couldn’t.  Usually in this instance I try to keep costs down so we can all get paid for, but as one of the guys continued to order beer after beer it became apparent that things wouldn’t be that easy.  I paid what I could of the bulk (again, being the only one with a credit card who was expensing) and took the receipt back to the table to split the remainder.

This was where the guy I was travelling with said to the other “it’s OK, I’m paying for you” and promptly only put in 20 euros of the remaining 50 euros plus tip bill.

Thanks. For. That.

I know it’s only money, but I have a feeling that that meal (because of how the bill was split and my personal credit card charging me commission for its use abroad) will end up costing me a fortune.

Home day arrived.  We checked in our bags at the airport and were told of a 40 minute delay that instantly turned in to two and a half hours.  We went to get something to eat and remembered at the end that we’re not supposed to go to that restaurant, so that’s another one I doubt I’m gonna get paid back for.

My travel partner was a smoker, and that is annoying.  Every free 5 minutes is taken up by him going to smoke, which gets frustrating when he doesn’t have a phone and you have to organise places and times to meet.  The last time I waited, he didn’t show up.  Eventually I decided to go get in the queue to board, and saw him at the front of it.

I eventually got home and it was a relief, but I seem to have spent the rest of the week getting everything, including my head, back in order because the whole thing seems to have been a bit of a faff!

Once upon a time not so long ago
This boy he took to the stage
He wandered around like a travelling show
But one thing filled him with rage
While singing the song that thawed his heart
People would walk to the bar
The lights would go down
The music would start
He couldn’t get very far

Until one night…

Kick on the beat and bring on the bass
Everyone turn to look at my face
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.
My light goes on and your light goes down
Wouldn’t you like to rock this town?
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.

Now standing all alone
Looking through the smoke
This kid he started to grin
He’s tryin’ ta compete with bingo and jokes
There’s no use trying to win!

Until one night…

Kick on the beat and bring on the bass
Everyone turn to look at my face
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.
My life is up when your life is down
Wouldn’t you like to rock this town?
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.

Kick on the beat and bring on the bass
Everyone turn to look at my face
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.
My life is up when your life is down
Wouldn’t you like to rock this town?
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.

You never even know what you’re missing
Why doncha pay attention and listen?
Someone’s tryin’ ta blow your mind away!
Why doncha turn around and Im hoping
Two people in the front will stop groping
Someones tryin’ ta blow your mind away!

Kick on the beat and bring on the bass
Everyone turn to look at my face
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.
My life is up when your life is down
Wouldn’t you like to rock this town?
‘Cause all I want
Is the best of order, baby.

Best Of Order by David Sneddon

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