Archive for the ‘blah blah blah’ Category

Protected: war is over

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

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Protected: Number 2

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

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Protected: Things Fall Apart

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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Turning the screw

Sunday, August 16th, 2009


It was a month ago that we all had this chat. You know,everything’s gonna be alright. Work until October. Relax. No more sackings. Well OK, I can dig it but the fact remains we don’t have any new jobs since that announcement was made. 4 weeks and nothing. The small jobs we did have are running out fast. Every office I have worked in before was always a mass of people but this office is different. Still people scattered around but in groups. You can tell who is working on what. None of them are flat out. Soon, in around 2 weeks, all these jobs will end and people will be left doing not very much. Everyone is the same. Everyone is scared. Deep down. Imagine not knowing what you will be working on in 2 weeks time. Everything is hand to mouth. Job comes in and people pounce on it like a pride of Lions chewing on a Gazelle. It’s getting like that in our department. People are turning on each other. Clients dangle our livelihoods between our their fingers – unhappiness and the Gazelle gets tossed to other lions ready to feast on the scraps. It’s sad. It’s uncivilized and I can see that this week is going to be the start of things. The drip drip. There will be staff in our department that will have nothing to do tomorrow. Nothing. I can’t give them anything at all. I have nothing to give. I need to look after myself and I can’t trim down the tiny scraps I have for anyone. There will be sackings soon I can sense it. Despite all this October bullshit there will be sackings. But now its the real sackings. All the easy targets are gone – wiped out in the first wave and now the cream of the crop need to be thinned out. Good people. Bad people but people that are big people within the company. Have I made it? Have I drunk with the right people? Have I done the right things? Time will tell. The next 4 weeks will define the rest of the year. Good people will go. I hope I am not one of them.

33 days to go

Do you wanna be in my Gang?

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009


”you’re management naaaah” one of the bosses drunkenly slurred in my shell like. It’s code for ‘you’re in the gang’ which I assume means the inner circle of management. No, not that highly influential inner-circle where people are hired and fired but rather the accepted larger social circle that one has to get into before they let you at the big boys table. They need to know you drink. You are not a fruit. You think and act the same way they do. You have the same values. UK? Check. Drinks? Check. Likes birds? Check. Kids? Check. In short, am I just like they are? On paper I guess you’d have to say yes – there’s no denying I am from the UK and I work in their company. That’s possibly all you need they need know. It will take time but no more awkward silences or suspicion. I can roll up to them at the bar and talk shit. I have been initiated. Last weekend it all happened. A drunken Thursday night session where you go to some soulless oirish bar attached to a hotel culminating in me waking up still drunk around 10:30AM. It gets better. At 12:00AM I had to go to a pre-arranged champagne brunch with them. So, there we all were, drunk and hungover but we bonded and got through it until at 4PM it was all over and we headed downstairs to the same oirish bar for more punishment. By 9PM I gave up and headed home but it was an experience. In the UK Muslims are largely invisible. Never seen in bars or clubs, just in their own communities behind closed doors and praying in Mosques we never enter. You see them on streets or Sky News but that’s about it. Same for the English in a Muslim country. We don’t interact. We get pissed. We pray in bars and clubs that most seem like weird places to the locals. That how the expats live. Drinking and smoking. Overeating and laying by their pools. Sun. Work. Drink. A couple more years of this and I’ll be one of them. That can’t happen.

36 days to go

XBox hypocrisy

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

47 days

So I got another XBox then. Weighing it all up and thinking with my wallet 89 Dinars as opposed to 170 for a PS3 means that I had no choice. In fact, the Xbox I got was cheap and basic – no hard drive (i could use my old one) and built in HDMI which was one of the main factors of me getting a PS3. The HDMI cable was cheap (not included natch) so it was a no brainer. I can use my old games and finish off Rainbow 6 Vegas at long last. Shocking. My first experience of HDMI gaming and its awesome. Not sure why but it just is. GTA looks lovely on it. It’s also quieter than my old one and the power supply is smaller. The disc tray is also more robust so it SHOULD last but I doubt it.

The weekend wasn’t great. Friday night was my first chance to hobnob with the big cheeses without needing to dash home to relieve my wife of the day shift. Started off OK. Drinks, small talk, Jokes. It ended with me being driven home as everyone separated out in a establishment full of old Chinese brass (definition 2). The bossman got his driver to drop me off. He went off with a ‘friend’. I think most of them do. Whilst married. I think. I was wasted. Saturday was self-loathing and XBox buying. Today more of the same except with added heartbreak. I don’t know, its kind of like numb at first when they go. Week one its all a novelty and I dare say week 2 will be as well but then weeks 3 and 4 kick in and then it gets really tough. Its kind of like being on a roller coaster – you go up before the big dip. I’m going up now. I’m looking at the calender all the time but I have to get through all of August and a bit of September and however I calculate it it gets no easier to deal with. We Skype as much as possible but its not the same. My son stares at the computer for a few minutes before wandering off. He doesn’t get it so shuts me out. I have to do the same. The hard part is re-opening again when you reunite. It takes time. The forthcoming week promises to be busy so there is something there that will take my mind off things.

47 days to go

Protected: 53 days and counting

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

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Protected: 54 days

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

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Protected: 12th July

Monday, July 13th, 2009

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The Time Of Your Life

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Please excuse this rather self indulgent post but I want to just record the things that have happened to me as I don’t think they will happen to me in the same way or at the same pace ever again and I know I will forget it all as time goes by so its A GOOD THING to have a record of these crazy scenes. December was a hectic month for me and my family and at the time when people are beginning to switch off and think of long holidays I had to step up and represent myself in Bahrain. It all went well and you find me now in Shanghai killing time waiting for various formalities to be completed before the family things are again packed up and shipped to Bahrain. Anyhow I digress. I spent my last day in Bahrain working and wandering the streets in the evening trying to soak in the last of the atmosphere and I confess a feeling of sadness. That night I flew to Dubai for a transfer and then a nice empty plane to Shanghai. The next day in Shanghai, jetlagged, I met my boss and confirmed that I wanted to work in Bahrain and it was all good with him. Then, back to my office to speak to colleagues who were seemingly pleased to see me (apart from my wanker of a boss who hid in his office). Then, following an extended meeting, a frantic dash to Pudong airport where I caught the late flight to Bangkok for Christmas. Landing in Bangkok at midnight I was pleased to spend the next day at the house and in the evening attend the Christmas Party at Sports Club. The following day was the funeral of the Big Man of the family and it was a semi state funeral with the Prince of Thailand in attendance. I had no idea how important this relation was but as we followed in a police convoy and as the coffin was being driven from his house (where his body had been in state for 100 days) to a temple I was struck to how small the world is right now. In three days I have worked in the Middle East, lived in my flat in Shanghai and then gone home to my family in Bangkok. Three different worlds in three days.