I’ve been considering going for a wee break somewhere in August. I thought of going to Austria, to the BarCamp Traunsee to be precise, and to pay my friend anaj a visit at the same time. I’ve always wanted to go to Vienna! I’d even planned how to get there – fly with easyJet to Munich, and then get a train (ICE) down into Austria.
However I don’t think I’m going to do it now, for a number of reasons. Most importantly, the time I had planned to go, the Edinburgh festivals are in full swing. I’ve got tickets to see Maximo Park at the Corn Exchange on, I think, Aug. 18th, and to be honest I like being here during the festival. The other point is that August is probably not the best time to see Vienna – it’ll be quite expensive, and I’m planning to go for a longer holiday (to Italy) at the end of Sept. anyway.
What I’ll probably do is still take a few days off in August – maybe just 4 days (e.g. Aug 19-22nd), and spend the money saved on seeing some decent shows at the festivals. I might even go into the Highlands for a night, or to Glasgow, or both (e.g. one day Glasgow, one day Highlands), staying in some B&Bs and getting some peace and quiet. The other thing to bear in mind is that I need to put some money aside for these bloody alloy wheels. I put this fucking ebay sniper tool on the case to snipe in 3 seconds before the end of the auction – but when I got back home, I noticed it hadn’t worked. The fucker hadn’t even put a bid in for me! Annoying, especially seeing that the alloys went for just over £20, which would have been great value 😐
So – Austria is for next year, maybe in Spring. This August I’m either going to go to Edinburgh (ha! sad! I cannae get away!), or catch a flight over to Germany to see my mates in Cologne (though again the flights will be sucky and expensive at this time of year 😐 )
I’ve always been firmly on the Edinburgh side, and am known to mock my Glesga colleagues occasionally by slagging off their city (harmless fun to me – potentially seriously offensive to them 😛 ).
However I’m pleasantly surprised how the city has come on since I’ve last been there (I’ve only been once, and it was raining and the weather horrible, so we didn’t get the best impression at the time). It genuinely felt exciting and vibrant this time round, and I will come back (despite an average meal at an overhyped restaurant).
I can furthermore confirm that my professional, influencing business persona is developing well. I don’t have any pushy sales tactics or fake fucking self (i.e. false smiles, arse-licking, etc.). Instead, I’m trying to listen to the person and inputting honest opinion (backed up by facts and figures, knowledge and experience) to the proposed business, while at the same time developing a personal rapport. Germans in particular (and last night’s meeting was with Germans) can’t be fobbed off and you can’t give them bullshit. They like straight-talking and they trust people who do, and if you’re too pushy they may close off. They can smell a rat!
Despite my success last night, I admit that my sales persona wouldn’t work for the American market. Since I can’t fake well when someone irritates me, I’d find certain markets and cultures difficult to work with and be positive about, and I’d struggle if I had nothing in common with a person or generally was wary of the culture/what they represent.
It’s good in a way – know your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t try to do something that you’re not really comfortable with. For me, this means I’d never apply for a position where I’d have to deal with lots of Americans, or, for example, lots of Chinese businesses. I’d rather work with people and cultures that I have a natural affinity with – as last night has illustrated, it works, and it works very well.
Today I will be going to Glasgow. It’s to do with work. There’s a social/dinner tonight with some important people, and tomorrow morning there’s a meeting though I don’t know at what time.
It’s a wee bit daunting – I’m going on my own as my line manager is away, though ideally she should be there with me. Especially, as I haven’t attended any such meeting before, and the idea normally is that I’d just ‘sit in’ and shadow what she’s doing, until I know what I’m supposed to do!
Nevermind. The dinner tonight will help oil the professional relationship via the pretence of socialising, and furthermore, I’ll make it quite clear that I only started a few months ago, and that I’m standing in to take notes and to find out a few things – not to present some in-depth business case 😉
I’ve just had to speak to an insurance company from (the Republic of) Oireland, to cancel the renewal of a car insurance I no longer own. Speaking to the guy on the phone who had a broad Oirish accent, I had to concentrate hard to understand what he was saying.
While I thus don’t miss Oirish accents, I do miss the Scottish one. Scottish English is unfortunately underrepresented (on the telly and such) when you live in the South East (in the 666-Beast that is London).
Great then that Rab C. Nesbitt is on Paramount Comedy 2 I think – one of the Sky channels anyhow – so we watched it the other evening. Basically it’s about an unemployed, down and out Glesga man fucking up (I’ll embed a youtube at the bottom of this post). Actually he looks a bit like my mate C. (Andraco will now who I mean – J.’s flatmate).
The Glesga-theme also reminds me of John Smeaton, a citizen celebrity baggage handler at Glasgow airport helping foil the terrorist attacks back in June. When interviewed and asked to explain his actions, he said:
• After he saw the police grappling with one of the attackers, he thought:
“You’re no’ hitting the Polis mate, there’s nae chance.”
• Asked by ITV News what his message to terrorists was, he said:
“Glesga doesnae accept this. This is Glesga; we’ll set aboot ye.”
That’s the kind of accent and way of speaking I mean 🙂
Anyway, here’s some Rab C. Nesbitt: