Wanted to update yesterday, but the stupid ISP wasn't working again! What am I paying for?!!!! Grrrrr! X-( Spent most of yesterday doing a big clean up and re-arrangement of some of my bookshelves. I also had a big 40 litre tub of unsorted paper to get sorted and stuck into their respective folders. Got it all sorted out and also opened up about six or seven Misc. Folders and sorted them too. Some of the contents brought back memories (thus the title for todays Blog). One of the exciting things I got to read through, was my old "Exit Interview" from my last place of Employment in Sydney. It contained a lot of critism of the company. Anyone worth their salt would have taken the critism constructively. As I pointed out in the interview, they would just think of some way to exonerate themselves from what was happening in the organisation, and it would continue in the same direction. Which is what actually happened in the interview. They made excuses for everything. (Not their fault, they're only management, what do they have to do with managing!) :-) Someone once told me that it had got slightly better after I left, but others have told me that it didn't. A lot of people have told me that morale dropped after I left. (Hard to get morale below zero ... but if any company can do it, they can!) :-) Reading that exit interview also made me realise a few things. I could have said a lot more. There were too many double standards in that company. There were also too many illegal things and standover tactics used to make people squeeze square pegs into round holes. If I had of wanted to, I could have gone through my diaries and really given them both barrels for everything which I'd seen happen. As it stands, they probably thought the little I wrote was like both barrels. I think it was the reason I am the only person I know who left that company who was told I could never work there again! [You usually need to get fired for that to happen!] Lot's of critism and I probably came across as "Hostile" to the company. (Actually, I wasn't hostile at all. It was all just objective critism of Management and HR ... but of course, as soon as you critisize either of those, you are considered 'Hostile'). While sorting through stuff, I also got to see a lot of old photo's, & travel maps and stuff. I miss not travelling. Of course, I have a nasty habit of always wanting to be anywhere other than where I am. I have a curiosity streak which wants to keep moving to see the next AFC. AFC was a term we used on our travels in Europe. AFC = Another Flaming Church ... where "Flaming" was quite often another word, and "Church" could also be Cathedral, Chappel, Capital, Castle, Colloseum, Circus, Catacomb, Coach (bus), Complex (like Piazza or shopping mall) etc etc. You could be standing underneath the Eiffle tower, and someone will say, "AFC" meansing "Another Flaming Construction set!" If you look hard enough, almost everything you see can start with a 'C' in some way. "Look, Michaelangelo's David!" "Pttthhhh, AFC!" (Another Flaming Carving!) In Austria we were staying in an AFC (Challet). The cynisism developed because most of Europe was trudging through Churches/Cathedrals of some sort. There was some differences, like the Catacombs of the Capacino Monks! (No, they don't sell coffee there, but I think they should! Voglio capacino adesso!) There was the Castle at Heidelburg! (Nicht mein Schloß!) The Coloseum of Rome! (Voglio sapere quanto e perche volgio per il giardino!) The Casle at Prague (No, I don't speak Czech!) Calaise at ... um ah ... Calaise! Darn! (Idiot Australien! Man, that French looks like English! Voltaire was right, English is just French spoken badly!) [Please, don't send things to get them translated, my French and Italian are very limited! My German insignificant and my Czech ... well, non-existant]. Some people asked me to translate somethings when we were in Europe. I must admit I'm not fluent in anything, though my English is coming along nicely thank you! :-) A lot of the time, I just plain got it wrong ... like in this example: We got to Switzerland, and nobody knew which toilets where which. So, someone came and got me. The signs were written in German (I knew that much, because it wasn't French or Italaian!) One said, "Damen" and the other said "Herr". If I was thinking clearly, I would have remembered Herr Flick from the 'Allo 'Allo TV Series. This wasn't my night (probably because my alcohol and caffine system was full of blood at this stage! Six hours later and eight Long Island Ice Teas, and my brain would be in functioning mode!) First of all, I told them I didn't have a clue! (Which was true) So, because some of the men were busting to go, I decided to take a stab at it. Knowing English is based on every other language on the face of the planet (well, German Gramma with French/Latin and some Greek words), I thought it wouldn't be too hard. Easy - Herr is like Her in English, and Damen is like The Men in English! Right? Coool! Everyone agreed! Just as we were about to raid the womens toilets a Switz national walked past and pointed out to us, that "Herr" is "Men" and "Damen" is "Ladies". Phheeew! Almost got everyone embarrased! It was then that I realised "Damen" is like "Dame" in English and "Herr" (as previously pointed out) I already knew! Now do you see why you never send anything to have it translated by me! Hee hee! It's a lot easier in France where everyone uses the same toilet! (And some old lady sits by the Urinal collecting money where she has a nice view of the men.) Lastly, another quick travel story. In the Czech Republic, I decided I needed to go to the toilet. So, rather than using a pay toilet (with aformentioned ubiquitous old ladies in them), I decided to use the Free One in Duncan Donuts! Only, to use it you need to be a customer! I was busting, but decided there was enough time to eat a donut (note: I don't like donuts) and have a quick hot chocolate (note: I don't drink coffee - makes me bleed). I walked up to the counter. The girl didn't say anything to me (unlike MacDonalds where they greet you and ask if you want Fries with that. Once I ordered two large fries and the MacDonalds guy asked if I wanted Fries with it! I said "Yes, there had better be!") I looked up at the Duncan Donuts board, and decided what I wanted (while doing a slight shuffle as I was busting). I looked at her and asked, "Do you speak English?" She gave me a REALLY DIRTY LOOK and said, "Yeah!" as though I had heaped the worst insult in the world on her! I apologised to her and ordered. Moral of the story: Next time I am in Europe, I am going to assume everyone speaks English until they reply with something in their own language which sounds like, "Hey! Where do you think you are?!!! In England or something? What sort of half arsed monkey brain are you assuming everyone in Europe speaks English?! This is
NOT friggin' the UK!"
Then I will be certain they don't speak English. (Of course, everyone in Paris spoke French at me, while I ordered in English! They understood perfectly well what I wanted, but refused to speak English to me! I didn't let on that I spoke a bit of French. Next time I am there though, I plan to use my French, just to help improve it!)
Ciao, Mata Ne, Bai Bai, Bye, See ya, bis spater.