Tuesday, 23 March 2010

very dull summing-up post

I suppose you want to know what I've been up to.

Maybe you don't. Maybe all three pinolona readers have long since sloped off to look at something more interesting.

I would like to write something, I really would. However, my brain is ever so slightly more or less short-circuited at the moment, meaning I'm not really able to string a sentence together, let alone pen the witty yet perspicacious missives to which you have become accustomed.

Yesterday, I fell down a rabbit hole and up three lifts and across possibly two bridges as far as I remember and worked in a New Place. I think it merits a decent blog codename. We're talking about a highly-complex, self-contained anthill, with its own food supply, retail outlets, hair stylists, border-control system... a little like that huge thing in Star Wars. Oh wait, isn't that the Death Star? I can't call it the Death Star. I'd rather like them to ask me back.

*** long pause while author looks up more appropriate Star Wars reference. It is a revelatory but fruitless search***

We could call it Wonderland for the moment, and ignore the naughty little voice in the back of my mind whispering 'Death Star, Death Star, Death Star'.
A lot of the day was spent being shown around. At the end of it, I was none the wiser. For example:
- This is the XXX building, but it's known by the acronym XYZ. Here's the main XXX bar, but everyone calls it the 'xxx' bar, because of the XXXX.

- To get to X room, go up in the lift to floor 3, then take another lift to floor 5, then go down one floor on the fire escape, and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

Oh gosh, being discreet about work makes for boring writing. Maybe I should go underground, close pinolona, and open a Truly Secret Blog. 
Frighteningly, I have discovered that colleagues often know who I am before I have met them. Similarly, I also 'know of' people that I do not yet actually know. The world seems to have suddenly become very, very small, and I am terrified of speaking to anyone in case I say something inappropriate and everybody hears about it.

In fact, I'm just generally terrified. Let's change the subject.

What else is new? I have yet to go back to the Commune. I do however have a new Special Piece of Paper at my disposal, and I am quietly hoping that this is the key document that they will want. With luck, I will hand over my new attestation, all the pieces will fall into place, the sunlight of common sense will break through the eternal cloud of Belgian public administration and all will be well with the world.

Who am I kidding?!

This morning, I slept through my alarm for the first time in years. Last time my body pulled this particular trick I had just come back from a week in New York and was properly jetlagged. 

It is Tuesday. This does not bode well.

Any other items?

Oh yes: I'm taking a break from the Slavic to learn a little Icelandic... in a musical context of course. It's quite cool actually. What is it about? Your guess is as good as mine:


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new job! It sounds like things are going well.

Try not to get lost in xxxx ;-).

Judging by the portfolio each gal on the side has tucked under her arm, I would caption it as:

"Working Girls 9 to 5 aka Dolly Parton Look-Alikes Do Iceland."

Korie said...

Just go with Deathstar. We'll understand. :)

Laura said...

Deathstar! Deathstar! It sounds terrifying...

Before moving here, I worked in an office of 10 people for a year and only on my last day did I discover that we had a lunch room :(.

Norman said...


Island1 said...

Jesus H thingy, what is it with you translators? The last time I came across this level of secrecy was when I tossed my hat onto Moneypenny's rack, if you take my meaning.

pinolona said...

stuffinbetween: thanks! will try not to get lost (must work out which way up the map goes).

Actually one of the choirs I sing in is doing a Nordic programme for their May concerts, hence the Icelandic piece. It took a good twenty minutes for an Icelandic violin student to teach us how to pronounce it. Our choir is not quite so pretty as the Icelandic ladies, but we're doing our best.

Korie and Laura, but I can't call the XX the 'Death Star', it's supposed to be friendly and approachable. Laura, can't believe no-one showed you the lunch room! Is this an introverted accountant thing?!

Norman, heehee yep, just like that...

Island: urgh... it's just that it's a very, very small world, and everybody knows each other. And a lot of becoming established and getting regular work is directly linked to having a squeaky-clean reputation. Once you have a bad image, for any reason whatsoever, it's hard to shake it off. Hence the anonymity paranoia.

Of course there's also confidentiality which means you never talk about stuff that you hear in meetings, but that goes without saying.

Deleted said...

I'm guessing the (ahem) 'Death Star' canteen's not like this though:


Laura said...

Ha! That Eddie Izzard video is brilliant. I sent it to Ben and he lolled in his office.

The office where I wasn't shown the lunch room was the same office where they shoved me in an office next to an angry woman and left me crying gently into my spreadsheets.

pinolona said...

Ooh is that the Jeff Vader video?? I love that one, Mr Izzard rules. Does any linguist not know 'le singe est sur la branche' off by heart?!

The canteen wasn't all that much like that: there were so many people I don't think anyone would notice if you didn't want peas with your penne all'arrabiata. And as far as I remember, the trays were dry.

Deleted said...

And hopefully not covered in bees...

pinolona said...

I don't think the bees would be allowed in without an access badge.

Red 5 from his X-Wing said...

"my brain is ever so slightly more or less short-circuited at the moment, meaning I'm not really able to string a sentence together"

- sounds very c3poish, oh dear!

If our brains were so simple we could understand'em, we'd be so stoopid we wouldn't.

PS: Don't underestimate the power of the Force against all Death Stars. There is that trench...