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Friday, March 29

A Quiet Moment's Reflection

Yesterday pissed me off. It really shouldn't have, but it did. I found it a hard day, which is relatively normal for a pre-bank-holiday working day. In fact as the working day before a double bank holiday, perhaps I should have expected it to be doubly hard, but it was worse than that.

It didn't help that I was suffering from the ill effects of being, well, ill. There was one moment where I took myself for a quiet lunch and drink with a belly full of tablets hoping that the headache and nausea would abate long enough for me to get ready for the next meeting. There was another point where I stood mid conversation with 2 Ibuprofen and 2 Paracetamol in my hand, while I was waiting to go and get some water to down them with. This is not good.

In my ideal world, I would have stayed in bed yesterday morning and just given up on the day, but life's not that easy. I'm balancing a whole bunch of priorities and commitments here, and failure was simply not an option. I had to do my working day, and I had to and wanted to do my evening's gig.

How I used to see myself
This is the new life I find myself in. I have to do the day job through a need for my core income and a deep commitment to the people and organisation I work for. The fact that I'm currently in contract negotiation with said company is a conflict in my heart, but all part of being grown up. The day job itself requires a lot out of me at the moment, and a few hours of downtime can cause a horrible knock on effect on people, projects, and especially my own workload. Sadly, a few hours of hyper-up-time causes me more work as the things I set up, then rebound back to me to get me to do more on them. I should delegate more... and setting up the ability to do that requires... and so on.

Then there's the extra curricular activities. As a budding parent, surely I haven't time to be gadding around as a comedian? Well, two things. One - it's a second income, which is useful with a wife on maternity leave. Two - when I don't gig for three months I become a total ball of impotent rage, which means my wife wants to kick me out of the house and onto the nearest stage to get her husband back. Everyone needs an outlet, and without mine I go seriously crazy.

So if I wake up slightly ill on a gig night, I generally have to pull myself out of bed, do the day's work, and rely on Doctor Theatre to make me well enough to survive the gig.

As I said, yesterday was a hard day. I think the gig was the icing layer on the cake I was presented with. Though artistically, it was generally excellent, I had a lot of work to do. I was providing the PA system and was also managing the show. Everything that could become an irritant became an irritant in this respect. One of my hitherto totally reliable leads decided to fail, and this was the least of the worries, but gives you a flavour of how the night was destined to be a lot of work for me. Note to self - do some soldering this weekend.

On the up side, I performed a minor miracle in terms of setting up the PA system, daisy chaining my portable PA system with some equipment they had "in house". One of the connections I contrived by rights should not have worked. It's always worth trying these things...

So how to end this self-pitying blether?

I can give you a few tips on how to piss me off if that would help?

  • Always arrange meetings with no more than 3 working hours' notice
  • Especially if it's important
  • Especially if I'm on vacation during the planned meeting time
  • Especially if you won't be around yourself to rearrange until after we've missed it
  • Cling onto your principles no matter how relevant they are
  • Continue complaining long after the matter is resolved
  • Expect me to run your life for you and tell you the outcome
  • Organise 7 back to back 30 minute meetings with me in different rooms around the building
  • Ignore my advice for a couple of weeks, go way off track, and then get affronted when I step in to sort it out
  • Be defensive when I'm presenting facts
  • Use special pleading to argue that black is white - it might be black, but in this case, surely it's white ish?
  • Be a diva
  • Keep information to yourself
  • Ask questions for the sake of it
  • Agree to things you don't understand for the sake of it
  • Divert a conversation from its main topic by introducing an argument over an irrelevant detail, which you then swear you're right about, despite the fact that you're talking out of your arse - note, if I have to show you the about page on my mobile phone's operating system to prove you wrong, then this conversation is broken
  • Take money out of my family income and fail to be accountable for it
Oh, I'm sure there are more things. These whinges may or may not be useful to air.

On the up side, it's now Good Friday and I have a lovely smiley baby to feed.

Merry Easter.

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