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Tuesday, May 24

Work is getting stressful. The linkage between what I do at my computer screen (and what my team mates do) and the success of our project, in terms of its creation of revenue for the company, is becoming ever clearer. Plus, the process of working in small iterations, where we commit to deliver a small amount of stuff, which we can just about do in the time available, means that Tuesdays like this can occur. Basically, we were running a bit behind and I could feel the stress. In some ways it's a good thing to feel the stress. It does put a rocket up your arse and you get stuff done. In other ways, it can be quite demoralising - if the walls start closing in, you start to wonder whether the working life really needs to pan out the way it has.

I like feeling busy. I like rushing from one thing to the next, but I'm not convinced that I like the tightness in the chest.

As an extra bonus to the complications of the day, I had a CD to give to a nice man. Something about the musical of Titanic has as big a jinx as the ill-fated ship it's about. If you remember, I had a big rigamrole when I originally tried to buy the CD from ebay. After that, I decided to buy the CD from Amazon in multiple copies, which I had shipped to a friend's house in America. I picked up the CDs along with the delightful Avenue Q when I was there in March. The plan was to sell the surplus copies on ebay and recoup the losses of the previous attempt to buy it and maybe even pay for my own copy. Good idea? Well, it would have been.

I was selling a bunch of CDs in the week when I was due to send Titanic to one customer and Starlight Express to another. Like a large block of frozen water meeting its fate, I managed to swap the envelopes (or contents - either way, really) of these two sales. Two disgruntled customers! D'oh. The buyer of Titanic got in touch to try to sort things out and he was incredibly reasonable. The other buyer became relatively quiet after agreeing to send her copy of Titanic back to me. A couple of weeks passed and no Titanic to give to the buyer - Roy. He was being very very reasonable, offering to drop by Newcastle on the way past - he was due to go on holiday in Scotland. I had to help him.

I had a contingency plan. I already owned the box and inlay of a genuine copy of Titanic, with a snapped disc to go with it (see the link above). I copied my non-snapped copy of Titanic onto CDR and put it in the case of the snapped version. I was then able to give my own personal copy of Titanic to the purchaser, in the hope that Mrs Starlight Express would send hers back in return for her copy of Andrew Lloyd Webber's relatively harmless train-based musical diversion.

I spoke to Roy outside my office as I gave him the disc. He remained very pleasant and reasonable and accepted the money I also gave him to cover his postage in returning the other disc (and I'd also agreed to refund my original postage and packing, since I'd clearly gotten them wrong). He told me a story of someone trying to buy a Titanic CD online and it going horrendously wrong for them. It wasn't my story he was telling back to me (though he'd read that I think). He was telling me his own. I tells ya, this musical be jinx-ed. As an aside to this story, I eventually got in touch with the buyer with possession of the wrong disc and she'd decided (without telling me) to keep Titanic. Sod it! She was welcome to it. She paid me extra for Starlight Express and had the pair. I hope she enjoys them more than I enjoyed selling them!

As days often go for me, this day wasn't going to end quickly. I had a show to do. I went to the Chillingham Arms gig and did some of my stuff. I have a recording of the gig and I remember being funnier than the recording suggests. Perhaps memory can let you down. I did my Eurovision song - previously aired a few days previously at Glenrothes. It went down reasonably well. Rather oddly, I was closing the show and was preceeded by two very experienced acts, one Brummie woman and a Scottish man. Both of those guys have closed shows that I've been the shitty open spot at... it was weird to think of them as though they were the support acts to my closing the night. Before any comedians reading this (and it happens) think that I've lost my mind, I should point out that the Chillingham Arms gig doesn't work like that. The running order is not in rank of funniness or seniority. They stuck me on at the end because the other acts didn't want to do it - they were trying stuff out and didn't want to feel under the pressure of closing the show.


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