On January 1, 2008, there will be no smoking in bars, restaurants or clubs in France. Thank you Jesus, and the EU. The nationwide ban on smoking in Europe started in Ireland in 2004 and then swept through Italy and Scotland. England was the last country to comply. I lived in Paris for a few months and that was my biggest pet peeve. Imagine having a nice roasted duck breast with chestnut stuffing, brussel sprouts and a nice red wine. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well your vision is blurred with the fog of smoke and all you can taste is smoke because some fat french man is going to town on a cigar three tables away from you. I loved everything about France, except the smoking, but I tolerated it. I share the same feelings for London. I ventured there the first time in 2000 and was accustomed to the smoke since I lived on the east coast most of my life. I returned to London this summer, relishing the fact that when I came home from the pub, I didn’t smell like the Marlboro Man. Suffice it to say, I am ecstatic about the new ban and I am counting the days. Perhaps I will make plans to vacation in both cities this summer to enjoy the fresh air.
So I am still tired and disappointed with my last trip to NYC. Not only did I not do well at the open house, one of my worst nightmares came true. I was the chirpy little positive thinker as I walked into the headquarters of Those Of Which We Do Not Speak (TOWWDNS). We waited about an hour for the company presentation, and waited once again for individual interviews. I answered each inquiry with poise and intelligence. I asked questions, and brought up points from the presentation. And then I was given the classic pushover, you know, “We will be sending you an email or letter stating our decision and what the next steps will be.” I asked why I was not proceeding to the second half of the process. I received a song and dance about them seeing large amounts of people blah, blah, blah. I then asked again to be specific as to why I was declined. I was told that the clients of TOWWDNS pay a large amount of money and expect their staff to deliver exceptional service. TOWWDNS has to take into consideration hair, make-up and wardrobe and I was not up to par in these categories. In other words, my hair, make-up and wardrobe were awful. My goodness, I was not in a good mood after that. I dragged my “ugly” ass to the Burger Joint and dropped a tear in my beer with a burger and fries. I kept thinking that things can’t get any worse. Murphy’s Law. And then the music in the joint got better. First, they played Night Fever, then I Got You Babe, Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler, Misty Blue, and Downtown. I felt much better. I went to a happy hour and then headed back to the hostel. Yes I said hostel. It was $20 a night! The only problem was that they turned very small closets into public half baths and showers. It’s fine, just make sure you lock the door. I mean really small, as in my knees hit the door. So it’s no surprise that I had to do some maneuvering and extreme squatting when going to the bathroom. Murphy’s Law. Anyway, at the end of this horrible day, I was relieving myself, you know, making number two work for me. I am bending over and squatting, made possible by my knees hitting the door, as I wipe. Murphy’s Law. A guy opens the door and sees me in all my brown glory. Murphy’s Law. It just never ends for me.
Tomorrow, I leave for NYC…again. I am excited. I said I wouldn’t talk about my work-seeking woes, so mum is the word. In other news, Tofurkey Day, aka Thanksgiving was great. I spent time with two of my friends at their huge house and had plenty of food and drink. It was nice to relax, to not be job hunting, and talk to humans! I am sure my cats are sick of me. Who knows what I’ll be doing for Christmas, but I hope a glass of wine will be factored in that day.
I received a response from British Airways over a month after the debacle. They gave me a $200 credit for my next trip, and went on about some senior executive that reads our complaints on a weekly basis. Nothing was said about the baggage being held and nothing about my refund. I responded, asking for what their baggage policy is on canceled or re-scheduled flights. British Airways held my luggage overnight for no reason. The next day, we had to go through security again anyway, so they should have given us our luggage. I also informed them that my bank had credited me for the flight that was charged twice. I’m going to wait another month to see what they say, the slackers.
I got back from an interview in NYC. I also did a phone interview for a small airline based in New York. I’m excited. Finally, some good news on the job front. I was mulling over the situation with Laura, especially the vicious cycle. I need a car and it would be easier to obtain temp work if I had a car. So then the cycle begins: I need a car to get a job, but in order to buy a car, I need a job. *sigh* But now I feel better after acing two interviews. The next step is more interviews, finding a temp job, and trying to move to NYC. I’m done with Florida.
It’s been weeks after the BA206 fiasco and I still have not heard from British Airways. Let me back up…I flew to the UK to take a housekeeping certification course. First, the flight was delayed, then it was re-scheduled, and finally, it was canceled. We were herded like cattle to a hotel and were not given the time as to when the flight was re-scheduled. They didn’t give us our luggage. Yes, I typed that correctly, British Airways did not give me my luggage even though the flight was canceled. We were told the flight was scheduled for the same time the next day, which was 5:15pm. After checking in, receiving my meal vouchers and getting some beers, I stayed up late so that I could contact the hotel and the school. That’s right, if you’re paying attention, I am missing the first day of the class along with my transportation to get there. The next day, we had to check out of the hotel before 12:30pm, and were told the flight was re-scheduled for 4pm. What’s a girl to do for 3 hours? Find a bar! I was at the gate at 3pm. The agent said the flight was scheduled for 5:15pm. I thought about going back to the bar, but I didn’t. At 3:30pm, the agent announced that “those customers waiting for the re-scheduled flight BA206, the gate number has changed. This flight is doing a final boarding at gate ##.” I was pissed. I ran to the gate and just made it. Once I touched down in London, the British Airways team there arranged for a car to drive me to the class. Nice. Why am I complaining? I was not given my luggage for when I stayed in the hotel. I was wearing the same clothes for 2 1/2 days! Plus, a few days before my flight, I paid an extra $300 to change the departure time. Two days after I flew home, I checked my account online and found I was charged twice. British Airways has no complaint phone line or refund phone line, so I emailed them with all my information. Two weeks later, no response, but just the standard no-reply email saying they are working on it. I send another email. One week later, no response. So I called my bank and gave them the information. They are disputing it for me and I should get an answer in a few days. Meanwhile, they credited my account for the time being. So far it’s Shenae-1, British Airways-0.
I found some more info on why the hotel I stayed at was so cool. In fact, I was staying there when the LA Times was interviewing people and scoping the place. In the picture from the article, you can see a movie screen behind it. The movie was of women putting on lipstick. Weird. Anyway, I noticed that, left my seat that was four seats from Andy Dick, went out of the lobby, and passed David Spade before I headed off to Vynyl. Of course, because I didn’t want to wait in line, I headed to another bar that was written about in the LA Times. Basically, I am the shit.
I got back in one piece from LA, my liver and all. My God, did I party like a rockstar! My first night, I hung out at the poolside bar (drank too much) and then I went to the Bar at Standard. Somewhat lame. I mean, it was great to get in (because I was staying at the hotel) and because some models hit on me. But I was wearing a black skirt, backless top and mules. Yep, I was overdressed. I met some great people and decided to go to an after hours club. The wait was over an hour. We went to another club and that was cool. I didn’t even pay a cover! The next night, I went to Vynyl. Very cool. I was planning on going with someone I met the night before(Mr. Long Beach), but we kept missing each other by phone. So I was quite surprised when after going to another bar, because the wait was too long, that we walk right towards each other on a side street. I think it was a sign. Anyway, that club was way better and I blended in, wearing jeans and a halter top. The next day, I hit a happy hour, stayed in and chilled with Mr. Long Beach. My wake up call was at 3 am, so I was not up to going out. I did eat at some great restaurants and splurged on myself. Don’t worry, I didn’t spend too much. All in all, it was a very good trip. I look forward to going back to California soon. So is everyone else. Just don’t know when. I definitely have the vacation days to do it. I would like to stay in Santa Monica the next time…
Long time no see. I work seven days a week and I am really focusing on buying a house. The one that I wanted would be a money pit, so I am looking for something that doesn’t need so much work; less structural, more cosmetic. But soon, I will be relaxing in beautiful Los Angeles. Oh yes, I am going by myself. I don’t want to talk to anyone, meet anyone or see anyone. I am going to the beach, I will do some shopping, and I will check out some good eats. My co-workers were making fun of me because I am staying at some shee shee fru fru hotel.
I know, you haven’t heard from me in a while. I switched companies for my domain name and instead of being a smooth transition, it turned out to be a mess that lasted a few days with no service. It sucked. Anyway, I had an uneventful V-Day. I ate a lot of chocolate, in fact, I was jacked up on chocolate. I was in New York this weekend visiting family. I took my cousin to see that Britney Spears movie “Crossroads.” It wasn’t that bad, and Britney is not a bad actress…she was awful. Well, she is not as bad an actor as Cindy Crawford or Master P. It doesn’t matter because during the first five minutes of the movie, she is dancing and singing in her underwear. And twenty minutes later, she is in a pink bra and panties. Boys across the world will pay any amount of money to see that on the big screen.