A wee dram

It was Summer a few years ago. My friend S and I were on an overnighter to Edinburgh. So, galleries seen, Harvey Nics perused, beautiful old buildings admired and cases deposited at the hotel, we ventured out for the evening.

We began by having a “livener” in the nearest bar and as we were in Edinburgh I plumped for Whisky. As I am not an informed dram taker , we decided I should select one that began with A. Now for the un-Edinburghered out there, a bar there would feature countless bottles of many types of whisky, so S’s idea seemed a sound one, based on common sense.

Then time for a meal which took care of a couple of glasses of Red wine. Then we decided to see where the wind blew us.

The next bar didn’t seem to be for us (we were told we couldn’t sit on those stools as they belonged to someone) so one dram then off. By now S had decided to join me with the national drink so it made more than sense to move on to B. You may now know where this leads to!

The next bar was much nicer so C and D were drunk, then on to our final port of call which we left when they locked up!

We sat on stools at the bar and as the bar staff soon cottoned on to our “game” each empty glass would be greeted by one of them, with either ” so which letter next ladies?” or  ” Right, which G do you want girls, as there are so many of them!”

A chap sat on the stool next to us at about 11pm and selected our next one for us and when we began to chat we discovered he was a sommelier from a rather grand hotel, although not a Scot but a Dutchman! He lived in the flat above the bar, told us he had had a row with his girl so had come down for  a drink. He was a great help as we tried a few more until midnight when we all had to leave. We thanked him for his expert knowledge in our quest for alphabetical perfection, then giggled and sang (apparently ! ) our way back to the hotel.

The following morning we decided the best course of action was a nice ride on a tourist bus that gave us an excellent guided tour of the city while we recovered, all the while blaming the “dodgy” Jack Daniels we drank back at the Hotel.

To this day I really don’t remember getting as far as M, but S assures me we did! I console myself with the fact that there were 2 letters that didn’t feature in the Whisky lexicon. It felt like a smashing idea at the time, but I don’t think N to Z will be happening just yet.

Time to go

She is in her late 50s and has decided that it’s time to call it a day with her job. As it’s one of those “vocation” jobs it’s a big deal to turn your back on it after a long time.

And as is tradition, a night out for all the staff,  to mark the event, is to be arranged.

Unfortunately her ideas as to what she wants to do are being met with indifference, and most other ideas suggested by colleagues are either non-starters or unpopular. As the team of staff grows and gets younger (a fact of life) , finding something everyone wants to do proves tricky.

As I left the building she was in tears. It broke my heart! Here is a woman who is coming to the end of her working life (paid work that is!) and the best that can be offered is to go for a drink after work. This won’t be happening. Troops will be rallied and sensible ideas gathered and retiring will be celebrated!

Why?

Ok… so sitting enjoying a cup of coffee, catching up with myself, when the table next to me becomes occupied . Guy in suit, other guy smartly dressed and they begin a job interview!

What ?!

So smartly dressed man has to now start selling himself, answer tricky and  thought provoking questions and justify why he should be given the job, in the middle of a busy coffee shop in a town centre on a weekday morning!

Are there no private places left? Is this what we have to do now?…is this the ‘facebook-spotlight-look at me everyone’  way business is conducted these days?

I also once heard, in a packed coffee house in Mayfair in London, two men berating a colleague for his shameful work performance, during what I can only assume was a work appraisal, for everyone and his dog to tune in to.

I actually think it is humiliating and thoughtless to expect people to be happy to conduct their work business under the public spotlight. It is happening everywhere and I feel very uncomfortable for the interviewee each time. One of these days I will actually tell them.

Make it matter

Decide what is the most important thing to you and pursue it.
If it’s family, cultivate and develop relationships as they don’t simply happen.
If it’s friends, then cherish them.
If it’s anything else, just make sure it is worth it and that it’s real.

 

The damaging power of rain.

I went for a walk a few weeks ago , and snook into a coffee shop to read and drink. Speaking to the two teenage boys serving, they told me how they were due to go to a boot camp event after work today, but the weather was putting them off. I sympathised with their dilemma and said that getting wet then cold wasn’t a good combination. But this wasn’t their concern, as they told me in perfect unison that it was more about concern for their hair! My suggestion of a swimming cap didn’t seem to help.