Friday, December 07, 2012

The working life: Getting there‏

This is what it's like trying to get to the distributor's office. This is what it's like after you've finally gotten one of the head guys there to see you, a feat that has taken a lot of perseverence, as your emails have been ignored almost from Day 1. Granted, this is because your emails have all asked, "How much do you owe us in royalties and where is the money?" which is a question that nobody likes to answer, but answer it you must. You must. You signed a contract.

You call the guy and ask if you can see him. "I'm in the country," you say. "I'm here for four days. I'd like to see you."

"I'm busy," he says.

You persist. "I can come to your office this afternoon."

"I'm busy."


He continues. "Maybe tomorrow."

Tomorrow was going to be your one free afternoon for sightseeing (not counting your first day here, which was a Sunday, so shouldn't count anyhow).

But you are here to work before you play, so you agree.

You call the next day to confirm that you are coming. He sighs. You persist. "I have to get a taxi and then I'll be there. See you soon."

You copy all the contact us information from their website. You are not sure which is critical and which is not. This is the address they have:

342 ABC Building
Oak Street
Main Street exit 34

OK, that's not their address but it is the spirit of their address. All that's changed is the identifying street names, as I am paranoid about someone from work finding this blog and firing my butt, even though I don't think I've said anything bad about anyone I work with and why would I? I work with angels.

I showed the address to the cabbie. He frowned. "I know Oak Street," he said, "but where on Oak?"

I shrugged. "I thought you would know. This is all the information they have."

"OK," he said. "We look for ABC building. Is it near Pepsi building?"

I shook my head. "I don't know. I don't know this area."

We drove and drove and drove and then he pointed to an exit sign. "Exit 34," he announced. "Which way from here?"

I had mapquested directions and knew we were supposed to go left.

"Left," I said.

He turned. We started looking for ABC building.

We saw nothing.

We drove. We looked. 

No ABC building. 

"It must be on this side," he said as he gestured to the right. "No buildings on that side."

He was correct. The left side of the street was desert.

"This is where buildings end," he said. "There is no more past here." He pulled over into a little shopping center.

"Maybe you could call them?" I asked. I had my phone with me, but I sure didn't want to incur international cell phone charges, although I suppose I could have expensed them. Even when I expense something, though, I don't like spending a lot of money. The hotel breakfast costs $38. Makes me sick to my stomach to spend that much on a cup of coffee, some yogurt, and some bean soup. And some hummus. And some pickled eggplant. I might be eating a big breakfast, but I am pretty sure I am not eating $38 worth of food, overhead, and service.

He dialed the number I had written down with the address and handed me the phone.

"Hello," I said. "I am trying to get to your office for an appointment. Where are you? We are on Oak Street."

The receptionist asked, "Can you see the hypermarket?"

I looked out the window. 

We were stopped right next to a hypermarket.

"Yes," I said, expecting elaborate directions from this point.

"We are on first floor."

"But - you are in the ABC building! This building does not say ABC!"

"We are on first floor."

I looked again. Nope, nothing to indicate ABC. 

"Is there a street number for this building?" I asked.

"We are on first floor."

I gave up. I was there. That was enough.

I tipped the driver 25%.

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