You Do What, Now?

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My very truly honestly global job certainly keeps me on my toes from one day to the next, calculating time zones with ease and panache.

The laws that govern each country are different and there are nuances in languages that keep my brain working overtime.

This is never more apparent than in the weekly catch up meetings I have with my boss, who is located in London.

My boss has a sense of humor about to the level of mine, so lately we have this ongoing riff.

It goes something like this:

Boss: “So, what is this, um, let’s see what do they call it…yes, this day of groundhog you people celebrate in the US?”

Me: “What, they don’t have this holiday in the UK?”

Boss: “I don’t think so, what is this all about?”

Me: “So, wait, you’re telling me that in the UK they don’t pull rodents out of the ground in order to determine the extent of winter?”

Boss: “Not as such, no.”

Our conversation usually revolves around some odd thing that “you people do in your country.”

To be fair, I catch the brunt of this. You never know how weird you are until you see your own culture through another’s eyes.

Things like:

Boss: “So I’m going to be in the US the week of March 14th. I understand I’ll be able to participate in what you Americans refer to as St. Patrick’s Day.”

Me: “Oh c’mon, any holiday that involves drinking a lot of beer can’t be so bad.”

Boss: “Well, true.”

Or

Boss: “Did you watch this thing you Americans call the ‘Super Bowl’ this weekend?”

Me: “Yes, I did.”

Boss: “So, did the team you were rooting for win?”

Me: “Well, I wasn’t really rooting for one of the teams, so it didn’t matter.”

Boss: “Oh…so what did you do then? Did you attend a party?

Me: “Yes, I went to a friend’s house. We did what we Americans are fond of doing, we ate a lot.”

Boss: “Your people seem to like that.” (<- my boss attended his first American Thanksgiving meal this year and was horrified by how much food was presented.) My return vollies tend to be more along the lines of his use of language. Me: "So if we can crack on, is it possible to crack off?" Boss: --silence-- "I've never really thought about that." Or Me: "So you need to know when you say 'creating an implementation scheme', that the word scheme has a bit of a negative connotation for Americans." Boss: "How do you mean?" Me: "Well, setting up a scheme usually involves something illegal or at least questionable." Boss: "Oh! My. Well we won't use that anymore will we?" Or Me: "When you told me to revert on your email, I have no idea what you mean." Boss: "You mean my question?" Me: "No, I mean...the word revert means going back to a previous version. I don't understand how I can go back to a previous version of an email you wrote. It makes no sense!" Boss: --sigh-- "You click reply and answer my question!" Me: "Oh. I get it. That's a weird use of the word revert." Or, my personal favorite... Boss: "So to let you know, the UK office will be on holiday Monday." Me: "What!? Another holiday?" Boss: "Yes, this is a Bank Holiday and all will have the day." Me: "Don’t you get like five weeks vacation, too?" Boss: "Yes." Me: "When do you people find any time to work over there! Geez!" So yeah, US and UK relations continue to involve a lot of sarcasm. Good thing I'm good at that. Though the best part is when we have to chat about our counterparts in Canada, because that's when we're on the same side. We can both usually find some good reason to pick on the Canadians. (Aw Canada, ya know I love ya! You're like that pesky yet precocious kid brother who says adorable things like "aboot".)






Photo by Scott Duhamel and found on Flickr.

Awkward Fan Girl Alert!

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I have a crush.

Ok, to be fair, I have the biggest crush of all on my husband. He makes my tummy go all googley.

But I also have another, less powerful, crush.

A crush that I’ve been open and honest about with my spouse. He is ok with it. Or, while maybe not ok with it, tolerates my geek girl crush because that’s just the sort of kind and understanding way he has with me.

You see, my crush is not about the usual sort of person you’d think.

No Robert Pattinson nor Johnny Depp. Nope.

Not even someone who you might call a celebrity. But someone who is a known figure…at least in the UK and to watchers of the BBC.

Oh, ok, I’ll be out with it.

I have a crush on Mike Embley, lead presenter on BBC World News.

In my post-cable rabbit-ears-and-a-digital-box joy, I’ve discovered the very serious yet truly wonderful BBC World News show.

It’s informative and not inflammatory. It’s not televised drama, it’s actual news from around the world. I’ve learned a LOT from this show and I chalk much of that up to Mr. Embley who presents the news in a professional and calm manner with a slight tinge of a sense of humor burbling just below the surface.

Plus, he cuts a stunning figure in a pink shirt and tie with a dark grey suit.

Truth be told, I find him rather irresistible. Brains and humor reel me in every time (just ask The Good Man who has both in spades, and might I mention, cuts a rather fabulous visage in a suit, himself).

Anyhow, yesterday, I was taking in the world news from the pleasing voice of Mr. Embley, and at the end of the show, he said, “You can follow me on Twitter at @bbcmikeembley.”

Well that was that.

I looked him up and began following him straight away.

In reading his Tweet stream, I saw that he seems to be rather responsive to his followers. In many cases, he thanked people for the follow and answered their questions.

So…I took a chance.

Here’s the transcript:

From me:

karenfayeth @bbcmikeembley I’m pleased to find you on Twitter. I very much enjoy your BBC World News broadcasts!!

A couple hours later came the reply:

bbcmikeembley @karenfayeth Happy to be Twting. Don’t as much as I’d like but that mostly cos busy with the brdcasting. Or kids. Or dog. Or v bad guitar.

Oh swoon!

I appreciate he left out vowels to get to an economy of characters, and still managed to be very well spoken.

I am simply all a flutter to receive a reply!

When I showed it to my husband, he replied, “Oh my, you’re a news fan geek. Who would have thought?”

He says this because I’m pretty steadfast in that I don’t watch the news.

I really, really don’t watch American broadcast news. It sets my teeth on edge.

Nope, no news…

But for one show. The one presented by my new Twitter friend…Mr. Embley.

: geek out!!! :

Geez, I’ve been doin’ it wrong all this time

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(via Reuters) “The average Briton turns up to work with a hangover three times a month…”

and

“…each day more than 520,000 people in Britain go to work hung over”

AND they get all the bank holidays AND they get five weeks or more vacation.

Damn.

On the downside: “…nearly one in five of those admitting that as a result they make mistakes and struggle to keep on top of their workload.”

Hmm. Everything’s a tradeoff, I suppose.

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