Thursday, March 02, 2006

Texas Barbecue

isn't for me this weekend after all, alas. (I'm sorry but I can't bring myself to spell it BBQ). And after spending a couple of days looking forward to a nice plate of ribs. You'll remember that only a couple of nights ago I posted[^] about returning to Dallas to 'nurse' our new release through the customer. Whilst Dallas isn't 'home' I've come to like the place even if it's flatter than a pancake and somewhat colder in winter than I'd like.

Nope, I found out today, via an email exchange between customer person A and customer person B, on which I was a CC, that I have been negotiated into travelling to The Philippines again, with the expectation that I'll be there bright and early Monday morning. Ninth time. To achieve that goal I need to leave Phoenix Friday afternoon. Nice way to find out! No inquiry regarding any plans I might have had for the weekend! A good thing, methinks, that I decided against dragging my wife along to that Rachmaninoff Concert!

As it happens I didn't have great plans for the weekend. I was due to fly to Dallas on Sunday with the expectation of working on Saturday to meet a deadline. The deadline hasn't moved but travelling to Baguio takes out a large chunk of the time I'd scheduled to be working on the software. Paradoxically, sending me to The Philippines to meet a deadline may well cause me to miss the deadline. Arguments along those lines fell upon deaf ears; when we're in crisis mode the old guard management resort to 'body shipping'. Funny thing is, we're always in crisis mode! *shrug*

So, after emitting a few choice expletives, I rang the travel agent. Nope, he can't get me a seat via Singapore on Friday. The only one available is tomorrow, Thursday. Yes, I could probably get a seat on NorthWest Airlines via Tokyo or even Philippine Airlines direct from Los Angeles to Manila but if I have to travel I want the frequent flyer points. Three trips to the Philippines equals one free trip back to Australia!

The boss wanted me to stay for four weeks. There are two problems with that. The first is that I don't want to be there for four weeks :-) The second is that when you enter The Philippines they stamp your passport for three weeks. To get the extra time you entrust your passport to someone who sends it back to Manila along with 50 or so bucks. If you're lucky you get the passport back ten days later. Dunno about you but I don't like being in a foreign country for that length of time without my passport.

The boss has a tendency to pick figures out of thin air. So I asked him why four weeks? Oh, he said, 'so and so is there and you can work on project X with him while you're there'. 'Ah' I said, 'it just so happens that I know that so and so is returning March 18th, I'll come back the same day'. The boss agreed. But do you reckon there's a return seat available March 18th? Nope. Nor on the 19th. There's one on the 20th

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