Friday, 7 November 2008

TGI Friday

Am I pleased it's Friday. It's been a long week. I don't know why but the weeks I travel south are so very tiring. I don't know if it's the drive, a bit over an hour on a road so straight and full of heavy trucks you lose the will to live; the job I have to do down there, everyone wanting a large piece of me all at the same time; bad radio stations with inane talking rather than good music, music of any kind; or just that they are long days. 

A bonus is that I have found a coffee shop that makes good coffee. It's my first call of the day, my transition from city to country town stop. They even know how I like my coffee and greet me like an old friend when I turn up every couple of months for several days in a row. As I am often on my own, the barista/manager comes and chats with me. 

She works hard, long hours, but always has a cheerful smile for her customers. We talked about that, how she enjoys the people contact with her job. Contact that only lasts minutes so can be enjoyable, on the surface. People she doesn't take to she can hide from behind the coffee machine, others, like me, she can sit and chat with. 

In contrast, my job is all about building relationships and maintaining these over time. My job is to support others, to guide them and critique their practices. This can be fraught and tact is something I am a little short on at times. It is especially fraught in small town New Zealand. It is especially fraught when my critique has to be committed to paper and sent as a report. I have learnt to think before speaking, but sometimes the thoughts come out of my mouth before they are properly discarded. At least when writing, there is time to reword if needed. Although I have learnt that what I write and what others read into that can be quite different. 

Suffice to say, I am over traveling south for this year unless a crisis strikes. Touch wood that doesn't happen. Today I am working from home writing up my reports and appraisals, it's still freezing and there was nothing I felt inspired to photograph this trip. 

The attached photo is of a warmer place, a place I would prefer to be. I have attached a photo taken in Venice because of the movie Annie and I went to at the Italian Film Festival showing the human side to Venice, a story of love, acceptance and a new beginning. 

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