Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.



We were meant to be having a conference this coming long weekend, an organisational 'catch-up' at an 'eco-resort' near the mountains.

I've been there before. They bus you up to the mountains; and when you arrive, you dump your bags in the economy-style rooms which have no views out of the window because of the trees (the place is 'eco' because it is in the middle of a forest), and then they herd you into a huge conference room and lock and bolt the door. You can't escape until 6.30 at night, when they herd you out of the conference room and into the dining hall where they serve sustainable dinners made from fair-trade vegan ingredients.

'Catch-up'? What a stupid name. We 'catch up' every weekday. And sometimes on weekends. It's all we ever fucking do. I see the stupid art director I work with more than my wife or my kids. Which is not right. Because my art director is not as smart as my kids, and not as pretty as my wife.

And what the hell is it about holding conferences at an 'eco-resort', then spending two whole days sitting in a brown-carpeted hall looking at a bunch of power point presentations with pointless arrows and graphs showing how much money the organisation didn't make this year?

Why not just send around a memo saying, 'We're tanking. You're fired.' Or 'We made a profit. Thanks. There will be a Christmas party.' But spare us the two-hour power point presentations charting the profit/loss/job cost report/EBIT statements etc etc, ad nauseam.

Anyway, today an email arrived. It was from the MD:
Due to unforeseen circumstances, our conference at Seven Sanctimonies Eco Resort will have to be deferred.
You could just about hear the mental high-fives going on around the office.

That word 'deferred' is interesting. Generally, things that get deferred never get rescheduled, do they? There is a God! The God of Protecting Innocent People from Conference Hell.

The email went on:
Seven Sanctimonies Eco Resort is unavailable due to a fire earlier this week, when a wok caught fire in the kitchen, burning down the resort and destroying much of the adjoining forest. An alternative venue will be sought and booked for Grand Final weekend, as that weekend has good availability at short notice.
I'm handing in my resignation tomorrow.

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