So I was in Chinatown on Monday night. News reports have come out saying the area has been hit by the whole coronavirus thing. That people have been staying away and revenues have fallen.
Personally I still find the city is quite overfull. I have noticed a white girl wearing a face mask – which is unusual. Even before this ‘pandemic’ it was not unusual to see an oriental person wearing them. It is in the culture.
So we went to a restaurant notorious for excellent service and extremely long queues. It seemed to be in the process of renovation which wasn’t really doing its upstairs waiting area any favours as it looked like a building site at the rear. But there was no queue. Whether due to renovations or other reasons? (Given only the reception upstairs was being meddled with)
So either the restaurant has turned out to not be very popular in the Big Smoke after being open for a few months or the fear of getting sick has kept people away. We are more inclined to suspect the latter.
It is a place that usually only has a few token people of other race while it is a hotspot for people from Asia because it is part of a big chain abroad. This time around, as usual, there were only a few token ‘other race’ people although all the waiters spoke fluent Mandarin and English. But more significantly, there were empty tables.
We have never seen that before there. Empty tables.
It was delightful to not sit in the waiting room for two hours which is what happened last time I went there (To be fair, they kept me occupied with snacks but that’s not the point).
As we went up to the buffet where you collect starters, fruit to finish and a variety of condiments you can mix and match together for dipping sauces and toppings, my friend said, ‘and this is how we will all get sick’. He sort of had a point. The staff were all in face masks and used gloves to top up the condiments. But we were all still happily bending over them and poking them as the general public and while you boil your food to beyond dead, you don’t tend to boil the dipping sauces. And you know how there is always one person who just puts the wrong spoon back into the wrong dish the whole time.
Still, I know it is a terrible thing to say – but it was nice to take the risk and not have all the hoards of people. I can still say this at present as the country is still relatively virus free. I’m sure I’ll be laughing on the other side of my face tomorrow when I’m sitting on the train and some person not only spreads their legs into my space but coughs all over me.
I was sent to a single sex school. So that I would learn independence. The ability to pay for myself, open doors for myself and that girls could do science and maths. That an ineptitude to do certain things may be because you were lazy or lacked the physical or mental ability, not due to being a woman but because you were genetically disabled.
Then I reached the real world and discovered that actually it is not sexism but politeness that dictates a guy opens a door for you or buys you coffee… the same way you stand up to let an old lady sit down on the bus. A sign of respect. Not because someone is trying to get into someone else’s (granny) pants.
Now I’m stuck in this strange world which has blown up about famous successful people who have been abused or harassed. I’m not going to lie either. I had a job interview where the (male) interviewer admitted after a few drinks (it was an informal interview) that one of the selling points for me for the role over someone with the same qualifications and experience was I was a woman. It would look better to the board.
I should have been insulted but living abroad with a foreign qualification has meant I’ve spent a lot of time fighting to prove I’m equally competent – nothing to do with being female. Some things are what they are. Life isn’t fair and if the dice are going to roll my way on this one so be it because they could just as easily roll against.
I do feel bad for anyone who has been a victim. Of course it could happen to me. Of course I believe women get a bum deal when people think you might pop a baby – or you did pop a baby – with regards to climbing up the career ladder. It is easier to excuse men as still 100% invested in their jobs. But this is partly because most men still don’t ask for shared parental care, not just how companies view it.
It’s up to you to change mindset. It’s up to you to show your company you think co-parenting is a thing if you are a parent. It’s up to you to not be a victim. It’s up to you to believe you deserve to be there. Of course I’ve gone into meetings that I haven’t really ‘owned’. Where I’ve been insecure. But that was because I was badly prepared or out of my depth. Never because I was a woman. And never, so long as I’ve know I was in the right and informed, can I honestly say I have been treated as a lesser participant in those meetings. It’s up to you to own the moment rather than have the moment own you.
#metoo is only a thing if you let it be a thing.
My company allows for remote working – in a sense. In theory I can connect to wifi and then access the server and continue work wherever I am. This is particularly important because I could be in a few different locations while I am ‘at work’.
Lately though I’ve been having an issue. When I connect to wifi at home and then the server, I get a blue screen dump within two minutes. Without fail. This means I can work off anything that is only internet based but I can’t actually save anything back where everyone else, including myself can find it again.
I tried to tell IT this. So they removed my wifi drivers. When they did it I did question at the time if this wasn’t a little bit like sawing off the branch I was sitting on with me still sitting on it but hey, they were the experts. For an hour after that we struggled with the realisation that to reinstall the driver I required the internet. Which required wifi. Which I no longer had because the driver had been removed.
Anyways after bothering a load of other people it all sort of worked out.
Except it didn’t because the computer still crashes at home. So I’m sorted of back where I started.
I guess they are saying don’t take your work home with you as the thing seems to work everywhere else?
Filed under technology, work
I read a really trashy romance novel once (go figure, my friend thought it would make great holiday reading for me. I don’t know how she can know me so well and yet so badly). I can’t really remember much about the book – obviously the girl got the guy in the end.
What I do remember is the statement that it can only be good if you are in a queue to get in, because New Yorkers love to queue. It’s a stamp of approval on the eatery.
Same thing here too… usually for places that serve meat for some reason. Generally speaking this means I miss the next big thing because I am too lazy to hang around long enough for it to happen. I rely on happy coincidence. I’ve brunched once at a very trendy modern fusion Indian/Iranian spot once. But only because when I walked up to the door they let me be a walk in. Gracefully. Even though I was clearly smelly from the gym and said I would be joined shortly by a girl and a pram. I am happy to extol their virtues to others (the food was also good) but not to queue to get in. And at certain times you do queue.
So my friend suggested we go to a place known for quality but cheap steaks. Guess what? There was a queue. We thought at just before 7pm we weren’t that far behind in it. Turned out it was just the queue to get your name on the list. The wait was estimated to be 80-90 minutes. I wanted to walk right there.
For the sake of friendship I agreed to place us on the list and go somewhere. We went for a drink and I fought to find a signal in the bar we were in so I had to keep popping out to paranoidly check if we had a message.
When we went down an hour later to be informed the kitchen was shut due to some or other electrical problem.
They offered if we emailed them on our return they would give us a free drink. Didn’t really help me all that much as they still hold a no reservations policy and for the sake of £5 for a drink, my sanity would still be stretched.
That is part of the reason I never agree to wait in a queue. It’s like getting a dress tailored for you. In theory, great idea. In fact. You just don’t know what you are committing to.
There’s an hour of life I’m not getting back and I am still craving steak as a result.