Last week I had to travel to a conference/training thing for work. Usually these are a great excuse for getting completely hammered drunk the night before with colleagues from all across this wonderful little country. Junkets, they are basically junkets under the guise of work. You get pissed in a free hotel room! Hurray for the lads!
So to get to these drinking events you have to go to Dublin…I hate Dublin. If I don’t get a hotel room I have to travel up at stupid o clock on an airport bus – these are places where dreams go to die. The following is the story of Steve and the Good Samaritan.
I got off the bus at the train station which I always find funny. I walked outside for a well-earned cigarette and within thirty seconds a junkie came up looking for change…I was not surprised. This happened twice more before I finished that cigarette and pissed me off to the point where I almost turned out my pockets to clearly show the lack of change. As everybody knows I only carry 50s, crisp new 50s. When I use a 50 euro note I keep the paper money and use it for paying off public order fines on account of the fact that I throw my coin change at hipsters to convey my disgust for their child like appearance. Gain some weight, Hipsters! It’s fun to eat food!
After being hounded for change I walked over to the Luas stop. For those of you outside of Ireland these are magic electrical trains that throw you around the city at frightening speeds. I was having trouble figuring out which train was which. There is a green line train and a red line train but there is no obvious way of telling which is which, it’s baffling really. If you colour code the zones the trains go to why not use those colours and paint the fucking trains!!! God!!!
I decided that I should travel on the cheap so the company wouldnt have to pay for me being lazy and getting a cab… MISTAKE! I eventually figured out which was which and I was on my way to the Red Cow area.
After seeing some pretty depressing areas of the big schhhmoke I stopped at the Red Cow area Luas stop…nowhere close to where I wanted to go. I found myself at a Luas “Park and Ride” car park. The single most depressing place I have ever had the chronic misfortune of inhabiting. It is a place for people that live so far away from work to drive, park up and then still have to get a freaking train to work…and then repeat the process ten hours later. Horrifying. That is no life. I missed Galway, more than I ever have in my life.
So because the stupid train dropped me far away from the hotel I was kinda lost in a carpark in the middle of Fuck-knows. I asked a few extremely unhelpful fellow train folk how to get back to where I was going who all told me to “google it”. After another junkie asked me for change I asked a staff member of the car park (Park Ranger is a better name) and he told me to go over the bridge. Once again…DUH! So I said “fuck it” il walk over and see what happens! Obviously I took a wrong turn somewhere and I ended up wandering through a barren industrial wasteland at the back of Clondalkin. No Craic.
It was 20 degrees outside, I was wandering aimlessly and I was in work clothes making the whole thing far hotter and far more uncomfortable. I took a right and walking into Clondalkin village (I think) where I was greeted by another junkie asking for change. I was still completely confused and my phone GPS was as helpful as the shitty train. I saw a guy in a Dublin GAA jersey and I was delighted! Surely this guy will know how to get there…or point me in the direction of a taxi. Nope…he told me to back the way I came and ask at the Luas stop. Ballbag.
After another junkie asked me for change I wandered aimlessly until I saw a lady who seemed like she knew where she was going. I stopped her and asked for directions and she said “Wow, you ARE lost”. My whole day was filled with unhelpful people and misery. I figured she would be the same but how wrong was I.
She walked me up toward where she was going and offered me a lift to the hotel. I couldn’t believe it. I (obviously) declined because I did not want to put this lady out of her way but she insisted. I just could not fathom the level of kindness she showed to me. She drove me to the hotel and talked about how she had recently lost her job due to downsizing. She was very religious and spoke about how god would find a solution for her. As you know, I am a huge atheist so I had to quell my desire to laugh and point. She was too nice and got me to my meeting on time…being late would have been very bad, you have no idea!
She completely restored my faith in people. Honestly. I couldn’t believe it. People in Ireland have been complete dicks since “we all” got that sweet sweet money so it was nice to meet somebody that wasn’t a complete prick for once.
With my faith in humanity restored I walked into the hotel to check in. I asked where the conference room was and was pointed to the door, told to “go up there on the right” and wait at the door. There were several doors so I just hung around until others showed up after being given the same shitty directions.
I decided not to let my new found faith in humanity die out so I continued on believing that people are basically good. That was until I had to sit through a FIVE HOUR LONG presentation on headphones, headphone accessories and the “mantra” behind the company.
I know what you’re thinking. Steve, how could they talk about headphones for five hours?”. They found more and more ways to drag that snoozefest out and each new method increased my rage. To liven things up after lunch these Nazis got us to do these dumb ass game-things. Oh the games were like pulling teeth. One game involved all of us poor bastards having to stand in a line based on the first letter of our names, the kicker was…we had to figure out who was who. Oh I nearly ran out of the room screaming “Rape! Rape!” just to end the nonsense.
Another game was the same premise except this time we had to line up based on how many years we had been working in electronics. There I was dead last in the line as the longest serving, most miserable prick in the room. So they asked us little lab rats to call out (from start to finish) how long we’ve been in this magical industry. It started enthusiastically with “Jenny. 6 months” and ended miserably as a handsome man with a voice like smooth chocolate said “Steve. 8 years.” I should have followed with “Jenny! Run away now! This will be your life! Run quite quickly!” It was possibly the most excruciatingly painful experience off my life and I have broken both arms, a toe and a finger. It doesn’t come close and I still had a Luas journey and a two and a half hour bus ride home to look forward to.
I now hate every single human being on this planet with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Still, it was a nice few minutes there when I had faith in people again. Oh well.