24 February 2011

NEVER Fly Tiger Airways

I awoke at 4:30am to head back to Sydney from Melbourne for a one-hour meeting before returning to Melbourne by 2pm just in time for an afternoon meet and greet followed by the conference President's Dinner where Justine and I would proceed to wine, dine, and be generally awesome.

My morning routine went off without a hitch and I caught a can in record time for 5am. The driver dropped me at Tiger's auxiliary terminal located 2 or 3 days walk from the rest of the airport, fresh drinking water, and any signs of intelligent life.

Naturally, there were two people to check in an entire airplane. Brilliant guys. Just brilliant. The announcements over the PA included things like: "Hi, okay, we are paging the four people who checked in but have not gotten on the plane to Brisbane. Apparently they don't want to go to Brisbane today.". They were made at ear-piercing levels that left all of us in line wincing while simultaneously plugging our ears.

My fellow passengers were attempting to check bags enveloped in plastic wrap and duck tape as large and as heavy as a small donkey. Babies were crying. Some weren't wearing shoes. The staff were clearly over the moon and job satisfaction was visibly sky high (read: sarcasm).

As I neared the desk the announcement was made that I would, in fact, not be traveling to Sydney this fine morning; something everyone had told me in jest (or truth, apparently) AFTER I had bought my ticket. Of course, what did I expect? After all, I was traveling from a leaping tiger to a paw print. That's never good.

The panic begins To set in immediately. I am flying to Sydney for only one meeting. One INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT meeting. I have a return flight that will go to waste. My phone has no reception thanks to the brilliant Vodaphone so I can't phone my boss to confer.

My instinct is to dart back to the other terminals located in civilization and find an alternative flight. I take off at full speed, arms and bags flailing.

I maintained this pace for the first several hours of my run but by the time I reached the other terminal I was panting, sweating, and wildly flustered.

Arriving at the Virgin ticketing desk resulted in being advised that all flights are full. Quantas lovingly offered me a one-way price equal to chartering a private jet, so that was out.

I finally arrived at the JetStar ticketing desk, lump in my throat and near tears. This whole skip back to Sydney was incredibly important and now here I was stranded by the powers of dreaded Tiger Airways.

I reached the counter and attempted to explain to poor Mary what was happening. The added stress of knowing the only workable flight was leaving in 35 minutes (with ticketing closing in 5) didn't help. "I me Sydney go now work Tiger bad meeting important broken phone airplane soon.". Mary looked at me, "I'm sorry, what?" I tried again. "Plane. No fly. Meeting. Sydney. Sad. Go now."

"So you need a plane to Sydney now for a meeting," she translated. I nodded.

Mary is my new hero. She managed to completely sort my entire drama out in under 3 minutes with 1 minute to spare before ticketing closed. She did this at a reduced rate (out of pity, I think) then raced me through security after having to run my credit card twice because I couldn't remember the pin. It was a tragic comedy of errors.

Thankfully, I made the meeting in no small part due to Mary. Tiger, you are the worst. EVER.


Kyle Taylor

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Tullamarine Fwy,Melbourne Airport,Australia

21 February 2011


For the better part of 3 years, I couldn't tell you where I was going to be or what I was going to do week-to-week or even day-to-day. There was a general plan of action but the specifics were inevitably left to be filled in. While this did stress me at times, it ultimately kept life fun, interesting, and changing quickly.

Now, in the world of normal, I can pretty much tell you where I'm going to be every Monday night at 7pm for the foreseeable future - in Zumba class. On Tuesdays at 11:15am I will be with my trainer (because that's what you have when you have a regular income and need to fit in). On Thursdays at 7am I will be at bikram yoga and on Saturday mornings I will be eating two eggs over medium on toast with yogurt, a banana, and orange juice. While most may find this comforting, I find it exhausting. The whole thing is like this delicate tower of must-dos and have-tos that get discussed and talked about regularly. In our office I know everyone else's schedule and they know mine. For every day of the week. I could literally tell you what I am scheduled to do every day of the week for the foreseeable future.

If plans change I get confused and don't know what to do with the spare time. "Oh, so no Zumba tonight? I guess I'll um...well...maybe...goodness me, this has just really thrown me for a loop. I mean, no, it's fine. Yeah, no, things come up (how, I don't know because Zumba has been on the calendar for a month and you don't just cancel Zumba). It's fine. Yeah, I'm fine. I'll find something else to do." Pan to me three hours later twiddling my thumbs trying to think of something to do on the spur of the moment.

For now, I shall find comfort in my routine and do my best to go with the flow. In fact, I've just penciled in some "go with the flow" time on Thursday evenings. I can't wait!


Kyle Taylor

Picture from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/files/u107/exercise_routine.jpg

20 February 2011

The Urgency Of The Golden Girls

There's this very strange phenomenon when you have a traditional job. At 5pm, your work is done. Like, totally done. You leave and it stays there. You perhaps think about it once or twice but from 5pm to 9am, life is yours. In my previous "alternative" life, work was life and life was work. It all melded together, none of it ever really stopping, separating, or compartmentalizing.

With all these free time comes the challenge of finding time fillers. When you're not working 80 hours a week, what does one do? I've been a keen observer in an effort to learn what 9-5 folks have taken on.

They do things like work out. They spend all day (when the sun is shining) inside working then spend a few hours in the evening (when the sun has set) running in place on a moving piece of plastic in an air-conditioned room full of other people doing the same thing. It boggles my mind yet I do it every day.

They "go for drinks." This is the quintessential working professional activity aimed at "unwinding" after a "long day" and is performed with close friends and/or colleagues. It starts with "just one to relax" and ends alone in a taxi at 10pm after having spent $70 on beer (but then it's up at 6am to run the beer off on a moving piece of plastic in an air-conditioned room). I don't do the beer thing, thankfully.

They pick up hobbies. These become the topics of conversation at drinks. "Oh yes, I'm taking a painting class on Wednesdays. Just utterly divine." I'm taking a hip hop dance class because it's AWESOME.

They take up the latest trends. "Oh, I'm doing Zumba every Monday." *Cough* I'm doing Zumba every Monday.

They shop. Dear god do they shop. At lunch. Online. During Thursday night "late shopping." On the weekends. On the go. All the time. Always shopping. For work clothes. For stuff to do their hobby. For "going out" clothes. For Zumba shoes. It's a never-ending revolving door dedicated entirely to spending money. Then they go back to work to make more money so they can spend that too.

They watch box sets of television shows with an uncanny urgency. It's utterly bizarre but with all this time you can literally watch an entire season of a television show in a week. Not only "can" you do it, you MUST do it. It's a mission. It goes on your to-do list. Mine currently says: Call Mom, check on visa status, blog, contact internet provider about service, pack for Kilimanjaro trip, watch series two of The Golden Girls. That last bit is circled, underlined, and written in red ink. I can't explain it but it must be done and it must be done now. I'm sitting here writing and thinking to myself, "man, I need to hurry. Got lots to watch before I can go to bed." WHY?!?! This makes no sense and yet it feels totally normal. Must. Watch. B. Arthur.

Is it because there is so little urgency in my current lifestyle relative to the past that I need to create it in new and innovative ways? Is it that I love Betty White THAT MUCH? I'm still not sure but I do know I've got to get the gym, stop in for after-work drinks, pick up some new pants for my dance class that I "need" and watch 3 episodes of the Golden Girls all before Tuesday. Man, it's going to be a busy start to the week...


Kyle Taylor

16 February 2011

My Job Explained In 2 Minutes

Alas, I've just finished producing the above video that highlights what exactly we do at Inspired Adventures! Thanks to the amazing editing team at StoryHead. Watch it and ask yourself the question, "What Inspires Me To Act?"

Then dance around your living room like nobody's watching!


Kyle Taylor

14 February 2011

Bills, Bills, Bills. Pay my internet bills, pay my...

Now that I have like, a set income that like, I get every two weeks to like, buy things, I also have set bills that I like, have to pay, like, every few weeks. Until a few months ago, I had never in my life had a recurring online bank transfer. I didn't even know what it was when my roommate asked me to set one up to pay rent. The conversation went like this:

Cynthia: "You can just pay me quickly and easily online using online bill pay."

Me: "Oh cool! So easy! What's online bill pay?"

Cynthia: "It's a banking tool that allows you to set up regular transfers that just happen at pre-determined, scheduled dates and times. You just need BSB, account number, and so forth. The usual stuff."

Me: "Oh cool! What's BSB? I only know it as Backstreet Boys."

Cynthia: "Um, no, it's the bank code so they know where to send the money."

Me: "But they don't really "send" anything, do they. It's just zipping through computer land. I don't know, it seems weird."

Cynthia: "It's not weird. It's real life."

Me: "But what if there isn't enough money?"

Cynthia: "There will be, because you get paid the same day every other week."

Me: "Oh, right. I do. Like, every other week. All the time."

It's amazing how every other Thursday, I have money. I mean, I work for it but I always have always "worked" at something and never gotten this regular reward of cash-in-hand. It feels so foreign. What also feels foreign is how quickly it disappears. I didn't realize real people have so many bills. Some of them seem normal (like rent) then others are like, "why did I sign up for that?"

I gotta pay my rent bills. I gotta pay my cell phone bills. I gotta pay my internet bills. I gotta pay my yoga bills. I gotta pay them all every month. Like, EVERY month. All the time. Forever. So in turn, I gotta keep my job because I need the money to pay all the bills I have created for myself. It can all be rather stressful. AND, it seems like it's always time to pay the bills again. I'm constantly saying to myself, "I just paid that bill. They already want my money again?"

What's also stressful is the hidden costs and the horrific deal you seem to get as the consumer. The cell phone guy: "Okay, so that's $55 a month. Plus one time activation plus first month ahead plus bond plus tax plus human interaction fee plus the "you bought it on Tuesday" bonus bill plus the "unlimited options" limitation exemption fee so that comes to $832." There I am going, "but I just did the BSB and the Act and the recurring monthly transfer for $55 and it took me 2 hours to set up and I don't know how to undo it" and they're telling me "okay well, I'll have to tack on the wrong payment amount finders fee cross reference expense as outlined in bullet point 922 on page 213 written in size 6 font."

The real world is hard.


Kyle Taylor

09 February 2011

Back in the Saddle

And we're back! It has been exactly 82 days since my last post. How embarrassing is that? It was a perfect storm, really. Work got manic post-trip and I was spending 100 hours a week in the office! I darted off to USA and UK for a month opening presents with the fam, dancing the night away with the sister and the Aditi, ringing in the New Year from Big Ben, dancing more with the Lianne (pictured), and celebrating the wedding of the wonderful Helen and Dave. Time literally flew and to be honest, I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say.

While I am so thankful to be employed, the settled life has been a major adjustment for me. I go to the same place five days a week and do work things. I then go to do some exercise, eat some dinner, email, skype with family, read my book, take a shower, sleep, and repeat. Though I just moved, I come home to the same place and sleep in the same bed and sit in the same desk chair. I tune my bike (yes, I am now cycling EVERYWHERE). I watch 87 episodes of the same show in a row. I have dinner parties and talk about life things - kids, marriage, bills, new traffic patterns, produce offerings at the supermarket. I file tax returns. I feel like my parents.

These things are not what I usually do. You know how most might say sleeping on the floor of a hut in an ethnic minority village deep in the Vietnamese countryside would be outside their comfort zone? This is what that's like for me. So as not to go stir crazy, I'm attempting to think about it, reflect upon it, and find the humor in it. This is my current adventure: Domestic "Bliss."

Welcome to my new world. More to come!