A woman has called and is giving Sweet Sue down in reception a very hard time. Her request? The phone number to Stratford. But no, she won't take the local number, she MUST have the toll-free number. I offer to take the call.
Me: Good afternoon, this is Loretta in Marketing Services. How may I help you?
She-bitch: (barking at someone in the background)I'm on the phone! So?
Me: Hello?
She-bitch: So you got it?
Of course I have it, Lil' Miss Crankypants. It's right in front of me. Normally I don't mind giving out contact information for OTHER theatre companies -- I just want to hear you ask nicely.
Me: You were just transferred to Marketing Services. Is there something I can help you with?
Me: I am not the same person you were just speaking to. May I ask what it is that you are requesting? Which number are you looking for?
The bitch hung up on me. I really do enjoy speaking slowly and politely to irate people, because it riles them up even more. The scary thing is that this call was made from within the Toronto District School Board. What a fine example she must be setting for the kids. All for a toll-free number so that she could save a couple of cents?


If you really want me to buy your goods...
"Hi again, this is Bob Harrington from Cineram International. Long time no speak. I was wondering if you could tell me who the gentleman at the very top of your organization at Stratford is. We'd like to send him some correspondence. I've tried your colleague but he hasn't returned four messages or anything else like that, so we'd like to go to the very top of your company. Thanks very much. Bye bye."
Get your facts straight before you call. I work at the Shaw, not Stratford. And both people at the TOP of our organization, the Executive Director AND the Artistic Director, are women. What a doof. Can't wait to hear the embarrassment in your voice when I tell you.


I guess it's because I've got an attitude problem...
M: So are you close with Karen in Development?
L: Close? I wouldn’t say close. We kinda say HI to each other in the hall.
M: Ah. Well are you going to that surprise shower she’s throwing for Kay?
L: Erm. Apparently not. This is the first I’ve heard of it.
M: Oh. Well it was an e-vite, which is kind of cool because it gives you an option of telling what you might bring, since it’s a potluck.
L: I see.
M: Gee, I figure if you’d be going, I’d know someone else there, since I’ve only met Kay the one time. I just thought it was kinda strange that I’d get invited.
L: Well it would have been nice to get invited to my boss’ baby shower, but I probably would have been anti-social and declined. I wouldn’t have known anyone – well, not that… I wouldn’t have had any interest talking to any of those people…
M: Hah, you would know me.
L: True. Then I would have only spoken to you. And we could have been anti-social together.


Saturday at St Ratford
I've worked at The Shaw since February and have yet to attend a single performance. But thanks to industry comps, I managed to catch two plays at Stratford yesterday with Som. First was Shakespeare's Timon of Athens -- set in the present time, with many great suits. Peter Donaldson, the actor in the title role, has got an amazing voice. In the evening, we saw Guys and Dolls -- with four lead roles (including Sheila McCarthy and Cynthia Dale), they were all fantastic and I wholeheartedly agree with these people I overheard in the lobby: no one stole the show. I don't understand why so many people have an aversion to musicals. This made me smile so big, my face hurt at times. Not as much as Singin' in the Rain makes my face hurt -- but Gene Kelly will do that to me. Bruce Dow, as Nicely Nicely Johnson, was wicked, but I was not surprised, since he was very funny in CanStage's Sweeney Todd and the ONLY good thing at Blyth Festival's The Pirate's Daughter. Now I'm interested to see how a Shaw production would compare to either of these shows. One thing I did learn, however, is that I am definitely working for the wrong theatre festival -- Stratford boys are much much cuter.


Up way before the crack of dawn...
I had been asked to help hand out brochures at Union Station -- but I had to get there before the morning rush. So Jess and I left St Kitts at 4:30 AM, getting into Toronto a little before 6. It's true, these people -- ALL people -- are bombarded with advertisements every day, so how is one little glossy handout going to sway them? Nevertheless, the geniuses who oversaw this operation gave two girls 25,000 brochures to hand out in one day. Give me a break. Some people will take almost anything that's free. They had no idea what I was handing out, yet their hands were outstretched even ask they asked "What's this for?" Ah yes, it was supposed to be a promo blitz -- in at 6, out by 10. We were there until 6:30 PM and we STILL had to drive around to unload about 1,500 brochures at the Eaton Centre. Boy was I cheery and chirpy at 6 AM! My most interesting exchange came very early in the day, with a middle-aged man, bald and bespectacled..
Me: Good morning! Would you like a brochure about Niagara-on-the-Lake?
He: No.
Me: Ah well then, how about a lovely Shaw brochure?
He: If I take one, will you leave me alone?
Me: No.
He: Well, I'm stuck in this fucking job that's completely sucking the life out of me. I'm pretty much locked in until 2006... so I'm not going anywhere ANYTIME soon.
Me: Except to and from work! (Insert toothy grin)
I really shouldn't be such a wiseass, especially with strangers. For all I know, Mr. Crankypants could have been carrying a gun, waiting to spray the station with bullets. But come on, who was the one who got up at 3 this morning? If I can be there with a big fat smile on my face, ready to share my sunshine and morning breath with Union Station commuters, surely he can spare me his goddamn sob story and take a goddamn brochure?
I am sore all over. Pity me.


Librarians are an interesting group of people. I know that because I used to work with an assortment of them -- though most of these were school librarians. Some of the school librarians had the neatest earings and vests embroidered with cats and teddy bears. I have considered going back to school, if this fundraising career doesn't take off, and becoming a teacher-librarian. Or maybe a public librarian, then I'll get to tell neat stories like this guy.

WARNING: Libraries breed drug addicts. I came across this a few years ago and it still cracks me up.



On a sad note, a Canadian icon died at his home today. Brian Linehan was 58.


Wow. 2 weeks. Time for a recap.
Number of chicken wings eaten: Many. Almost died when I was challenged by a hot wing dipped in suicide sauce.
Number of alcoholic beverages imbibed: More than I'm used to.
Bowling score while sober vs. while tipsy: 53 - 31. What can I say? Heavy balls.
Number of skinny-dip outings: None yet, although I've worn one less piece each time.
Number of close encounters with a male: One. My aunt's Shih Tzu has taken a real liking to me. Guess it helps to not shave my legs and to wear a Black Lab-scented skirt.