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Jillian 13 – 2nd School Incident

Following on from our discussion of weird and wonderful incidents in her life, (perhaps this might lead to a few more stories – let's see where this take us), Jillian spoke of another school incident. A different school, different town, different teacher and a year older. The teacher Sir2 was probably only year 2 or 3 out of college as well. Jillian figured this out later when she thought about the way he went about stuff, his language, interests and things like that. Later it was fun for her to think that he was prolly only 10 or 12 years older than her, such a HUGE difference then. Since then she'd (euphemism alert) 'gone out with' blokes that were at least that much older than her.

I've just been told (again the looking over the shoulder thing) that the NEW terminology for this is 'dated'. Yuck. A horrible Americanism we would NEVER have used back then. Oh how life changes.

Back to Jillian.

She said, “This one is not really funny, but it was quite+ neat at the time. Some teachers can be horrid, but you get a few really nice ones.

I remember this chap 'Sir2” taught us to measure the height of flag poles using a method called trigameasure? or something like that. It wasn't on our curriculum, but was huge in the bragging rights area when we could tell the older kids 2 or 3 classes ahead of us stuff they didn't know. One boy even asked his father to estimate the height of the pole and his dad agreed with me. Couldn't figure out how I knew. That was really exciting.”

“But that's not the story I was going to tell you,” she said.

“It was athletics season, and we were in the inter-school sports. It was all running, hurdles, pass the baton, high jumps, long jumping and a couple of strange fun things like sack races and egg and spoon things.

We had been practising all the stuff except long jumping as we had nowhere to do it. We asked Sir2 what he could do.”

He gave a funny sort of a grin and laughed, 'Leave it to me.' he said.

“Well apparently the headmaster said 'no way'. So Sir 2 came back to us and reported the sad news. We were disappointed, and it all became a bit noisy with everyone yelling about it being unfair and all that kind of thing. It was obvious we all wanted to have a chance to compete in the long jump.

Once again, Sir2 said, 'Leave it to me.' And off we went for the day.

The next day was a Tuesday. Sir2 came in for the first class of the day and just sat at the front on his desk facing us doing nothing.

'What's the matter we all chorussed,' a bit like the baby classes say, 'Good Morning Miss Jones.' You know?

'I've got an idea', he said. 'but it has to be a very big secret. From everyone. Friends, family (especially family), and the other teachers, and really especially the Headmaster.'

'Oh a secret,' we all said. Kids love that kind of thing, especially when it is started by an adult. And a teacher as well.

'Yep,' he said. Then he went all serious and deep. 'Why don't we build one ourselves?'

“The class descended into mayhem. Immediately we broke into two groups each shouting at the other. At the same time. Kids never figure that out do they?”

I said, “Many adults don't get it either.”

An evil glare later and Jillian continued, “There was the group who said we couldn't do it; and the other who called us all some bad names and said why not?

“Sir2 just sat with that funny smile and waited for us all to quieten down.

When we stopped shouting, we realised he had been talking for a while. He used to do that. Talk very quietly, when we were all shouting, and when we stopped we had missed heaps of stuff. He had done that now.

We all listened very carefully to figure out what was going on. What was on his mind. Why it had to be a secret.

(to be continued ...)

#ourjillian

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Jillian 12 – School Incident

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Sometimes I ask people to tell me about one or two of the weirdest things things that have happened to them at certain times of their lives. Can be fun to listen to the answers. Can be enlightening. Can sometimes explain things about life that you hadn't even thought of asking.

Jillian had two incidents from primary school in a little country town that she told me about. You know I often wonder if she is telling me a truth about herself or channeling someone else? Perhaps they are all fantasy? Apparently our brains after a short time has passed, cannot tell the difference between something imagined, something we've read, a movie we watched a while ago and the reality of something we actually experienced. So could she be making all this up? I don't know. But as Mark Twain is supposed to have said, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." So on we go.

Jillian started laughing as she began this story. She was about 10, she said, when it happened. Her class was being taught by a young chap who she later found out was in his second year of teaching. So he was probably only about 22 or 23.

"We were doing a bit of outdoor PE. Something about ball skills or other teacher bulldust for wasting a bit of time. Tunnel ball was the way it started. Then Sir decided to make it more difficult and have us pass the ball between our legs to the back and then over our heads back up to the front of each team. One person was supposed to run from the front of the line to the back each time they touched the ball. Made for a fast and sometimes complicated game. Winner was declared as the first team to have the person who started at the front back in front again. Got it? If the ball was dropped or anything like that you had to return to where you were before the mistake.

"Of course the boys could not do it with out some form of mischief." she laughed. "So there was ball throwing and kicking, bashing of team members to slow them down, and general mayhem.

"Sir was having a little difficulty keeping things in check. He yelled at us to stop fiddling about. Then a few moments later he grabbed a boy rushing past him and told him to stop mucking the game up for others.

Nothing changed. Well it did. It got worse. The whole game was in danger of deteriorating into a free for all.

Sir was getting angry and upset. He shouted at the top of his voice - I now realise an combination of the two phrases he had already used. 'Stop f ucking everything up!'.

"There was a shocked silence. It had the desired affect. The game cleaned up, school sportfinishing not long after. "

My team won. I do remember that.

"No one heard what Sir said, and no one told their parents. That was good. He was a fun teacher."

#ourjillian

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Jillian 10 – Worst Travel Experience (Again)

"It doesn't really fit into best or worst categories," Jillian said once when we were talking about her travel experiences. Still? Yes, I know, but they are always interesting.

"There was once in Glasgow quite a few years ago, when I was staying with a friend of my mother's. It had been a long and harrowing journey from London's Euston station to Glasgow Central on the fast train. Can't remember what it's called. Perhaps The Flying Scotsman” she said. (Editor note: I think it was called Inter-City).

"Anyway. It was one of the new fully electric trains that had just introduced and it travelled, I think, at about 110 mph most of the way. It whipped through the stations like a tornado - the carriage rocked quite violently it seemed, and the noise of the wheels and the sound of the wind reflected back from the station buildings were very frightening. I wondered what would happen if we rocked so far that the platform or the roof would make contact with us and cause a catastrophic crash. Of course it hadn't happened so far and probably would never happen, but it was hellish scary."

"The trip took 5 hours but it seemed like forever." she said.

I sensed this was not the story. I was right.

"When I arrived, it was really embarrassing," she went on. "I was so exhausted, and it was getting latish, I could tell by all the half hidden yawns.”

“I think it was about 9.00 pm,” (she explained as an aside), “so I let them know I was ready for bed.”

A few friendly 'getting to know you' things happened. Including questions about what time I wanted to begin my exploring of Bearsden where they lived, and Glasgow in general, and what I wanted for breakfast.

BearsdenBearsden Coat of Arms lies on the northwestern fringe of Greater Glasgow, approximately 6 miles (10 km) from the City Centre, and is effectively a suburb, with housing development coinciding with the introduction of a railway line in 1863, and from where the town gets its name (Bearsden station was named after a nearby cottage). Wikipedia.

I said that since I was only going to be a few days I'd like to start quite early about 9.00am. And I mentioned that I thought a quick trip to Edinburgh might be a good idea. Shock horror, “That is so far away - on the other side of the country.” they said in unison, looking at me as if I had two heads. (It is actually about 60 miles or 70 km - just over an hour's journey by car and probably not much different by train). I gave that idea away. Pity, it would have been nice. But I didn't want to upset the hosts.

Next was the breakfast question. Easy answer.

"This," Jillian then said, "is where it became truly weird. I am in Scotland, right? Haggis and porridge? Yes? So not wanting to be a nuisance I said I'd just have porridge. I assumed that was the national breakfast.”

"MISTAKE. Big mistake.”

“I noticed a bit of activity outside the bedroom window as I crawled unwillingly from the warm bed on the rainy, cold morning that followed. My mother’s friend's husband (she couldn't remember names so this is a bit cryptic) was just pushing his bike back into the small lean-to thingy next to the very small and narrow cottage sort of structure in which they lived. See what I did there? Winston Churchill would be proud.

“They had NEVER eaten porridge, and, so as not to disappoint me, he had popped out to the early opening corner store to get some. Needless to say I was mortified.”

“And they didn't know how to make it either. It was horrible. But as I'd asked for it, I had to pretend I enjoyed it."

#ourjillian

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Jillian 9a – Worst Travel Experience … continued

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Wellington Airport.

Waiting at the antiquated and squealing, jerking baggage carousel. Finally it stopped. Nothing for Jillian.

Okaaaay.

What now?

It was then that it hit our friend Jillian. SHE HAD NOTHING. Her business clothes, fresh undies, toiletries, make-up, hair-brush the paperwork and stuff for her meetings, proper handbag - all was in that luggage. That luggage which she no longer appeared to be in possession of. I know, Churchill would not like that hanging preposition but bugger it - Jillian has lost her bag for God's sake.

Panic. She ran around frantically looking for someone, anyone to help her. Signs that existed were in English and Maori, but nothing appeared to help her figure out what to do.

Finally as she was close to breaking down here alone in Wellington, NZ on this fateful evening without anything, she began to cry. But she quickly decided that this was NOT the way for a business woman to act. With tears still clinging resolutely to her eyes she finally slowed down, and found a counter that was the most likely hiding place of those whose job it was to trace lost luggage.

"Nah. wasn't on the plane, Luv." said the helpful chap after asking someone on the other end of the old fashioned phone/intercom system, the same question phrased at least 4 different ways. Talk about the bleedin' obvious.

"So what do I do?" Jillian asked. "When is it likely to get here? What happens in the meantime?

"Dunno, Luv," he explained. Pause!

Obviously the answer to all 3 questions.

Jillian filled out a form. He had finally offered, "We'd better do a form, Miss"

He gave her a voucher for some airline stuff, soap tooth brush and the like - shit, yeah, she remembered that's in the bag too. Of course – it would be.

Then he added the clincher, "Since its after 5.00pm the airline counter is closed and you won't be able to redeem this until tomorrow. Sorry!"

“Sorry 'bout that.” he repeated unhelpfully.

“Shit, Shit. Shit.” Just another example of her shitty life, she thought. “Why doesn't stuff go right – just once would be OK? OK?”

Bet this wouldn't be happening to her boss Jack, she thought. Not bloody likely. “Why is it always me?” she wailed to herself.

Nothing open at the airport. Ironic isn't it. If she had know there was going to be no baggage as soon as she landed; shops would have been open and emergency supplies could have been obtained. Easily.

Outside, feeling completely naked with only her small clutch purse, an emergency touch-up lipstick and a credit card.

A taxi. Yep. That's the next step. Thinking. Thinking!

N.Z. still closes down in the evenings. The motel she was booked into was up in Lower Hutt. Quite  distance away.

Let's go.

Big mistake. The motel was staffed by a large bored woman with no interest in anything but the latest episode of “Close to Home”.

No emergency supplies. No help. No luck. Bad Day? No shit!

By this time the taxi had roared off.

“Was that a petrol station we passed just before the motel?” Jillian thought.

A short walk – thankful for small mercies – and YES a service station.

And finally a bit of luck. A small washing line and pegs. A traveller pack of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and even some deodorant. Not much else. But how good is it to have something?

Back in the room taking stock.

A quick, but horrendously expensive international phone call later, Jillian had managed to let her boss know what had happened and asked if he could fax some brochures, prices and anything else he might be able to lay his hands on, that might be a help. He said he could. Another small win.

Freezing. Naked and attempting to wash her smalls with the bar of soap Jillian wondered if it could possibly get worse.

It could. And did.

Nothing was dry in the morning and as the soap had not been rinsed out thoroughly, the undies were wet, cold, stiff and VERY uncomfortable. It was cold and windy, no surprise, and she looked and felt utterly ridiculous in her summery Melbourne costume. And COSTUME was really the word. She felt like a clown.

There was something for her at reception, not the least of which was the staff and other  guests laughing at this amazingly stupid Australian woman in the green and gold.

Taxi to the office of the older, straight laced MD of the company considering doing business with an unknown Australian firm for the first time. One with a YOUNG female sales rep. What are they thinking?

Short ride. Reading through the info supplied, Jillian found it was extremely limited. No company info, hers or the prospects. “Guess we trust to memory”, she thought. Very basic, black and white brochure and a price list.

Great. “I wish I was dead!” she lamented to herself.

Well it turned out to be an OK meeting. They seemed to understand her predicament. Laughed, but she was beginning to expect that. She was so cold, thinking and speaking was a chore, but it was finally over.

The journey home in the big metal tube in the sky was as uneventful as it could be under the the circumstances, and the credit card took a BIG hit. The Big Sky Mall.

Booze, (Scotch, Gin and Red Wine), promotional rubbish including a jacket to cover the summer gear and a watch and camera she didn't need but the retail therapy helped. Yes it did. Pity there were no shoes.

Well probably a good thing there were no shoes.

The next day; back home. In her own apartment. Properly clothed, a little less mortified, and with a developing hangover, Jillian phoned her boss.

An order had been faxed through during the night and even though it was a small one, it made our Jillian smile. Maybe the chafed bits were worth it after-all.

That was about it, though, for orders from this company, and it kind of put an end to Jillian travelling for the rest of her time with this employer. Unfair. But that's the way it goes for a woman in a man's world.

As the ticket and accommodation had been purchased using her Amex card, Jillian was able to claim for all the lost stuff. Suitcase and all. A nice little win she thought. Bought some new clothes with the money. Sweet, Bro.

3 months later, her very badly battered bags arrived home. They had been to Hawaii and Los Angeles. Lucky them. “Even my bags have a better life than me.”

#ourjillian

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