Working Hard

Today in tasks that someone’s gotta do: being flown (business class, mind you) to every capital city in the country to critique the ‘fun factor’ of each of the company’s state offices. Why this was assigned to me, I can’t say. It seems like a bit of a filler activity – just a fairly costly one that also happens to be quite luxuriant and undemanding for the person doing it.

Anyway, that’s how I’ve wound up in this hotel spa, musing on the relative merits of a rock climbing wall over a UV-reactive zone expressly set aside for playing giant Jenga. I’m not required to take into account spatial functionality, feasibility or expense in my reviews – in fact, I’ve been advised that it’s all about letting my imagination run wild and untrammelled.

I’ve been thinking that criteria differ from office to office when it comes to dreaming up the ideal high end commercial fitout. Sydney, for example, is all about being on trend on all levels, and that includes this so-called ‘fun factor’. No mere pool tables or funky paint jobs will do. There needs to be something that no one has thought of before, like a barefoot reflexology walkway or a ceiling-mounted coffee delivery chute that plays classic 8-bit game themes as it shuttles your cup to your desk.

That’s my current view, anyway. I’m no expert on this – like I said, I can’t say why this job was assigned to me. Maybe it’s because I’m your garden variety employee, which I guess gives me a certain take on office design ideas. Sydney has been a good time, anyway, and I’m not asking too many questions lest the Brisbane leg of my trip be thrown into question. I’m assuming that the hotel I’m provided with will be as good as this one in every city.

In some ways, a luxury business hotel could be considered the height of ‘fun factor’. Some might disagree, but I can’t go past a nice pool and gym, room service and a comfortable suite all to myself. Now, how could those elements translate to an office environment, do you think?

Renovations Make Happy Relatives

I think my parents have a bit of a problem – they can’t seem to stop renovating. It’s as though they’re uncomfortable with not having a project on the go. They fill in any spare gap in their calendar with everything from maintenance tweaks to full on room makeovers.

When they run out of things to update, they go right back to where they started and repeat the process. Every few years they accept that there’s really nothing more to be done, which is when they sell up. I’ve wondered where they find the money to do all this, and have since concluded that it must be their due from improving the value of their investments so diligently. Hey, whatever floats your boat. It all looks a bit stressful to me, though.

For example, they’re currently overseeing a renovation of their downstairs bathroom, which has seen a continual stream of designers, builders, delivers and other tradespeople coming in and out via the kitchen for past month. Who knew that renovating a single room could be such a process? Well, it’s probably at least partly due to my parents’ very particular taste in bathroom design. Melbourne minimalism meets industrial Berlin is, according to mum, the look they’re going for. Okay then.

Next on their agenda is going to be the kitchenette in the self-contained one-room flat out the back. They haven’t said as much, but I know it’s going to be that. You see, I noticed that a couple of the tiles are coming slightly unstuck, and the wall is a tiny bit discoloured over the cooktop. If there was ever a need for a drastic kitchen redesign, this would be it… not. But I’m going to leave them to do their thing in peace.

I wonder if I’m going to be like this as I get older (and wealthier – here’s hoping). It’s hard to imagine myself investing quite so much in custom cabinetry, hinge designs and bespoke built-in storage solutions, but I guess you never know.

Television…or Streaming?

What to do, in this new and exciting information age? I like television…but I also like streaming…but can I have both?

Neat-Flicks has my absolute favourite show of all time, Fiends. It’s the one about the six mortal enemies living near each other in Toronto, and getting into wacky, day-to-day adventures while actually hating each other quite a lot. But then, I can’t really watch live sporting events on streaming, because someone thought it would be a good idea not to invent that yet. Plus, you get to witness television events, and the GF really likes it for Week of Our Lives, so…

I guess we need to get onto that antenna then. Antenna repair company in Melbourne work at a reasonable rate, and it’s not like regularly scheduled programming is going away any time soon. Like digital radio, television just got better. Not that I’ve had it for a while, but I was cat-sitting over the weekend and they said “hey, turn the television on, Jester really likes the sound”, and I did. Their Wi-Fi was down, so I started flicking through the channels and I didn’t even make it through all of them before I had to go. How many channels are there nowadays? Why do we need twenty-six different news channels, and who’s making all the shows about trucks driving long distances? Who’s making any of this stuff? Although that one about people driving on ice was flipping wild. SO stressful to watch, but it kept me on the edge of my seat, for sure.

TV has definitely moved on to the point where there’s actually something to watch at any time of day, while streaming…streaming is just great in a totally different way. And then there’s Week of Our Lives, and I’m definitely not getting out of that one, so…guess I’m springing for Melbourne’s best antenna installation, AND a subscription to Neat-Flicks. Gotta have my Fiends.

-Raquelle Greene

Booking the reception function room

Nothing brings people together quite like a weddings, even if they don’t WANT to come together! I’ve been planning weddings for sixteen years, and for a couple of those I had my own TV show on channel 46. You might remember Big Day With Dave? It became pretty famous at one point when one of our brides threw tantrum, threw the cake out the window and threw her fiancé into a pool. Then jumped in and tried to strangle him. The show was cancelled after we tried to arrange a marriage between a llama and a mentally ill woman, but I feel like I’ve learned a few lessons from then. And since then, I’ve just been planning weddings, nice and simple with a bit of Dave-style flair.

Of course, having been in the business for so long, I’m a master of the trade. Need a function room available in Melbourne at a moment’s notice? Oh, I’ll find it for you in half a moment. Want a cake shaped like a moose-hound, even though they’ve never been photographed in captivity? It’s just a google search away. Trust me, I’ve heard it all; in fact, I often like to challenge my new clients to surprise me. One couple wanted their function room decked out like an ice cave, and that was where they were having the ceremony. Once they got to the end and they were properly married, a giant model boulder was supposed to drop from the ceiling and they’d have to race to the exit without it crushing them. There was no actual danger, but seeing them dressed as explorers dashing down the aisle, being pursued by a massive fake rock…oh, it brought a tear to my eye. The place later complained about the actual oil-soaked torches, but I’m happy to pass the blame on that one. I can only make suggestions; if the soon-to-be happy couple have something in mind, then it’s practically out of my hands!

There you have it, folks. Challenges all accepted, because I want to make your big day even bigger than you could possible imagine! Though I would appreciate you respecting the safety measures. Knowing all of Melbourne’s corporate venue rooms isn’t all that useful when none of them want me back!