Pure Gonzo Engineering

Friday, September 16, 2005

Gonzo Engineering Hits the United Kingdom

As I’ve been saying in previous posts, I had convinced the management of Opposite of Dog that it would be a good idea to send myself and several other individuals to England to visit one of our suppliers since no one from our company has ever seen their facility.

On Saturday, I departed from Peoria at 5:55 am and flew to Chicago. I had some breakfast and chatted with the other two guys I was traveling with. One of them was a cool guy from purchasing in his mid 30’s. The other was a bit older than me, but I would learn on this trip that he was a major douche.

We flew to England in a 777 which was nice because in coach it has 2-5-2 seats, and I was at the end of a 5 row with no one next to me until the guy at the other end of the 5 row, so I had three seats to spread out in. The 8 hours went by pretty quickly. I had bought a portable DVD player for the trip, so I watched a few different movies in-between getting fed the “gourmet” airline food.

We landed in Heathrow at 10:30pm London time. It took an hour and a half to get through passport control due to the fact that several large airliners had landed at relatively the same time. Now it was midnight, and all the shuttle buses to the hotels had stopped running so we needed to get a cab. No problem in a big city airport on a Saturday, Right? No, it took us another hour to get a cab. I swear the same five cabs kept picking people up and dropping them of and returning. So we finally made it to the hotel at about 1:30 in the morning. I was still on Central Standard Time so I couldn’t fall asleep until 3:00am. I was hoping to wake up and explore London in the morning before we had to checkout, but when the wakeup call came at 7:00am I just couldn’t get up.

A representative from the company we were visiting picked us up at 11:30 and drove us to Lincoln, which is about 2 hours northeast of London. Lincoln is a neat little town that has a really old section to it with a castle built in 900, a HUGE cathedral, and some old Roman arches and walls dating back to like 90 B.C. Luckily we had some time and got to explore all of these things and also drink some proper English beer in some local pubs.

There was also this statue in the cathedral that had no face, and a huge penis and feet. I made one of the guys take a picture of me pointing to the statue’s huge package because my wife and I always take obscene pictures of things we find on our travels, especially phallic things.

We went to bed relatively early that night because we had to go work the next day. I ate some shitty English food for breakfast the next morning, and then we were off to visit the supplier. The day went well; even though the first plant we went to I wasn’t particularly interested in. We wrapped up around 3:30 and then the representatives of the company drove us to the second facility, which is near Manchester. On the way we stopped at a pub to eat dinner and have some pleasant conversation. I love the English accent; hence I love chatting about anything with English people. It’s just fun and interesting.

The next day we went to the facility I was most interested in. Captain McDouche I was traveling with almost had a heart attack over how this facility was set up. I agreed that they had some room to improve, but he wanted to stop getting stuff from these guys, and I just told him he needed to chill and understand exactly what engineering was asking from this product and what they were actually delivering. He still didn’t understand, but I don’t think he ever would.

McDouche is a Peoria local so he has a warped view that Peoria is actually OK and doesn’t suck. His dad also works for Opposite of Dog, so it can do no wrong and is always right. He was actually worried about how much we were paying for things. Fuck man, we’re here on business for a billion dollar company, who gives a fuck if breakfast costs 13 pounds?

When I got back to the hotel I took a swim, and then went to this Tai restaurant. It was really good. It was about the best thing I had to eat while I was there.

The next morning, I flew back to Chicago via Manchester. My flight back to Peoria was delayed because our flight attendant didn’t show up on time. I was pretty pissed because I just wanted to be home.

Yesterday, I felt really good because I had been in the Liberal haven that was England for 5 days. We had a big type meeting first thing on Thursday, and it just put me in a rotten fucking mood about work. Our upper management are such tools, I have a hard time not vomiting all over when the shit starts coming out of their mouths.

Anyway, it was a good trip. I had fun. It was even better because it was free. I’ll put some pictures up in a bit.

Labels: ,


  • Interesting trip...

    I went to England 6 years ago. My wife and I were engaged in Liverpool at bar across from the Cavern Club.

    I flew on a 747 over there since she was already there for school getting her Master's. Funnny story, it's like 9 1/2 hours from San Francisco to London direct. I sat in the end seat of the middle row that seated 4 and a lady sat on an opposite row next to me. I popped some sleeping pills and had a few glasses of wine so I could knock myself out but it wasn't working. I sat and watched cricket highlights on the tv. Meanwhile the bitch next to me lays across the two seats between us so she now is hogging the whole row. She was out cold. Suddenly the captain got on and very seriously asked everyone included the attendants to strap in for some heavy turbulence. It got bumpy and the lady slept away with out her seat belt on. We hit a big bump and I felt this really weightless feeling (not wine and sleeping pills) and I watched the lady sorta hover about 1 1/2 up in the air then suddenly she slammed back down rolling off the seats onto the floor. She was all jacked up and finally awake. I just sat there and told her, "Oh, the captain says there's turbulence or something." She was hurting and I was laughing. Quite a funny experience.

    British food sucks ass but the beer freaking rules!!!

    By Blogger Steve, at 11:05 PM, September 16, 2005  

  • Sounds like you had a bloody good time.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8:30 AM, September 17, 2005  

  • I've only flown on a 777 once and it was the first year it was in commercial operation. It was nice.

    I wish I could go to England. The farthest I've ever been from home is Puerto Rico, which is pretty kickass, if you don't take into account the vicious-as-hell mosquitos and the damn annoying tree frogs. The beach that we stayed at was nice though. It was #2 or something like that on one of those Travel Channel Best Beaches in the World once. The food is good too. I've been raised on a lot of Caribbean food, due to my mom being Cuban and having great cooking skills. They've got this Cuban food restaurant here in Oceanside. The name is the Spanish word for "saffron" which I can't remember. But it's a great place. Good food, especially the yucca.

    Damn, I really went off topic.

    That story is waaaay too funny, steve. Annoying people deserve whatever they get.

    By Blogger Kevin W., at 11:08 PM, September 17, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home