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A Seemingly Mad March

Posted in From The Editor's Perspective

It’s only a few days into March as I reflect upon the happenings in February. There have been a few resignations from the US cabinet, #45 has accused #44 of illegal wire tapping without any evidence, the BBC and the New York Times (among others) were banned from a White House briefing, the terms ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ have become common phrases in the vernacular, and you can’t even join a bloody Facebook group if you have privacy controls because your profile is deemed fake!

Let me address the latter; I like Facebook, but privacy matters, and controls are in place because quite simply people do abuse things and some people are stupid and cruel. I tried to join a few groups, only to be told that accounts that hide friends or that are private are considered to be ‘fake’ accounts and the request will be declined. I can only surmise these are rules created by not so bright millennials, because there are many fake accounts around, and are less likely to have privacy controls on them. Think about it; if it’s fake, it’s done for a reason and they usually post more than an average person would.

As for the White House—it seems to be collapsing as Sessions (the current Attorney General) didn’t recall any contact with the Russians during his confirmation hearings, then upon the media discovering there was, he had a sudden recollection. Flynn (the former National Security Advisor ), who said he resigned, but was in fact fired (a forced resignation, as opposed to Sally Yates firing as acting Attorney General) as #45 states, had no choice when it was discovered that he had contact with the Russians discussing matters of the national security without authorization. It appears the fact he misled Pence and couldn’t be trusted was the apparent reason, rather than the fact he undertook action he was not permitted to, although #45 says he would have asked him to do it. The simple fact is that in both cases the truth has come out as parties have been caught lying, and so early on in the new administration—how can they be trusted?

The end of the month is when Theresa May intends to trigger Article 50, and I will be glad when it’s done as it will push the relevant bodies to negotiate and resolve the Brexit matters. I watched a program on the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London, called ‘A Very British Hotel’ and I won’t be watching it again, as it was anything but British. It was full of arrogant and entitled migrants saying that the hotel couldn’t run without them, but the truth of the matter is that they are cheap labor who like to boast where they work. One of my credit cards was skimmed a few years ago (details stolen from another 5 star London hotel) and someone treated themselves to a couple of nights there on my card, so the security isn’t that hot there, as a passport is needed to check in and should match the card, so how that happened I don’t know?

The entire program showed the hotel being run ineptly (with most players speaking in poor broken English, which was painful to watch) where the front of house manager failed to get the bill paid from a Saudi guest that was at least £300,000. He admitted it took nine months to get payment last time, and it’s bad business sense not to even get a deposit. The result this time was the manager failed to get a penny from them as they left again, and the reporter asked if any other guest left without paying what would happen. The manager said they would take action, but not with VIP guests—instead they looked unprofessional; I advise the Lanesborough instead which is so much nicer and is British.

Now, I used to host conferences in many of the 5 star hotels in London and would see how they actually work behind the scenes, and the staff are treated poorly, which is why no one really wants to work there (low pay, no benefits, and no contract.Who in their right mind would work triple shifts for the same rate of pay?). I did have some great staff members that looked after me, but often I would see them run off their feet with multiple jobs, and if anything I felt sorry for them. The only British staff were usually the doormen and the chefs. I had constant nightmares with Polish conferencing and banqueting staff; one who would only give me the exact number of cups for my delegates despite my saying some people may want a fresh cup, and another refused to give me more napkins, saying each person only gets one. I was a paying client and said if a person wants to take more than one napkin, I can’t stop them and needed extra in case. The reply was, “This is what we do in Poland,” to which I replied, “This is not Poland. You’re in London, a major capital city.”

The whole saga of the wrong best film of the year film being announced at the Oscars is actually more amusing than anything. It seems America can’t do much right at present. The film ‘Moonlight’ won, but instead ‘La La Land’ was announced as the winner as Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were given the incorrect envelope (which was the back-up envelope for best actress, which was Emma Stone in La La Land). The fault lay in the hands of the starstruck Pricewaterhouse Coopers accountants, Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan who weren’t professional enough to work at the event. Cullinan handed Beatty the wrong envelope, and blames it on the small type on the envelope besides the fact he was busy tweeting on his phone when he handed over the envelope. Clearly he was unable to do more than one thing at a time, and was distracted and behaved unprofessionally. Ruiz has been blamed too, as she had a spare envelope and should have interceded when the wrong film was announced, but failed to do so, although Cullinan should have too. This is one of the issues with working people that don’t work in the entertainment or event industry—they don’t know how to recover when things go wrong.  Neither will be involved in the event again, which is hardly a surprise. While some have questioned the actions of Beatty and Dunaway who didn’t handle the situation that well either, both can be forgiven as they are in their 70s and were merely reading out what was was on the card.

Mistakes do happen, but can be avoided when professionals are used. I used to be the girl that handed out awards and envelopes to the presenters at award ceremonies, and have my fair share of tales to tell. We were waiting in the wings for a leading politician to announce a special award to kick off the ceremony, and I merely asked if he had his envelope or if needed one to the organizer, as I was up next. She looked in her hand and had been at awe in his presence (he was very well-known), and had forgotten to hand it to him. Panic ensued as she asked for volunteers to go on stage in the middle of his speech to give it to him. No one dared, and all backed away including myself. She then put the envelope in my hand and shoved me onto the stage, where I had no choice but to calmly walk over to him and hand him the envelope, whilst deep down I was praying he wasn’t going to shout at me. He didn’t and all was well, and from then on I was the go to girl to sort out the rest of the mishaps of the awards ceremony that evening.

International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange is on 8th March where the movement was originally geared towards gender equality (rather than feminism), but this year women are encouraged to go on strike. Why? So the world can see what it’s like without women in the world, in a bid for women to get equal pay and rights. It’s sad that women still have to fight to be recognized in some countries as equals, even with laws in many countries that protect women (allegedly).

I feel the year will be full of protests, and right now they appear to organized and controlled, but things can turn. We live in an uncertain time unnecessarily, and people have the power to change things. The only problem is some of those elected to represent the people are only looking out for themselves, and not for the greater good of society or civilization. Until that changes, then very little can be achieved.


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