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Monday, July 18, 2011

Undecided decisions

Have you ever encountered vague situations, where you are supposed to figure it out, but you would much rather have a straight answer? Right now, my common sense does not tell me anything and I am lost.
For example, I have recommended a family hotel to my foreign friend. I called the owner, booked a room and asked how much they charge for tours (their son knows English and takes foreigners hiking). The owner answered: “I don’t know. They usually give him money as a gift”. I insisted, but still could not get a price. How much does “a gift” constitute? I thought maybe 10 Lari, but my hubby said 10 is not enough. Is it 20? Does it depend on a hike difficulty? Does it depend on a foreigner (wealthier—bigger tip)?
Or this situation: legally we can take 21 business days for vacation, we can’t leave for more than 2 weeks—“They” won’t let us. Also, we can’t have one official day off—thus, all of one-day vacations are favors from my boss and my supervisor. I have asked for plenty of those favors lately and I realize that the limit is up. However, I really want to split my two-week vacation (thus I get more days. 2 weekends on the 1st week and later 2 weekends on the 2nd week). Also, my first love, my first sexual fantasy, my first male attachment-- Enrique Iglesias—is going to perform in Batumi. I had dreamed, prayed for and imagined him perform live for significant portion of my teenage years. That is all over of course, but I owe it to my childhood to see him 
Thus, I have to ask for another favor. I need to summon my courage and ask for a 3-day official vacation (which I know is a bureaucratic hassle and problem on its own) so that I can see my first love live. Obviously, I can’t just ask for another unofficial day off—so I am forced to take a longer holiday.
I have been up all morning, nervous about this decision. Is it fine if I ask to split my vacation? Will I seem like ungrateful pig?
It would be so much easier, if we had defined vacation days, if I could count how many days I have used, if no one would do me favors, but give what is due to me, if life was concise and defined…
I was so unwilling to ask for any more goodwill (I feel like there is only so much of it left and I am drying it up), that I had decided not to attend this concert. But, last night I dreamed of Enrique. I woke up at 7 and could not go back to sleep. Somehow, this stupid concert gained huge importance and I got melancholy sprinkled on me.
If only we could know, how much the tours cost…maybe we wouldn’t be worried about paying less.
My friend decided to hike alone. Should I skip the concert?
p.s. sad lika. took the pic with my feet


  1. > If only we could know, how much the tours cost…

    Honestly, this - no knowing what to do and how to do right - pissed me and Connie quite a lot while we've being there. And the whole cultural 'stuff' of not encouraging sharing information, non-existence of feedback, when people instead of simply saying 'no' simple to not answer calls and not return emails made situation even worse...

  2. i know! i mean this situation is not as tragic as i describe, but u do understand my frustration, right?

  3. >u do understand my frustration, right
    I do. I and Connie decided on our way to deal with the situations like that in future: NOT to deal at all by minimizing occurrence of cases when we have to guess what needs to be done, what needs to be said or to do. If that requires not visit GE at all in future - let it be this way.

    > My friend decided to hike alone.
    As a result the owner (or whoever was the guide) who might got some money for his services as a guide got $0.0 because of his stupidity for for not understanding or not willing to understand and learn how much this service costs. This is because he really does not care.

    And because most (99.99%) of business in GE is run like the case above, this is why the country is deep in horse's ass and will be there if people do not start to change. But I have very little hope that it will happen. At least during my lifetime.

    > Should I skip the concert?
    No. You are entitled to unpaid day off. Write a polite but firm email to your boss saying: 'I would like to notify you that this day I'm taking unpaid day off. Sign - Lika'.

    End of story, let it be her problem, not yours.

  4. Today (and I say "today" because I am unwilling to keep track of what day it is in different time zones, suffice it to say I have not had a night's sleep since the events I am about to describe even though the sun and I have crossed paths once during the intervening hours) I got a plane ticket to fly back from America to Georgia... a few hours before my plane took off. I have spent the last few days calling TLG, the TLG travel agency, and Turkish Airlines to try to make sure that my ticket was actually acquired before the plane was scheduled to take off.

    I am not perturbed. All's well that ends well. I'm in Istanbul now for my extended, five-day layover, and that's great. How many jobs have a week in Istanbul as a perk? Not many.

    The thing I've learned about Georgia is that you can get a whole lot out of it as long as you're willing to put up with the murky uncertainties of living in a land in which most affairs are conducted with an almost pathological aversion to planning and commitment.

    You're looking at this in much the way an American would look at it. You're trying to use logic and mathematics to maximize your (and your friends') utility for any given transaction. But that strategy usually yields more frustration than it's worth when used in Georgia.

    I think you'd be better off just letting things play out. Ask for your time off and don't feel bad about asking for time off, because feeling bad implies that you are keeping track of lots of things that nobody in Georgia seems to really care about. Unless your boss is also unusually Western in approach, which seems unlikely given where you work.

    In short, go to the concert.

  5. Lika, u would better visit Iglesias's concert coz otherwise I am gonna kick your liberal ass.
    p.s. I can accompany you as well
    p.s.s. I can stop remembering your room with all these "Enrique" things. U just have to go there. Make your dream come true.
    Love, Lika

  6. wow, i appreciate all the comments!
    i don;t want to go into my work specifics, but neither advice really works in my situation (one is too american and another one is too georgian) apparently, i can't go on a vacation right now. however, i might have a business trip to batumi, coz i need 2 be there sometime this month and it might as well be next week. that depends on many factors, so i can't make any prognosis.