Who sends an email with just a link?

I suppose hate is an extreme emotion to have towards something as inanimate as an email.

Let’s go with strongly averse.

I am strongly averse to mass emails.

I find messages copied to a crapload of people usually amount to little more than a way of announcing how many friends one happens to have. I always thought myspace and the facebook served that purpose well enough.

Yet recently I’ve received email updates from friends and have thoroughly enjoyed reading about their decisions, escapades, and careers. Given the recent happenings in my life, I figured it was my turn. But I just couldn’t do a mass email.

So I am taking my ego trip one step further by publishing this blog, in hopes it will be continually updated as I embark on my newest adventure and pretend that there are people who actually want to read this.

So let’s get this road on the show with the obligatory-bio-since-graduation-dissertation-followed-by-the-reason-for-all-the hullabaloo. Feel free to go straight to the hullabaloo.

I moved to Vegas June 10 after graduating May 30. I remember quite vividly a moment of panic on the plane, thinking about starting a new job, all the money I was spending that would be ‘reimbursed’ by the ‘company,’ which at this point was represented only by the HR rep that came to campus. Did the company actually exist? Have I been swindled? How could they have hired me so underqualified? Do I want ginger ale or Sprite?

In actuality, it all went pretty smoothly. Two friends from the hotel school also decided to get jobs in Vegas and that we would be roommates, and argue whether New Zealand Savignon Blanc is better than South African. We moved into an apartment, started our new jobs, and had friends couch surfing for the better part of the summer. I was around town a lot, getting trained for the new job, so things got a little crazy at times.

I thought I knew what I was in for (or for what I was in?), since I’d been to Vegas before for a spring break. We’d blown some cash, chatted up girls out of out of our league, rolled dice, got tanked, and gorged ourselves on frozen lobster and over-cooked steaks for $16.95. But this time around, it was 4 months of that—though I learned my lesson on the lobster the first time. Needless to say, the initial part of my time in the desert is a little blurry since I was broke, drunk, and sleep deprived for most of it. But when your new company celebrates the completion of a training class with a VIP table in the Rhino, what is one to do but sit back and enjoy the ride? The line I usually used was, “I’d like to say it’s not as cool as it sounds; but it really is.”

After that first summer, though, the travel started. And it didn’t really stop except for lulls in the deep of winter. I’m not quite sure how to express how much I got around, but somehow I ended up in Florida a heck of a lot. Let’s just say, after 3 continents, 5 countries, 20 states, and 38 unique sites, I got around like the Beach Boys.

So even though was on the road a lot (up to four or five weeks at a time) I was still around Vegas about 40% of the year. Though I became somewhat of a house guest in my own home, I still managed to get a good feel for the town, the scene, and knowing which casinos have which ephemeral mono-syllabic rhythmic mating arenas, as well as couple great local bars and restaurants.

I’m not done with Vegas by any means. There is no place, not even New York City, that truly operates 24 hours. It’s nice to know that I could buy a bottle of scotch, get a three-course meal, or a lapdance at 4:00AM on a Sunday. Even after everywhere I’ve been I don’t know if there’s another city that has multi-billlion dollar effigies of golden glass right across the street from white trash havens with three dollar craps. Indeed, the former became much more attractive than the latter.

So it’s been a good a two years, and even though I’ve had such a ridiculous travel schedule, it—coupled with living in a travel destination—has enabled me to see quite a few of you in the past two years.

Yet, as much I liked the travel, the luxury, the expense account, the business class, the dinners atop the Ritz, excess vacation, and karaoke everywhere, I wanted more professionally and personally. Mostly, when I went to Japan last year, I was told I’d be working six Mandarin hotels all over the world. Since only two happened since then, I decided it was time to move on. But I got hooked on new places….

So as of August 19th, I will no longer be an Integration Specialist, but a Systems Implementation Manager. In East Africa.

Kenya and Sudan to be more specific.

Lighbulb: ‘Oh. Cheetahs. I get it. Ha.’

Why? Mostly cause I’ve never been there. But partly because I’ve seen so much opulence in various four and five star hotels, I’ve begun to feel contempt for the unabashed consumerism in developed economies. I want to help indigenous peoples, and give back not just to a community but to the world. Wait. No. That’s a lie.

I took this position because the experience I’m getting is invaluable: regional, project, and account management, and systems administration. I’m being given responsibilities for which I would need about 10 more years work experience in the US.

Can I handle it?

I’m all over it.

In a short time with my most recent firm, I discovered there were the hotelies, the people who knew the ops and the business and could talk to strangers, and there were the techies, who had their own world and didn’t look outside much. I found out I was really good at managing both.

Am I going to answer more of my own rhetorical questions?

Oh yeah.

I’ve already looked into safety and all that junk, and spoke to people who’ve been there and done that. I’ve gotten my shots, and hopefully I’ll be in no danger, so don’t worry about me. Besides, I’ve already heard it all from my mom.

I will be in Nairobi until about November, and once I get an address there, I’ll post it here. I’ll be observing the operations of the firm for the first couple weeks, then budgeting, project plans, blah, blah, buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. But after november I’ll be off to the camps to see it first hand, then I’ll be all over the place: back in the US, perhaps Europe, and back and forth between Loki, Juba, and Rumbek.

What will I be doing? I won’t get into the techinical details, but basically I’ll be implementing an inventory management system, a property management system and regionally managing the standard operating procedures across the camps. Just for clarification, I think the word ‘camp’ is a somewhat misleading, because I’m not talking refugee camps, or summer camps, or anything like that. These are more like hotels with modern amenities like power, internet, phones, restaurants, bars, and recreational and meeting facilities. These camps are fed by safari tours, film crews, UNICEF, the UN, etc.

I’ve never done anything like this, and it’s a departure from my current modus operandi, and I think that’s what was so appealing about it. I’ve lived the lavish life, and now I’ve ebayed or gave away most of my worldly possessions. Will I survive a year without bottle service? With out black jack? How can a man get by without Hooters wings? I dunno, but I like the idea of being a minimalist for a bit.

Some of you may be a little confused to the point of, ‘dude, weren’t you a chef or something?’ If that’s the case, please call me. We’ve got some catching up to do.

I will be trying out all sorts of stuff for the site, perhaps some more pictures and what not, and I will try and update as often as my new job allows me. I’d like a couple times a week, but we’ll see how ambitious I get. Please check back, and find out more of what I’m doing, but you must also let me know how you are, what you’ve been up to, and when you’re going to come visit me in the seren-frickin-geti.

It’s all a little surreal and it certainly has not yet sunk in that I’m actually doing this despite the fact that the:

Last day of the job came and went.
Lease is up.
Flight is booked.
Blog is up and runnning.

I’ll let you know if mid-air pangs of panic hit this time around.


8 Responses to Who sends an email with just a link?

  1. Javier says:

    I can remember a time not too long ago, that I found myself startled awake by Stuart Scott Van Pelt on the 4am edition of Sportcenter. As I sat up and took stock of my situation I noticed a distinct pattern on the pleather upholstery where my face had lain just a moment before. I carefully ran my index finger beneath my eye to catch the last remaining tear from what appeared to be a powerful and unfettered burst of emotion in my fitfull sleep. It was only then, encompassed by jocular metaphor’s of pillows and 5-4-3 double plays that I realized that my couch was much much too small.

  2. Somavilla says:

    Zanzibar. Da-man. J-Dub. White Zombie. Bryn Joe. Joe.

    Rumors I’d heard, through Munley, of this whole idea. I only skimmed your post, later I will return to give it a more thorough once-over.

    Firstly, I need to know when you’re going to be in Bethlehem, if at all, before you leave.

    Secondly, if you are based anywhere near Mombasa, I swear I will come visit EXPRESSLY for the purpose of drinking gin in a barroom there, hoping to have my body blown to Johannesburg by a Norwegian spectral headless Thompson gunner.

    Thirdly, Mau Mau.

    That is all for now.

    -Somatic. Supply. Danno. Beck. Mofo. Somavilla.


  3. sybil says:

    Joe – When do you leave? I know you’re kinda far from Burundi, but do you remember Michel Reguma? He graduated the same year as Jose from the MMH program, and is an excellent friend of mind. He is in Bujumbura, the capital city. If you have the chance to make a trip out there, drop me a line and I will give him a call. He owns a restaurant and club out there, and would love to see another Hotelie :) and possibly exchange stories about me or Jose.

    Bryn, bryn bryn….

  4. Dell Kaniper says:

    Well, I figured since we’ve known each other since before either one of us could really handle using the toilet that I would drop you a line to help send you on your merry way. Since we last spoke you’ve stopped cooking steaks and I’ve started eating them, which is usually how things work in my life. Let’s see, what else has changed? Ah yes, don’t be disheartened but after discovering an extreme personal/business mismatch between myself and the food-service industry (New Zealand Sauv Blanc, by the way) I decided to permanantly remove myself. Its not that I don’t value the experience, if nothing else I learned to tolerate pretty much anything, but do I really care about brie vs. manchego or pan-searing vs. baking. The answer quite frankly is, NO. Anyway so I picked myself and my life (the boyfriend and the dog) and relocated, finally, to Brooklyn. I’m filling my time with some copy-editing, reading a literary agent’s slush pile, studying for the GREs, and the occasional moment of barista-ing. In short my life is still in the process of organizing itself, but I’m on my way. Quite frankly I couldn’t be happier. Anyway, I wish you luck on your travels and your organizing/management something, I didn’t quite understand all your responsibilities but Africa sounds amazing so there seems to be no harm. Write back, or call, if and when you ever get the chance


  5. Rock on dude! Sounds like life is treating you just as crazy as it’s treating me!

    We’ll have to hook up soon and pitch the Caddy idea around again. I totally think we’re starting to get in the position to actually be able to develop something like that :-D

    Best of luck in East Africa and nice work on the blog, I’ve actually had dinner with the creator of WordPress, Matt, great guy. But I prefer Drupal, http://www.drupal.org, it’s about to take the web publishing world by storm, seriously. I work on it full time from my bedroom it’s in such high demand :-)

  6. Ali says:


    It all comes down to………….Nachos.

    Tasty nachos. It’s as if you are a man, a man who enjoys harnessing the culinary capital to create tasty nachos. You are on a quest……nay…….a journey……….nay……a nachquestorney to add to your already ample knowledge of nacho making. Are you satisfied? NAY. Are you hungry? Yes………Joe is Hungry.

    Go forth, dare I say…….go forth into the territory of the bovids.

    In essence, you will be adding yet another layer to your Nacho Creations.

    Go, Learn, Build, Hunt, Maim, Tickle, Nourish………and breakdance to the Kapuka beats.

    I’ll see you in the Black Mans Land………..and I’m bringing Hank the Tank with me……

  7. Hey people we need to about the problems in Southern Sudan. Western Equatorian are very mad on Southern Sudan government why their good governer was changed and put some body who’s not match with them, that is their right. What I want to say, I want Southern Sudan to change that rule for changing State rules without their citizens.

    James Maker Akok one of the Agar Community in Kansas city Missour United States.

  8. […] To preface, just that afternoon we had been discussing the Monte Carlo Brew Pub in Vegas. The food was never very good, and frankly, neither was the beer. Regardless, it was all ridiculously cheap. The nachos came in pilesand the beer came in enormous beer bongs. No, not contraptions that consisted of funnels and tubes. […]

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