Thursday, September 18, 2014

Funny Story

So, here's a crazy story for you.  Oh, its so wild I don't even know where to start.

Lets start with Saturday morning.  That is, this upcoming Saturday morning.  Saturday morning will be the first Free Demo Class! for my new music center in Jakarta.  Its super exciting and I'm wringing my hands in nervousness, because I really need this class to go well.  I need it to get well because my entire marketing strategy here is to run such a good class that everyone wants to bring their friends.  You see, I don't have supersized goals and running just a few classes a week will max me out.  Also, I keep my marketing small by necessity.  I am in Indonesia on a diplomatic visa, and as such I do not have permission to work on the local market.  My classes may only be offered within the diplomatic community.  Now the diplomatic community is fairly large in Jakarta, so the market is still satisfactory for my small goals.  But advertising becomes the challenge - no mass marketing anywhere, because no good to have someone call up interested in class, only to tell them that they're not invited.

So, that's fun.  But here's where it gets funny.  Because of this crazy work situation, there are actually two people on staff at our embassy for whom a large portion of their job is helping folks like me find and keep gainful employment.  In short, its on their job description to help me market my music classes to the broader embassy community.  Nice, right?  So, I made ads and I made a release strategy and I asked for their help with the ads and the release strategy.  And they said the ads were so beautiful.  And then my ads were never shared anywhere.  No joke - not anywhere.

So, that's fun.  But here's actually where it gets funny.  You see, having a successful demo class for me means that enough families walk away wanting to register for the class.  Because this is the only demo class I have time for before my session begins.  So far, I do have families coming to the demo class (hooray!!).  But so far, its a small class.  So, I need these families to walk away from Saturday morning's class thinking That class was fabulous!  I need to find some other folks who want to sign up!  So, I need to run a really super-fabulous class.  Now, I've got to say - this doesn't make me too nervous.  The music curriculum I use is top-notch, and it is hard to go wrong with them.  I've run classes before, and I get energy from interacting from the kids and the parents.  I can be charming and musical and fun.  And I've got boxes of brand new, high quality musical instruments stacked in my office alongside the pretty songbooks and CDs for the upcoming session.  I don't have a lesson plan, though.  You see, I left my lesson plans in Venezuela.  That is to say, I have built a strong demo class and my notes for it stayed in Venezuela when we left.  Now, don't worry.  They were packed up and shipped out, spent the better part of the past year in a port in Miami, and are now in Indonesia.  I was expecting their delivery today, when we received the rest of our shipment and moved into our house.  We did move into our house today.  And we did receive the bulk of our things.  But our shipment from Venezuela did not clear customs.  And so although I have our beds and our plates and our towels, I do not have my music class notes.

So, that's pretty fun.  But here's the funny part.  You see, building those notes takes time.  And I only have one day between now and my demo class on Saturday morning.  In that day, I need to find the cereal, the cups and the bowls before the kids can eat breakfast in the morning.  I need to (no joke) move the furniture around in the office so that I can use both the computer and the printer at the same time before I can print the handouts for the flyers.  I need to run to Carrefour for plastic bins before I can take my instruments out of their boxes.  And all this with Annika by my side, because each time we move she is afraid to be left alone.  Which leaves precious little time for writing a super spectacular lesson plan for Saturday's class.

So, that's fun, too.  But the really funny part is still coming.  You see, we're doing all of this on empty.  There was no time up until now to prepare for the class, because there has simply been no time so far.  Last week, we kept kids home sick 4 out of the 5 school days and then we lounged around watching movies over the weekend because the kids just hadn't kicked that nasty stomach bug yet.  This week, that nasty stomach bug jumped over to Dave, our housekeeper and myself.  While we were moving.  And this little move meant packing everything from our luggage, everything that we had ordered to be shipped here directly, and everything from our air shipment into a few provided boxes and hauling them across town in a miniature mini-van and a luxury shuttle bus as well as accepting our shipment from Virginia and giving back all of the sheets and towels and bowls the embassy loaned us originally.

So, that was really fun.  But here comes the funniest part.  I am no longer sick.  I woke this morning with a solid stomach, and although I have very little appetite I also have no bad feelings when I do eat.  My energy level is slowly returning to normal, and clearly my mind is alert.  Those of you paying attention will notice that I'm posting this around 1:00am Jakarta time, even though my alarm will go off at 5:30 in the morning.  The sun will be up, but only just barely.  Just to make your picture complete, I'm sitting in my pajamas on top the boxes stacked to completely fill the floor space in my kitchen.  I'm doing that because it was the only place I could find to plug in my laptop.  So, I'm hunched over the counter in a box-filled corner of my kitchen wearing my pajamas and staring red-eyed at the screen.

No, the really truly funny part is that I have entirely lost my voice.


Carolyn Wright said...

You keep saying you're going to get to the funny part, but it doesn't really get, what a story, though. And I guess the mental image of you sitting on boxes in your kitchen with your laptop is funny--kinda. Praying for you, sister!

stay-at-homework said...

I've got to say, I found humor in nearly every part of it. And certainly irony in the lack of a voice :)
My voice, as well as a good group of kids, showed up for music class this morning and everything went really well. Thanks for the prayers!