Monthly Archives: September 2017

I’m Compulsively Sarcastic

Wednesday 27th September 2017

It’s laundry day again today, so whilst I wait for the antique machine to jiggle my clothes around in the water and return them to me a lot wetter but most probably actually dirtier, I thought that I owed it to you all to write another blog.

I’ve decided that laundry day is a good way of killing two birds with one stone and keeping in touch with you all. Some may wish that I did my clothe washing a bit more often, not just the people that have to be in my close proximity, but those of you that would like more frequent instalments of my insanity.

Thankfully, from my point of view, my uniform gets laundered by the wonderful chaps in the bowels of the ship, meaning that the only washing that I have to endure personally is that of my stockings, smalls and a few pairs of shorts, plus the odd wet bikini on days when I’ve finally made it off the ship and as far as the beach.

Quite honestly working seven days a week doing my “normal” job, as well as nurturing a flourishing miniature toy empire in my “spare” time, is starting to take its toll.

Having spent my day battling with the intolerably slow internet connection, to try and sift through a stack of emails, fix glitches on our website, as well as make Skype calls to China, at a time when both they and I are awake enough to make sense to each other, plus formate the next literary masterpiece into an acceptably agreeable template to be able to upload it to Amazon Kindle, the last thing I want to do is head upstairs to work, in my freshly pressed work attire, for an eight hour stint of dealing cards to overly exuberant and overly intoxicated holidaymakers.

I do actually like being a casino dealer, but the compounding effects of working 6 to 9 month stints without a day off, on top of secretly trying to become a E-Mogul, rather wears thin after a while, and definitely brings out the worst in me.

I know that my job is in the service industry and that being a public facing operative that it’s a requirement that I be smiley, helpful and polite at all times, but honestly have you ever tried to be smiley, helpful and polite 7 days a week for 40 weeks at a time?? I can barely go ten minutes without moaning, pulling a face or rolling my eyes.

I do make a concerted effort at the start of every shift to be charming and pleasant to all whom I encounter but after about daft question number 2, my halo slips and my forked tail edges into view.

It’s like it’s physically impossible for me to answer even the simplest of question without contempt, sarcasm or at least some kind of put down. Even when I do reply honestly in a polite manner, it still seems to come across as dripping with mockery.

For example, the other day, whilst trying ultra hard to be cordial, even though I felt like a heinous b!#ch on the inside, I asked a guest how his cruise had been. He replied that it was awful. Wondering what could be the matter, I asked him such. His response was that he was unhappy with the “boat”. Oh no! How could this be? And responded with the words “Oh dear! Is it not floaty enough for you?”

Well as you can imagine my flippant retort did little to improve his opinion of our delightful ship, especially as it transpired that his ultimate complaint was with the service or lack thereof, namely his difficulty in obtain enough drinks in an expedient manner.

Honestly I hadn’t even meant to be facetious, with my floaty remark, it just came into my head and out off my mouth without even thinking about it. It’s a genuinely uncontrollable affliction that I’ve got.

When someone asks me even the most banal question, my mind instantly fires up with a army of Chandleresque (from Friends) type ripostes. I know the correct answer and what I should say, but I struggle, and usually fail to select the appropriate answer and instead comeback with what I call sharp wit, and what the guests refer to on their customer comment forms as sarcasm.

Apparently sarcasm is the lowest for of wit (I’m reminded of this “fact” daily), but as I always counter, it’s also the funniest. Well in my skewed opinion anyway.

The other day it actually got me in to trouble though, with a guest reporting me to my manager for being, in his words, “An Agressive B!#ch”.

I can’t blame him, in fact I can believe that he was actually the first one to make a complaint about me.

In my defense I was having a particularly bad day and was feeling very under the weather with the onset of a good old fashioned English winter cold, graciously brought onboard all the way from Blightly by one of the passengers no doubt. Plus his wife had also been very demanding from the second I arrived at the table, ordering me to smile multiple times.

She was lucky that I only responded with an albeit aggressive demand for her to tell me a joke if she wanted me to smile, because it had been a choice between that and ordering her to bark like a dog.

Well if she wants to order me to do inane things then it’s only fair that I get to do the same. In my opinion. Which I know as an employee counts for nothing….

So now I’ve got to try and make it up to him and her, which isn’t easy for someone blessed with my condition. But, I need/like this job so I’ll be sucking it up to the best of my ability for the rest of the week, whilst simultaneously trying not to offended any other innocent holidaymakers trying to enjoy their precious time off from work or retirement.

As they say, it’s all in a days work. Although sometimes I question my desire to give up shovelling horse s#*t for a living in favour of a lifestyle that involves interacting with real human beings. Especially the obnoxious drunk variety… 

So if you see me vacantly staring into space whilst on an empty table, or using my “screen-saver face” whilst dealing the cards, please think twice before demanding that I “smile”, for both of our sakes. Firstly you really don’t wanted to be subjected to a evening of my caustic wrath whilst losing your hard earned cash at the poker table, and secondly I’m probably concentrating really hard on trying to deal to procedure, calculate winning bets and ensure gaming integrity. Either that or I’m desperately trying to scour the inner my mind for a word that rhymes with Rudolph for the Christmas Edition of the next Hippomottie book!

Honestly I shouldn’t be allowed to work with real live living people and I apologise unreservedly for my appalling table-side manner…

All I Want For My Birthday Is a 5 Star Review

Sunday 17th September 2017

So whilst my ass jiggles up and down on the washing machine, while I wait for the spin cycle to finish, I thought that I ought to write another blog and fill you in on what’s been happening in my world this week.

The weather has been moderate to say the least and this resulted in a change of itinerary and visits to a couple of alternative ports to avoid the worst of the weather. For the guests I’m sure that it was a major disappointment/inconvenience but for us crew members it was a rare treat of a break from the normal routine.

Instead of San Remo in Italy, we got to spend the day in Toulon in France where on a mountain biking expedition I stumbled upon the only store where I actually like to shop in, the sports and outdoor clothing emporium Décathlon. They sell equipment and clothing for every single sport under the sun, from billiards, to bowling and snowboarding to snorkeling.

What a place! I whiled away a good couple of hours there just browsing and came away a few Euros lighter and a pair of child’s Puma jogging bottoms heavier. I’m not sure what sizes children come in these days, but they must be a lot bigger than when I was small because they fit me with room to grow into and they were a bargain price to boot!

We also had a couple of casino birthdays during the week, including mine, so last night we all went out for dinner in Palma de Mallorca to celebrate. Our resident food connoisseur and casino manager Shane found us a fantastic spot to celebrate and we ate so much that I didn’t think I’d be able to work that night or fit into my uniform.

It was a delicious meal though, my favourite being the lambs liver starter that we shared as part of our tapas, before forcing a 12oz rare fillet steak into my already overfull body.

We decided to call into the nearby casino on the walk back to ship to try and kickstart our metabolisms and fight off the rapidly approaching food coma that I was in danger of irreversibly slipping into. We befell mixed fortunes at the tables, with Shane coming out best of all, with a €600+ win on the electronic roulette table.

I was just happy to win my money back on the blackjack table after a disastrous start which nearly saw me wiped out in the first five hands. The dealer beat me mercilessly, even getting a blackjack when I had 21. Now I know why the guests hate me so much every night. That and my sarcastic quips I guess!!

Not a bad birthday at all, especially considering on the day itself, that I received a huge bouquet of beautiful flowers delivered to the casino and got a big bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk courtesy of one of the players!

If you missed the opportunity to reward me with chocolate or floral tributes, you can of course still make my day by leaving Hippomottie Goes To Space a review on Amazon or Kindle.

If you downloaded the ebook or ordered the paperback version then you should have the opportunity to leave a review automatically or you can just log on to the page here (for UK based people) or here (for US readers). It would really really mean a lot to me and is much cheaper than sticking money in a card!! #WinWin


Other than that everything else is pretty routine. The ship is still sailing from port to port. The book has been well received and we got plenty of downloads during our five day free period. We also sold quite a few hardback copies which was very encouraging. Book 2 is in the final stages of production and will hopefully be ready soon and the Hippomottie toys are coming to life with the help of some special alien technology.

So don’t forget, please leave us a review and Pavel, Amelia K. Amherst, Hippomottie and I will all love you forever!!!

Book Sales & Other Stories

Saturday 9th September 2017

Well about 5 days into my life as a semi-professional author and so far so good! Book Two was actually already written before the launch of book one and is undergoing the painstaking illustration phase.

Book 2 is actually way better than Book 1. Even if I do say so myself. Not just because Book 1 (and those of you that have actually read Hippomottie Goes To Space can attest to this) is really bad, but because Book 2 rhymes!! Mostly… With just a big pinch of artistic license and a bit of pronunciation affection needed in parts.

Book 3 has begun the construction/writing phase but has kind of stalled this week due to my new found fame and lack of time. OK, so the word “fame” might be kind of a stretch but the figures don’t lie. So far the E-Book has generated 177 Free downloads and 10 pages have been read by Kindle Members as part of their free sign up service (Yes I don’t really know what that means either). PLUS 10 actual paperback copies of the book have ordered!

WOW! You guys are GREAT! You’re AWESOME in fact. AND for those of you that are in possession, or awaiting delivery, you now own an incredibly rare Limited (by its own frailties) Edition children’s picture story book. Imagine, once I’m dead, this book will be worth a fortune!

Sadly you’ll have to wait for me to die first, because it seems de rigueur for people to be ignored in their living lifetime and then celebrated and adored once they’re six feet under. Well I’m not planning on dying anytime soon so you’ll have to think of your Book as an investment that will pay for your retirement or put your unborn kids through college. You’re welcome.

Anyway, on a brighter note, everything else is good. The pesky children have gone back to school, so the ship is no longer infested with wild packs of untamed ankle biters running up and down the corridors and stairwells. They have however been replaced by gangs of staggering, drunken adults who ought to know better instead.

Still at least these “adults” are old enough to gamble so they can keep me busy in my work and hopefully lose enough shekels to keep my boss happy and the wolves from the door.

Not much else to report. About to go to the obligatory bi-weekly boat drill, so will sign off with a big THANK YOU and have a great weekend everyone. You deserve it!

I’m BACK!!! Again!

Tuesday 5th September 2017

After a pretty hectic couple of months on here detailing Hippomottie’s every move, I thought that you, and I, deserved a break. Well the vacation is over folks. I’m back! Better and bolder than ever.

I certainly haven’t been resting on my laurels during my voluntary social media sabbatical though, and have been beavering away behind the scenes finalising the finishing touches of the Hippomottie Toys, so generously funded on Kickstarter. This has meant hours and hours of Internet research, arguments and false summits!

Finally we’re there though, as the last of the modifications have been approved and the final production run is due to start any day now. The safety labels have also been designed (by us) and approved by the US CPSC. As have the hang tags for the ears, which, lovingly created and designed by us, took about a million more hours than necessary to compete (if in doubt hire a professional) and I’m sure took another couple of decades off my life expectancy.

Still nobody ever said trying to take over the world one giant, pink Space Hippo Toy at a time was going to be easy…

But that’s not all I’ve been up to in the previous month. As well a working 7 days a week on the ship, I’ve been working on another, secret, project.

The time has now come to reveal all, so yesterday, to build a little suspense, I decided to post on social media that I had some “remarkable news to update everybody on tomorrow”.

I deliberately used the phrase “remarkable news” so as not to get everybody too excited, but just build the intrigue a little. Of course that plan immediately backfired.

Almost instantly there were outlandish responses flooding in, with accusations of everything ranging from pregnancy, to a return to the racehorse training ranks.

It reminded me of every time I told my mother that I had a headache or paper cut from about the age of 12 onwards. Her first reaction was always “You’re not pregnant are you???” “No Mum, I have a headache is all.” I would reply, to a suspicious gaze that would remain glaring at me for the rest of the week. Honestly I think a diagnosis of a brain tumour would’ve seen a sigh of relief from her, that there wasn’t a future grandchild impending…

Anyway to put the record straight, I am not with child, I’m not starting training again, I haven’t quit, been fired or promoted. I have in fact become a writer. On the side. Part time.

Not just this amateur blog, but a real published writer available on Kindle and in actual Paperback Print!!

OK, so it’s only a Children’s Story Picture Book so far, but it’s been darn hard to complete with publishing dimensions, graphics and pixel dots per inch to contend with. The words were the easy part!

So to say THANK YOU to all the people that supported us during our Hippomottie Learn To Dress Toy Campaign we’ve launched “Hippomottie Goes To Space” the book.

 

The book is available NOW, for FREE, on Kindle for the next 5 days (until midnight Saturday 9th Pacific time). Please download it and leave us a Kindle review if you enjoy the story!

If you don’t enjoy the story then please don’t leave a review, just publicly bash me on social media instead. I can take it trust me!

There’s also a 28 page PAPERBACK version, which is perfect for bedtime stories and as an introduction to your little ones to the character of Hippomottie, before their toys arrive in a couple of months time.

The paperback version is available to buy on Amazon and features a personal dedication to the AWESOME guys who backed us on Kickstarter. Yes you are all actually mentioned by name at the beginning of the book! Now that’s something that you don’t get every day!!

Also if you buy the Paperback version you also are entitled to a free download of the Kindle edition, not just for the next 5 days, but anytime, as a thank you for your support.

Just enter Hippomottie into the search box in Amazon or click the link here for UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1549572709/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1504623074&sr=8-2&keywords=Hippomottie or here for the US site https://www.amazon.com/dp/1549572709/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504622536&sr=8-1&keywords=Hippomottie

So sorry if I disappointed some of you folks, with my less than sensational news, but please remember for the future “remarkable news” means the kind of thing where you say “Oh that’s nice” or “Interesting” afterwards. Not “Oh my bloody God I would never have thought that in a month of Sundays!”.