The Galway Experience

A Waltzer Experience Exclusive. Week 17 | April 2000

Galway Experience!

The Galway trip has come and gone, a great weekend was had by all.

Drinking on trains, laughing at televisions, breaking bones, flirting, winning prizes, losing quizzes, learning to smoke, breakfast in bed and forgetting names. Galway 2000 was a potent mix of business and pleasure.

The Lost Heads

Upon checking in and getting settled I went to a pub on Eyre Square with Laura, Phil and Jody. That was interesting as Laura's brother, Gary (above) was working behind the bar and we were telling jokes and having a good laugh to ease us into the nerve-wracking table quiz that was to follow.

[Pam and Viv] The events on the Sunday took the form of a table quiz followed by a "few" drinks in the Eyre Square hotel. Our team, The Artists Formerly Known..., were doing really well half-way through, with Mo answering most of the questions, but at the end we didn't even rank in the top five! Many thought it was a fix, but I think the success made us complacent and we started to relax, hence none of the questions were answered properly. Fair play to the Mad Hatters team, who although did terrible, were very amusing with their comical hats. Especially Pam, who entertained some of the lads by putting the pointed hats up her top.

[Viv and Cian] One of the highlights of the night, for me anyway, was the lesson Cian gave me in smoking an expensive cigar dipped in expensive brandy. Nice. I later saw him showing it to Phil and Viv, left.

[Dermot Asleep] It was an interesting night with the usual lack of scandal. Dermot played his usual game of seeing how drunk he could get without needing a hospital (left), while the lads stood in the corner watching the girls go by.

Towards the end of the evening, our writers had staked out "The Reading Room", so I found myself chatting to Clodagh and Nicola for quite a while. By the time I went to bed, I had drank so much Red Bull that I couldn't stop buzzing off it. There's no coming down off that, man. Some of the crew kept up the drinking until the sun came around again, but that record was beaten the following night, as you shall read yet.

[Dinner] The Monday was a bit different. Starting at nine, there were plenty of speeches to be suffered. Luckily the weight of drink on me from the previous night restricted my mobility, and I couldn't make it down until 12. After a few uninspiring speeches, the activities kicked off: Bouncy castles, bungee races and treasure hunts were just a few of the varied wacky tasks on offer. Of course Waltzer didn't know there would be a chance to change for dinner and wasn't aware of exactly what was going on (due to not reading the emails that were sent around about it), and so was wearing dinner-wear. I couldn't participate in the fun and games! Not to worry though, I happened upon one of the lads rooms, where there was a "party" on. I arrived to find 12 lads sitting around having a smoke and watching cheap soft porn! I can't remember whose room it was or who any of the lads were. Hilarious, but we soon got bored and some of the lads headed into town for some early evening schoops. I went back to my hotel in a taxi with Tony and Seamus. While they had a swim, I drank a bottle of beer that I was minding for Martin in an attempt to put me asleep for an hour so I'd be recharged for the night of eating and drinking. Following the failure of that plan, I prepared for dinner.

An hour later and the dinner was on its way. We were all sitting around the dinner table wondering what fate had come to Dermot since he went into town on his own and there'd been no sign of him for hours. I was making a comment about it when I turned around and there he was grinning away! Viv was fresh out of the pub and just before the first course came, he decided he had to shave and have a shower. So I ordered the courses for him and they were taken away each time. For the main course the waitress wouldn't even put down a plate for him. I assured her that he wasn't my imaginary friend and that he'd definitely be down in a minute. I actually had to ring him and tell him that the main course was about to start!

Deirdre, Sally and Sarah The dinner was grand, and when it finished there was the awards ceremony. This was cool because when an award was won they played cool tunes while you'd be walking up to receive it. I was delighted to see awards going to four of our crew. Outstanding achievement awards were awarded to Moira for the content group, Nessa for the software group, and I am pleased to say the design group award went to my boss of late, Sally. Congratulations to you all girls, well deserved.

That left but one award to be announced for our crew as a rumour was knocking around that there were four awards for our house. We had to wait till the end to find out what it was and who won it. I thought that I would win it for shameless self-promotion or for keeping the staff turnover numbers down by making everyone feel part of a family with this website. But needless to say, these things go unthanked in large corporations, and the prize went to someone who deserves it much better than me: Ger, for Employee of the year in the Business House†. I know I speak on behalf of all the Business House in saying that it was very well deserved. I generally consider myself a friend of Ger, but I had the pleasure of working for him there last month (all those late nights and low-content Waltzer Experiences!) and Ger actually surprised me with his management talents and cool head in times of pure stress.

[Cathy, Dara, Deirdre, Richard, Jennifer] One thing that struck me about the Business House was the sense of family among us. There was a great atmosphere: When we won something, all our crew got a standing ovation and we cheered louder than all the others. Probably something to do with an inferiority complex we possibly have after being swallowed by a larger company, but I won't go into that here, God forbid.

Siobhan in sexy hat. Following the ceremony, there was much rejoicing, and everyone was getting fairly well oiled. The drinking went on for several hours and I certainly enjoyed chatting and chilling with everyone. I even won a bottle of champagne for being the first out on the dance floor. That didn't last long: It was given a good shake and I popped it open and shared it between some of our crew that were sitting at the table. Poor Siobhan later sat on the three chairs that I spilt it on!

[Sarah, Moira, Russ and Ger] I had a great auld time chatting to everyone. After mixing up Jennifer and Rachel, and calling Rachel "Jennifer" a load of times, I finally got the hang of it. I also spoke some business with Richard, Ed and Greg, at different points through the night. One of the funniest was talking to Moira. She wanted me to introduce her to Greg so she could ask him about future course content. We were waffling on for ages and I think it turned to flirting just before her fella, Shane intervened . Ha ha. And as usual, Tom and Gerry embarrassed me and Fiona by saying that I was wasting my time talking to her cos she has a boyfriend. I know she has a boyfriend, but I can't resist! More fun was had with Jody too. He always has us in stitches laughing. More than funny! Then Russ persuaded me to ask The DJ if I could do some MCing/freestyling: start shouting ravey things into the microphone like "Kick it up in the house" and stuff, like I did at the Christmas party. Well I was mad on for a go, but the DJ was having none of it. Wouldn't budge. I was about to ask Annette (the organiser) to tell him to let me have a go, but luckily for me, she was busy talking with someone.

[Ian, Viv and Martin (and Mo!)] Overall though, a great weekend was had by all. Not as much scandal as I would have hoped, but there is more to life. When social events like this happen, it reminds me that I really love going out with the Business House crew, and it's not the company, it's the people. When the likes of the crew that are closest to me get together, it's always a good time, but when we are complemented by the rest of the crew, it really sets off the buzz. I would thank you for making the weekend great, but you were just being yourself. That is brilliant, because I know that it will always be a pleasure to socialise and work with you all for the rest of our time together.

A wise man, once said to me: Al, you'll work in many jobs, but none will compare in enjoyment to the one you have here with these people.

L-R: Siobhan, Ger, Phil, Pam, Deirdre, Russ, Amanda, Joanne, Dermot, Viv, Matt, Sheherazade, Some guy dressed as a cowboy.

THE WALTZER EXPERIENCE is a weekly update for anyone that knows The Waltzer, the charming entrepreneur wannabe. Whether you work with Waltzer, went to school with him, used to work with him, know someone who knows him, of just fancy him, the Waltzer Experience is the place for you to visit. Updated every week with mildly humorous articles and blatant self-promotional crap, this site is well worth a look. 20 million* Irish people can't be wrong.

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†The Business House is what I am calling our part of the company who until recently worked in Blackrock. I have to be careful not to mention the company name in case I break the company secrects code, which indecently I haven't signed, but I don't want to take any chances!

DISCLAMER: Some of these anecdotes may be fabricated.

The sound you heard when you loaded this page is taken from Moby's latest album, Play. #03 Porcelain.

*Not a statistic.

Images and text © 2000 Alan Wall. All rights reserved.