Herrang: wrack and ruin

Physical duress:

    Week 2:
  • first case of Herrang flu (including head aches, fever, voice loss, cough, sore throat, snot, nausea)
    Week 3:
  • second case of Herrang flu (as above)
  • sudden onset of menstruation during week of DJing. Of course.
  • loss of hearing, voice, stamina, and brain due to Herrang flu

Emotional duress:

  • Left both my passports on the plane as I arrived in Seoul (the first of six legs in an international journey);
  • Accommodation for second city in series of four cancelled while in aeroplane, leaving only a couple of hours to book new accommodation while in in transit. This was achieved;
  • Discovered travel agent had not booked baggage allowance for third leg of international journey. Paid a frightening amount for luggage allowance;
  • Herrang flu led to development of serious snoring which led to eviction from accommodation in Herrang. Self esteem devastated, but alternative accommodation secured;

Professional duress:

  • Laptop actually broke inside. Discovered this two hours before first set in seven day week as staff DJ scheduled to begin;
  • Couldn’t DJ for two of the seven days I was hired for;
  • Couldn’t prepare for DJing for two of the seven days I was hired for;
  • Kendra, IT support queen, headed off a case of DJ panic with some wonderful support and practical testing. Goddess bless Kendra in staff coordination;
  • Hard drive salvaged by Brad, head of limo services;
  • New hard drive case fetched from Halstavik (goddess bless the limo service, most especially Brad, Ben, and the nice guy with dreds), but it turned out to be the not-quite-right-type. Still worked;
  • Lost my Australia-Sweden plug adaptor thingy. Australian power cable for laptop and phone therefore useless;
  • Borrowed a macbook air to run my laptop’s hard drive as an external hard drive. All good until I realised mid-way through the week that it was resetting all my trackpad preferences each time I shut it down and rebooted from the external hard drive. This resulted in a number of very high profile, very embarrassing double clicks while DJing to a massively crowded room of dancers;
  • Discovered the UK-Sweden power board adaptor thingy I was using with the UK-plug borrowed laptop was faulty. Had to borrow power cable from different DJ each night. Forgot on one particularly memorable night;
  • Second round of Herrang flu during week as staff DJ = lack of late night DJing stamina from me;
  • Somehow manage to bend prong of headphone jack on (only pair of) headphones, so that it no longer works with laptops;
  • Second round of Herrang flu resulted in complete loss of hearing in one ear on flight home.

I think perhaps Herrang is sending me a message: is it time to stop DJing?

Note:
People who saved my arse during all these dramas include Dave, Australian IT support; Kendra for diagnosing my laptop’s problem; Kendra’s friend in the USA who assisted in diagnosis; Phillipe, who leant me the macbook air; Brad in limo services for rebuilding my hard drive and actually coming up with a solution; Ben, Travis, and a nice guy with dreds in limo services who went to town and bought the actual hard drive; Meghan, Anton, and Heidi who all leant me power cables for my laptop; various members of reception staff who handled laptop trade-offs with aplomb (and well beyond their job descriptions); Meghan and Jonas who dealt with my being completely fucking useless for two days like wonderful professional wonderfuls. I love them.

Incidentally: Jonas Larsson and Meghan Gilmore were the DJ managers for Herrang this year, and they did a magnificent job. They were fantastic to work with (professional, boss-like, setting clear limits, yet also respecting and encouraging creative experiments), an inspiringly good management team (they have to work together to make up DJ rosters using 6 staff DJs and a range of volunteer and guest DJs across at least 4 or 5 dance floors EVERY NIGHT for five weeks), and just plain old good DJs.
They were the best DJ managers I have ever worked with. They improved our working conditions, they made sure we had a good DJ ‘base’ (ie office) that was so friendly we occasionally had to kick other staff out of it so we could work, and they did lovely things like make us have dinner together to nerd out on jazz. It was a real pleasure and privilege working with them.

Note 2:
Despite all this rubbish, I actually had a nice holiday. I didn’t stress out (except for when I discovered I’d left my passports on the plane), and even Kendra was amazed by how calm I was. But as you soon discover in Herrang: the way you respond to the first drama in Herrang dictates the type of Herrang experience you’ll have. I choose ‘whatevs’ as a response.

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