Tuesday, April 21, 2009

R.I.P. Plan D

Act 1 – Inside BAA’s Brain, The Past Two Weeks

On the heels of being recklessly dumped by a travel PR campaign (boo, irony), I received a blog comment from one mysterious Dean Horvath, president of a luxury travel agency in Vancouver, offering me (and the other 47 Queensland finalists) an opportunity to apply for his company’s “Next Best Job in the World.” I was intrigued – and why wouldn’t I be? I was still hurting from the breakup and like any relationship junkie, I was looking for a rebound… The Next Best Job seemed like a suitable enough replacement. But can any rebound ever live up to the original?

The Next Best Job offered a $50,000 salary, 6-month contract and luxury travels (like candlelight dinner on the Great Wall of China) around the world in exchange for blogs, Tweeting and video content for the company’s Web site. To apply, I’d have to make yet another 60-second video, this time featuring a super luxurious and exclusive offering from my home city. When I first saw that I’d have to make a video, I hesitated… and so did my video camera operator extraordinaire La La La Lauren.

Sourcing a luxe offering would not be easy – after all, fancy hotels and the like don’t seek out hoodlums with video cameras to experience their luxury offerings. That’s why it’s exclusive… because regular people like us can’t have it. And frankly, I was a wee bit burned out on the video making process… but, but… traveling around the world is my dream! And someone would actually pay me to do it! And all I’d have to do is blog… I do that for free already.

I had misgivings about the campaign, (there’s much more to it – but I'll spare you the nitty gritty) but all the unseemliness aside, the odds were so favorable – how could I not apply? What if this was my big chance to jaunt like I always wanted? I waffled back and forth but never felt at ease about the decision. I bounced the opportunity off my most trusted advisors – RaeRae, colleague Valerie (to be known as Knuckles from here on out), La La La Lauren. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to a solid decision and the deadline was looming.

Act 2 – Post-Church Brunch, Last Sunday, Upper West Side

After church, I was brunching with the besties when J-Mart asked for a clarification on the alphabet of plans. I hadn’t yet had a chance to rundown the Next Best Job, so I recapped the pros and cons and admitted I was leaning toward not applying even though I felt unsettled about not doing so. J-Mart responded with, “What’s wrong with you? Of course you should apply! It’s a trip around the world!” And just like that, the busted light in my head flickered to life and we began to brainstorm luxury video opportunities that could be hastily coordinated, filmed and edited in time for the Thursday deadline.

J-Mart came up with the winning suggestion: an evening at Manhattan’s most exclusive speakeasy – Milk & Honey. This tiny haunt is old-fashioned and uber mysterious. The Web site says, “Entrance is by referral or appointment only.” Step 1: Make an appointment. To go to a bar! I know, it’s bananas! Such a normal task would be easy if you didn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to get the phone number. Naturally it’s not listed anywhere, so you have to know somebody who knows somebody, and the digits change frequently to combat skeeze/tourist takeover. Sunday night, I procured the number and called to make the reservation. Step 2: Send a text to the mystery number, then send an email to the special email address. Then I had to promise my firstborn child, walk across hot coals, pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time, and lick the backside of a poison dart frog. Only after these challenges were successfully completed was I granted passage into the inner sanctum of Milk & Honey.

Act 3 – Milk & Honey, Monday Night, Lower East Side

Want to know something about New Yorkers? We don’t go out when it’s raining unless it’s really, really important. Frankly, it’s never THAT important. However, the deadline for the Next Best Job was set for Thursday, so Lauren and I absolutely had to get footage on Monday so the rest of the week could be spent editing. As we sloshed through the rushing rivers that had formed in the NY streets, we grumbled about how we would NEVER be out and about in such a torrent if not for a bloody good reason. We convinced ourselves that a luxury round-the-world trip was a darn good reason...

We approached at 8:45 p.m. Our reservation was not until 9, so we set up to film a video intro out front. Something you should know… Milk & Honey has rules. For instance:

1. Gentlemen will not introduce themselves to ladies. Ladies, feel free to start a conversation or ask the bartender to introduce you. If a man you don't know speaks to you, please lift your chin slightly and ignore him.

2. Do not linger outside the front door.

We openly defied the no lingering rule as we stood in the freezing rain across the street from M&H’s nondescript, unmarked door to film the intro. I was 50 percent confident we’d be banished forever once we were caught filming, though the danger of it all added to the mystique of our little adventure.

We finally entered Milk & Honey and our lives will never be the same. Not really, though it was lovely and we will be back if they’ll have us. The cocktails were sublime! One could say to the bartender, “I feel happy and I like berries.” Then the adorable gent would bring back a luscious $15 concoction that would satisfy all hopes and dreams while quickly draining one’s wallet of cash.

So Milk & Honey is money, but let’s get back to the Next Best Job, shall we? Lauren filmed me as discretely as she could, but it was so dark and so intimate that filming was next to impossible. It was going to take some creative video editing to make a plausible 60-second entry. As we discussed editing possibilities, we picked up our iPhones to Tweet important observations and in my case, to check email.

And there it was. Another email breakup. 

Due to unforeseen events that occurred in the Canadian tourism industry last week, we’ve been forced to postpone and/or cancel the public competition for The Next Best Job in the World. 

Although these events have made it impossible to for us to keep to the timeline that was proposed with the contest, they shouldn’t have any bearing on the long term goals of the website we are planning.   As soon as we sort through these matters, I’ll contact you to see if you are still interested in the applying for the position.

You know how sometimes you laugh because something is just so outright ridiculous that you can’t believe it? Imagine Lauren and I doing just that at the fancy speakeasy. The Next Best Job has been postponed and/or canceled. That’s like getting an email from the rebound guy saying, “I want to take a break and/or never see you again.” I wish all these boys/PR campaigns would make up their minds.

R.I.P. Plan D.

In other news, Plan B and Plan C are still cooking, so stay tuned.


Camels & Chocolate said...

BOO! A pox about the house of Dean Horvath!

(But it still makes for a great story nonetheless!)

ghazal said...

I just love reading your blogs. You're so entertaining, girl! Sorry about Plan D -- I think the rainy evening and the fact that you had to promise your 1st born were both bad omens. Looking forward to hearing about B and C :)