I feel incredibly lucky to be here. We are all part of a huge team making something ethical but edgy. We are many weird cogs in a very unusual machine.
I’m often the first person you meet. This immediately involves being swept up in my world. You arrive after the overnight flight from somewhere and I’m there with a Panama Hat and your name in flashing neon on my phone. I’m usually standing in a gaggle with the Enterprise lads – who call me “Barclay” and the VIP drivers in their hastily washed branded white shirts. I often keep my hi-vis on as well when I’m greeting as when I’m fixing. It makes me visible. It’s a helpful costume.
Amy arrived a few days ago when I was mid argument with the information desk about a lost bag. She stood quietly by and watched as I hauled out bigger guns than I normally like to use. Clayton was by me today when the result of those guns came in and somebody from information randomly came to to me in the middle of a conversation and told me “They say it will definitely be with you tomorrow,” to which I reflexively responded “I need to have that in writing please.” Poor thing, she went off and scribbled it on a piece of paper for me. Better than nothing. Iberia Airlines? Don’t. Just don’t.
While I was marshalling people and sorting out where the merch would go, I was also on WhatsApp messaging anyone in Montevideo who had a print shop and who would be willing to make a bit of money by finding me that fucking A3 printer. Gustáv was an early contender but took himself out of the running with a lack of trust.
Then I rang the right man. Alfonso Ponce de Leon. He took the bull by the horns by WhatsApp. He knew where he could get it, and knew what he could ask for and was willing to commit to getting it for me today. I held him off a little when I got an offer from a local fixer: two lads were willing to bring in a local second hand one for $450 US dollars cash. That got thrown out though when I ran it by the client, and frankly I get why. This one went through the books, it has a manual and guarantee and generally all the things you need. It had a hefty 22% tax hoiked on it which I might have avoided had I bought it on behalf of one of the Uruguayan contractors or said it was personal. You live and learn… And it might not have been possible. Alfonso sent me a “welcome to Uruguay'” message when I expressed my shock at the tax. He wasn’t there when I bought it. Just maybe his mum and maybe his son. An older lady who was a stickler for bureaucracy and a strong young man with no precision.
“You know we fished a printer out of a Dolav today,” says Todd. “It was wet so we’re letting it dry out but it might be fine tomorrow.” Aaaargh. Well. It is a good printer. It will find its use.