That Night Outside the Brothel

I can only hope you’ll try to forgive the outpour of very lame metaphors in this post, but I haven’t slept, really slept in quite a while (no sleep, brothels, oh I bet you’re mad with excitement already!), and mixing prolonged exhaustion with beer in the office way-too-early-on-a-Friday-morning has never been a good idea in my world. So yes, feel free to feel sorry for me. Though I’m sure I’ll soon have some really nice people rushing to become my very own online stalkers, having been attracted by the wonderful, educational title of this post, so at least there’s that. Yay for my life, a day to day sleepwalking tragedy! Now with stalkers!

On with the super duper story then.

The reason why I haven’t been sleeping, apart from a several weeks long invasion of Romanian guests I’ve had to wine and dine London style, is pretty much because V. and I have been crazy busy cleaning and re-cleaning the flat before and after each of the aforementioned visits, car shopping, booze shopping, booze drinking, and going to all kinds of IT events (which are just a convenient cover for geek style boozing anyway!).

Yesterday evening for instance, we went to the 12 Devs of Autumn conference in Shoreditch. Now, I won’t be linking to these nice people’s site, not because I don’t want to share my interwebs stardom with them, but since I’ve got a feeling they’d rather not be associated with my brothel centered ranting. For those of you geeky enough to want to find out more about them, I’m sure Google will take you to the right place.

Now, the way these conferences/meetups work is: a bunch of geeky people meet up to listen to other geeky people talk about the geeky stuff they do on a daily basis. There’s food, there’s beer, everybody’s got their laptops out (not for any useful purposes, mind you, but just to show off the geeky stickers they’ve decorated them with; I am no exception), you get to brag about your job in front of people who are genuinely interested and not just silently-planning-their-escape, as it often happens in real life. Long story short, conferences are pretty cool.

Because most of my let’s-call-it-audience-but-we-all-know-there’s-three-of-you-and-you-only-read-this-because-your-Facebook-walls-are-full-of-annoying-baby-photos is not particularly geeky, I’ll not get into too much geeky detail on the talks myself (though they were awesome!). But I will mention Kat Thompson (look her up!), and her lovely talk on User Experience and, well, brothels.

What? Did you think I came up with that on my own? Innocent little me? Well, I didn’t. And in fact I have to admit I’ve STOLEN the title of one of her presentation slides to shamelessly use as my blog post title today. I know I know, your outrage knows no limits at this point.

But bear with me for a second, I know you can’t wait to read my amateur rendition of Kat’s brothel story.

So here it goes. One evening, Kat was having drinks with her friends outside a pub in Soho. After a while, they realised there were not one, but two brothels right across the street from them (that’s Soho for you!). And Kat got this awesome idea and started keeping track of everybody going in and out of the brothels. She even awesomely timed some of them on her phone, and then she figured, this being the moral of the story, that this is exactly the way websites work. Like brothels. People come and go, looking for a certain service. We just need to watch them. Some may find that walking two flights of stairs is too much to ask. Some may find the service too expensive. By this point of course we were all laughing our heads off and had all fallen head over heels in love with Kat and her talk. But it also got me thinking.

A brothel may be a fun, surprisingly suitable metaphor for a website, but what’s stopping it from pretty much defining my own life? A couple of mental debates later, I’ve decided.

My life really is a brothel.

People, friends come and go (most come from Romania and go back there once they’ve drunk all my beer). Some complain and ask for their money back. Some like it and come again, and we establish lasting professional relationships bringing us each various types and degrees of satisfaction. The fact that I’ve moved my brothel to London has definitely affected the business. And with all the brothel competition here, at least in Soho, things will pretty surely be slow to pick up again. But I try. I work hard. You’ve got to make a living even in this business, what can you do?

I guess in the end, this post turned out to be less about brothels, and more about our ever changing friendships. Go figure.

I’m off to bed now. Have a great weekend everyone!

3 thoughts on “That Night Outside the Brothel

  1. Haha!
    I couldn’t help but smile at the gibe pointed towards those who will come here only because of the title.
    It was a brilliant post.Witty and insightful.
    I guess my life too has been a brothel in the past.


  2. Pingback: Weekend Away | London Geek

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