Dressing down

31 05 10

There’s an article on Reuters.com asking if your colleagues look better to you on a Monday [than they do any other day of the week, I assume].

The short answer is no.

They do not.

They never look any better to me than does a snapping crocodile that hasn’t eaten in weeks.

What made me snort out loud at this article was the finding that on average, women spend 76 minutes getting ready on a Monday, broken down as follows:

-About 25 minutes on hair

-18 minutes on make-up

-16 minutes trying on different combinations of clothes

– The rest on showering and washing.

I suppose people like this exist. I knew someone who would get up at a full two hours before she left for her workplace in order to get dressed … even on those odd occasions requiring her to be *at* work at 6.00 or even earlier.

At the height of my disregard about what I looked like for work, my morning preparation took 18 minutes. This was when I woke up at 4.30 (yes, a.m.) in order to write and read radio news. Never before – and I seriously doubt ever again – had I managed to be at my desk at my workplace, banging away on a computer, within 25 minutes of waking. I looked like the zombie other zombies are embarrassed to be seen with.

Nowadays, I am only slightly less zombie-like in appearance on an average day at work. My morning toilet involves selecting a top and pair of jeans that are clean and choosing from three pairs of sneakers (five minutes), brushing my hair and tying it up (two minutes), brushing teeth and washing face (4.5 minutes), applying eyeliner (35 seconds) and checking that no visible clothing is on back-to-front (1.5 minutes).

That’s about 13.5 minutes. If I shower, add on 10 minutes for cleansing and five minutes for hairdrying.

Clearly other women (and men) out there are using the time I’m not.

76 minutes???????!!!!

That is time better spent asleep.


Quote of the day

25 05 10

"One of the things I have learnt is never rely on any individual who is in politics"

– Julius Malema to a BBC correspondent.

So then, to misquote Tracy Turnblad’s lyrics in Hairspray, "I can hear the warning bells".

SABC Board Members in Fictional Conversation

24 05 10

A conversation between Ben Ngubane, chair of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the SABC’s CEO Solly Mokoetle.

Ben Ngubane (BN): *Furtive whisper* Solly!! Yo, solly! Quickly, come in here.

Solly Mokoetle (SM): Ben, is that you? What the hell are you doing? And why are you in a storage cupboard?

BN: Shhhhh! Just get in here, we have to talk.

SM: *squishes in between rolls of toilet paper and Snuki Zikalala’s collection of the CVs of people he fired* What’s up? I was on my way to pull another ‘Phil Molefe’ on the news readers by telling them that their salaries were again going to be slashed by further 60%. April FOOOOOOLS!!!!

BN: It’s May. Anyway, we need to appoint a head of news and I say we do it now.

SM: What about the rest of the Board? Don’t we need to consult them?

BN: Shuddup, twerp. Either you’re with me or against me. What’s it’s going to be?

SM: What about Julius Malema? Or Fozzy Bear? Or that dude who came up with the idea of naked news?

BN: Don’t be an idiot. The presid….erm, I mean, someone with a lot of power has ‘suggested’ Phil Molefe.

SM: Don’t you think the rest of the Board will be upset if we make this appointment without consulting them?

BN: HEY! It’s not MY fault they aren’t here in this meeting. OK, Solly, leak the story to etv and then deny it. Pleasure talking to you.

Should I get another cat?

23 05 10

I have a cat- a beastly little grey girl who’s 1.5 years old and whom I adore. To say she’s feisty, though, is an understatement. I’ve wondered if another cat in the household would be good for her. I know cats don’t apparently care for other feline company, but I do wonder if it would be good for my Morticia to have a playmate/sparring mate. I’ve been told that a ginger boy kitten has just lost his mother and have been asked if I would take him. I am severely tempted but have reservations. Are two cats a lot of work? Will a male and female automatically be ok with each other? What do you think?

You’re special to us, Applicant.

21 05 10

I’ve resigned from my job and am currently exploring what it is I want to do and how to develop the potential (and reality, t’be sure) of making more moolah.

I am thus investigating all manor of options and applied for a half-day position which would theoretically allow me to develop a reliable, workable freelance business in the free afternoons.

I enquired if that position was still available before sending my CV. The person responded to me, greeting me by name in that email, informing me that it was still open and that I should send her my CV, whereupon I did just that.

This was her response:

Hi applicant

Thank you for your application. We have received a number of excellent applications (yours being one of them) and making the final choice is going to be hard.

I would be most grateful if could respond to the following:

1. Please confirm that you are aware that this is a five days a week, mornings-only position.

2. Please briefly explain your motivation for applying for a part-time, work from home position.

3. Please indicate your salary expectations for this position.

4. Please share your thoughts about the xxxxx website and newsletter. Feel free to be critical and make suggestions for improvements/changes.

Kind regards

Editor of xxxxx

Against my better judgement after having been called ‘applicant’ despite this woman knowing my name and still being expected to believe that I was among a number of ‘excellent applications’, I responded to all those amazingly insightful queries, apart from the one with my salary expectations, saying I’d prefer to discuss it in person.

The concluding email in this saga informed me that the person managing this recruitment process was situated in another province and unable to meet me and that, in essence, unless I would be happy to work for compensation amounting to peanut butter sandwiches and the change found in between the cushions of her couch, I wouldn’t be put forward to the next round. The reason supplied for this outfit being able to afford only this mingy salary was because it is ‘presently a tiny organisation’.

Interestingly enough, my current workplace is relatively miniscule when measured against our output – something that has lead to their tremendous financial success and we workers not being compensated even vaguely commensurately. Yup, this ‘small business, small salaries’ shit does no longer fly with me. May they all fall into small holes and die small, insignificant deaths.

Anyway, the search continues for decent writing, editing, copy-editing and proofreading work

A tale of teeth

19 05 10

This morning I visited Louis da Tooth-puller again, the second of what’s literally going to be around a dozen visits over the next year, I reckon.

Again, the Crime and Investigation channel was spewing tales of murder, dismemberment and other vicious acts while Louis prodded about in my mouth.

When I mentioned that I found it amusing in a disturbing way that this seemed to be his favourite channel, he said something about one day overdosing all his patients with local anaesthetic.

I could think of worse ways to die, I guess.


Here are couple of products I noticed in Woolworths a couple of weeks ago.

Pineapple flavoured orange squash???? REALLY?

Why not just make peanut-flavoured cashews? Or gouda-flavoured brie?

So much of punding

17 05 10

‘Punding’ is a lovely word I discovered this morning, and is a lot less rude than it sounds. It initially referred to ‘complex prolonged, purposeless, and stereotyped behaviour in chronic amphetamine users’, and is now regularly used to describe some behaviour exhibited by Parkinson’s disease patients.

Punding is apparently acknowledged as disruptive and unproductive by Parkinson’s patients themselves.

It is a ‘socially disabling phenomenon’ and is ‘phenomenologically distinct from both obsessive-compulsive disorder and mania’.

After minutes of intensive research, and after nodding in appreciation at the ‘prolonged, purposeless and stereotyped’ nature of the behaviour, I have concluded that most of us are subject to much punding on a daily basis.

A few examples follow:

  • 1. Believing that work would leave us more fulfilled on a daily basis than if we were not doing it.
  • 2. Imagining that managers might miraculously learn how to manage without raising the anxiety level in the office to ‘jump of a 12-storey building’ levels.
  • 3. Wondering how rude, abrasive colleagues manage to be so disagreeable so consistently, day after day after day after day, and yet succeed in getting someone to marry them.
  • 4. Buying into an idea that one day your good work would be recognised and appreciated and rewarded.

Sometimes I suspect banging one’s head against one’s desk repeatedly would be of more use.