Office etiketttt

30 09 10

Dear readers of this here blog

The South African Press Association (SAPA) has published an article on office etiquette. I feel that too many of you arrive at work in your slippers, shorts made out of T-shirt material and toothpaste-encrusted hair.

Too many of you rub up against your bosses/underlings in the lift, ask colleagues to accompany you to the broom cupboard for a ‘stock check’, and slurp fart-smelling soup at your desks.

Thanks to this little article, you can ensure that you have the *best possible office experience*. Don’t think of your workplace as a workplace … think of it as a Permanent /Contracted Lifestyle Enhancement Course, or PLEC or CLEC.

Firstly, we are told that there are many “pitfalls between the office kitchen and conference room”. Better pitfalls than potholes, I reckon, but I am an optimist.

Apparently gossiping with colleagues, getting to familiar with superiors and wearing a ‘far too deeply plunging neckline’ are no-nos. Funny… I thought that not doing your job properly might have been of more concern to organisations, but ya know, what do I know?…I have Kelloggs K flakes in my slip-slops at I type… at work.

Agnes Jarosch,  an employee of a German firm ‘dedicated to counselling people about etiquette’ says eating at your desk is bad – really baaaaaaaaaad. Bad like satan.

“[When] I sit at my desk and unpack a steaming hot cutlet that spreads its aroma throughout the bureau, that is inconsiderate toward colleagues,” she said.

Cutlet? I eat rice cake for lunch at work. Or tuna straight outta the can.

In terms of window open/window closed or aircon on/aircon off, these are dilemmas that the brightest office etiquette minds in Germany and Belgium have been applying themselves to. Their well-thought out and deeply intuitive answer is …they dunno.

Moving onto grooming, and it seems that popped collars are hot!!! Actually, maybe I misunderstood what a top human groomer had to say about the collar, but he was unequivocal about wrinkled T-shirts: “[A ]colleague who wears a wrinkled T-shirt to work signals to his colleagues that he doesn’t care what impression he makes on them. That isn’t much appreciated.”

I must say, I’ve always hated my colleagues more when they wear T-shirts, as I feel they are copying my style; a style that many years of not owning an iron nor a business suit have allowed me to cultivate and perfect.

Finally, women are told that they should ‘…uphold the business dress code unfailingly’, although this groomer did say women can get away with ‘wearing bright colours these days’.  That’s unless you work for an Amish concern. He warns, though, that we women should also ‘occasionally dress in a solid colour’, which makes me happy because I’ve just not known when I might have the opportunity, once again, to wear my lumo-orange jump suit. Best I be hunting down a pair of orange shoes.

Thank you for your attention, readers. Go forth and impress your colleagues. And if not, sleep with them.



28 09 10

Brown Mutt and I toddled off to Umhlanga for a wee four-day break during which we unwound, went to the beach, slept, ate, talked about boys, talked about dinosaurs, got career and love advice from a tarot card reader, got a pedicure, watched movies and exercised.

Let no-one accuse us of not thinking on holiday. There was a lot of thinking. So very much of thinking. These were some of the things we thought about during the mini-vay-kay:

  • Brontosaurus was really just a massive joke perpetrated by a egomaniacal scientist who shoved the skull of a different species onto a completely different dinosaur (the Apatosaurus), in order to prove his ‘new’ discovery. Oh, and there’s a dinosaur called a Supersaurus, which pleases me immensely.
  • Brown Mutt was a horse in her previous life. She has this in common with that British singer, Leona Lewis, it’s reported.
  • I am apparently going to have a daughter, a son and a cat. I am not, however, going to meet a man at all next year but am going to have these children within the next three years.  Since these children are not twins, I’m assuming, and I’m not meeting *anyone* romantically next year, and I will have had both these kids by September 2013 (three years), this means that I am apparently going to meet someone between   January 2012 and March 2012, and be impregnated by him during that time. Almost immediately after my first sprog is born, I shall be preggers again. It’s great to know that I will have come know the father/s of my children deeply and meaningfully before I am up the pole.
  • My sister is going to be nothing but a lazy housewife who will entertain. Having witnessed my sister’s cooking skills, I can only hope she’ll have these soirees catered.
  • No-one snores worse than the hound’s mother, apparently.
  • A room temperature of 23 degrees Celcius can, under NO circumstances, be considered air conditioning.
  • Ridge in ‘The Bold and The Beautiful’ has been married about 10 times to three women.
  • ‘Joseph and his Amazing Techicolour Dreamcoat’ is the best musical everrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

PS. Happy birthday, my favourite colourful canine. May your 32cnd year be full of happiness and serenity, and mostly, FUN!!!

Shake like a duck

26 09 10

Ducks are the best.
Here’s one having a shake.

Do not blwach

21 09 10

This is houseware store @home’s warning to me not to do something untoward when caring for a new throw/blanket I have.

Thus far, I’ve managed not to ‘blwach’ any of my stuff, thank the god of washing, but who knows what laundering travails await me in the future?

An average Yom Kippur

17 09 10

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish year (if you’re a believer), is upon us. The day requires that you drink nothing and eat nothing for 25 hours, to ‘atone’ for your ‘sins’.

I fast for a couple of reasons, none of which involve any belief in a deity. Hypocritical? Ironic? Maybe.

Anyway, the day is kak and gets progressively kakker. My tribe generally likes festivals to involve feasts, not famine.

I shall now outline my average Yom Kippur in no more than 10 angry, bulleted points:

  • 18.00 on the eve of Yom Kippur: Brush teeth and down a litre of water as the fast begins, after consuming a massive meal that could have fed three people, in the vain hope that you will still feel full by lunch the next day.
  • 19.00: Decide you’re thirsty already and then sulk for a while
  • 21.00 – 00.00: Toy with the idea of going to bed, holding off making the decision for you realise when you awaken in the morning, the toothpaste will have worn off and you will be stuck with morning breath for the duration of the day.
  • 8.00 – 10.00  the next day (day of Yom Kippur): Awaken to realise the toothpaste has worn off and there are 11 hours of consciousness remaining until you can get rid of morning breath by eating and drinking something.
  • 12.00: Consider crying but realise that it would be a waste of precious water and you’re not allowed to drink those tears, anyway.
  • 14.00: Realise you’re speaking to people from behind your hand, and will not sit closer than two metres to a living being, even your pet (who is meant to love you, foul breath and all).
  • 16.00: Forget that your need to snipe and gripe and tell people what you really think of them  is probably a result of a marked and prolonged sugar low
  • 17.00 : Consider weighing yourself to see if a starvation diet is the way to go
  • 18.00: Start pacing and watching the clock every 30 seconds
  • 19.00: Claim it wasn’t so bad, that you could easily do it again… all while downing a glass of water and whatever else you can find in the kitchen.

I am sure those who are observant will have a different experience of the day, including kissing fellow breath-monsters in Shul, but I think I prefer my version. Then again, ‘prefer’ is such a ridiculous word in this context. Oh well, at least it’s not Ramadan.

Collegial bonding

15 09 10

Yesterday I was polite to a colleague and, as a result, today I’ve been subjected to a half-hour lecture on Canada and given three other books on Germany, Sweden and Switzerland to look through.


Never again should I express interest in this man’s travels.

So much of “I went here and I went there” and so little of “Have you travelled?” and “Where have you been?”

His near obsession with the Land of Eh? rivals another associate (somewhere between friend and acquaintance, closer to the acquaintance side of the spectrum) of mine who, in essence, loves the place because “It works, and people mean it when they ask you how you are.”

Well then, off to Canada with you, I say. I feel for the ego that takes it to heart when he realises that the Spar cashier doesn’t actually mean it when she inquires after your mental and physical wellbeing.

This same individual sent an email today relating to a braai she and her husband are having this weekend to celebrate spring.

Now stay with me here people, it might get confusing –  she asked *me* to lunch at her house. The email, however, demanded that I bring meat, drinks and either rolls, a potato something or other, a salad, snacks or a dessert.

Just in case I lost you, *I* am bringing *my entire meal with me* to *her* house.

I must say, I was pretty convinced her wedding was going to be a ‘bring and braai’ affair, and since it was not, perhaps this is payback?

A drug by any other name

13 09 10

While collecting a bunch of meds at the pharmacy on Saturday, I noticed a package lying on the counter with the extremely alluring name, ‘Euphorbium’.

I might have guessed from its name that Euphorbium would be a homeopathic preparation, packed full of essence of Egyptian Goose and a soupçon of snail shell.

Despite my distrust of homeopathy in general, I think taking something called Euphorbium would greatly improve my disposition. In fact, I think that despite it being indicated for rhinitis, Euphorbium would improve just about all of my ailments, once and for all proving the existence of the placebo effect. Conclusively.

Taking Euphorbium would lead to less dissatisfaction with the dirty dishes in my sink, the broken air conditioning compressor in my car which is going to cost R4000 to replace, the expired passport squatting in my drawer, and manageable hatred of shrieking children.

This got me thinking that if various medications were named a bit more creatively, conveying the essence of their action in their name, reluctant patients might be more inclined to stick to a strict regimen, leading to fewer complications that result from non-adherence.

I thus propose a few names which describe the drug’s action more…pointedly, perhaps (and yes, and I realise these names sound like Chinglish):

  • Reliefomax: a mild laxative to relieve those days/weeks/months spent eating bread, muffins, matzah, kneidlach.
  • Upliftomide: antidepressant, anxiolitic, all-around feel-good pill
  • Keepitine: stops nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Happyheadomine: gets rid of headaches
  • Stoprot: antibiotic or antibiotic cream or powder
  • Stinkgo: prescription-strength breath freshener

On reflection, I suspect people might prefer shouting, “I want a box of 4000 condoms and a giant tube of lube,” while in a queue with their boss, their standard four English teacher and their mom’s best friend, instead of having to ask for Stinkgo.

Ah well, I’m not bovvered. I’m taking Euphorbium and everything is juuuuuust fine…