HAPPY WOMEN’S MONTH 2016!!!

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UNAPOLOGETICALLY WOMAN

Hey guys (by guys I mean ladies, gentlemen and just errrbody).

For the past few weeks I’ve thinking about Women’s month and what it means to me. Besides the fact that Woman’s Day was a mid-week fake Saturday. Yay! Not so great when we had to go back to work and have a Monday do-over the Wednesday, but hey fun was had.

Once a month I dread being a woman. Thrice in my lifetime I’ve really dreaded being a woman. Birthing three babies was no walk in the park. Neither were the PJ drills. Thankfully we’re past that and will never experience it again.

BUT… I didn’t decide to come out of hiatus to talk about the not so glorious moments in my life.

Since this month started, I’ve been thinking more and more about my kids. I’m raising two beautiful young ladies and a young lad whom I think will make some lucky lady a wonderful husband one day. On our journey we are making some fantastic memories. Sharing laughs, ideas, dancing and making stuffs and, and, and…

I’ve come to realise that being a woman is about harnessing power. The power to create, build, groom, empower, grow and be flexible. Gosh there are so many words I could use to describe womanhood and the qualities of strong women. The possibilities are endless. Being a woman is not necessarily about being a mother. You don’t have to have kids to help build a better tomorrow. Knowing they are our future and showing them the way through love and compassion goes a long way.

During my thinking spree, I noticed that “Me time” has become a thing of the past. Not that I’m skimming on that. On the contrary. I’ve become much more intentional about being a woman. Being a “woman-first” means taking care of me in order to take care of everyone else. Me time is no longer a quick sesh here or there but more of an intentional time allocated to my daily schedule to do what I want without mom guilt. Off course it doesn’t always pan out that way. Then again show me a schedule without a glitch. Somehow being a wife and mom forms part of that ‘allocated’ slot.

My Instagram bio reads: “Woman first…” Because if I can’t be what God created me to be then I think I’ll be useless to my person, kids and anyone else I may cross paths with in my life.

My kids are my life and I want to be the type of woman my girls aspire to be. Have the qualities my son will seek for in a wife one day. Ok maybe not too much of my qualities. Wait! He’s only fifteen. Why am I giving that much thought to his future wife? Maybe because I over think things. I’m a woman after all. Typical.

Most of all, when I think about being a woman I am reminded of Proverbs 31.

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THE WOMAN I ASPIRE TO BE

Happy Woman’s Month 😚😚😚

What do you think being a woman is all about?

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

Celeste

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Tandem Post: Silencer

Bruised, Battered, Broken…

Numb, Mindless, Bottomless…

Worthless, Dirty, Degraded…

Nothing left but an empty shell.

You thought you took it all…

For a while you did.

But NO MORE!

“Tell anyone and I’ll kill you!” You said.

You think you are the Silencer.

But NO MORE!

We will rise and we will not be silenced. We will shout it out from the rooftops until the acts of hate stops.

#RedMyLips #SayNoToRapeCulture #NoMeansNo

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#RedMyLips

This was part of a weekly tandem post between 2 of my fav bloggers and I. Please go see what they’ve dished up for you this week.

Chevone’s story

Shelley’s story

Thank you for reading.

I will NOT be silenced… Hear me ROAR

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Don’t you think it’s funny how the people who know nothing about you always have the most to say? How they feel it’s their right to tell you what to do or not do?

I don’t think it’s funny. In fact there are a whole lot of uncultured words I can use for it. But I won’t. At least not yet. What I will say for now is that when we ASSUME, it’s nothing other than making an ASS of U and ME.

I don’t know what it is about me, but the cover of the book isΒ  the total opposite of what’s in my heart and mind. It never gets old how people tell me “You’re nothing like I thought you’d be like.” Yeah… I get that a lot.

Since 2016 started I have been insulted, patronized, offended, lied to, confronted over B.S., things have been spoken (purposefully and out of sheer ignorance) over my kids lives, my marriage has been under strain because of interference and I’ve been properly dismissed by people who know Jack diddly squat about me or my life. For a while there, I almost lost it. The black dog came for a brief visit before I shot it down again.

Just when I let my guard down and think I can have a normal mundane existence, someone comes and disturbs my peace. With the result that I have been breaking ties and making enemies with people. You see, there comes a time when you open your mouth and the monster inside rears it’s ugly head. Everyone feels they are right and apologies are not required. But what if I also feel that what I do and say is right?

Why should I respect someone who has no respect for me? Why should I watch what I say when I’m not extended the same courtesy? Why should I allow someone to make me feel like I’m an outsider? Why should I accept, that after the damage has been done, someone didn’t mean what they said? But why did they say it in the first place? Why should I not react when someone tries to tell me where to get off? Why should I have to explain myself to people who have obviously made up their minds about me or a situation? Why should I believe that someone is doing or saying things because care, or better yet (and also my personal favourite), that God sent them? Why should I allow someone to tap my hands with the Bible? And why should I have to apologize or feel guilty for fighting back?

I’ll tell you why I don’t have to ‘anything’ right now:

I am not arrogant enough to think that I don’t need people or their help. We all need people in life. It is however my prerogative to seek help when I need it! And from whom I choose. Trust is a big thing to me.

When someone messes with me I can handle it but when they mess with my person, they mess with me. Nobody put’s Keith in the corner. The B.S. imposed on him affects me too. It has effects on my marriage and whether my relation to someone is by blood or by the law, I expect people to respect it. You don’t have to like it or accept it but respect it. It’s been proven that even though blood is thicker than water, relatives cause you more hurt than your friends or even strangers. Is it any wonder why I don’t place that much value on some familial relations?

When you say things like “What you’re doing right now will come down on your kids” what the … (insert word of choice) do you mean? And while you’re at it please also explain what the … (again, insert word of choice) it is that I’m doing. You know what? Don’t even try to answer it. Nothing you say will excuse that. No freaking thing. You don’t get to get away with it. Period. That is a pretty screwed up thing to do.

I’ve been hearing the damn R word tossed carelessly quite a bit lately. What rumours are everyone talking about? I haven’t done anything to be chastised over. Well, except for being verbal and keeping a loaded gun to gun down dragons. It’s called self defense. People really shouldn’t be surprised over retaliation. There’s only so much anyone can take.

Have those dragons considered how they would feel if their lives have been disrupted and any old fool and their brother attacks them? Have they considered how they would feel if I come round and stick my nose in their personal affairs? Do unto me what you’d like me to do to you because what you see me doing is a reflection of yourself. So who is the shitty person really? Guess no one has thought about that.Β 

Respect is earned. Don’t expect it when you’re not willing to give it in return. Respect is also not over using the “Because we care” card. Neither is it the “We are the adults or the godly bunch” card. Telling me that you respect me but you can’t back it up with your actions is just lame on so many levels.

People’s misconstrued notion of support does not impress me. Support is when you show someone you care. It is not an impromptu meeting here and there and wanting to force them to see things your way. Getting all up in their business and being a bit cunning about it too. Yeah, I picked up on that. Going behind someone’s back and being surprised to find all present. Support is also not trying to turn siblings against each other. Oh? That wasn’t the intention? Could have fooled me.

Waiting for us to fail is setting us up for disaster. We stand no chance thanks to the nay sayers and do wellers. We’ve already lost thanks to you.

My boxing gloves have been stashed and instead I’m a ticking time bomb right now. So… Any other questions or attacks you have up your sleeves?

I’m adult enough to the same people who remind me that I’m still a child while their argue with me like their equals. Seriously what’s up with that? Am I your child or an adult you want to tell off? In case anyone has to wonder, maturity is not measured in years. You may have your age but do you know what I have? I’ll just leave that one hanging. But do think about it sometime, won’t you.

I will NOT be silenced. If you knew me you’d know that I don’t back down either. You’d know that I don’t find your concerns silly. They are genuine. You’d also know that I am pretty reasonable in general. There is nothing general about my “new” normal and it pisses me off. You’d know that when you make your intentions clear and don’t come in any sort of guise, I will listen. I’ll even answer questions should you have any. Bearing in mind that I will refuse to comment on things you don’t need to know. My business is mine and yours is yours. You’ll also know that I can see straight through alterior motives. I don’t have to know exactly what it is, but if it walks like a duck… I’m intuitive like that.

I will NOT accept the fact that you think I’m inconsequential. I know who I am and if I don’t matter to someone, that’s ok. I’m a grown woman who knows that not everyone in life will like me. It is what it is. I may not matter to you but I mean a lot to those who matter to you. Ever think of the power that may yield? Don’t bother thinking about it too much, just know that if I wanted to be the wicked witch of the west, I could be.

If you knew me, you’d know that I don’t aspire to be a First Class … (insert word of choice). Life is short and I know as well as the next person that being a complete SOB gets no one anywhere. I’m a lover not a fighter. That said, I want you to know that right now I am roaring and it will take time to get over this. I’m even adult enough to know that I shouldn’t expect any apologies. Not everyone is wired that way.

I will NOT be placed on a leash either. So don’t try using Keith as a go between. Our beef is ours. Own up to it and we’ll talk about it. Maybe then, some respect can be salvaged. Be prepared when you do come and choose your words wisely. For now though, I’ll say you win. You are right. Whatever you are right about. I don’t want to be right or win if it means losing myself and my principles.

This is me. No nutshell because I’m way more complexed than that. Let’s call it a part of me that needs to be seen right now.

You’re welcome.

Things I wish I could tell my Mother-In-Law right now

“Hellllurrr! Howzit?”

This is the part where you’re supposed to say “Dit gaan goed dankie my kind” (I’m well thank you my child) right before you ask me about your kids. You know, the ones I gave birth to… And then we’d proceed to you telling me about some person or the other that either passed away or who is ill. Then I’d pretend to know exactly who you’re talking about because I’ve learnt that it’s better than you trying to force me to remember someone I’ve never met or seen in my life.

I’ll say shame. You’ll tell me about their relatives and the funeral and and and… I’ll crack a silly joke about how the people in your hood are becoming an extinct species and you’ll chide me for it and we’ll laugh because you think it’s true somewhat. Remember how I told you that there’d be no one left to attend your funeral? Well, there’d better not be, because I’m not ready to let you go.

We came to visit you the other day. I kissed your forehead and rubbed your arm before I fled. It was difficult to see you just lying there. I couldn’t bring myself to come back again. But I was right outside the door. Filing my nails. You know I don’t bother filing it much, but hey, anything to keep busy. And then buffing it for good measure coz I was right outside with the Judgy McJudgersons of this world. You should see my nails shine. I was that disinterested in having meaningless conversation with the nay sayers and do well’rs. I’m sure you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about.

I miss our chats. The ones where you talk about days gone by. When you embarrass the heck out of me with some topics. Daughters are not supposed to be privvy to some of the information you give me, but hey your secrets are safe with me.

We don’t know what to tell the kids anymore. Little K is still mad at you for being in hospital this long. We can’t bring Middle K for visits because, like me, she can’t handle seeing you looking all frail. I can tell you that we’re not fooling 1st K one bit. And Miss Z is feeling it so much more because you’re not home with her. The kids miss you and are really worried.

People have probably wondered why I don’t visit you that often. You know how people talk… It makes me feel better knowing that you don’t wonder. I never quite understood when your sister would say “Gee vir my blomme terwyl ek nog lewe” (Bring me flowers while I’m living). Now I know the true meaning of it. I hope I’ve done enough for you in your healthier days. I guess I did because I feel that peace and calm you told me about once when you spoke of the time your mom was ill.

There are so many things I want to tell you and I pray that we’ll have an opportunity to have those conversations. Like:

You missed out on something very important in Middle K’s little life and I can’t wait to tell you. Happened the day before you went to hospital.

High schools for Middle K and Miss Z. The application process doesn’t seem too nightmarish anymore. But it’s still that time. My shattered nerves.

Little K is enjoying being a 1st grader. All I’m hearing these days is my teacher this and my teacher that and the year has barely started!

About your hair… It actually looks quite fine for someone who’s been in bed for as long as you have. We’ll bring some Argan oil when we come again. To touch it up a bit. Just remember I want my comb back. This joint custody is not working. *laughing* I’ve been looking for one similar to mine for a while now but haven’t found one yet. I guess I’ll have to find one soon before you decide to keep mine for good.

I didn’t find any of those shorts either but it doesn’t mean you can have mine. I know that was the deal, but please can we look for another one?

“My kids, you’re all I’ve got. You, Keith and R. If I’m not around anymore, I want to know that you guys will all get along and always remember that you are family. We are family.” I can hear you utter those words to me in the silence of the night. It won’t be easy, you know your kids, but we’ll try. Families need to stick together. We’ll argue, fuss and fight but we’ll pull through. We always do. You don’t have to worry about us.

I want you to know that I’ll take good care of Keith and K3. They are my life and no one loves them more than I do. Let’s not even have that debate because I’ll win. Only because you can’t exactly talk now. Oh, how I miss hearing your voice. FYI when we get to have that debate again I suppose I’ll let you win. If only by default. Your heart and all.

More than anything, I miss you. If I promise to sneak you an oily chop or other unhealthy food to hospital will you get better sooner?

This is not goodbye…

Life in 2016

And just like that, the hype is over. Christmas has come and gone. The aftermath of New Years celebrations have been nursed. I hope… And I’m a tad tardy with this post.

Can you believe it’s already the 8th of January 2016! Never too late to wish everyone a prosperous New Year though πŸ™‚

Over here in Jonkersville, 2016 started with a bang. It was the first time in years Keith and I actually went to a party New Years eve, and what a great time we had. So great, that being awake at 4am after working the previous day wasn’t a chore. So great, that I survived New Years day with only 2 hours sleep. Who needs sleep when you’re in great company right? Even better, is that the kids were right there and we shared the laughs and dances with them too.

I’ve been doing such a lot of life stuff that my memory banks are overflowing. For a change, I let my hair down and enjoyed every moment instead of thinking what a great post it would make or take pics which I probably won’t look at all that often. I jumped the waves at the beach, ate too much, built sandcastles, did nothing and purely existed for one whole day (that’s a lot in mommy time!), actually looked at old pics and I ate some more. Hence the late New Years wish.

Anyhoo, enough about me…

This week my uncle lost his dad and even though it was sort of expected (and I don’t mean this lightly) it didn’t lessen the pain for their family. No matter how long someone is ill, nothing ever prepares you for that void when they have reached the end of the road.

It kind of reminded me of the day my gran passed away. I did washing that morning and was supposed to bake her a carrot cake. The mix was ready and all I had to do was pop it into the oven but then the call came. She never got to enjoy the carrot cake. Luckily she will never know that I didn’t make the mix from scratch. Chocolate cake is my speciality. I used to buy the carrot cake mixture, all ready to pour into a cake pan and bake. Gosh, I miss that bakery. Gran suffered from cancer and we expected her battle to come to an end much sooner but when it happened, it still came as a shock.

Two days ago my mother-in-law had a heart attack and boy was I glad for those heart attack email alerts I’ve gotten over the years. Coughing really does buy you time. Thinking about how I told her to cough and cough that day seems quite funny because I didn’t have a cooking clue at the time that it was that bad. Or that it would work. Or that I was dishing the advice. Thank God for autopilot. Imagine my relief when I discovered that it really does work. All this happened telephonically and I think there’s a slight (maybe a big chance) she may have been thinking that I’m bonkers but she humoured me. I specialize in tough love. She’s not completely out of the danger zone but she is still with us.

Needless to say, the past few days had me thinking about life in its entirety. One moment you’re here, the next you may be breathing your last breath. You know those ‘nice’ words and quotes we often see and sometimes share but never really live or ‘do’. We sometimes lose track of things in our busy lives that we either forget to stop and smell the roses or we forget to really live. We don’t get to read some emails because there are just too many words. We get so consumed with ourselves and our problems that we don’t often realize how blessed and fortunate we are. My niece referred to me as her rich aunt the other day. Mind you, I’m her only ‘aunt’ aunt but her perception of me is nowhere close to where I see myself or my situation. You get what I’m saying right? I’m blessed. We tend to take things and people for granted, not because we don’t care but because we sort think it’ll always be in perfect working order or that our loved ones will live forever. Not to mention the things we never give any thought to because stuff always happens to other people.

Well enough about all of that now too. Apologies if I made the post seem a bit glum for a minute there, but life happens. No one knows when will be their last day. We must choose how to live and whether or not we do it intentionally. I’ve long since stopped believing in New Years resolutions and wasting my time trying to shape up and be a different version of myself just because it’s a New Year. Every day is a new beginning and an opportunity to start fresh. Seize the moment. I do however have a few wishes for everyone for the New Year.

My wishes for everyone (including me) this year is: (and this is where I get cliche-y)

    To experience love, happiness and lots of laughter.

    To look at every mistake as a learning curve and to grow.

    To embrace all experiences good and bad.

    To know that sky is not the limit; we must reach for the stars.

    To dare to dream. Even if you dream about what you’ll do with your lotto winnings yet you never play. (This one is mostly or me. Hee hee hee)

    To never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them. Unless, off course, they’re not yours to love.

    To smile. You may just make someone’s day. Or just do it for you.

    To donate to charity. Money is always welcome, but so is time. You HAVE something to offer the less fortunate. In fact, how about doing a total mind shift and stop thinking about charity as a way of “giving back” and adopt a “give because you can” or “doing what comes naturally” attitude.

    To empower ourselves by learning a new craft or skill. We’re never too old to learn.

    Be YOU. Be the best you, you can be while staying true to yourself.

Here is to another year full of promise and expectation. Then blogging about it because it helps keep the sanity in tact. Cheers to all of you πŸ˜‰

How has 2016 treated you thus far?

2015 in Rearview

First off let me start by saying “What a year”. No wait… Rather “WHAT A YEAR”!

This was the year of emotional highs and all time lows too, in “a when it rains, it storms” sort of way. I laughed, I cried, frowned, got some wrinkles in the process and grew my hair. It was a journey of self discovery like no other I’ve had before.

2015 Was the year I got to know ME. The me I’m really supposed to be.

Here’s a rearview of 2015:

    I survived 1st K’s first year of high school and Little K’s first year of ‘big’ school. (I officially know the phonetic alphabet by heart again)

    Middle K’s tween hormones and moods have had me worried for a while, but I guess it’s safe to say that my young lady is back to being her silly self again.

    Being home has given me time to start my fledgling business and so far, so good.

    My run in with the black dog turned out to be a battle of wits. It’s safe to say: ME 1-0 Black Dog. (K.O.)

    I enjoyed spending time with my family while being a WAHM, even though they drove me up the walls some days. We got a chance to really get to know each other again and bond.

    Marriage in summer is still not my thing. It’s too hot to cuddle!

    Talk of marriage… Keith and I spoke a while ago and it came out that I’m not romantic. You’d think by the amount of smut I read (don’t judge!), I’d be on top of my game. Oh well, that’s a blog for another day.

    I struggled to find decent employment with a decent salary this year. So much so, that it affected my feelings of self worth. The situation has been remedied though and I’m back at my old company. This proves that you should never burn bridges in life.

    I’ve got twin nephews! They are absolutely adorbs and I enjoy them. On the flipside, I realised that I wasn’t a good baby mommy. Ok, I was good enough, my kids are alive and kicking. Haha… What I really mean, is that I didn’t take time out to enjoy my kids when they were wee babes.

    I hooked up with two awesome bloggers for some #TandemBlogs and it has been an enriching experience. I can’t wait to start again in February 2016 so stay tuned.

    Then there’s my blog community… I feel blessed to be associated with them. A bunch of lovely people, all round. They are very much responsible for many of my laughs and tears throughout this year. To all of you: You are amazeballs!

    My readers… You make my heart smile. Thank you for reading what little ‘ole me has to say from time to time. This is a journal of sorts. I’ve never been a dear diary kinda gal, but this is a way of me expressing some opinions and sharing experiences. Some may be useful and some may just be an interesting read (I should hope), but the purpose is for me to look back one day and see how far I’ve come. It’s also for my kids to read and see what their mom is all about. I’m actually a girl and not just their mom.

    I’ve become quite fond of my own company. I talk a lot and am very confident but I’m also an introvert. What an unlikely combination, but that’s me. Most people who know me personally will never believe it. Being alone with my thoughts is the best feeling ever.

    No has become my favourite word. And people pleasing has become a thing of the past. Yayzies! No more unnecessary (self imposed) pressure.

    This year November was kind to me and I finished my #NaNoWriMo novella. It’s not online because I’m not ready to share. I wonder if I’ll ever be ready to share any of my novella’s. Blame it on insecure writer syndrome.

    Loved ones were lost and a new experience was gained. I learned how to go about reporting a missing person and the procedures to follow when they’re found. Hopefully I’ll never have to identify a body ever.

    The one experience I’ll never forget was when people thought my sister went missing two weeks after my mom’s friend’s body was found after she went missing. You guys, I don’t think I can describe the state of panic I was in when Keith and I drove to look for her. Fortunately she was home and her phone’s battery died without her noticing. All this on my birthday! I made her buy me wine coz I nearly died thinking of the what if’s. This all goes to show how your online presence can affect your online absence. Or is it the other way around?/ol>

    That’s it from me for now. I’m getting ready to go to an 80’s themed party to give 2015 a proper send off with some of my favourite people on this here earth, La Familia. What to wear???At the rate things are going, I really am tempted to paste my ID book on my forehead and representing the 80’s kids.

    Thank you all for reading my blog this year. It truly is humbling to know that people are actually interested in reading. Thank you for the kind words and encouragements during my not so fine moments. I could not have done this alone.

    Have a great New Years Eve and be safe!

    PS: Just so you know, I don’t do pre New Years messages because I don’t believe in that “Lines jammed” or generic texts people are so fond of. So, if we’re all alive and kicking, we’ll do that tomorrow.

    PPS: If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, I’ll probably be busy with life things and taking a social media break, but hear from me you will.

The #ZumaMustFall march Cape Town 2015

This morning my rush to the city centre for the last bit of Christmas shopping quickly changed course as I saw the ‘writing’ on the wall. I knew full well that the #ZumaMustFall campaign was happening today. Even got a bit annoyed when we battled to find parking. But when I walked past eager participants and heard the people’s cries I realized that I am one of those people and those are my cries too. I am a South African citizen and although I steer away from politics and campaigns, decisions and mismanagement (for lack of a better word) affects me too.

I have never marched or joined a protest in my life, yet I found myself in the throng of protesters. All uniting against the current state of affairs. It didn’t take me long to join and start clapping to the #ZumaMustFall chant. It was a peaceful and respectful event, even though everyone was filled with emotion. No intimidation and no worries about the police charging in or even my car being vandalized at any given time because it was parked just off Plein street.

“Mom, why are there mostly white people here?” My son asked as we walked in the crowd. “Well my boy, because many people are too pessimistic to even bother. Because, people have lost hope and they feel that their voices don’t matter. Because, standing up for what you believe in is stuff only other people do. Because, who wants to get up early and walk up and down with no guarantees.” Was but a few reasons I gave my son as we walked. Just to be clear, there were plenty of people of colour present. I do recall seeing some gold dust, turquoise, yellow and green people walking around πŸ˜‰ Oh, and off course I was there too.

As I spoke I thought of many of the other reasons I couldn’t share with my impressionable first born. One of which goes hand in hand with the fact that many people don’t even know what day it is today besides that it’s public holiday. Another reason would be that it’s easier to protest against statues of people long gone than it is to stand up to real live people. People who are abusing their privileges while the rest of the country suffers. Exploiting ordinary citizens so that they may live large. A little village as a home is not a need, it’s a want. Driving fancy cars is not a need either. Neither is the fancy accommodation politicians reside in when attending whatever meetings in different cities. All this while schooling, health facilities and basic safety needs are not being met. Tearing down a statue will not ensure any of these needs are met and demanding a president steps down does not guarantee any of this either but it’s a step in the right direction. Yet the majority choose to fight dead people. But hey, I’m not judging.

Sure I know that walking the talk today may not make a huge difference. And yes I get that if and when Zuma does fall some other guy will spring up and possibly do worse damage. But imagine the possibilities if everyone were to unite. White privilege and BEE aside… Imagine the possibilities of a country where politicians don’t get richer by lining their pockets and the poor don’t get poorer; because, well, politicians line their pockets. Where the only race that matters is the human race.

We as the people of the country give the power. Why can’t we take it away too?

Am I Wrong

Today I received a call from an unknown number. A call that may seal my fate for the next few months. A fate that I have been dead set against, since I heard about the opportunity, and that I’m still not sure about.

The call was from a previous manager of mine. A manager who works at the same company that retrenched me last year. There are a few temp vacancies in her department and she called to invite me for an interview. Roughly two months ago a former colleague (a few of them actually) of mine told me about the upcoming positions and truthfully I was as interested in working there then as I am today. Which happens to be less than zero.

You guys, I don’t want to go work there. Like, really not. Don’t get me wrong. I need work and I do need the cash but I just don’t want to go back there. I haven’t burnt any bridges nor have I any hang ups because of the retrenchment but that’s not my life anymore. It’s actually just not the type of company I want to work for anymore either. Firstly, the location sucks and I’ll have to spend plenty of time commuting. Secondly, I’ll have to leave home at 05:40 and get home after 6pm again. Lastly, I’ll have to be forced to work with people who I don’t care for. Sure every work place has got its politics and some plain nasty employees but I can live without that. During my time there I endured it. Ok, maybe more than endured it. I’m a flexible person and generally get on well with anyone.

The downside to being the neutral person is that there never really is a sense of belonging. Other people’s attitudes wear you down no matter how much you try to ignore it. If there’s one thing I can’t deal with, it’s got to be people who moan about any and everything. At my volunteer job I’m blessed to be surrounded with the most amazing group of women with zest for life. When I walk into the office every morning, I can feel the energy. We work in harmony and our personalities compliment each other. Can you blame me for wanting that in the real world too?

Problem is that beggars can’t exactly be choosers. I’ve been praying, asking God
to open doors for me. I’ve been hoping for a new beginning. What if that is my next step? My new beginning. What if that’s the door God is opening for me once more?

I’m trying to be enthusiastic about it. I’m trying to be thankful. At the same time I’m asking why. It sure does feel like I’m the butt of some sick joke right about now. So many questions and negative emotions.

Forgive me if I curl in a ball and cry my weekend away…

Customers are NOT always King, BUT…

My first job was as a casual at a sports store when I was sixteen. I remember how eager I was to earn my own money. If I’m not mistaken it was something like Β±R8,00 p/h and the hours weren’t that many, except for when I got a flexi-time contract and my rate increased, but it was mine. What I also remember about those days were that the old “Customer is King” phrase was drilled into us in those days. So much so that I had to assist people with some really smelly feet with trying on shoes.

Did I mention it was REALLY smelly? Then there were those female customers who really wanted to wear size 4 shoes but ended up walking out with size 6. Honestly I don’t know what the fuss about women and their shoe size is. Do they even know how difficult it is to find size 4 sometimes? I enjoy summer when I can walk into a store and get a size 5/6 and am the happiest camper. Yeah, I have summer-swollen-feet-syndrome, big time.

During those days I learnt some valuable lessons, lots of useless information too, but mostly life lessons. How to treat people with respect, customer service, dealing with conflict and to do what’s expected of you no matter what. You flicked your switch at the front door and you would plaster a smile on your face and could go back to being tired or miserable when you left again.

One lesson I’ll never forget was that one time a grumpy man came into the store and shouted at everyone because he came to make a payment and it took too long for his liking. He had no patience and our system was offline. The man stripped and everyone refused to help him. Since I’m one of those people who can say things and get away it, I was sent to assist. I’m not sure how the conversation started but I do remember him telling me that he was just involved in an accident in his company vehicle on his way to the store and was injured. I vaguely recall something about his ill wife too. That man had a whole lot of problems and even though it wasn’t an excuse for his behaviour, it explained it. He left our store with a smile and a request for me to apologize to my colleagues. He also thanked me for listening. That day he needed to vent but he also just needed someone kind to talk to.

Moral of the story: People can be difficult at times but you don’t have to allow their attitudes dictate yours. Most times it has absolutely nothing to do with you. If I’d been offish with the customer, I could have gotten into big trouble if he reported me.

Some of those lessons that are completely lost on some of the retail sector employees today. Especially the sports store I worked at in those days. I hardly ever shop there because whenever I do, I get the feeling that I’m entering someone’s home uninvited. The attitudes of staff there are those of arrogant store owners. I can live without that. Pity too because they cater for 1st K but I refuse to shop where I don’t get service.

This morning I wanted to exchange box hair dye I bought from a retailer (one of the biggest and most popular in SA) two weeks ago but was insulted by one of the employees when she told me that I’d lied about purchasing the item at their store. She didn’t exactly say the word lie but it was implied. Her exact words: “Sorry ma’am this is not one of our batches and you didn’t buy it here.” Being an honest goody two shoes about things like that, I explained that I’d bought it at the exact store and had my till slip to prove it. The more I explained the less interested she was in listening to me. Her tone wasn’t very friendly and she challenged me on every point. At that point I lost it. When I called her out for telling me I’m a liar she had the audacity to challenge me on that too. This woman got me so riled up that I almost left without the item. I suppose the only real reason for taking it was for the store to investigate and prove that I wasn’t lying and for that employee to realize she was out of line. Normally this is when you call for the manager but I didn’t even ask for the manager at that time because I was just too upset to spend another minute in the store. Not upset as in I wanted to cry. Ok, maybe just a little. Frustration and all. I really wasn’t lying about it ok. The upset I felt, was the kind where I wanted to toss the box at her. Don’t judge me, I’m just not good at trying to explain myself to rude arrogant people who refuse to listen to me. I wouldn’t have done it for real but in my mind I did punch her a few times.

Since I write better than I speak I decided to email their customer care department and asked for the matter to be investigated because I want to prove that it was bought at that store and report that employee for her bad attitude. As far as I know it’s not a dismissable offense (I wouldn’t go that far) but I really hope that she gets a stern talking to. It has crossed my mind that there are many people who try their luck at stores and I could easily have been one. Yet how could she be so sure about it without doing the proper checks? Sometimes I think employees just lose the plot completely. Sure I get that many people aren’t happy in their jobs, especially in retail, but what helps is taking pride in what you do. Instead of the “woe is me” attitude, why not try “I’m blessed to have a job” or just leave. Make that change, empower yourself and pursue your dreams. Attitude is everything.

Personally I don’t care for bad service. Mediocre service is doable, after all no one is perfect. I’m one of those people who pay for service and I refuse to settle for bad service from anywhere. It’s not about me thinking that I pay their salaries with my few rands I spend here and there but about not tolerating people with bad attitudes in general. No one that knows me personally will treat me the way I don’t want to be treated so why would I allow someone in a service industry do that.

Just in case you think I suffer from PAM (piss and moan) syndrome, I can assure you that I don’t. I sat at FNB for a long long time today for a letter verifying that I do not have an account with them but my time wasted was no biggy considering the service was excellent and I tweeted about it. I always rave about service excellence because back when I was in retail customers used to do that for me. It certainly made those days when I really didn’t want to be in retail anymore much more bearable. I still see some of those people today and they will always say HI and ask about my family. At the same time I’m one of those people who is nice to waiters, petrol attendants, thank bus and taxi drivers when I get out, don’t mind standing in a long queue at the supermarket to say hi to a cashier whom I don’t know but haven’t seen in ages and and and. I make it my duty to speak to the people sorting through our dirt bins on garbage day, when I’m home, to save them some trouble by telling them that we don’t have plastic bottles or cans for them to collect for recycling. You see, I’m really not all that bad πŸ™‚

In conclusion, customers can be downright horrible people at times. Contrary to what I have been taught, customers are not kings. They’re mere mortals who can and will make your life a little difficult if they want to. They are also people, like me, who really just want to get what they need and get out with no hassles. Who wakes up in the morning wanting conflict? It’s a two way street and can lead to some amazing relationships and networking possibilities.

How do you feel about customer service?

It can be said that I talk too much… Say it ain’t true by sharing your view. All comments are welcome πŸ™‚

CJ

What Is A Demonisticologist?

IF IT’S ON FACEBOOK, IT MUST BE TRUE

Stikeez has been all the rage for a while now. People (not only parents, mind you) are collecting it in store and even trading to build their collections. However, this marketing ploy is now receiving bad publicity.

Yesterday I saw a Facebook post warning people that Stikeez is in fact “miniature demons” and parents are warned against acquiring even one of these toys for their kids. The original post and subsequent articles are being shared as we speak. I’m sure by the time I’m done with this post, more of my Facebook friends would have shared it as well. Some proud Stikeez owners are now ex-owners while others are either mocking the article or getting peeved and expressing derogatory remarks at just about anyone who chooses to comment. You agree, you lose. You disagree, you lose.

I’ve read the article, as well as a few others and Stikeez aside, I’m stuck on what a “demonisticologist” is. Today I’m thoroughly convinced that Google must have hit a blank or possibly has porridge brain because the search engine came up with nothing besides the articles I’ve read which is all based on Stikeez. I’m still non the wiser. Can someone please tell me what it is!

Personally I can’t agree or disagree with any of what I read. I don’t believe each and everything I read especially if it’s on Facebook. Just the other day I read about a homeless guy who gets a complimentary coffee at a popular restaurant everyday and how a man felt compelled to buy him a burger. Then I heard someone saying that they heard a radio broadcast about a homeless man getting a glass of water everyday and a couple who bought him a breakfast. Same restaurant by the way. Somewhere along the line the story became fictitious or maybe the restaurant manager is the kindest man ever and his paying customers all have big hearts. Not impossible. There are still kind people on this earth.

A while ago I was bashed on Facebook when I voiced my opinion about the gay marriage issue. This uber religious guy decided to have a go at me and ask what Bible I read and if I even read the Bible. All this because I said that it’s sad to see how religious people entertain the issue far too much that they end up becoming cyber bullies themselves. The guys comment was a ‘short story’ of note and he quoted Bible verses like crazy. He could’ve saved himself a whole lot of trouble typing it all because I stopped reading right after he questioned whether or not I read the Bible. “Self righteous much?” Was my only thought.

My thoughts on the Stikeez stigma:

    We shouldn’t believe in everything we read, or hear for that matter. It may be true or it may not be, but don’t just accept something to be true because you’ve seen a write up about it.

    We need to be vigilant and use discernment in all aspects of our lives. Years back it was Pokemon, this time around it’s Stikeez. What happened to all the toys and figurines in between? The Smurfs sticker (or whatever it was) collection in the cereal boxes and toys included in Happy meals? What about popular tv shows kids are so engrossed in?

    We’ve all heard about false prophets right? Just because someone’s name has a Dr/Prof prefix or is a [insert word here]-ologist, does it mean that they are necessarily right? Or that what they say is true? I wouldn’t trust a gp without a degree to prescribe me meds and I won’t go believing some kind of -ologist that I’ve never even heard of or can’t find the definition for on Google.

    I wouldn’t disregard someone’s opinion all together without giving it some thought either. You can’t play the ignorance card if you’ve been enlightened. The “demonisticologist” has in fact given me some food for thought.

Keith and I are not the type of parents who buys into every kiddie fad that comes around even if it means getting a freebie for spending R150. Collectible items especially is a no-no. There’s way too much junk and nik-naks around our home as it is, to still get more stuff that’s going to be lying around in a few weeks. Besides, can you imagine how much I’d have to spend to build each of my three kids the entire collection because they would all want their own. I don’t even want to think about it.

Having said all this, I surely hope that Stikeez does not mean the imminent demise of our youth. South Africa does not need any more trouble than it already has. Parenting is also difficult enough without worries about the likes of satanic toys.

What do you think about the negative annotation that’s being attached to Stikeez?