Battling to find a job?

With South Africa’s unemployment rate at an 11-year high, it is easy to blame everything except yourself. South Africa’s economy only grew 1,5% in 2014 because of labour strikes in the mining sector and the dark looming cloud we call Eskom. Government uses our tax money to bail out ‘Mordor’ around every corner, and in turn they keep on hiking tariffs and crippling businesses with power cuts.

But for a lot of you, this is not the reason you are unemployed…

Economists say the rate of unemployment amongst people under 25 years of age, is more than 50%.

This should make things very clear to everyone.  In the past, it has been seen time and time again, in the economic downfalls of many other developed nations, that an entitlement attitude can be the force that drives a nation to economic desperation.

So we are pretty much surrounded by kids who were raised to think they are somehow special – irrespective of their actual accomplishments. Instead of parents perpetuating a sense of hard work and pride in self-progress, we now have a thicket of Numpties.

Here are 5 general traits of an entitled Numpty:

  1. Demand respect instead of proving their worth through positive actions
  2. Demand rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels
  3. No responsibility – Strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback & Blame evasion
  4. Narcissist – Inflated view of themselves
  5. Arrogant

If this is you… You need all the help you can get. Here are some doable tips to help you get and keep that job:

  1. SHOW UP TO the interview – Not a lot of you guys do this part… It’s shocking.
  2. Seriously SHOW UP – and if you get this job – keep on SHOWING UP on time, every time
  3. Make sure you understand what they expect from you
  4. Make sure you can actually do this. “I’m doing my best” and failing to do your job is insufficient. “Do or do not, there is no try…” – Yoda
  5. Do exactly what is expected from you during the time they pay you to be there
  6. There is no negotiation – I know it feels like prostitution, but this is the business agreement you signed. You work for (x) hours – They pay you for (x) hours. Don Draper said it best!
  7. Do more – If you want to BE the person society made you to believe you are, by inflating your tiny ego, you need to excel above the thicket of numpties around you. It’s not hard, they’re all busy doing nothing, and expecting everything for it.
  8. Listen to feedback. Good or Bad, feedback is your map to improve on the status quo
  9. Think before you speak. Only use your voice if you could add value to a situation.
  10. No excuses – Own up to your failures. Learn from it.

It is really easy to blame everything except yourself. I think a little tip for all of us is to stop the blame game. I agree, everyday feels like a Cell C Dog Ad, but moaning really doesn’t add value to any situation.

2012 ended, and the world did not.

My husband bought a house at an auction in December 2011. Coming from a townhouse everything scaled up. More packing space, more yard/garden, more entertainment areas and obviously more problems.

Here is a small collection of new house problems we encountered:

Problem #1 Security (electronic)
If there is anything you need to know about a Paradox alarm system, my husband will reluctantly assist. Alarm system knowledge can not be read in a manual or online, it is an elite skill passed on from one alarm expert to another. A few false alarms at 3 o’clock in the morning will also teach you a thing or two.

Problem #2 Security (biological)
We had to erect several new fences, not to keep the bad-guys out, but to keep our dogs in. It seems our dogs thought more yard/garden meant no fences.

Problem #3 Old Faithful
Our 200L 19-something geyser decided to burst, leaving our bathroom ceiling looking like we were meth-cooks hiding bodies. Old faithful also flooded my bedroom and ate up my OUTbonus (Receive 10% of your insurance premiums back after three claim-free years). I had two weeks left before that puppy paid out.

Problem #4 Traffic
My new house is 35km from where I work. I total 70km of Joburg traffic every day.

Problem #5 No more holidays
Obviously when you invest in a house, all your pennies go towards your new home. No more scuba diving in Sodwana, No more visits to the Kruger. The new house clipped my wings.

Out of new house problem #5 a hobby was born – 2012 was the year I started running…
Endomondo

I have never been a runner. I did not do track in school and I did not run for fun. I felt running was for stupid people. Those people who ran in the rain, or on the coldest of winter mornings were just plain dumb. Even though I bashed it, I knew it was the fastest way to get fit.

I was convinced that I couldn’t run. Every time I had tried to run, I would end up looking like a red, huffing fool after a few hundred meters. I believed you had to be born to run… until I read a book by Christopher McDougall – Born to Run. (Thanks Stephen)

It was mid March, and I decided that I wanted to get fit (Nothing serious, just less wobbly) and out of the house.

I put on an old pair of trainers that I had bought in 2003, a t-shirt and some grey melange track pants. I was NOT looking the part, I was not feeling the part, and after completing 1,2km I felt like dying. I coughed for two hours afterwards and I was in a tremendous amount of pain for two days. I attempted that same route twice a week until I got flu in May. Something very weird happened – I was afraid that I would lose my fitness level. I wasn’t loving running yet, but that 1,2km wasn’t killing me anymore.

June came, and a friend of mine entered a group of us into the 5km Rhino Relay. I was by no means ready for this, but went anyway. I sucked… A LOT! But I finished and got a medal. (Thanks Candice & Mari)

The medal made me happy, and I told the runner folks at work about it. One of them suggested I do a trail run at Palindaba. They sold it as a 5km run, that was less commercial than the road runs. It would be fun they said… (Thanks Stephen)

Again, I NEARLY DIED. 6,78km of steep rocky hell.

But oh, the beauty! Spectacular seamless views of pure South African nature. I felt free. This is where my love of running started. I bought a pair of New Balance 310 trail shoes, a pair of serious tights and started training for more trails.

I finished 9 trail runs after that. After every trail I felt even more motivated to ‘up’ the kilometers. The warm hills made me want to sing like Julie Andrews. The refreshing cold streams, the wild flowers and the wild animals made me feel like I had my wings back.

November came, and the inevitable big question popped up. The one beginner-runner question to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them: “When may I call myself a runner, because I don’t feel like I deserve to do that yet.” Someone convinced me I had to run a half marathon, and a few days later I was entered into the Dis-Chem Half Marathon. (Thanks Stephen & Richie)

I totaled 110km in December. I’m training for something that is 20 times as far as I thought I would ever run or need to run. I am now one of those ‘stupid’ people that run in the rain. I hate saying that I do not have time for things, but being a mom and wife, working 35km away from home, I seriously do not have time to join a running club. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do my short runs at one of the companies I work for. (Thanks World of Golf)

This is 2013. I’m scared. I don’t know if I’m ready for a 21,7km road race. It sure is a heck of a far distance to run away from new house problems. ;P

Valentines Shmalentines – 10 Reasons why we hate today.

Valentines infested red planet
I am someone who gets lost in a fantasy book. I’m the type of girl that absolutely loves any space opera. I love games, scuba and almost anything that helps me break away from the real world. I love getting lost in worlds that do not exist, or worlds that are not accessible to everyone.

The red planet, filled with winged-rangers armed to the teeth with heart shaped arrows, petrifies me however. It’s scarier than Morgoth or any Romulan. I think it’s a day filled with expectations, and expectation breeds disappointment. Being an antivalentine is just one of my many idiosyncrasies.

I’m not alone in my antivalentinism. There are so many dark and twisties out there, hatin’ today in unison, all having their own special reasons:

1.) It’s a money making racket. It’s a commercialized cabal between greeting card companies, florists, jewelers and chocolatiers.
2.) It’s a day that our screwed up fairytale upbringing forces us to find a mate, to appear normal.
3.) Everyday should be a day to spoil your spouse. Rather go to an empty restaurant on the 15th?
4.) It’s a day of expectations, and not love.
5.) It makes me feel even lonelier than I actually am. Happy being single awareness day. Down with Couple-talism!
6.) I’m always the only one trying to make the day special.
7.) It puts too much pressure on men. It’s the middle of the damn month, how do you impress someone with this bank balance?
8.) It makes women seem cheap. You buy their affection with endless gifts.
9.) Only the pretty girls/ jocks had secret admirers/stalkers in school.
10.) I hate roses.

Whatever your reasons, this day of hurling chocolate hearts only lasts one day. It makes some people break away from the real world, and for the rest of us, it makes the real world even more real…
*Deep breaths*
Valentines day freaks – Do Less.

2012… The end.

vogons 2012

We have apocalyptic threats more often than not. 2012.12.21 marks the end of the Mayan long count calendar. So before the Vogons get here, and everyone gets their new age panties in a knot, lets all take a deep breath…

It’s a new year, a fresh start. Do your best. Live life. Change the world rather than worry about how it’s going to end. Build a legacy.

Andy Dufresne said it best: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.

Own 2012! *evil grin* While you still can… 

I call this the Ted Beneke:

Every time I see an area rug misbehaving, I call it a *Ted Beneke

Ted Beneke

* Ted Beneke was Skyler’s boss and President/Owner of Beneke Fabricators, a company he inherited from his father. (Breaking Bad)

Birdcrap = saving throw +10 Good Luck?

Dungeon dice
I was minding my own business outside when, out of nowhere, I felt something weird land on my head, and then my shoulder. After careful inspection it turned out to be bird crap.

The event was followed by 10+ coworkers telling me that we should go to the casino, because bird crap equals good luck. (This is something I would say to make someone, with crap on their shoulder, feel better.)

It was a normal day at work – I didn’t win any lotteries or competitions.

My husband bought a house on auction last Friday and we decided to go there after work to start with the painting process. It needs a little TLC. I dropped my two year old daughter Leah, off at my moms place… It is nearly impossible to do any DIY things with a toddler trying to “help” you.

It was time to go home. We were both tired. The husband had man-flu, so I volunteered to pick up Leah. The new house is less than 5km’s from my moms place.

I was driving… thinking… dreaming of my new house… when traffic officers appeared in the middle of the road – torches waving. It was a roadblock, and I was being pulled over.

The traffic officer pointed his torch in my general direction, then strolled around my car to check my vehicle registration. I smiled, and tried to look calm. He strolled back and told me that my vehicle registration disk had expired. I jumped out of my car, barefoot, and looked at my license disk in total disbelief. I vaguely remembered renewing it 2 months before. He asked me for my drivers license. *Panic stations* My wallet had been stolen, with my license card in it. I knew that if I tried to explain this to the traffic officer, he would think I was pulling the oldest trick in the book. So I casually fake searched my handbag for my drivers license. (This IS most probably the oldest trick in the book)

He walked back to his car and started writing me a ticket for my expired registration disk.

With my fake-drivers-license-search, I discovered my renewed vehicle registration in my cubbyhole. Being supremely excited, I rushed over to the traffic officer and shoved it over my ticket. He nodded. “We’ll just change the ticket to: ‘Fail to display registration mark on his /her motor vehicle.'” Again, he asked me for my drivers license…

All I could think about, was how I was going to tell the 10+ casino people, that the birds at our office crap actual crap… not rainbows like the rest.

“Well I forgot my wallet at home officer” I blurted out. “And my drivers license is in it.” The traffic officer looked at me like I was in a fairly large amount of trouble. “First the registration… now the drivers license? Do you have proof of identification?” He asked. “Errr I do, but it’s in my wallet.” The traffic officer stared at me.

There I was, standing barefoot on the curb, nine o’clock at night, in shorts and a PVA-stained oppikopi t-shirt. “I’m very very sorry, I was in a hurry.”

The officer was fairly irked by now, he demanded to know why I was in such a hurry. I started rambling out of breath: “I was busy painting my new house and my mother wanted me to pick up my daughter. So I just left, because she stays fairly close and and and…” The air felt thin and dry and so did my throat.

The traffic officer stared at me some more. It felt like hours went by. Eventually he mumbled something: “I’ll give you grace tonight, you may go.”

“Really!? Thank you officer.” I got in my car and made sure he had no time to change his mind. *Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!*

While I was driving away I could not help but to think:
Birdcrap = saving throw well used! +10 Good Luck indeed.