Friday, 31 July 2009

Bitchin' Blog

This is going to sound horribly mean and spiteful, but sometimes, there are some things that have to be said. I’m afraid that if I don’t spit these poisonous thoughts out now, they’ll accidentally blurt out during my first encounter with a long-absent colleague tomorrow. These are lessons that, based on recent data, I’ve learnt from the Department of Meat Products:

* Apparently it’s alright to appear for a mere total of three weeks at one’s desk even though one has been employed in the team for 18 months. You see, even after secondment interstate, practically every training course available and a six-week junket to a delightful tropical isle, one can always find an extra five weeks of courses to go on in order to avoid that pesky little thing called work.

* When one is at one’s desk instead of away doing unnecessary training, one should while away that tedious time on the most superfluous tasks one can reasonably pretend are related to the work one is actually employed to do.

* If one is going to take indefinite stress leave over trivial non-incidents, one should time it to ensure a smooth transition into the above-mentioned six-week junket. There’s no sense in being at work when one can be out shopping for bikinis and sunglasses.

* One needs at least five days at home to recover from nearly two months in an island paradise. Those twenty-hour working weeks and business class flights are terribly taxing, you know.

Yes, I know jealousy and bitterness are ugly things. It’s just that, for the last several weeks I’ve been shouldering a heavy workload on my own while others are off padding their CVs and enjoying themselves. Then I discover that instead of coming back and helping, or even allowing the team to share in the results of tens of thousands of dollars worth of brain-stuffing, the beneficiaries of this uncharacteristic Departmental munificence are not expected to help out in any useful way. How silly I was to make the logical assumption that the training which cost so much time and money would be applied in a direct and appropriate way! Clearly, I still have a lot to learn about fathoming the decision-making processes of recruitment officers and upper management.

I wonder if they offer a training course for that?

Saturday, 4 July 2009

You Know You Want To

Please don’t embarrass yourselves and me with any more fruitless denials. We all know you’ve been dying to read my responses to the meme of Eight, kindly forwarded on to me by Little Snoring. Very well, Dear Readers, I shall grant you your hearts’ desire:

Eight things I’m looking forward to:
1. Having enough free time all at one go to be able to do something worthwhile. When I’m not at (paid) work, I can usually find a couple of minutes here and there to amuse myself with reading blogs of a short and instantly-gratifying nature, but settling down to my own blog, or some other project, is pretty much out of the question. That my time is spent with my children is as it should be, so I’m not complaining, but there are days when the self-loathing arising from doing nothing creative or active at all almost drives me to become one of those organised, multi-tasking, hard-working supermums who can do it all. Almost.

2. Being slim and fit again. It’s a shame that merely looking forward to something doesn’t make it so.

3. All my children being completely toilet trained and able to wipe their own bottoms. I feel a bit guilty saying something of that nature, because as all mums and dads know, parenting is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. But I’ve been wiping bottoms and changing poohey nappies continuously for over five years now, and it would be good if that were taken off my daily ‘to do’ list. Then again, having another little baby would be nice…

4. Long-awaited and much-needed training for my job in the Department of Meat Products. Now that every other person in my team, including my juniors that have been with us all of five minutes, has already been on this training, it looks like it might finally be my turn. You know, next financial year and barring unforeseen circumstances and taking into account the spending cuts necessary to pay for the Department’s new whizz-bang gadgetry and after some other underling turns up and has their turn…

5. The end of winter. I grew up in the tropics. I was never meant to be this cold.

6. Finishing this post. Good God, people, I started it weeks ago! (See point 1)

7. My sister and her family visiting in December. As delightful as the religious hatred, the suicide bombers, the constant threat of rockets and missiles, and the necessity of armed guards at the children’s school must be, I think we’re all selfishly looking forward to having them home from Israel for Christmas.

8. NaNoWriMo. The exact period of time has elapsed since my first attempt at NaNoWriMo last year, for me to feel pleasantly nostalgic about the whole experience and to start fondly planning my next 50,000 word crap-baby. I’m sure in five months’ time I’ll be cursing myself for my crackpot schemes.

Eight things I did yesterday*:
1. Tried to fool myself that joining in with the kids while they warmed up for their tiny tots gymnastics class, constituted an aerobic workout (see point 2, above).

2. Proved to the unkind television programmers that I will stay up ridiculously late to watch Heroes.

3. Cooked home-made sausage rolls. These are a lot like frozen sausage rolls in that they have no real meat in them, but as opposed to those filled with snouts and woodpulp, they’re actually reasonable healthy – I got the recipe out of a self-proclaimed healthy cooking magazine and everything. But don’t tell Mr. Lonie and the kids that. It’s our little secret.

4. Made the mistake of checking my email too late at night to call someone about a message they sent. She wanted to meet me and the kids at 10 am the next day. Oh! How I laughed. On days when I’m at home with them, we’re lucky if we’ve eaten breakfast by then.

5. Pashed a tall, dark and handsome man. Let’s hope Mr. Lonie doesn’t find out (wink, wink).

6. Very nearly called (what I think was) a man, ‘Madam’. The funniest thing was, the music playing over the PA system was Dude (Looks Like a Lady).

7. Ran out of fuel for the Gulfstream midway to Paris. We had to stop off in Dubai and make do with last-minute accommodation at the Burj Al Arab for the night. Next time you feel like complaining about your day, spare a thought for me and my troubles, eh?

8. Decided to make up an outrageous lie. My second-best Rolex to the first person to guess which part of this post I fabricated.

*By 'yesterday', I do of course mean at any time in the past few weeks since I was handed the baton of this meme. If you didn't realise not much of interest happens to me in one day, you haven't been reading my blog long enough.

Eight things I wish I could do:
1. Afford to fly a private jet to Paris, with a stop-off in Dubai.

2. Be completely fluent in several languages. A dozen would do.

3. A chin-up.

4. Write a book. A good book. One that would be published and become a bestseller and make millions. (Private jets don’t grow on trees.)

5. Be a better parent.

6. Finish this damn post.

7. Sing (in a way people find pleasant, O maliciously literal genie)

8. Exhibit fine artistic talent.

Eight shows I watch (or have watched):
1. Heroes. Yes, it’s well past the peak of enjoyability, comprehensibility and decent timeslotting. Yes, nothing ever seems to be permanently and satisfactorily resolved. Yet I keep watching – perhaps I feel some resonance of similarity, what with my very mild superpowers (of which, more later).

2. How I Met Your Mother.

3. Futurama. Surprisingly sweet and poignant ongoing storylines, and in many ways superior to The Simpsons.

4. Spicks and Specks.

5. Pride and Prejudice (, The BBC’s 1995 mini-series production of). Mr. Lonie gave the DVD to me for Christmas one year. Love it.

6. America’s Next Top Model. I couldn’t care less about Tyra or the bitching or the so-called real-life drama, I just like to look at the pretty (or not-so-pretty, as the case may be) pictures. I was rather disappointed when its run on free-to-air here was abruptly terminated.

7. Monkey, aka Monkey Magic. Who didn’t watch and love this as a child? Who didn’t play at summoning magic pink flying clouds, or creating clone warriors from a single plucked hair? I even had the soundtrack. If anyone would like to buy me the complete DVD boxed set, please do.

8. Iron Chef. Yah boo sucks to crappy rip-offs; only the real crazy Chairman Kaga will do.

Now, I'm supposed to tag eight more people to participate in this meme, but I'm pretty sure everyone I read has either done this already, or is too loftily high up in the blogging tree to take any notice of what the plebs rooting around down here in the dirt are doing. Besides, as grateful as I am for being included like one of the popular kids, I've spent so long on this (embarrassing, isn't it, given the result?) that I'm heartily sick of it. So, a big wet raspberry to the sacred internet meme. I FORBID ANYONE ELSE TO DO THIS!