Tuesday, May 01, 2012

New Job

6 Feb 2012

We worked from the boss' house. It's an amazing house! The old PA (not in age) lives with her husband in the cottage at the boss' house, boss' son lives there and they always have guests from overseas (the US). It's a really big house! We had lunch at work. They told me not to pack lunch for work. They made amazing food. The son and PA's husband are good cooks. Boss baked 2 - 3 different types of muffins every sing morning when she was in town.

I started the very next Monday after the Friday of the interview. During the interview, they couldn't emphasise enough that the boss will fire me at the drop of a hat at any mistake I might make. If I'm lucky, she might let it pass the first time around, but I was not allowed to make the same mistake twice. I was also told not to apologise should I make a mistake, I was to fix it and move on. 'Boss doesn't like it when people act weak, you make a mistake, FIX IT!'. I had one week probation, then I'd either be fired or would stay on. All I heard was Fired! fIred! fiRed! firEd! fireD! FIRED!
I was dying of the stress that put me under! I'd just moved all the way across the country for this job and all I'm hearing is how disloyal these people are. One week! Was that going to be enough for me to grasp everything? They also told me the Boss was forgetful and I needed to know everything she knew so I could help out whenever she forgot something. External hard drive anybody? On hearing all this, I couldn't help but wonder if I wasn't better of with the lower level job I'd applied for initially. By the looks of things, I got a better position as a PA (personal assistant) to this businesswoman/celebrity/everything that I stood a very high chance of losing. Sigh!

I had a headache every single day at work for the first month. There was so much to learn about the business, partners, and and and. I needed to learn the partner's names from the different businesses and their cell numbers, email addresses, fax numbers, office numbers, how they became partners, who their connections were, how long they've been involved for, who their personal assistants were etc etc! Whew! I wasn't allowed to forget anything, or mess up. I tried! It was not without pain though. Not without headaches.

We worked from the Boss' home. I needed to learn her friend's names, where they're from, their spouses' names, kids, the boss' siblings, and and and all this in 5days! I was taking notes, taking them home, studying, studying, studying! My head was bursting! I was dying! I have a great deal of respects for PA's. Being an executive is not a joke! When the partners or potential partners come over for meetings, you have to offer them muffins and something to drink (joys of a home office), take ALL their cellphones and be their PA's as well. Some will go as far as giving you their email login and password for you to check their emails. Here you are with 2 office phones, your own and the other PA's cell (I was still in training so really I was PA to the PA), boss' cellphone, 5 random men's cellphones (most of which had 2 cellphones each) and their emails. All this and you're trying not to get fired because you just signed a 12-month lease for your new place which you adore. Cringe!

The first week went by, I didn't die and I did not get fired! Hallelujah! On to the next week! Boss went out of town for the entire week. Not before they pressured me into really grasping everything as I was going with her and I wasn't allowed to mess up at all because this was a new venture that she needed to make a huge impression in. I tell you, I got a wig (refer previous blog post for my hairstyle), I only wore it when the boss was around or when we were expecting people. Other than that I rocked my dreads the entire time in the office.

I crammed most of what I needed to know the first week. The next week was 'revision' and taking calls, senting out emails and stuff. Practical, so to speak. I created a work email address and linked it to my blackberry as I didn't have my own PC yet. I did most of my 'PC' work on the blackberry.

I lived 5 houses from work, which helped. I didn't need to drive and it was a really short walk. After work, I'd walk up, 3minutes later, I was at my place. All I did was throw my handbag wherever it landed, watched a tv series off the laptop and sleep. That's it. Too tired to do anything else. For the first few weeks, I had no social life at all. Even weekends were work work, either studying or research for the boss.

Pictures of all the lunches I had at work and the view from our office.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

My first night out back in Johannesburg (with Pics)

Friday, 3 February 2012

My sis and  I reached a compromise, I'd go out with her as long as I didn't have to dress up. I still tired from the 24 hour bus ride and all the walking I was doing from Westdene to Melville and stuff. She changed and wore her 'comfortable' dress, I remained in my leggings and flip flops and couldn't be bothered. My sis was like, 'are you sure you don't want to change the shoes at least?' Nope! I'm good!

At Six Bar/Lounge Melville

We went down 7th Street in Melville looking for the guys. My sis went "There they are!" My gosh! There were so many of them! 6guys! So tall too! Some were old, some young, I had been told that most of them are married except for Tom, my sis' CSer. (couchsurfer). I could't keep my eye off this one dude. Heaven help me! His name's Olivier, hot right?

Tom on the left and Olivier

That's him right there! Pity the picture's not so clear. We started off at Xai-Xai, also on 7th Street. We hung out there, I got to know the guys. They are a bunch of Germans and the Kenyan guy who works with them, all Engineers. We exchanged traveling stories. It was very relaxed. Just what I needed. Tom said he wanted to drop it like it's hot. We went down the road over to Sophiatown. There were a few people and it seemed dead. One of the older guys and I went right in the centre of the bar and danced away. all of a sudden the attention was on us, they snapped away. I wasn't sure what was going on... Until the manager came over and asked us to get out because that was a private party. Oops!

Us outside Sophiatown 

The party people were kind enough to let us sit outside and have our drinks which we had already ordered while the old man and I were dancing up a storm.

From Sophiatown, we went to Six. We found a nice spot on the carpeted side. I took off my flip flops and danced the night away. I managed to get some of the guys to dance with me. Some blatantly refused. Their loss.

The dance I enjoyed the most was with..... you guessed it! Olivier! Hotness all the way! we danced from the beginning to the end of the song! That was my last dance of the night too. Awesomeness!

It was very late by then and they had work the next day. We walked them to their car, posed for some group pics and called it a day. Not too shabby for my first night out in Johannesburg

The old man on the left is very funny and sweet, he gave me a hug and a kiss and told me, "you're an amazing human being!" I was so humbled to hear that from someone I only spent a few hours with.

I got the Job!

2 February 2012

I had a nice and peaceful night at my brother's in Westdene. I made interview arrangements, we agreed on the next day, Friday at 11. That gave me an entire day of nothingness. My nephew and I walked to Melville, long s walk if you ask me! 45 minutes! We hung out at my sister's with my niece. I did some research on the Lady I was going to work for and GOT NOTHING! One small Facebook Group and that's it! Nothing else! I was stunned. She is the kind of person you would expect to be all over the internet.

Fortunately my sister offered to take the nephew and I home.

Friday, 3 February 2012
Interview day! I had to dig through my suitcase for a decent outfit that won't need ironing. I took a shower and got on my way. I had to walk 45minutes to my sister's in Melville, change to my interview clothes and walk to the interview location. I got on my way around 9, the streets weren't that busy. there was I alone in the street and this dude shows up wearing short shorts, flip flops and a soccer jersey (I still don't know why a soccer t-shirt is called a jersey.) As he approached me, he looked like he was scratching his groin area, until I saw his willy that he was dangling at me! I GOT FLASHED! What in heaven's name! Good thing I had sunglasses on! Who would want to make eye-contact with THAT!

The interview turned out to be about 15minutes away from my sister's. I under-estimated the distance. I had only allowed myself about 5minutes. There I was running like an utter moron in heels and a skirt. It had been more than 6months since I last wore heels. And I was running in them? Not a great idea at all. But it had to be done.

I arrived 4minutes late. Not too psyched with myself, but I did the best I could. Give me a break I was flashed that morning! The interview lasted only a few minutes. It was nice to see the boss. Let's call her Doc. She is a well known celebrity and a businesswoman. Her Personal Assistant conducted the interview though. Thank Goodness! That could've been really nerve-wrecking.

I GOT THE JOB on the spot. Next on the list, Accommodation! I had to start work the next Monday. I had 2days to find a place to stay. Lordy!

I could stay with my sister's friend but she was too far! I'd have to commute to Noord or Bree then Melville. The offices are in Melville. I had to cancel that. I hope she wasn't mad at me but I was being realistic. My sister is sharing her apartment, I couldn't even ask her. That wouldn't be fare on the tenant. I needed furnished accommodation because I sold all my stuff before I went to Georgia, thinking I was going to be away for a year. The plan was to keep traveling thereafter. Unfortunately, I ended back here in 6 months.  I posted an ad online and a couch request on couchsurfing. I also called an old friend that used to rent a furnished apartment in Melville. She now lives in Cape Town. She gave me her old landlord's contacts. I called them and BAM! One of their tenants was moving out! But not until month end! I couldn't wait that long! apparently the tenant himself had moved to Cape Town but had let a friend stay there without the consent of the landlord. For that reason, the landlord was able to let me move in The next Tuesday or Wednesday. I just needed somewhere to crash from Friday until then. Westdene was too far. I couldn't walk in heels for 45minutes twice everyday. A very nice lady I went to boarding school with responded to my couchsurfing request almost immediately. She offered me a room at her place. Apparently it's on the bus route too. Huge sigh of relief. I couldn't thank her enough. I told her I'd see her that evening.

I spent the day at my sister's with my niece while my nephew spend his at his place going through my stuff!  My sister called me around 4pm. She said, "Do you have a nice dress? Let's go out tonight!" I was like, sure, let's! I have my interview outfit, that should do! She came home early! I told her I would need transport to the friend's place that evening. She said not to worry the lady she stays with went away for the weekend, I could stay over until Sunday night. Perfect! I had to cancel yet another good Samaritan. I tried chickening out of my sister's plan too. She wouldn't let me. She was meeting a couchsurfer from Germany and his friends. The dude had been in the country for about a month already, they had been on a few outings together. He has even met my other sister in Cape Town, Pru. Her hubby is German, my sis thought it a good idea to hook the CSer (couchsurfer) with another German.

Homeless in Joburg

February 2012

As I was headed to Johannesburg on such short notice, I hadn't arranged where I was going to stay. I emailed, called, texted, tweeted my Johannesburg contacts to no avail. I was getting stressed out! Where was I going to stay. None of my contacts from Joburg were returning my calls. NOBODY! What to do!

I was freaking out. The interview time was flexible. I could call them as soon as I arrived in Joburg and schedule it then. According to the bus schedule, we were to arrive at 6am. That would've been great! I could go to the interview during the day and head back to the Eastern Cape, keep calling friends, whatever, at least I'd have time. Things had changed since we got stuck for 12 hours. The new ETA (estimated time of arrival) was 6PM. What would I do in Joburg at that hour? My suitcase was so heavy, I'd need someone to pick me up or to take a cab. But where to?

Pru called a friend of hers. Let's call her P. She agreed to host me. Thank goodness. She lives in Bramley North. We confirmed via sms (text). As backup, I called my nephew. He told me I could crash up at his. He lives not far from where the interview was, so that helped.

My sis from Joburg returned my call and offered to pick me up. The nephew offered to host me at his place. Whew!
24 hours later, we arrived at park station. My sis, nephew and niece came along. It was nice to see familiar faces after being stuck with strangers in a stuffy bus for 2hours.

I was as hungry as a dog! We stopped at the Engen Garage for some Niknaks.

Not too long, we called it a day.

I've yet to hear back from one of my 'friends' whose sister I used to host whenever the 'friend' had her boyfriend over.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

SA Road Trip

January 2012
I had to book the first bus out to Johannesburg but wasn't in the mood. You know that feeling when for some reason you don't want to do something? That's how I felt! I told my mom about the whole job thing (until then she knew nothing). We both got super excited.

Mom was going to town that afternoon, I decided to catch a lift with her and go book a bus. We drove behind the date guy. I pretended not to see them. He may have done the same too. We parked near each other and they didn't get out of the car. Good thing I always have sunglasses on because I wasn't about to make eye contact and be forced in a really awkward situation. When we went back to the car, they were still in his car at the parking lot. Oh well.

Time for my booking: There I was queuing at Shoprite and I saw this guy from church. People from church can be weird. Sometimes they don't even greet back or smile back. So I decided to ignore him and pretend to be really busy on my phone. When it was finally my turn, they told me the system was off-line. I knew that's why I didn't feel like making the booking that day.

On our way out of the mall, guy from church came after us, AWKWARD! He talked to us for a little bit. It turned out he was one of the nice ones and my mom loves him. I felt so bad. I was like 'wait, I recognise this shirt! Weren't you behind me in line?'. He said yeah, but I thought you didn't recognise me. I was like, 'sorry man!'. Crap!

We walked back to the car and headed home. The next morning, I headed for town, made my booking and ran a few errands before leaving for Johannesburg. Back home to pack. I tell you, if I got a dollar for every time I packed that suitcase, I'd be stinking rich by now! Time was running out because I was determined to fit ALL MY STUFF in one suitcase. It worked. I had to sit on the suitcase to zip it closed. Mom took me to the bus SA ROADLINK. WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING? In my defence I did some research and read that the company had improved and bought new buses.

January was HOT! Just before we got on the bus, the hostess warned us that the air conditioning wasn't working. Awesome! We drove for a few hours without any glitches. We stopped to fill up, they gave us a 20 minute break or something. I talked to a lady that was smoking up a storm. Apparently she has some type of a cancer, her son-in-law is dying somewhere in Pretoria, her husband left her and doesn't pay alimony sad sad life!

We must have driven less than an hour when all of a sudden the buss was jerking off (this sounds wrong). We stopped by the side of the road. The driver said it must be the radiator, all he needed to do was pour some water into the radiator and we'd be good to go. Nobody believed him because we just left a filling station, they checked all of that there.

It was around 9 o 'clock when we broke down. We left Uitenhage at 6. An hour later, the driver told us that there was a bus that was coming from Johannesburg headed for Port Elizabeth. That guy had tools with him, we had to wait for him to see if they could fix the bus. That bus would come by at 4am. I went back inside and tried to sleep.

There was a coloured couple behind me that was flirting and pinching each other, tickling each other and Lord know what else. The girl kept saying uh uh man! Uh uh! Good God! The girl was in an SA Roadling uniform. I asked the hostess to ask them to turn the volume down a notch. She said she couldn't. They weren't on duty and therefore had to be treated as regular passengers. AMAZING!

We were on the side of the freeway, there were no lights on the side of the road. One of the passengers went, 'oh nooooo, the bus lights aren't working! We're in trouble now! It's very late and the truck drivers are asleep around this time! They will fall asleep on the wheel and drive straight into our bus and and and. I was like oh my Lord! That's the last thing we need! To be involved in an accident with a bus that's broken down on the side of the road.

Some of the passengers hitch hiked. I slept. My bag was too heavy and we all know what happened last time I hitch hiked in Georgia, hint 'fucky! Fucky!' Around 4:30, the aforementioned bus came by. They couldn't fix our bus. Passengers were getting really annoyed. There was this short Nigerian guy. He kept threatening to beat people up. He wanted to beat his girlfriend up because she was the reason he missed his flight. Apparently he is here on training to be a pilot. He wanted to beat the driver up because he was rude. And he wanted us all to take our luggage off the bus and burn it up. He said if we did that we'd definitely get attention. Then he called South Africans weak because we wouldn't do that, 'you see that's why I love Nigerians'. He talked about Nigerians as if they were the other race. All to find out he himself was Nigerian.

I talked to the driver, trying really hard to remain calm. He told me he was waiting for a bus around 10am. Great! 6 more hours. I went back to sleep. It was kind of hard because normally I'd be up at that hour. I listened to the Zimbabwean dude that thought we were going to get knocked off by a truck. He had more and more negative scenarios. I just kept nodding. He got hungry, I gave him some of my chocolate. I had lots! It's all I had but it was enough. Good thing I can't eat when I travel.

Around 9am, a random dude stopped and talked to our driver. The Zim guy came back and told me that we were going to get a lift to Colesberg where we'd be picked up by an SA Roadlink bus. Last time I took SA Roadling, they picked us up in a Mercedes Vito and dropped us off in Colesberg were we waited 5 hours for a bus. I had bad memories of Colesberg but anything was better than where we were. I didn't believe that that guy was going to come back for us though. Why would he?

He did! A few minutes later, 2 mini buses picked us up. People flew out of the bus with their little hand luggages. I had a 30kg Suitcase waiting for me in the baggage compartment. Darn it! I tried to remain calm and positive. I got on one of the mini buses. We all did, except for the driver. He had to look after the broken down bus until Lord knows when. I felt sorry for him.

As luck would have it, I sat right in front of the cancer lady. She told me more miserable stories about how her son-in-law contracted this weird, fatal disease, how the husband ran away with a 19 year old and and and. Almost 3 hours later, we were in Colesberg. There was an SA roadlink bus idling at the filling station. I tell you, I whisked my heavy suitcase like it was nothing and I was on that bus!

I sat behind a really nice looking, blue eyed guy. He was nice too because we exchanged bus breaking down stories. He was from Cape Town. Their was broke down and they had to wait 5 hours for the next. We were stuck for 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS!
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Date

January 2012

My brother, bless his soul, wanted me to get a job closer to home so I can stay at home with mom now that she's alone. And he didn't want me going to another God-forbidden country and be spat on and kicked. He came over one afternoon with police friends. He brought me application forms. There were 3 police friends in the car and 3 ladies at home, myself, my niece and Someone (remember her?). I was already in my Night dress when they came over, my brother was like, you can't go out looking like that! These are police officers! Whatever that meant, I wasn't trying to impress and cops as far as I was concerned.

I changed and went outside to meet the cops. They were all from the old Transkei. Apparently the driver was being hooked up with me. He had long pinkie nails, a HUGE NO NO in my books. I think he was convinced he had it (me) in the bag. He let me take his car for a spin to prove that I can drive. He promised to take me to the offices to submit the application forms blah blah blah!

We spent ours talking hours, I was cooking and dying to leave. They were drinking and having a good time. I was bored to death. We exchanged numbers and they finally left. He called me later to tell me how nice it was to meet me and that he couldn't wait to see me again. We agreed on meeting the next day, Sunday. Sure, why not! He was supposed to call in the morning and we'd meet around 10 AM. He didn't.

He called around 4pm, we were out. I told him I'd let him know when I was back home. He didn't live far from us. I texted him when I got back, he said he was on his way, he'd be there in 5minutes. 5 minutes became forever. He finally showed up. He parked up the road from my mom's place. I walked up. There he was with the biggest smile ever! Cute!

He whooped out a small box of Debonair's Pizza. It was hot. It smelled! He had some while flirting with me. Not cute!
Me: So....
Him: Yeah babe
Me: Where are you taking me?
Him: Oh you want to go somewhere?
Me: I was just asking if you had any plans for us for tonight.
Him: To be honest with you, I don't want to go to some rowdy club, I want to be somewhere quiet with you. I want us to get to know each other.
Me: We can go to a restaurant. First, can we please go to the shop, I need airtime?
Him: Sure babe, there's one right down the road.

When we got to the shop he asked if he could buy the airtime for me. For a split second I was sort of kind of impressed. Until I realised he meant I should give him the money, he'd go to the store for me. I refused. We went to the store together. I got my airtime and we headed back to the car. We were parked right across a filling station and Spur (restaurant). Back in the car, out of the blue, he blurted out 'let's go to PE (Port Elizabeth). I said sure, let's do it! We went to the garage (gas station) to fill up. He got R50 ($7) petrol (gas) which I know for a fact is not enough to go to PE and back. He came back in the car and asked me if I really wanted to go to PE. I was like 'it's your idea!'. He told me how I looked tired and he didn't want me falling asleep on him, and suggested we do PE some other time.

He suggested going to Spur. Sure! I was game! I just wanted it to be over asap! While driving to Spur he tried to confess, 'you know what babe! Let me tell you something about myself'. I begged him not to, 'please don't! Whatever it is you want to tell me, tell me the opposite and I'll switch it up for myself'. He looked like he wanted to tell me he was broke and I wasn't ready to hear that. He opted not to tell me. Thank goodness!

When we got to the parking, he said 'oh no, there's no parking babe, what are we going to do?'. I said there's parking right in front of you! As we got off the car, he said, 'just drinks ne? (Ok?), nothing else! Just drinks! 'Ok!'.

We got in, found a nice table. Waitress brought us a menu. I ordered a milkshake.
Waitress: anything for you Sir?
He: Eish, uhm, I'm almost scared to ask but... How much is a beer?
You know what? Never mind. I know you guys! You guys are expensive. It's definitely double what I pay for a beer in the township. Never mind!
..Ok, how much is it? How much's a beer?
She: I'm not sure, sir, let me find out for you!
He: you see, you don't even know how much it is! That means it's expensive.
She: I'll be right back
He: these people are so expensive, I bet you a beer is R15 ($2) or something! Ugh!
She: it's R14.95 sir!
Me (trying not to pass out of humiliation).
He: you know what? I'll have water. Just go to the tap, open it up and get me water. Yeah! Water from the tap!
Me: I'll have some too, please!

He drank water from the tap, I had the most grossest, most sweetest milkshake of my life: caramel milkshake from Spur! This coming from someone who has a sweet tooth. Our conversation went something like
He: I like you, you know?
Me: thanks
He: you're different.
Me: how?
He: you're so different.
Me: oh yeah?
He: you and I have nothing in common.
Me: is that a good thing?
He: yeah, I like your confidence, I think I can learn a lot from you.
(If I got a dime everytime a guy wanted to be in a relationship with me so he can 'learn' from me, I'd be a gazillionaire by now).
Half my milkshake later, I suggested we call it a night.
This was just after they played Silver Pozzoli's Around my Dream. A blast from the past. That's the only good thing that came out of that night.

He asked if I wasn't going to finish my milkshake. I could tell he thought I was wasting money by not finishing gross tasting milk shake. He paid and took me home. He wouldn't let me get off the car without a kiss from him. Heeeeeeyyyyyllllll Naw! Not gonna happen! NO! I tried to be polite about it and told him good things come to those who wait. I got off the car, he chased me all over the street trying to get a kiss Gosh! Why do guys do that? I gave him a hug. He whispered in my ear 'imhandi! Mhhhh! Ndiva kamhandi! (It's nice! Mh I feel good!) Grosss! Who says that?

I ran off to my mom's. I retold the story to the niece and we both were so shocked that people still act like that nowadays. Ugh! He was supposed to take me tot he offices the next day, no word from him. I knew he couldn't because he was broke. He called me the next day to find out why I didn't call him. I wanted to die!

He wanted to come see me, he had a few minutes before work. I told him I don't do cars, he should call me way in advance, arrange to go on a proper date and take me somewhere. Never happened. Instead, he kept buzzing my number, if I didn't call back, he'd hide his number and buzz again. So annoying.
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