What's the time?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

When I was 16, I got myself a watch that I wore every day for the best part of the next decade. It was a good watch – styled a little like a men’s watch, with a metal band – only girly. It was the one item of jewellery that I was obsessive about remembering to wear, because it helped me with my ridiculous and compulsive need to constantly know what the time was. If I forgot to put it on in the morning, I would spend the entire day glancing at my wrist in frustration, fighting with my deeply rooted psychological obsession with knowing the time.

When the watch stopped working a couple of years ago, I made the decision not to replace it. I figured the best way to break my obsessive tendency was to remove the item that fed the obsession. I thought that if I couldn’t constantly check the time, then eventually I would stop wanting to.

Sadly, the removal of my watch only led to a much more annoying habit. For the next three years, I irritated everyone around me by constantly asking the time, pulling out my phone to check the time, or leaving the room to find a clock. What can I say – crazy isn’t an easy thing to shake.

Lately things have been pretty hectic at work, and keeping track of the time has become essential for me so that I can remember to do important things like stop for lunch, or go home before the sun rises. So this weekend just past, I went out and bought myself a new watch.

I would have liked to buy a super expensive watch with all sorts of second and micro second counters. A precision watch that was so fantastic that I never had to remove it – even when I showered. A watch that could tell me the time in 15 different languages and was so smart that it could read my brainwaves and knew as soon as I began to wonder what the time was so that it could pipe up and tell me without me having to look.

Alas, a watch like this does not exist. And its closest relative would have set me back a month’s wages and been like carrying a small toaster around on my wrist. So instead, I decided to take baby steps towards easing my obsession. I bought myself a watch that while functional, is primarily decorative. Four simple lines on the face of the watch give me an approximation of the time, without letting me obsess over exactly what minute and fraction of a minute the time is. It doesn’t even glow in the dark. It’s basic. And it’s a start towards becoming a normal person without an obsession with the time.

Funnily enough, only time will tell if I can stand using a watch like a normal person, or if in a couple of months from now I’m lugging around a toaster on my wrist.

City meets Country

Friday, March 25, 2011

This morning, whilst driving the back roads to work, I passed a guy driving a tractor. As he bounced up and down inside, he was attempting to drink coffee from a take-away cup. Very strange.

I guess the world has changed a lot over the years - somehow I can't imagine old-school farmers sipping lattes in their tractors.

Spice Rack

Sunday, March 20, 2011

KJ has always wanted to learn how to make furniture the old fashioned way – i.e. sans-power tools.

Despite the fact that I think this is totally crazy because power tools were clearly invented for a reason, I’ve encouraged him in his endeavours to find a class somewhere and learn how to do it. So far, he hasn’t had any luck, but we keep an eye out just in case.

Sometimes, when we’re on Christmas holidays and he’s short on things to do, he gets a hankering to build something. Every time this happens, I suggest that he builds me a spice rack. And every time, he gets annoyed and tells me that just because he doesn’t really know what he’s doing doesn’t mean I can treat him like a child by suggesting that he build a spice rack.

The thing is – I really do need a spice rack - quite badly, in fact. I cook a lot, so I have a whole lot of spice jars and they’re cluttering up my pantry in a way that is driving me insane. But whenever I try to explain this to KJ, he doesn’t believe me. Spice racks are the easy, first build thing that you ask of kids in their first year of high school – so he gets annoyed and tells me not to treat him like a child.

So the dilemma here is – do I just go and buy a spice rack and risk him getting annoyed because he could have made one himself? Or do I continue to ask him to make one in the hopes that it will lead to the manufacture of a spice rack and not a divorce?

VINDICATED! (and a bit about multi-tasking)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

VINDICATED! That's how I feel!
I struggled to define it in my last post, because it's not a feeling that you get to experience all that often, but with the demise of a company that treated me so badly, I finally feel vindicated. Now I may move on with my life.

And that leaves me to go back to trying to answer the really big, important questions in life - Like why is it that men can't multi-task?

At work, I can hold a conversation, design a playground and work out mathematical sums in my head all at the same time. But with KJ, when presented with the simple task of having a conversation while also working on his PC, he comes completely undone.It's like every sense or ability in the male mind is inexorably linked to one another, rendering every man incapable of doing more than one thing at a time.

I also blame this inability to multi task for a lot of other odd male behavior - like the inability to find things that are right in front of their faces. How can you properly look for something that is missing if you are otherwise occupied whinging about not being able to find it? That's multi-tasking! How can you look at your PC screen and listen to someone talking to you all at once?! Madness!

I once had a male friend listen in on a conversation I was having with a girlfriend, and he interrupted us halfway through and said "Hey, do you realize that you're both talking at the same time?"
I didn't understand what he was talking about then, but it struck me later that the ability to talk and listen at the same time is a strictly female trait. It's a necessary skill that we have been given, which allows us pre-childbirth to ring up a friend and chat while ordering clothes online and making a cup of coffee. Post-childbirth, it's a necessary skill that allows women to raise children successfully, while men go to work and make sales calls and use their PC or lift heavy things - but not all at the same time.

For me specifically, it's a handy skill that I use to great effect to work, play scrabble, blog, drink coffee, bank cheques and order things onnline all in the course of a regular working day. Right now, in fact, i'm using this skill to blog, play scrabble, watch TV and drink beer while contemplating what to cook for dinner all at the same time.

I wouldn't trade this skill for anything in the world, and if I ever met a man who could multi-task, I think i would feel obliged to marry him on the spot. But realistically I might as well say that if I met God I would marry him on the spot, because the likelihood of either scenario happening is around about the same.

Big Day

Monday, March 07, 2011

I’ve not really had anything much to write about lately, because not much has happened lately. But something big happened today. It was a very big day.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that a couple of years ago, I changed jobs, leaving the place that I had worked for around six years. It was a small business when I started there, and I was a loyal employee in a family-like business. But things became more about the money than the work for the Directors of the company, and after a while I decided I needed to get out of there.
After handing in my resignation, my boss treated me like dirt. She was rude, bitchy and outright mean in a very personal kind of way. And after working my guts out for them for 6 years, I was booted out with nothing but a legal letter about confidentiality to show for it. Not even so much as a goodbye.

At the time, I was devastated. I have a highly over-developed conscience, and that results in me feeling guilty for anything and everything that happens in my life, whether it’s my fault or not. So as you can imagine, being treated like that wasn’t something that I handled very well. I’m ok if someone hates me for a good reason, and I know what it is, but to be suddenly treated so horribly for no other reason than moving on to another job – it was beyond my comprehension. To this very day I still get upset when I think about the way I was treated when I left.

When something like that happens, a million people tell you that Karma will come around to get the bastards who did this horrible thing to you. But to be honest, in this case I felt as though their selfish, cash-hungry mentality would go forever unpunished. I was convinced that Karma had overlooked them, and they would go on with their lives forever buying themselves expensive cars and houses while paying their employees minimum wage.

Then today, completely out of the blue, the company went into voluntary administration. They spent so much cash with so little regard for the results that it put them out of business. This is huge news for me. HUGE! For the last two and a half years, I’ve wished constantly for them to go out of business, for them to finally get what’s coming to them after the horrible way they’ve treated not just me – but dozens of employees like me. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, it happens. Like clicking your fingers – one minute they’re the greedy capitalists who made your life miserable, and the next they’re broke.

So I feel…..I don’t know. I thought I would be completely joyous and filled with this amazing feeling of contentment that they finally got what they deserved. But I feel – well, I feel strange. Sad, almost. Maybe it’s because I know that with their own greed and stupidity, they’ve taken down another 20 or so employees like me. And that’s nothing to celebrate. Maybe it’s because it’s such a quiet end to what was such a big moment in my life.
I don’t really know why I feel this way. It’s kind of like a sad, wistful sort of relief. Relief that something that has been beyond my comprehension for so long has finally resolved itself into something I can understand. Relief that all those days of thinking ‘it’s not fair’ are over and that right vs wrong has re-balanced itself.

Maybe what it comes down to, now that I think about it, is that I’m not like them. With my over-developed conscience and my guilt complexes, I just can’t revel in someone else’s downfall. I just don’t have it in me. And while I get that that makes me a better person, it doesn’t help me feel any better about the whole situation. Maybe I'll never feel better about it all.