Monday, 27 October 2008

Bring on the Man Buffet

Whew! It's been a hectic couple of weeks but I'm still here to tell the story, so I guess that's something, right? I finished my assignments (and submitted the last one 3 minutes before the cut-off. Nothing like a little drama) and then got stuck into a week long workshop that my company sent me on. Quite interesting - all about managerial skills blah blah blah. Only problem is, it would appear that this little minion is never going to have to worry about a promotion / salary increase / personal growth at work because they practically keep me locked in the dungeon, chained to my PC. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. But seriously, they should've saved their money and bought me a big bottle of wine instead. All the course did was make me feel rather revolutionary. So now I'm mulling my next move. Mutiny, perhaps? Will see. I might just wait till after Christmas.

Anyhoo, in amidst stressing about my studies and work stuff, I also toddled along to my very first (are you ready for this)... (wait for it)... round of SPEED DATING!!! Yes, that's right. Months of nagging from my friends and some curiousity finally got the better of me, and so I signed up. And what a blast! (Though in case you're wondering, no - I'm not married / engaged / in lurve / etc. [So it wasn't that good.]) It was held at a local restaurant, and I kinda expected them to be quite discreet about it (room in the back, secret password, etc). But no. There was a big long table at the front of the restaurant and there sat a Man Buffet of about 12 guys of all shapes, sizes, races and nationalities. It felt like Christmas. I gratefully accepted my glass of complimentary (and much needed) bubbly and sat down across from bachelor number one. Totally psyched. Once everyone arrived, the evening officially started and I proceeded to spend about 5 minutes with each guy. Of course, 5 minutes isn't very long and I pretty much got the same questions from most guys. What do you do? Whereabouts do you live? What's your star sign? Are you married? (Dude, would I be here if I was?!?!?)

The guys themselves were like a big packet of Liquourice All-Sorts. Everything from a plumber to a lawyer. Black, white, coloured and even Chinese. Some quiet and shy. Some not so much. (Joseph, the male nurse from Cameroon, assured me that as a Scorpio he was an ace love-maker, and that he would 'look after me like a lee...eetle egg' [Run!]) But for the most part, the guys were really nice.

There was, however, a catch. 'Seems SABC 3 is doing some doccie thing where they follow a couple of guys around the city, and one of the things they end up doing is speed dating. So on both ends of the Man Buffet sat particularly gorgeous specimens, complete with cameramen, lighting guys and one of those fluffy hanging mike things. So much for discretion. I definitely got the impression that they were there purely for the sake of the doccie and had absolutely no interest in meeting girlies through speed dating, so in that sense, it was a waste of time. Plus, their producer also took part in the speed dating, but I'm willing to bet my right kidney that he was gay, so really - where's the use in that??!?!? (I really hope they don't use any of the footage with me in it. I tried very hard to ruin my shots by talking into the camera. Either way, it'll probably air in June next year, which gives me plenty of time to leave town, change my name and dye my hair a different colour.)

So, after all that, I ended up with a couple of matches, though nothing too mind blowing. Nice guys though, so it's not all for nought. And it's definitely much easier than going on a blind date.

Me and a couple of my new buddies

Some of the lads took the concept of Man Buffet far too literally

The 'No-Shirt' policy threw me a bit, but who was I to complain?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Yo, listen up! Blog Action Day: POVERTY

When it comes to the subject of poverty… seriously, where do you begin? It’s everywhere you look, everywhere you go. Of course, that’s to varying degrees. In an African context, poverty is a factor we live with everyday to the point where the man in the street has become somewhat complacent about the issue. On top of news stories of starving children and homeless families, there’s the everyday aspect. It’s rare to stop at a traffic intersection without being approached by at least one person, asking for money.

So what can we do? If you’re like me, then chances are you don’t have the odd million stored in the bank waiting for a person or organisation in need. Let’s face it, times are tough for everyone and so in spite of your truly altruistic personality, sometimes handing over oodles of moola just isn’t an option. So then what? Well what about the concept of ‘pay it forward’? Random acts of kindness, however small, go a long way in making a difference in our world. For the most part, kindness doesn’t cost a cent, and call me na├»ve, but I’m convinced compassion and kindness make a difference. So you can’t fork out money to every guy that asks for a handout. But you can pay him the respect and dignity he deserves as a human being.

On top of that, there are lots of projects on the go that tackle poverty in different ways. Be it a Shoebox Collection (more on that later) or helping out on a Habitat for Humanity initiative, every little bit goes a long way. Next week, my company is doing its CSI bit by helping to build houses at one of the nearby townships, Mfuleni. I’ll update this with more details later, but it’s a great project where over a period of five days, we’re going build two houses for families that don’t need a home. I’ll be there on Day 5, getting stuck in and doing what I can. Nothing glamourous there folks, but I’m going to try my damndest to make a hard hat and work gloves look fab! (‘Wonder if they come in pink?… )
But seriously, if you look around, there are lots of ways to get involved in tackling poverty in your neighbourhood, state, country, whatever. Remember, it starts small, so do your bit to make a little difference and together we’ll make a big change!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Time ain't on my side...

Oh crap. Having just checked the calendar, it seems there are only 9 sleeps left until I have to submit the last two assignments due on the 15th. (I need to write these assignments, otherwise they won't let me write the exam.) It's particularly worrying seeing as I have a couple of nasty work deadlines to contend with this week, and next week I'm being sent on some arb (attendance mandatory) work course. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! I've just taken a look at one of the assignment questions and it seems I have mistakenly read the wrong book. Dumb-ass! Now I have some serious catching up to do before I can even tackle the assignments.

So guess I'll be back after the 15th, then. No red wine or happy times for me. Time to knuckle down and cram like there's no tomorrow. No rest for the wicked.

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