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Archive for December, 2005

A gift horse…

I received one of those corporate gift sets you see doing the rounds at Christmas time. Well, the (previous) company actually called me to come and fetch it from the office. Their benevolence knows no boundaries.
Usually the sets are given to you by business people/acquaintances whom you have dealt with over the course of the year.
The one I received contained a bottle of liquor and set of nice glasses in a little wooden case. Also included was a card wishing me a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. So cute…
They are a little cheesy, I know, but it is a gift nonetheless and I like receiving gifts. Even when in some cases you now the only reason they are giving this you is to suck up and ensure that you will do business with them in the new year.
If I had my way, I would spike some of the bottles with laxatives. It will be the ideal way to let some people know just how much crap you had to put up with in dealing with them and their unreasonable demands.
Sweet revenge, even when it is at Christmas time!

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spilled wine I have been invited to attend the company’s year-end party in Cape Town. From what I can gather, it is going to be a fairly large formal affair. I suppose you can afford to go large when you are a young upstart in the industry and have had a very good year. Most big companies do not have big parties more.
I love large parties; they can be so… intimate. At small parties there is never any privacy, if you get my drift. Hahaha… not that I intend to get intimate with anyone at the party.
It brings back memories of what had happened last year. Last year’s party at my “old” company was also one of those big affairs. Not that the affair in itself was particularly big, but rather the number of people who attended and the amount of free booze on offer.
Being new and somewhat strange to the goings-on around the office, the intention was to keep it cool, make the cameo appearance and then leave quietly soon after the big bosses had established that I had been present.
Boy, was I wrong. Someone should have warned me that the punch bowl was more potent than I had anticipated. It seems a lot of other people did not know that either. The problem with consuming too much alcohol is that you never know when you had consumed too much until… well… it is too late. By the then the false bravado and party animal that lurks inside of us, had taken on a life of its own. Watch out Mr Hyde, Mr Jackal is in charge and flying the jumbo jet!
I am a flirtatious extrovert (SOB?) and social by nature and when I drink, I get even more so. Some people may take my intentions more seriously than intended and therein lays the problem. I usually end up in very sticky situations
At 9 o’clock on the night of the party in question, I was doing just that. I was working the party like a seasoned pro… as only the chitster could. The bosses liked me, my co-workers laughed at my jokes and witticisms. I flirted with the office girls and got on well with the guys. ,
By ten, I decided I had enough and that it was time to make a discreet exit. As I leave, I saw my boss’s young secretary standing all by herself on the balcony. She looked a bit wasted and I walked over to check that she was ok. She’s one of the women I had flirted with earlier, all in good fun, and so when got to her , she mistook my concern for something more. She was all hands and I had a hard time explaining to her that what had happened earlier was mere social interaction.
Have you ever noticed how quickly a drunken person’s mood swings from one extreme to the next? Suddenly she was all hurt and offended and I was the biggest rat on the face of the earth. I apologised (for what?) and as I turned to walk away, she planted a drunken kiss on my lips. Bleh! The glass of red wine she had in her hands tipped over and the entire contents spilled down the front of my trousers. Brilliant… now it looked like I had peed on myself! She giggled and let out a drunken “oops”. [I wonder whether that was intentional.]
I ran down to the men’s room, and tried to pat down the front of my trousers with a hand towel. There was no way I was driving home with my crotch soaked in alcohol. The alcohol had seeped right though to my underpants and the front was stained bright red. I was alone in the men’s room, so I dropped the trousers and dried down the front of the underpants as much as I could. I must have been a comical sight to behold.
Suddenly the door opened and one of the guys from the office walked in. “What happened, he asked?” So as not to spoil the lady’s reputation I pretended that a glass of wine had accidentally fallen over in my lap.
“You need any help?” he asked. “No thanks, I think got it covered. I’m actually on my way home…I think I got most of the wine out”, I said. As I closed the front of my trousers, the zipper got caught on my shirt. With a “here let me help you with that”, he moved in closer and next thing I knew, he’s got his hand on my crotch and was helping me with the zipper.
Ok, the moment was too gay, even for me, so I backed up against the wall behind me. My situation had just gone from bad to worse.
The door to the men’s room opened again and in walked another one of my other male colleagues. I don’t now who was more surprised… him or me. For a moment, which seemed like an eternity, we just looked at one another. In the mentime, the other guy still had his hands on my crotch and was tugging at the zipper.
“Eh, I think I should leave… you guys need some privacy” “NO!!”… I shouted at him. “It isn’t what it looks like, believe me!” but he was already out the door.
I managed to get myself out of the men’s room, but by then he had gone back the party. Damn! I could only imagine what he must be telling the rest of the guys. I hurried down the stairs, got into to my car and drove home. Fuck this… when one puts the incident in the bathroom and the incident on the balcony together, things did not look good for me.
Monday at the office was rather uncomfortable and it felt as if everybody eyed me with suspicion. I went to my colleague’s offices and did my best to set things straight with him. I ended up end up telling him what exactly had happened.
After a while a smile appeared on his face and he packed out laughing. Phew! He told me that he prolly would have thought nothing of it, except for the fact that the guy who helped me in the men’s room was gay and known for coming on to the office guys. Seeing the two of us in a compromising situation kind of made it hard not to jump to the obvious conclusion.
Luckily, for me he had not told anybody, yet, but he admitted that he was tempted to do so at the party. He thought that perhaps the naked look of fear in my eyes may have had something to do with that. [I am so practising that look for the next time I might need it]
A narrow escape indeed, although not quite unlike the usual plethora of strange things that normally happen to me.
Oh, and the next time something spills down the front of my trousers, it may be a wise move to go into a stall and drop my trousers behind a locked door, don’t you think?

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Singing the office blues?

Two weeks since I left my previous job and one week into my new job. I can’t help but feel somewhat disconnected from the outside world.
Meetings, meetings… meetings. In the last 4 days I have attended more meetings and have met more people than I care to remember and it leaves me somewhat numb. All the names and the faces seem to have merged into a big blob.
Starting a new job in December is prolly the worst thing anyone can attempt to do and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Everybody else is closing down while you are starting up and you feel out of sync with the rest of the world. It is an unnatural state of affairs and your entire being rebels against what you are trying to achieve.
It is a time when one’s brain shuts down and you are almost incapable of mustering up the energy to start something new. All you can think about is taking time off to relax, taking a well deserved break and getting away from all the stresses and strains that signify work. Try as you may… you cannot dupe your mind into thinking differently.
The big hunt for office space and setting up new offices are in full swing and my days are filled to capacity. It feels like every estate agent in the city of Johannesburg is working for me at the moment. It is a wonder I find the time to blog this entry at all.
But it is onward little soldier and hopefully everything will be up and running come January 2006.
I prolly won’t have much of a holiday, which in itself is not so bad. Working from home is however a big schlep and mentally I would prefer going to an office in the morning and doing my work from there. All of the things one usually takes for granted and makes for the smooth running of an office have become major obstacles to me. Sending and receiving faxes, telephone calls, e-mail, etc… all of the things one would normally not give a second thought to.
The few days I had to myself prior to starting, seems like another life time and although I got a lot done and had loads of fun doing things I normally do not get the time to do, it already seems like I am due for more “me” time. When I close my eyes, I can see Cape Town’s sun-drenched beaches and lots of skimpily dressed women… sipping pina coladas and giving me the eye. [Uhm… Ah yeah… adjust your pants and dream on, chitty]
On the upside, everybody is really supportive and has helped out where they can. The gf has become my part-time office assistant and I will prolly have to marry the woman at the end of this in order to make it up to her. Hahha… somehow I do not think she will think it very romantic of me.
Having said all that, I am very excited about the job and the new prospects and I cannot wait for things to get going. Patience, little man! There are exciting times ahead and the little I was exposed to in this short period of time has only made me hunger for more. I have big plans and ideas of my own and I only hope that the business is ready for what I plan to do next year.
Let the good time roll, baby! The Chitser’s been set loose and there is a whole new “world” to conquer and enslave. So many new kids to play with… so little time.

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