Monday, 14 November 2011

Coz I tread between nostalgia and indigestion...

So one of my chronic photo-taking stalker students is a twenty-something year old professional soccer player from Brazil who plays for a club in Europe, when he's not learning about Present Perfect Tense with me. What I find so strange about this guy is that he's NEVER on time because of his training schedule. He NEVER does any of the homework I give him. He NEVER pays attention in any lesson and when he' not taking photos of me, he's like a pseudo-pimp with girls constantly draped all over him... it's annoying. Most times, he's annoying.

And yet, this is the same guy that hates to see me upset and when I'm shouting him like a little kid, he will apologise until the cows come home and beg me to be happy. This is also the same guy that will attend my other classes - classes he's not registered for - in his spare time. It's the strangest thing. No one ever willingly attends classes that they're not registered for, particularly at the institute.

For some reason, I've been particularly nostalgic over the past week, reminiscing and cringing simultaneously. The journey to this particular point in my life has been somewhat surreal. A quick re-con:

There were all those years I spent working for Private Investigators as a student, paying my way through Varsity by delving into Industrial Sabotage, hiding in bushes taking photos of suspects, listening in and translating countless telephone conversations as well as taking Affidavits, handing out search warrants like sweets on Halloween and working with Interpol on numerous criminal cases.
Overall Work Rating: 8 out of 10. It would have been the ideal job if we didn't have to negotiate with twelve heavily armed men from the Nigerian Mafia as well as the SWAT team. Life should never imitate an action movie. Minus two points for the stress.

Perhaps, the most surprising of all the work I'd done over the years, was my stint in the world of acting. As an improv actress and professional extra, I SUCKED ass big time because I can't lie to save my life - which is a big part of an actor's job. But I didn't suck enough for the Director to tell me to fuck off. And then suddenly, I found myself having long conversations with actors while waiting behind the scenes and even today, I recognise, worked with or have spoken to almost every face on SA television at some point in time.
Overall Work Rating: 7 out of 10. Props for getting paid buckets for running around on set like a monkey. Minus 3 points for the countless takes and damn DB not remembering any of his lines!

Then there was a contract at the world's largest soft-drink company, along with the Germans. I've never met a German I didn't like, so we worked together fabulously. Plus we got free gourmet lunch every day... and unlimited soft-drinks and a private concert with The Black Eyed Peas as a present for all the hard work and hours put in.
Overall Work Rating: 9 out of 10. Best company to work for, EVER!

One of the worst would have to be a certain *ahem* reputable and very well known Financial Institution and Auditing Firm. Beneath the seemingly flawless porcelain veneer was all the cracks in the form of poor employer/employee communication, utter chaos, bigotry, nepotism, no cohesion and an organisational culture stuck in the 1800's.
Overall Work Rating: 2 out of 10. Bitches. At least I got to meet a wonderful friend at that horrid hell hole.

Working for Shirley at an Events Management company comes a close second on the suck-o-meter. Between Elton John's AIDS benefit ball and Jennifer Lopez's Thanksgiving Dinner, I was so stressed out I nearly went bald.
Overall Work Rating: 3 out of 10. Anal passive-aggressive people are the worst, especially if you have to work for them.

The British Council in London was by far one of the highlights of my career. As a Quality Control Officer, my job was to mediate between Members of Parliament, Councillors and their Constituents. It sure was something else and I loved going to work everyday. Even after the 7/7 bombings when one of the District Officials enquired if I'd be at work the next day, I was like Bitch please, I come from Johannesburg. This is nothing.
Overall Work Rating: 10 out of 10. 
The best part of the job was being granted access as an employee to every film location in London to ensure the regulation of certain processes. This was both the best and worst time of my life. It was the best because it was very interesting and I got to meet my favourite actress Juliette Binoche as well as attend several movie Premieres. It was the worst because of one particular person. Jude-freaking-Law. Living around the around the corner from the somewhat controversial actor meant that he was EVERYWHERE. I was subjected to his presence in the street, at the local Tescos, at the Lebanese restaurant around the corner, at work on the movie set... at one point I seriously wanted to tell him to stop following me. But I didn't because he wasn't. He was just being an emo actor with girlfriend issues. I ended up hating him. Sometimes I still do.

And those are just the highlights folks. Here am I, a solid 10 years and 27 contracts later, and I'm stuck with a Lebanese guy who refuses to pass any of his English courses because he's simply too comfortable where he is at the moment and passing means that he would graduate and eventually leave. And he doesn't want to leave. Sometimes I wonder if I've regressed in my evolution.


  1. I wonder if you remind that Brazilian footballer of someone, Miss Azra. The first girl he kissed...or something. Maybe he needs to see your CV to understand that appearances can be deceptive.

  2. This line is so funny: " I was like Bitch please, I come from Johannesburg. This is nothing."

    Your career history is so impressive...and DIVERSE! A PI company? Really? There must be some good stories to come out of you!

  3. Holy crap you've had some awesome life experience, so many jobs, and cool amazing ones at that, I'm jealous!!!

  4. Wow, that is a pretty awesome career history. Very diverse and adventurous.

    Jealous. I'm in the exciting world of accounting.

  5. You obviously remind the Brazilian of his mom.

  6. What an amazing life! As an American Midwesterner it seems incredibly exciting and glamorous! :D

    I do believe your Brazilian student might be the one who dropped the note on your car, m'dear. He's twitterpated!

  7. You haven't regressed. You've just gotten a hellova lot more interesting. ;)

    I had fun reading all the cool jobs you've done¡ I hope we get to have tea together someday.

  8. Well, at least you've got PLENTY of food for thought. And what do you mean, you can't lie to save your life...

  9. GB - Perhaps I do remind him of someone... or maybe he just misses his Mummy.

    Prixie - Yeah I've got stories... and STORIES lol. Definitely the most interesting time of my life.

    Chantal - I'm sure you have an equally interesting, if not more interesting life than mine!

    ipenka - You have my respect. I tried the accounting route, my soul died a little every day.

    Candide - I thought so too...

    Angie - Maybe it was him, who knows. It sounds more glamorous than what it was.

    Michi - All that is required for us to have tea is a common location. Hopefully we'll have one soon yeah.

    RCB - Seriously, CANNOT lie. I'm too blunt for my own good lol