I live in the wonderful and volatile city of Joburg in South Africa. Sometimes I get the urge to write stuff down. This is where it lives.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Old Job Hangover Effect...

Isn't it funny how your old jobs come back to haunt you? No matter how much you hated them, or how long ago it was, they own you forever.

When I was 15 I used to sell a glass and jewellery cleaner at shopping malls. I had to stand behind a little table with a bowl of water and a cloth, and I offered free demonstrations to people - mostly women - passing by.

Thankfully was it was actually a good product - and most people bought it after the free demo. I would astound them with its 'anti-mist' effect, by urging them to try steam up their glasses after I'd cleaned them. Of course they couldn't, and then you hit them with the drinking coffee while reading a book angle, and they were yours.

So to this day I automatically notice people who wear glasses and rings as they walk past me.

The worst bad job hangover I have though is the bathroom supplies one. It was straight after I had graduated from university, and I had a growing student loan to pay back. I had studied a BA, and so my actual job prospects were slim.

A family friend needed an assistant and my father urged me to take it - as a temporary thing so I can at least start making some payments on that loan. The company she worked for sold soap dispensers, sanitary bins and towel dispensers for public bathrooms.

It was a really awful job and I only lasted 3 months. During that time I learned all about the different types of bathroom equipment you can get, and their pros and cons.

It was truly mind-numbing.

I didn't pay off any of my student loan while I worked there either, because my 1971 VW Beetle needed constant ‘medical attention’. Or I bought junk… who remembers?

The price I pay for the rest of my life? Every single public bathroom I ever go into, I notice which types of soap dispensers, sanitary bins and towel dispensers they use.

It is a skill I would prefer not to have.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Hilary STOLE that Oscar from Imelda Staunton!

Don't get me wrong, I really like Hilary Swank... and I loved 'Million Dollar Baby' - but Mike Leigh is GOD when it comes to films and he always brings out the best in his cast. Imelda Staunton as Vera Drake is a truly award-winning performance! It still has not surpassed 'Naked' as my favourite film of all time (I doubt anything ever will), but it is an emotional gem.