Archive for April, 2007

Like a weight being lifted

I’m finally out of that toxic work environment.  It feels like a huge weight has been lifted.  I don’t have to dread going to work, don’t have to worry about being stretched thin through overwork and being under-appreciated.  I’ve left them short-staffed again, but it’s not my problem and I don’t have to deal with it anymore. 

It did feel weird leaving the place though.  I will miss some of the people.  I’d worked there nearly 6 years and formed some good friendships with some lovely people.  But it was a choice of them or my sanity.  Naturally my mental health comes first.  I’ll keep in touch with them.  But even on the day of my farewell, little things irked.  Mostly people who leave are asked what they would like for a farewell gift.  I wasn’t.  I was given book vouchers which is fine, but they were for a book shop I don’t particularly like because they cater for popular fiction and non-fiction and I like to get books which are different.  It will be a struggle to use the vouchers unless I get DVDs with them and I’ve just ordered a whole heap on Amazon.  Oh well.  Musn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.  Another little thing that irked was that the boss walked past me to see Janet and ask if it was too late to contribute something.  He gave Janet $5 then walked right past me again, totally ignoring me, yet he knows who I am!  He said to Janet I could buy a drink – with $5??  Oh well.

On my very last day I went out to drinks with the woman who left work in November last year, and a remaining staff member who is close to searching for work elsewhere too.  We all had a good moan about management and idiotic decision-making and the way we were treated.  The poor woman left is particularly angry because she is not being given extra duties (the ones I could have had help with!).  Why?  Because the supervisor doesn’t think she is capable.  At least give her a chance!  I advised her to join the union.  She’s very unhappy, but has a chat with the boss.  We’ll see what, if anything, happens.  Surely they must now redistribute the work since I’m not here to do it all!!!

What a place.  And I’m so glad to be out of it.  What made those last two days even better was that I received an email out of the blue (as I always do – when I least expect it) from S.

So, I’ve had one day at my new workplace already and it’s pretty sweet.  All very friendly and the work is not onerous at all.  Still being trained, naturally, so time will tell.  But the environment is so much nicer – so far.

With that, I have to get off and get ready for work. 🙂


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Nothing changes

I’m down to my last week at my current work place next week.  I am so very glad to be leaving that toxic atmosphere.

Just as I was leaving work yesterday, N says ‘see you Thursday’ and I ask in disbelief if he has time off.  B has already taken the week off leaving us short-staffed.  ‘Didn’t you hear the news – I’ve got Monday and Tuesday off’ (Wednesday’s a holiday here).  Unbelievable.  I overcame my urge to storm off angrily.  Nothing’s changed since the last time he asked for and got (just like that) time off work.  The ineffectual boss seems to favour him.  She said last time that she would demand more notice and not let people take time off at the last minute.  Well, she lied.  On Monday and Tuesday I will be working with the new, barely-trained woman who replaced A and that’s it.  I’m furious.  The so-called boss is absolutely hopeless.  I can’t believe it – it will be damned busy on those days.  Is she nuts???   I’m so fed up with being the only one to deal with the influx first thing in the morning.  Again, I’ll be left on my own until other staff come in late.  Just because I’m the reliable one.  They always assume I’ll be there.  Ha.  Well, I won’t be after next week and see how they deal with it then.  They’ll all have to change their working (or non-working) habits.  Ok, I’m getting steamed again.  Breathe.

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Bird flu and health

I have some lovely music on and it’s taking me on a journey, away from whatever I was going to write about – over clouds and trees and through valleys and over streams and waterfalls….

I was going to write about a book I’ve been reading – “The Great Bird Flu Hoax”.  The author, Dr Joseph Mercola, argues that there is not likely to be a pandemic and the real cause of its spread is the modern industrial farming method.  Half of the book is about eating more healthily, going organic, eating food growing locally and from farmers who are humane and let their animals feed outside on natural foods, etc.  All very good advice. 

 Years ago I collected eggs as one of my first jobs, and it was eggs from ‘battery’ hens, kept in small cages in dark sheds.  It was horrible, and it put me off commercial chicken and eggs for life.  The poor hens were denuded of feathers by others pecking them in their tiny cramped spaces, despite their beaks and feathers being chopped.  The smell and the noise was overpowering. 

I read with disbelief that these factory reared hens are fed chicken manure just as cows are fed cow (with mad cow disease being the result).  It’s disgusting and totally against nature.  How would humans like to be fed parts of human and human faeces?  The book also mentions the people who profit from sales of tamiflu, which is not even effective and could actually make any flu worse.  The vaccine was designed to protect against ordinary flu, not bird flu.  Outbreaks of bird flu occur near these factories or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations).  You can see by this name that the motive behind such ‘operations’ is pure profit and not the wellbeing of the animals or the consumer.  There is so much in the book that I could mention, but I would almost be re-writing the whole book or summarising each chapter which would take too long.  I recommend you read it.

So, don’t believe the scare tactics about the new killer disease.  Instead, don’t eat that diseased stuff – buy locally and organically and you benefit, the animals benefit and the environment benefits.

I think about how much better homegrown veges taste.  My sis-in-law gave me a few of her tomatoes – a few small cherry tomatoes and bigger ‘beef’ tomatoes.  They were incredibly sweet!  I had forgotten what a tomato is supposed to taste like.  They really were fruit, not some bland red thing we now call a vegetable.  Unfortunately I had to buy some tomatoes just recently and there’s absolutely no comparison.  I should try buying local organic ones if I can and taste the difference.

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Well, my little holiday is over and it’s back to work tomorrow but the good thing is I’ve only 9 more working days there.  Then it’s a new job, and my life changes a little.

I just drove back from my bro’s place.  My daughter, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s mother, visited as well.  The mother is visiting from China and doesn’t speak a word of English, so much nodding and smiling.  She cooked us a lovely meal last night.

The weather held up, although it was a bitterly cold wind for the first day and then the following day at Castlepoint – strong winds and the tide was in.  Hastily took some photos and retreated back to the car.  We wanted to eat some chips but there weren’t any on offer at the local shop, so headed back to my brother’s place for a quick, but late lunch.  I’ve nearly finished another film so look foward to seeing the results from a different place, to see if my camera really is giving up the ghost.

I’m just  having a snack dinner tonight.  I’m cooking some “hot and sour soup” in a sachet but the instructions for cooking are all in Chinese.  Only the numbers give me some idea, as well as the basic diagram.  Should be like any other powdered soup mix, I imagine.

There was absolutely nothing to watch on TV last night (and my brother has far more channels because he subscribes to Sky TV).  I wonder if there’s anything on tonight.  I feel like blobbing out this evening with the last of some cheap French plonk.

Up to May 2006 working backwards on the categories.  Still finding it tricky.

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I decided to split my blog entries into categories.  Talk about time-consuming.  I’ve gone backwards to September so far, but still have many entries yet to categorise.  Home life?  Hobbies?  Interests?  How do you categorise those little moments you enjoy at home?  Or the frustrations you experience with chores at home?  Two separate categories perhaps, but what?  And some entries would fit into more than one category, but I guess you just choose the one the entry is mostly about (one paragraph slightly longer than the other…). 

As promised some photos of WOMAD.  On the whole the photos weren’t good, so I’ve only included the better ones.  I’ve done it through Photobucket as I really can’t seem to get pictures to display by uploading them to this site and it used to be so easy.

Ah, now, how to categorise this entry?  Anyway, photos:


Gyuto monks, based in India.  Their chanting was awesome, as I described in my blog after I got back in March.


The monks started making this Mandala on the first day of the festival.  I have photos of the progress and tried to insert them beside each other but it ended up strangely with photos on top of large text, so I gave up on that idea.

Shan thing

This is one of the bad quality photos.  I think it was a combination of bad developing and camera starting to give out.  This is Ensemble Shanbehzadeh from Iran, a father and son group.  The boy is only 13 years old and was an amazing drummer.  Interestingly, the father described himself as a Shi’ite muslim but pronounced it ‘shee-eet’ not shee-ite.  I’m all for pronouncing foreign words as they should be pronounced and truly hate the american tendency to say Eye-rak or Eye-ran.  It’s a lack of respect I feel.  Anyway, he was very interesting talking of his childhood taking part in processions and community celebrations – all the boys wanting to join in the dancing and drumming – such a very different upbringing to the western isolated, nuclear families raising boys who wouldn’t be seen dead dancing (and I’m thinking of NZ boys in particular). Mud creature


This cute little creature was sculpted out of the mud by someone unknown – just randomly sitting in the middle of a grassed bit, making use of the dampness.  It brought a smile to whoever saw it.

Ah, I see, this site doesn’t recognise photo boundaries – or probably does if I could work out the settings.

Right, stuff to do – heading off to bro’s again today.  Have a lovely day all!

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Avoiding the mirror

A friend of mine enclosed a photo in an email recently – a picture of me standing in front of Nazi Mercedes at a car museum.  The car was beautiful, but I definitely wasn’t.  I thought, oh my god, is my face that round?  While in Tauranga I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I passed by and I looked old and shapeless.

Then I went shopping for clothes yesterday.  I know why I hate shopping for clothes – it’s not just that you can never find something you like in your size, or that it is so very very time consuming going from one shop to another taking your clothes on and off several times, but that you have to look at yourself in the mirror.  You realise in the stark lighting of clothes shops just how many folds you have.  It must be wonderful shopping for clothes if you have a slim, firm body and you look terrific in everything.  Sadly, I don’t.  What good features I had are starting to sag.  It’s rather depressing.  So I came out of the shops determined to exercise and diet.  Let’s see how long that lasts…

On a different note I got some photos developed from my trip to WOMAD.  The developing was appalling, but also the distant shots are not at all clear.  I really wish I had a digital camera so I wouldn’t waste money on photos which are crap and be able to see how bad or good they are.  I’ve played around with brightness and contrast to get them looking better, but I’m still not happy with them.  For the next film I’ll take them elsewhere and see if there’s any difference.  If not, the camera has to go.  I’ll upload them to Photobucket and put a few in for my next post.

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Sundry meanderings

I just returned from four wonderful days in Tauranga.  A friend of mine moved there late last year from Auckland and bought this lovely house complete with small swimming pool, spa, deck, spacious rooms and lots of sun and moved in with her new partner.  I spent some time with them in January, loved the time off, and realised how miserable my life was in comparison.  That was the urge to find another job, realising how much I hated my work.  Well, that’s done.  I start at my new workplace in just over two weeks’ time.  Having had another few lovely sunny days and coming back to dismal grey cloud and cold, I realise again that my damp house is full of clutter and I do need to get things done to it and perhaps move to a sunnier clime.  Obviously not this year.  I’ll work at this new job for a while, meantime de-cluttering, and working on getting some parts of the house fixed up.  Then I might think about a big move – perhaps to Napier or somewhere on the east coast where the climate is far nicer.  I think I’ve had enough of the greyness of the Manawatu.  One step at a time though.

I had an email from the supervisor while I’m off work this week.  Seems Nick is away today and there’s no-one who knows how to do something only Nick and I know to do.  Supervisor has done it in the past when we’ve both been away so I don’t know why she couldn’t.  Anyway, seems the boss and a dim-witted IT person (that’s really laughable, calling her an IT person – she’s useless) can’t work out how to do this job from the instructions (which are clear).  I’m secretly laughing my head off.  They’re going to be in dire straits when I’ve left.  I do so many jobs which others have little idea how to do.  They’re going to have to follow the procedures manual (snigger).  I wonder how long it will be before they replace me.  It was five months between the time the last member of staff left and them hiring a new person.  Ahh, I am so, so glad to be out of that mismanaged madhouse.

I got a book out on Feng Shui not so long ago.  I need to rearrange my bedroom, but that involves moving stuff – and to where?  I need to be ruthless and get rid of a lot of stuff.  It’s hard.  I have my family’s tendency of hoarding.  Very very occasionally it comes in handy.  While visiting Tauranga, my friend’s partner took three of us (who were staying over Easter) on a little tiki-tour of the region.  While at Mt Maunganui, we crossed over to a little island linked to the mainland.  I remember it being a Marineland – with seals, etc, way back in the 70’s.  I mentioned this to Mike and his friend, John but neither of them could remember that being the case, and thought I might be thinking of Napier.  I began doubting myself but clearly remembered the seals.  Once back home, I delved into my clutter and found a guidebook of the region from 1973.  There it was – Marineland.  I was right.  Yes, it will be hard getting rid of stuff.  I’m too sentimental.  I have fond memories of childhood camping trips around New Zealand.  Those old maps and guidebooks could even be worth something.  Certainly the roads have changed a great deal from those days of long narrow, winding trips in old cars.  How spoilt we are now.  It takes a fraction of the time to reach places now and we still moan about the time it takes.  Not enough people take time to enjoy the actual trip.  They’re all too busy trying to pass each other at 120 kph.

It’s time to head into town. There’s little food in the house and I may head over to the brother’s place in the weekend.  I need to buy some new clothes too!

Lots of reading to catch up on blogs.  I haven’t visited here for ages.

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