I never thought I’ll actually say this…

17 05 2012

I think it was in my final year as a dietetics student somewhere between Steve Biko Academic Hospital’s wellness clinic and the hospital kitchen when I realised that I don’t think I’m going to be the world’s best dietician.  I never felt like I’m going to make a true difference in my patient’s lives, and more specifically I never enjoyed it.  In fact I hated the navy and white uniform, I was miserable throughout the internship and half way through my community service year I even considered going on anti-depressants.  Very unlike me. (I started running instead ☺)

 So, I decided to become a medical representative.  Medical reps travel the country, they go on great incentive trips to Mauritius and other fancy places in the world, you get great commission, you have flexible working hours (I’ve never seen a rep in field after 3pm on a Friday afternoon..), and you socialise with a lot of people on a daily basis.

The problem was that even though I reaped the financial rewards I never felt like that was what I was meant to be doing for the rest of my life either.  I had more to offer.

I took a huge risk when I applied for a product management position in our division last year October.  I was only a rep, without ANY marketing experience.  I’m only in my first year of BCom Marketing Management, why would they employ me? But after a colleague said to me that I have nothing to lose, they can only say no, I applied.  I went for two interviews and was informed by my current manager that I got the position on the 23 December 2011.  It was a happy day.

I’ve been a product manager since February and yes I have days where I’m thinking I have no clue what I’m doing, where I work 12 hour days, and over weekends.  I have lots more to learn still and the bad days will come, but for the first time since 2007 I’m actually enjoying my job.

In the last 3.5 months this is what I learned: Image

  • When in doubt:  Google.
  • Excellent managers are hard to find.  My manager is more than excellent.  She’s extraordinary.
  • People don’t have manners.  I deal with a lot of people on a daily basis. I only have TWO regular “Thank you”-ers.  It’s sad.  Say thank you and please.  Please.
  • A lot of people complain. About everything. Stop complaining. Start running, you’ll be friendlier ☺
  • If it’s in your job description, do it.  Don’t treat the person asking you to do something badly.  If you don’t like what you’re doing find something that makes you happy.
  • When a driver picks you up from your hotel to take you to the conference venue, make sure he knows where he’s going.  There is a difference between The Vineyard Hotel and Vineyard Estate hotel.
  • Chanel red lipstick and Superman’s suit = same powers.

 

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Not just your average Inca Music Festival

25 03 2012

Not just your average Inca Music Festival

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On Friday night I attended an Inca Music Festival at the University of Pretoria.  The Ambassador of Peru invited us and the aim of the culture evening was to promote Peru and their fascinating culture.  The bonus:  The yummy traditional snacks and alcoholic beverages. 

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"No Marni,it's not a chocolate. It's just a badge"

To be quite honest I know of the Machu Picchu (I accidently said “Michu Pacchu” in front of some strangers, oi!), the Andes mountains, and that Peru is somewhere in South America but Inca music…  uh, no idea.  You know it’s not exactly like any Inca music artist recently won a Grammy or that an Inca song is currently the number one song on the US Billboard chart.  So had absolutely no expectations.

First of all, the music was lovely, and it sounds like something you’ll play in the background when you entertain your friends in your fancy mansion.  Secondly, they also had a few dance items on the programme, and this is actually what I want to share. 

Dancing the night away

In one of the dance items they had a man and women doing what looked like the Argentinean tango.  It was a passionate dance but that wasn’t the main thing I noticed.  The moment the women stepped onto the stage all eyes were on her.  She radiated confidence, had true happiness in her eyes and oozed sex appeal.  She was by no means a skinny super model look alike, she was in fact voluptuous and curvy or what some might call, “chubby”.  Definitely not a size 8, or even a 10, she didn’t have a perfect nose or perfect legs, but she had confidence.  She was happy.  And she enjoyed the moment.  She had accepted what she looks like, and she had peace in her heart.  You could see it from miles away.  She was in love with who she is, and it all showed in the way she danced across the stage.

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Oh, how I just love that Guilty Feeling

I constantly feel guilty about eating that extra chocolate, or missing a gym or running session.  I feel  guilty when I hate my “not so tight”- bum, my weird knees, my  dimply thighs, my Nik Naks toes, or when I wish I had her legs, her skinny arms, her tiny appetite and her strong willpower to avoid “bad foods”.  It’s so sad we miss the million unique features that we were blessed with by focusing on the imperfections.

I have only two goals this year.  1)  Saving money and 2) Accepting and embracing who I am, imperfections and all.

I know this is easier said than done, but this week I’m truly going to start focusing on goal number 2.  Baby steps.

May it be a “less guilt, more accepting” week to all of us! 

PS:  I’ve just added Peru to my list of places to see.  When you have a free minute, look up Peru’s history and culture.  Truly magical.

 





“Can’t find my sports bra, see you tomorrow”

16 03 2012

 

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The UglyImage

 If you stay in Pretoria and work in Johannesburg, have an active social life after hours, taking care of a family, or whatever you do in the afternoons, you will know that the only time you can run is BEFORE work.   For me it means I have to be in my running outfit and on the road at no later than 5am.  Painful.  Every time.

The Bad (but actually Good)

Our running group consists of about 6 runners.  These people make me angry, especially on “Rolling Hills Thursdays” and when I’m not allowed to stop the Garmin for a walk.  Vernon irritates me when he’s so extremely chirpy at 5am and Willie (aka “klein k*k” ) irritates me even more when he tries his tempo run tricks, BUT most of all, and this is the only reason I keep running with them, they make me laugh.

The Funny

Yesterday the “administrator” of our 5am running group,Vernon, and I discussed the exceptionally creative and hilarious “Oh, hello, I’m not running this morning, here’s my excuse”-text messages sent by some of our “members”Image

Some of my favorite bail text messages (and these can all be verified):

  • Gert: “No.” Just that.
  • Willie:  “Sorry won’t be able to make it.  My running shorts are in the wash.  I only have one pair.”
  • Gert:  “Hou verby”
  • Gert again:  “My wife’s cuddles are extra special this morning.  If I run, I’ll miss out, not taking chances here”
  • Bennie:  “Aikona”
  • Hein:  “It’s raining outside”  It was a clear-sky morning….
  • Me:  “@#*$!!!! Can’t find my sports bras.  See you tomorrow”  (this by the way really happened and wasn’t funny)

But then the next morning…

  • Willie:  “Can’t find my sports bra, giving it a skip”

You see… I just love these people!





Mysterious Sweet Potato Person and Wonderful Wednesday observations

7 03 2012

Mysterious Sweet Potato Person

Someone in the division where I work loves sweet potatoes.  Mysterious Sweet Potato Person will bring the biggest, cooked sweet potato to work and put it in the staff fridge.  Nothing wrong with that.  After tea time half of it will be gone, and I assume the other half is consumed during lunch hour.

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Now here’s what I find odd.  Mysterious Sweet Potato Person brings it to work without it being in a lunch box, covered in foil or even put in a plastic bag, which makes me wonder:

  1. Who is Mysterious Sweet Potato Person?
  2. And how on earth do you get your sweet potato to the office each day, if it’s not in a container, wrapped in foil or in a plastic bag? In your hand? Laptop bag? 

Anyhow, the fact that I find this hilarious might also be an indicator of my current mental state…

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Too late for medication?

 

Wonderful Wednesday Observations

  • Tea and Nutella toast can solve the world’s problems
  • #ThatAwesomeMoment when someone says “Ja, but you never sent the email” and you forward the mail that was sent TO THEM a month ago. Kah-Pow!
  • In the event of any “explosion sounds” in an office environment, avoid swearing or using your boss as cover.  Read the instructions first before testing new helium canisters.
  • Nutella is even more delicious when eating it straight from the jarImage




Widgets, Plugins, RSS feed, SAY WHAT??

4 03 2012

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In the early nineties my Grade 1 teacher, Mrs Elsa Riekert was my hero.  She was the skinniest, most well groomed, well mannered lady.  She could write in perfect straight lines on a black board, and I think they used her hand writing skills as an example in teaching school, of what a Grade 1 teacher’s hand writing should look like.  She was perfect.  I wanted to be her, also perfect.

On the first day in Grade 1 all the kids were seated in different rows, and I landed up, next to Gerrie Brink (who also wet his pants and my new green suitcase that day) in the duck row.  A few weeks later, during one specific task we were asked to write the alphabet.  Me, trying to be all perfect just like Mrs Riekert, made a mistake, tried to correct it, used the eraser, didn’t stop when I saw I’m making a bigger mess, and eventually tore the page in my book.  In tears, I went to Mrs Riekert’s desk.  She took one look at my mess and said to me “My dear child, how boring would it be if everything is perfect”

In 2011 I had a goal that my blog will be up and running by December 2011.  Uhhmm… that didn’t happen so, that’s it.  No more excuses.  No more procrastinating.

I do not have perfect writing skills, grammar, and I’m definitely not a blog expert like Tanya Kovarsky I had to look up the term “Gravatar” just to give you an idea.  But if I have to wait until I have the perfect blog, this blog will never happen.

And how boring will a perfect blog be?