Know Yourself

About four years ago I graduated a national diploma in Public Relations with flying colors, and around this age I had expected myself to be working for a very vibrant PR agency, smelling of Gucci perfumes and dressed in formal clothing five days a week, conceptualizing PR campaigns every single day, and truly conquering the world.
But, unfortunately I do not drive a stylish VW car and date my boss’s niece like I had often dreamed, instead I am stuck in a Walmart stockroom packing boxes with people who have never had the privilege of receiving even half the education I was blessed with, and as much as I’d really like to blame the government, global economy and nepotism for my misfortunes, I really can’t, because as most of my fellow schoolmates volunteered in PR firms to acquire “experience” that has hindered the success of many, I was, like many, too “important” to work for free.

And now I have went from one lousy job to the next and applied for PR jobs on a daily basis with consistent persistence, and understood that although I had made very poor decisions as a child but life does go on, fancy job or not. I have recently almost went homeless, so I now know the importance of having a job, even if it’s not your dream job, but the ability to put a roof over your head and food in your stomach is a very good start.

I show my appreciation by just doing my job as efficiently as I can, and going an extra mile when necessary. And my enthusiasm is often criticized and discouraged by other colleagues who stress the company really doesn’t care about us, that management has no respect for their staff and that my efforts would be futile in the end.

I often smile and respond; “it really has nothing to do with neither the company nor top management, but is all about me”.
The moment I walked into a Walmart store I knew exactly that I won’t be able to afford cars, suits and perfumes I often dream of, but I’d be able to feed and clothe myself, well until I really figure things out. And now that I’m inside, as an aspiring business man this job has afforded me an opportunity to learn about employees, their attitudes, dedication and feelings towards the companies they work for, and people leading them, and because of this job I believe that one day when I’m heading up top companies I’ll be excellent at human resources. I don’t take the store I work for or my job in it for granted, because someday it will be me owning such a company and it would pain me to see an employee of mine take for granted the very same company that provides for them. For me this job is just “paid training” because I work with a purpose, go the extra mile to better enhance my abilities and acquire trade skills in which I’ll employ for my own benefit someday.
Needless to say, I will not be at the bottom of the food chain forever, and due to this experience, the day I get to the top I’ll be better able to assign reasonable duties to employees and pay equally reasonable, show appreciation for the value my staff adds to the company and make peace with the fact that ultimately workers are never truly satisfied, no matter how hard you may try to please them.

My First Tie

Ever heard the famous saying “dress for the job you want”? Yep, that’s me; I’m a firm believer of that saying, so much in fact that if I had wanted to be a pornstar, I’d walk around butt-naked.

Anyway, I’ve decided it’s about time I go corporate, Lord knows I’ve had a qualification for about four years now and not applied it even once, instead I am packing stock in a Walmart stockroom and feeling proud to work as a “strong man” is supposed to, but the sad thing about strong men and their work is their bank balances don’t always match their work ethics.

So today I decided to buy a tie, I have no occasion for it but I just figured there was no harm in being “prepared”, right?
I’ve never been so proud of myself, and when I reached the till point the cashier asked me if I was going to a wedding? And as I awkwardly muttered “I am planning to change careers soon so I’m preparing my clothing for my prospective career path” I also figured she must have gathered that potential career I was referring to is wedding planning.

But anyway, when I finally got home I looked at it for about a million times, kissed it, tried it on and thought to myself; “I can’t wait to wear this damn tie”, and not for a wedding, ideally.

Dress for the job you want, every profession has a certain dress code exclusive to its practitioners, and if you have no idea what professionals in your prospective career wear you’re in trouble, or you just need to do some more research about your prospective career.

God Bless.

Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing

For a moment, let’s forget about handing a penny to a homeless person, creating soup schemes for kids at your neighborhood homeless shelter, giving out free tablets to primary school learners or awarding bursaries for high school graduates, let us just go back to the basics.

Funding an international plumbing company to install water pipes in Africa means nothing if you do not know the basics of kindness, and the gift of giving love; because it is far valuable than Mustangs and diamonds.
It is now that I realize the importance of being kind, I have recently started working for a Walmart shop and the cashiers are treating us (me and the other new guys) like trash.
Back to the basics, it is really hypocritical to smile at your preacher at church if you fail to smile at the person you work with every day.
Not that I really need much from them, but I just feel it’s standard workplace behavior to be welcoming to new staff so they can adapt quickly, experience a healthy working environment, and not be afraid to talk to you when they need something.

Kindness isn’t only giving out money or free food, but it is also about having the best intentions at heart, smiling genuinely, reaching out to others first and offering your services without even thinking twice whenever they are needed.
How much does that cost?

It has gotten to the point where some of my new colleagues are adopting this attitude as well. Today I heard someone saying “if you give me sh*t attitude I’ll give you that sh*t attitude back”, and it just sounded destructive to me, only kindness inspires kindness. Fighting fire with fire ends up burning everyone, burning bridges compromises mobilization, and being kind to an unkind person shows that that you genuinely have the best intentions at heart, and you are willing to go to all ends for this interaction to be as healthy as possible, and that will not kill you either.

Kindness doesn’t cost a thing.

Guess Who’s Back???

It has been a long time since I last posted a blog article, and I am ashamed of myself.
You see, I had made a commitment to myself that I will post about two articles on WordPress every single week, and months have gone by since I have even shared a quote, and it’s a damn shame, because a man is only as good as his word.

Yes I have failed to keep my word, but please hear my plea, because I believe I really have some valid reasons for my “incompetence”.
First of all, things ain’t always that black and white, and your whole life can be turned upside down in just a moment. The last thing I remember is me writing my book peacefully and hoping to publish it soon and buy a stroller for my baby, and then the next moment I had no baby, or book, money, friends and not even a place to stay, and all that in just a blink of an eye.

I then took a job at retail trying to pick up the pieces, and before I knew it, I had went from selling expensive ladies perfumes and underwear to packing tin fish at Walmart and feeling like a damn idiot, and thinking to myself, “at least at my first job I interacted with beautiful ladies”.

I’m a very passionate author, so as much as I know how much of a waste it is for me to be pushing trolleys, packing tills and stock whilst I could have been just writing, I also know I just have to do it, it’s either that or go homeless boy.
And I cross my typist fingers that soon enough someone will spot my potential as I’m standing shamefully behind a trolley. Amen.

And I promise to check in on WordPress whenever I get a chance.

God bless you all.

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Time Flies On Your Day Off

I work at retail, so my average day is “targets”, “targets”, and more “targets”. And oh, smelling like perfumes we can’t afford, putting on colgate smiles even when we actually want to punch a customer on the throat, and running like athletes selling clothes we can’t equally afford.
In retail, a person is expected in a day to make more money than he earns in a whole year, and if you think that is preposterous, wait until you see the staff dancing like Michael Jackson celebrating having sold goods worth R58 000 in a day and met their “targets”, and in the end earning about R2 100 in a whole damn month, what about meeting your personal targets?Bad-Tour-Billie-Jean-michael-jackson-13443788-800-1200
Anyway, this piece isn’t about how the rich gets richer and poor get poorer because their sweats and tears are responsible for the richer’s riches and only if they could employ that very same level of commitment towards attainment of their own personal goals. This piece is just about time, not in some deep philosophical way, but just about regular hours on my days off.

I may not be necessarily patriotic about reaching targets of R58 000 a day, R 400 000 in a single week and R 1 2400 000 in a month whilst being compensated around R 25 000 a year, but I still love my job. I love keeping busy, being around people to study human behavior, smiling at beautiful ladies and being of “service”, I work with about 90% women colleagues and 100% female customers, so what’s there not to love?

Loving my job as I do, I can’t help but feel time loves us just as much. Work hours are not regular hours; at work, you stand up, dust rakes, hang clothes, sweep the floor, open the door, assist about 80 customers and check time, and it’s only been about 15 minutes; the very same 15 minutes you lose as soon as you pull out a sit on your tea break.

And time on your day off isn’t from the same clock as a work day. Today I was off, the plan was to wake up early, do my house chores, write blog articles, read, spend some quality time with my girlfriend, go lvisit my friends, and listen to the ‘Think And Grow Rich’ audio book. But, I woke up, decided it was still too early so I went back to bed for a couple of minutes (and woke up three hours later), by then it was too late for house chores and so I called my girl over and in a blink she had left (after about five hours), so I just went for a haircut and the barber was extremely efficient (in about an whole hour), and so after that I couldn’t read, write, listen to my audio book or hang out with my boys, so I just went to buy a take away because it was too then late to cook, and surprisingly, all the shops were already closed.
And there goes my day off.