National Bosses Day

14 10 2011

Good morning, dearest blog readers

Today is National Bosses Day here in South Africa.

I know working for ‘The Man’ (or woman) isn’t always easy, but know that a boss also has difficult decisions to make and, consequently, has a lot on his/ her plate. Besides, it’s not as if all of us have completely horrible bosses… right? Right?!

My ‘boss’, aka my manager (the person I report to directly) is really nice; so is our Publishing Manager (who is my manager’s ‘boss’). I’m lucky to be working for such a great company 🙂

Even if you don’t feel very enthusiastic about your boss, I think some adknowledgement is in order. That’s why I sent my boss/ manager an e-mail this morning, thanking her for all her encouragement, support, the way she manages things, your positive attitude (schools publishing is very challenging + ever-changing!) and the wonderful way she works with everyone.

You all might think that I’m trying to play suck-up, and that’s fine. I appreciate my ‘boss’, our Publishing Manager, my colleagues (yes, even Betty Bright *laugh*) and all the freelancers we work with…

…though, I’ll admit,  a little less so when things are crazy/ delayed/ causing me great frustration 😉

Have an amazing Friday, everyone!!!


It’s madness – madness, I tell you!!!

12 10 2011

I know I’m always willing to lend a helping hand, but this is getting ridiculous…

Have I recently lamented over the fact that it gets on my nerves when I’m busy doing things at work that technically aren’t my responsibility and they end up becoming a real pain in the you-know-where? Well, it’s that very thing that’s making me slip into madness…

(“Haha,” you say, “we know you’re already crazy, don’t try to deny it!”)

Although you wouldn’t say it by walking around the office, things actually are going up the creek without a paddle. I have two words for you: Price Fixing.

I. HATE. price fixing.

First we’re told to do it one way, then another… and then, again, yet another way – and the whole time, like a fool, you actually try to achieve something while everyone else is busy making up their minds and, in the process, making your life hell. You constantly communicate with and check up on the people that are slowing things down… and that also gets on my nerves. Seriously: I’m not that person’s mother or manager, so it’s not my job to check up on him/ her and ensure that he/ she is doing his/ her job. It feels like the rest of us constantly have to spoon-feed them… in essence, we’re doing their work for them. We’re held responsible and told to oversee things, and when you complain, what are you told? That that specific department is under-staffed.

Really? R-e-a-l-l-y?? Is that MY problem? If so many jobs are being advertised, why don’t you try and get them another staff member or two? Why do I have to do work that isn’t stipulated in my contract and run around and still do my job but the real problem (and this specific department is always the problem) isn’t addressed?

It’s madness… madness I tell you!!!!

*inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale*

Okay, rant over. Back to  being a mature, professional adult 😉

[But if you work in publishing, or – more specifically – in the same building as yours truly, then you know what I mean and will agree that this small rant is justified.]

I’ll just make myself feel better with the following sayings: 

“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence” – Edgar Allan Poe

“No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness” – Aristotle

“Sanity is very rare: every man almost, and every woman, has a dash of madness” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is no great genius without some touch of madness” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Madness need not be all breakdown.  It may also be break-through” – R.D. Laing

Work musings

18 07 2011

* I wonder how self-conscious people feel when they go to the bathroom to have an explosive bowel movement at work. I have noticed that they tend to stay in the stall until they think everyone is gone, or at least until they feel that it’s ‘safe’ to escape while the other stalls are still occupied. In fact, it happened when I went in there to wash my hands about half an hour ago.

* Last July, when I started my internship at OUP (can that really have been a year ago already?!), I mentioned the reproduction of the Mona Lisa hanging in the ladies room. In case you were interested, it’s still hanging at a slightly slanted angle. My obsessive-compulsive tendencies are going haywire.

* Wouldn’t having a massage at work feel weird? Do they do it at your desk, or in another room? And how are you supposed to jump back into work after that if you know that it’ll lead to stress and tension and the necessity of another massage that you have to pay for…? At least our company is taking the initiative to look out for their employees’ needs and well-being.

* Are vending machines at work really such a good idea? Even if you have a healthy variety of muffins to choose from (such as spinach and feta)? Just let me mention that these muffins aren’t packaged individually, put in packs of 3 or 5 (not sure about the exact amount at the moment).

* The fact that I am working has caused me to start eating ‘breakfast’, which is a good thing because it is alleged to be the most important meal of the day. True, ‘breakfast’ consists of only an oats-and-raisins cookie/ bar, which I ingest while sifting through my e-mails during the course of the morning… but that’s beside the point. At least it’s filled with fibre and iron! (And isn’t eating something better than eating nothing?)

* Working also ensures that I drink a lot of water throughout the day, something I do without even noticing. I bring about 1,5L of water to work with me, and by the time I leave, I’ll have drunk it all. I don’t even have any tea while at work. Only water. Not only is it cleansing at keeps me hydrated, but it means that I don’t have to get up from my desk every now and again to make tea, which takes time.

* LOLcats can brighten up any workday and should be shared with colleagues. Just be sure to look busy when someone approaches you.

* I’ve been pondering the possibility of having the company come up with an agreement to have us finish work earlier on a Friday. If some government employees only work until 1PM, why can’t we clock off at 4PM, at least? One hour makes a big difference. [Note: this is simply wishful thinking… though I’m sure that many of the employees here would agree if we were ever to take a poll/ vote on such a decision.]

* If it weren’t for lunch times and a few minutes here and there waiting for correspondence or documents to arrive, would I have read as much as I have already this year? I think you appreciate your spare time much more when you’re working and then use what time you have to catch up on things you enjoy. When you’re sitting at home all day, you become lazy and usually end up doing not much of anything.

* Just because I work at a publishing house doesn’t mean that I’m a walking dictionary/ thesaurus/ encyclopaedia.

* Having someone who you can talk to, who understands you, who knows exactly how you feel about certain things, and who you can share a laugh/ smile/ look with adds so much more value to a workday 🙂

* Never would have thought I’d be comfortable wearing jeans to work. During my internship, I only wore my jeans once or twice. Now that I’m here as a Project Manager, I’ve started wearing them far more regularly (though, at least, they look very neat and are black, thus they don’t look as casual as faded/ blue jeans).

Hang in there

10 06 2011

It’s Friday again already – can you believe it?!

I started working at OUP again last Wednesday (so wonderful to receive a warm welcome!), and I have been both very happy and extremely busy this last week and a half. What with submissions, finishing books, sitting for hours checking if everything is where it should be (and printed correctly, because if it isn’t, it can be a bit of a nightmare… or day-mare… or any other horse you can saddle up; as long as you don’t get on your high horse), the hours feel both long and short simultaneously.

I love reading, but reading through hundreds of pages (in small print) to check that there are no spelling mistakes – amongst other things – is enough to make me not want to see books for the rest of the evening…

…not that I ‘give in’, of course – I just go on reading. After all, my evening reading is for enjoyment, and I need something to take my mind off the new curriculum.

That said, all of us here at work are hanging in there, despite the fact that everyone is tired, overworked, lacking in the sleep department and just want everything to be over already. But our company takes good care of us. On Tuesday our publishing manager arranged that we all had pizza for lunch. On Wednesday we had mini-muffins at 4:30PM, and yesterday afternoon we had mini frosted doughnuts. What a thoughtful way to keep our energy levels up…

…that said, however, it might just be a clever ruse to keep us all in the office and working through lunch time!! 😉

So whatever important things you need to do, stressful things that might be on your plate, or just a general overwhelming feeling that’s affecting your life: just hang in there!!

[And know that I can sympathize with you. I have an incredible headache which is making me feel far-less-than-incredible, and I’m contributing it to work, not sleeping well, some or other inexplicable cause (since neither my doctor or gynaecologist can tell me what’s wrong)… and my genes. Of course. Somewhere there’s a coding error in here.]


Message Sessions II

27 04 2011

Dear weather

You know I love the rain – the cold bite to the air, the steady dripping rhythm against the windows, snuggling up under a blanket or in front of the heater with a good book… But, if you’re taking requests, I’d really like you to take mine as a top priority: please, don’t rain on the 7th of May. You can drown us with as much rain as you want until next Thursday, ease up for the weekend, and start pouring down to your heart’s content again come Sunday evening/ Monday. What do you say?


My wedding trumps my love of rain


Mother Nature

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve understood you at many times in my life, since you’ve chosen to put me through hell plenty of times. However, if you’re willing to be a sport, and grant your earthly daughter a wish, let it be this: make my ‘that time of the month’ start this coming Friday or Saturday, pretty please?! You only get married once, after all (that’s how the saying goes), and I can do without cramps and bloating and everything that comes along with the red sea.


Messed up ovaries


Dear wedding dress & shoes

I just want to fit into you nicely, without feeling like I’m suffocating – that’s not too much to ask, right, dress? And shoes, you know I’m not a fan of high heels, yet it would fall in nicely with the whole team spirit thing if you keep me up and about without making me look like an idiot. Play nice, all right?


Slightly nervous bride (who should probably start cutting calories)


Dear wedding vows

Please write yourselves (or should it be ‘self’?)!!!


Time is running out


Dear OUP

I love you – I most sincerely do. It would be amazing if I could continue working for such an amazing publishing house after the wedding. Just remember that I appreciate the chance(s) I have been giving, and that I feel honoured to have my name connected to such a renowned company.

With appreciation,

Intern editor turned short-term project manager turned…?


Dear Smudgy

Mommy just wants to say that she loves you J You’re probably liking the fact that your collar has been MIA for quite some time, since you’ve now become a little ninja who can follow me far more stealthily… though I know that you always follow me wherever I go.


Your human mommy


Dear eyes

What the heck is going on?! At first I thought it might be the contact lenses that are irritating you, but now it seems that you feel dry, itchy, irritable and whatever else most of the time – especially you, left eye. Knock it off; it’s time we see eye to eye (no pun intended… no, wait, I did – I so totally did).


Why the hell won’t this go away


Dear cat lovers

You need/ ought to read The Blog of Otis, which springs forth from The Cult of Otis website. The blog is written by Otis, a cat who now lives in the Promised Land with his human parents (who he refers to as the ‘Guardians of Otis’) and his two brothers, Oliver and Henry. Not only is it pretty good writing for a cat, but the photos are absolutely adorable. Go learn more about his life and his day to day activities.

So sayeth a human ‘follower’ of Otis


Dear absolutely awesome writer friend (you know who you are)

YOU rule!!!


Your #1 fan 😉


Dear Rick Riordan

I don’t care whether or not people don’t like your books, and that those who haven’t read them but only saw the movie judge you (though I myself am not very pleased with the actors chosen for the film, or how the film turned out, for that matter!), I want to tell you that I sincerely love the PERCY JACKSON series. I’ve always been interested in Greek & Roman mythology, thus it’s ‘fun’ for me to see how you’ve played around with things while adding your own personal touch (I also try to guess by description who certain characters and monsters are). I cannot wait to finish the last book, which I am currently reading.

May the gods be with you,

The Lady Hera [it’s a nickname that sort of stuck… though perhaps I’d like to be more like Athena…]

I haz… a happee!

13 04 2011

See, I told you 😉

It was amazing being back at Oxford University Press (OUP) today – it feels like I never left!

I arrived at 08:05 and worked straight through until 16:50. I didn’t even take a lunch break, I only went to the bathroom once… and I did a lot of work! You want to know what the nicest things about the day was?

Everybody was happy (or happee, if you prefer) to see me 🙂

If I were the cat in the next picture, the quantity of my fluff would probably have been the same after today:

When I woke up at 06:40 this morning (perhaps a bit earlier; I also woke up during the night once or twice), I was happy to get up early – I didn’t even feel tired. Because I was busy all day, (1) I didn’t feel sluggish, (2) my brain got some exercise [your brain only ‘works’ so much when you’re reading for enjoyment], and (3) I made an effort not to dehydrate, thus my water consumption has risen again – a definite plus! I feel good.

Oh, and apparently Smudgy was much less vocal because I wasn’t here – she spent most of the day sleeping *laugh* But the moment I walked through the door, she was meowing up a storm, wanting food and attention (mostly attention), and has again stolen my chair, which means I’m crouched in front of my laptop to finish this post.

The one thing I’ve been ‘unhappy’ about lately is the fact that I cannot seem to find a job… or rather, that nobody wants to grant me an interview or employ me. Want to know the irony? One of OUP’s competitors wants me to come in for an interview for a position with them! (It only took them holding onto my CV and sifting through candidtes for over two months to make that decision.) Working again seems to have boosted my liveliness a bit – and if a recharge in mind and ‘spirit’ isn’t something to be happy/ happee about, then I don’t know what is!!

I can has employment? Plzkthx

12 04 2011

Sorry I haven’t blogged about my birthday yet… Or at all, for that matter, since Friday. I’ll probably have a blog post up with pictures tomorrow…

…if, that is, I get the time during lunch hour.

Why, you may ask?

Because from tomorrow until the fifth of May, I’ll be working at OUP again! *Snoopy dance*

It’s very exciting! Even if it is for only 13 working days. It’ll give me something to occupy my time with up until the wedding, not to mention supplying me with a bit more working experience for my CV. And all this happened on Friday – what a plus on my birthday 🙂

Although I’m obviously feeling a tad on the nervous side, what with having been at home for three months already (which will make me a little ‘rusty’ once I’m back at the office), I cannot help but feel really good to think that they decided to contact me for the position. Hard work pays off… even if it is three months later.

[It’s like they say: find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work again!]