Friday, June 11, 2010

Nelson Mandela

I thought that my old cubicle was depressing. I was wrong. It had a window, allowing for the illusion of some kind of freedom. This new box has beige walls pressing in on me and less space. No World Cup TV. And Amy.

Yeah I'm definitely moving on up.

I've been reading Nelson Mandela's autobiography Long Walk To Freedom and last night it struck me that while imprisoned on Robben Island, Nelson Mandela had it better than me. Hear me out.

So he's in prison, and conditions are admittedly pretty horrendous in terms of food, space and clothes. Its prison. They are also made to do manual labour. For Nelson Mandela this means mining lime (initially it was breaking boulders into gravel). He actually says that the guards had a laissez-faire attitude to their work: as long as they got the work done, they didn't care how much they talked.

Seriously. As a political prisoner who the government was terrified would start some kind of revolution from within, Nelson Mandela was allowed to talk as much as he wanted. Yesterday when having a chat we were asked if we were on a break and since we weren't to please get back to work because talking is a distraction.


He even had a window.

I really miss my window.

Here's another thing I learned from Nelson Mandela: rate-of-work. The guards would set them quotas for the day's work and then increase them every day. In the end Nelson Mandela decided that they would control their rate of work to irritate the guards. They were working so they couldn't do anything, but they weren't working very quickly.

Remember the whole printer thing? How I can't print from the printer that's sitting on my new desk and how I have to walk across the office to get my print outs? Well I have decided that every time I print something I will walk over to retrieve it. I don't want to get my work mixed up with someone else's now do I? Also, it will be an effective way to practice this rate-of-work business. And waste their time.

Mona, when you recommended this book to me did you ever dream that Nelson Mandela and I would have so much in common?

So in honour of my totally sh*t week, I decided that this was the perfect morning to run back to Starbucks and reconcile our differences. Starbucks really came through for me, wrapping me in his warm embrace like nothing had ever happened to part us.

Finally, since this week has been such a f*cking trial, I have had to come up with ways to cheer myself up, mostly after work, so that I didn't hurt other people or dissolve in tears. The following are some of the things that seemed to work.

Playing Crazy 8s. Admittedly a childish game but also really fun. Doesn't require a lot of skill, easy to win. Fun to win. I like to win. The Boyfriend obliges me by being crap at it.

The Golden Girls. I know that Fidgeting Gidget will know exactly what I mean by this. If you haven't watched an episode recently, do. You will laugh and your bad day will instantly melt away.

90s Teen Movies. Can't Hardly Wait was on last night and it made me remember a) how great 1998 was and b) how great teen party movies of the 90s were. I was thisclose to putting in Clueless but The Boyfriend stopped me. Apparently there was a basketball game on?

Alcohol. Is delicious. Trying not to get in the habit of drinking alone. Trying.

Plotting Their Demise. Veronica is off to South Africa. Its not crazy to hope that she gets eaten by lions or caught in a stampede of raging rhinos. As for Amy- falling into a manhole? Some horrible, but treatable, disease? Leg break? I'm taking suggestions. Its fun to dream.

It took a long time and it wasn't easy, but its Friday kids. First World Cup weekend! Drink, laugh, be futbol hooligans!


  1. Clueless is the best. At least you got to watch Can't Hardly Wait. Preston is adorable.

  2. So I feel kind of bad for enjoying reading about how awful your work day is, but I just found your blog and I love it.

    Like you, I work in an office environment. You know what makes me the most depressed about working in a cubicle farm? That I get so excited about a window in the first place. And jeans day. How has my life gotten so bad that I now get so excited to wear jeans between the hours of 9am and 4pm. UGH

  3. Oh sweetie, now that you mention it, like Mandela you will probably start a revolution to end the tiranny that surrounds you. I say go to a hardware store and buy a sledgehammer...make your own "window" haha.

    x Mona

  4. Heather H- Clueless IS the best! And Preson IS adorable.

    Heather 2: its not bad that you enjoy it. At least my misery serves some purpose. I still haven't gotten too stoked over jeans day Fridays but my co-worker counts down to jeans day every week. I prefer to just count to weekend. But its definitely the small things...

    Mona: a sledgehammer you say...I'll work on the revolution.