Tag Archive: work


Proud Parent 2

Hi guys! It’s been a while since I last posted, buuutttttt here’s a vlog about the second time that I felt like a proud parent. If you’d like to find out why I was proud the last time, then check this out. Enjoy! 🙂

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So I’m eating beans and toast for lunch, again, for the third time this week. It’s either that or a tin of soup, again. But to jazz it up a little, I’ve learnt that a lamb samosa goes a mighty, long way. It’s a bit of a weird combination, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it – trust me. My little experiment worked. “Excellent”, she says whilst tenting her fingers together like Mr Burns (I had no idea that that was the word for it either).

I really thought I’d left my student days behind me. Sort of. In fact, I don’t even remember having to eat beans and toast at uni – EVER! Hard times, eh?

In fact, I filled out a small survey about the seven social classes in the UK, and the BBC so kindly informed me that I was part of the emergent service workers. This group is “a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital”. I’m second from the bottom (curses, I should’ve listened to those who warned me about getting a job in the media), but I’m highly cultural… and social… so… meh.

But anyway, I digress. Wouldn’t you say that beans, toast and a samosa is an ingenious way to save money, which would only then be spent on highly social and cultural things, like… I don’t know – what DO I dooooo????!!

Well, never fear. This week, is a bloomin’ good week. This week I can treat myself. This week I can march right on down to glorious Whitecross Street, with its aromatic smells of food from all over the world, and order a £6 venison burger from a stall, because I earned it, dammit!

“Well, why?” I hear you ask. Well, my dear friend, it’s that time of the month again. Not the ‘bad’ time of the month that shall not be named, but the pleasurable kind that is welcomed by females and males alike – payday is coming *choir ‘ahhhs’ heavenly and harmoniously in the background*!!!

It has such a melodious ring to it, doesn’t it? Payday. Hooray for payday. It’s that golden pot at the end of the rainbow, fellas. Hey you guys – I’ve struck gold! And the crowd goes wild, as the man in my head shouts: “Get in there, my son!” I’ve received the golden ticket! I will go past go! I will collect £200! And the Milky Bars are on me!!!

I’ve been waiting for this moment to come for a very long time… ok so maybe just about a month. I can picture it now, all in slow motion. My name is called. I swivel my chair around to see that I’m greeted with a steely, reluctant smile and a purple envelope marked ‘private and confidential’ with my name on it. I prise the envelope out of the person’s hand while smiling.

Then as they walk away I rip the payslip open like an excited kid at Christmas.

pay 1

My eyes are drawn to ‘Amount’. I shriek with ecstasy and relief. ‘YESSSSSSS,’ I scream in my head, ‘I now have mon-ay!!!!!!!’ I then do a little dance:

Then my eyes are drawn to the section entitled ‘Deductions’. Great, Student Loan has already had a little bite from my pie. Oh wait, then there’s tax and NIC. Fantastic.

Then I’m filled with dread. I need to save money for that deposit on a house, which seems like an ever-increasing elusive illusion. But there’s travel costs, living costs, bills, etc. and the list goes on and on and on until it suddenly dawns on me that I’ll hardly see any of this. Then I sigh, bang my head on the table and get back to work.

Yep, that’s pretty much how it’ll go on payday, as it does every month. And then I’ll just about manage to stretch it out until the next payday, and on and on this vicious cycle goes.

There’s this guy at work, who eats muesli with water and raisins. Muesli with water and raisins – who DOES that??!! And he swears blind that it’s the best thing since sliced bread. He ‘ummmmmms’ and ‘ahhhhhhhs’ as he eats it, makes some other weird noises and says it’s “incredible”. I accepted his challenge to taste it for myself, which I regretted as soon as I put the spoon in my mouth. It tasted like wet cardboard!

“No, no,” he says, “you have to put more raisins in it.”

“No – you’re so kind, but I think I’ll pass, thanks,” I reply, as I wonder if I should actually swallow this ungodly thing. Who knows what it’s doing to my body and if my tongue can be nursed back to care after this horrific, traumatic experience?

Although I’m beginning to believe that he genuinely loves this ‘lunch’, because he seems a bit strange like that, I also think he’s doing this to save money.

So what do you guys scrimp and save on? How has it worked out for you? Do you have any tips? If it’s lunch, then what low-budget food do you eat?

“So, this is…err…Bob…?”

I thought I was doing so well!! I was actually remembering people’s names, well most people’s names, during my Olympic training, or I should say more accurately, ‘rehearsals’.

Well, actually after about five or six people, my capacity to remember any more names ceased to exist. But still, to learn that many after meeting them for the first time was a huge achievement for me- high five!

So here’s a scenario about how rubbish I am at remembering names. As a first year university student, your aim it to make as many friends as possible to ease you into the social environment. Well, remembering someone’s name would be a big step towards that goal, wouldn’t you say? The problem, especially for me, is that there were so many names to remember.

[Cue music for the revelation of my cunning plan]

So my cunning plan, and believe me, this was by no means weird, was to ask for that person’s number. Then as I entered that person’s number in my phone, I would ask them how to spell their name. Simple. All I needed to do to remember their name was to see the name in its written form, then it would be etched into my brain, forever. Then, hey presto, in my next chance encounter with the person, I could say with confidence: “So your name is Ukweli, right?” Boom, mission accomplished. “Hey, Luc… Luc with a ‘c’ and not with a ‘ke’- heyyyyy, how youuuu doing?!” Boom, gold star for me.

It was a genius idea and it worked well for a while, until one day I asked this girl to spell her name for me, because, and I did emphasise this point, it was very difficult to spell. As I was entered her number into my really long contact list, she replied bluntly that her name was Emma. …Fail!!!!

There aren’t even any real spelling variations for that name! What’s worse, I don’t even know if that was her name, but Emma was the first really simple name I could think of to write for this story!!! In case you were wondering, it’s fair to say that we didn’t keep in contact after that fateful incident.

Even more embarrassing was when I was in a coffee shop with a friend, and then another friend (and I do use that term loosely) came in, who I had not seen in years. I knew I would have to introduce the two people, and I was racking my brain for her name: ‘Brain give me the name, dammit!’

                     

A name came to me, but I wasn’t sure if it was correct. I ended up just mumbling the name very quickly, hoping for the best. I was sort of saved when my friend asked my other friend herself, saying that she never heard it properly. I felt stupid though. I still do. To be fair, the friend, whose name I forgot, actually uses two different names as a first name, confusing my poor brain even further.

I hear you ask, how do I remember the names of ‘famous people’? My answer is that is that I don’t. I try to describe them based on how they look and what they do.

But what brought all of this to my attention is that I started a new job two weeks ago and I was introduced to everyone in the office, all at once. This is the biggest office I’ve worked in so far with all of its 20 people seated at their desks.

How in the world are people supposed to remember all these names at once? It was all just a blur, by the time another name was mentioned I had already forgotten the name, which was previously mentioned. Awkward.

I asked a couple of people for their names later on, and I quickly forgot them again. I didn’t want to keep asking, so I used impersonal greetings: “Heyyyyy… Hey you/dude/girl,” but making it sound more natural, of course.

I am of course in a professional working environment, now, and I can no longer just go up to someone I barely know and ask for their mobile number, that’s just weird.

Instead, my plan has been to draw a seating plan of the office, so I can write people’s names down. If I overhear someone’s name being mentioned I would quickly scribble down that name and the position of where they are seated in the office.

This is me being pragmatic, and taking the initiative to overcome a weakness. I really doubt I can use this example as an answer to an interview question about my weaknesses though. “I forget people’s names, so one day I drew up a seating plan of the office. Every time I heard someone’s name being mentioned, I tracked their movements and I wrote their names down. Now I know everyone’s names. Everyone. Single. One.” [Said in a freakishly high-pitched horror movie voice].

How do you remember people’s names? Can you give me any tips?

“Sandwich man!”

You know those days when you suddenly wake up to the incessant sound of ringing in your ears, or in my case quacking.

You feel groggy. Your eyes eventually readjust to the luminous red flashing lights of 06:20 glaring at you. ‘Get up’ it says, ‘get up’!

You realise it’s Monday morning. You groan, and you quickly proceed to press the snooze button, or, as in my case, you reset your alarm to half an hour later.

As a result of those extra winks in bed, you rush around like a headless chicken getting washed and dressed.

You manage to gulp down some sort of hot beverage (a hot chocolate for me), and then run to the bus stop with lots of pauses in between to catch your breath, of course.

You just about manage to get on the bus at said bus stop and then you make your ‘merry’ way to the tube station to join your fellow gloomy-looking commuters on a packed tube carriage.

Once everyone reaches their appointed destinations, like a throng of zombies, we slowly walk towards the barriers to take those dreaded steps to work.

As soon as you reach work, the obligatory small talk with your associates about the weekend begins. It’s a clumsy, yet well rehearsed, short dance routine. Yawn.

You then go through your monotonous work duties. You’re amazed at how quickly you slip back into that mode as if you never even had two days off at all.

Nevertheless, time seems to run at a snails pace as only 10 minutes have passed, and counting.

…But wait, you hear the elevator bell ring, and in anticipation your ears suddenly develop an acute sensitivity, listening for the faintest of sounds.

Drat, it’s only the postman making his delivery. Next time, you hope, next time…

You listen out for the next person to make their entrance from the elevator.

Then, then, when you had given up all hope, you hear a high-pitched voice exclaim “Morning! Sandwich man!”, and it has the same sort of pied piper effect that the music from an ice cream van has on children. And me.

Good news!!! He is the bringer of all things junk and potentially artery clogging to all men (and women). But more than that, he is a welcomed pause to an über long morning.

The curly-haired short man with his basket of goodies marks the promise of the long-awaited lunch break, and maybe, just maybe provides a glimmer of hope to the treasured home time, which glistens in the distance.

We are pretty much halfway through the morning till lunchtime, hoorah!! Yes, I can see that light at the end of the tunnel, I can SEE it, my son!

But alas, when he comes at 10:50 something, because he is late, as per, this still only signals that there are another 2 or so hours to go until that glorious hour-long break.

You only started at 9. Oh joy…