#711 ‘Work’-ing it out

There’s just something that happens when you combine your work friends, with alcohol.

I don’t know why it is. Maybe because you spend most of the day getting shit done, talking about shit, and complaining about shit, that if the opportunity arises to drink with any of your fellow shit-talkers, well you don’t miss the chance to get shit-faced.

Ok, so maybe my shit-face drinking days are over. But still, its nice to hang out with my work colleagues, after work. And have a drink or two.

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Something happens. This connection arises. Not that it hasn’t been there before. Sure, you share the same workplace. There is teamwork involved. You need to talk to each other – it is a prerequisite.

But then you ask about each other’s lives. Your spouses, your parents. Real care and concern.

What, you live where? How old is she now?

Clink clink.

What did you do to your kitchen? I like that brickwork.

Do you remember when we started… hang on who else was here before me?

Clink clink.

– How long do you think we have here…

-2-5 years tops.

-I’ll open a Butcher shop with Hubbie then.

Clink.

-I lay the blame on you!

-I begged for the job!

-Ok so I will shift the blame… to HIM.

CLINK.

Tonight the drinks were for a couple of colleagues leaving us – so it was bittersweet. But nonetheless a great excuse to remember, reminisce, and look forward to the future with wonder, curiosity, and Hope.

Because although we don’t always know where we are headed, or what is around the corner, if we at least have good people – NO, great work people –  around us, life becomes much, much easier.

CLINK to that.

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#710 Secret good news

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

My gratitude today comes from the happiness of another.

Because you see, someone pulled me over this afternoon, and said with a broad wave of their hands “I’m pregnant!”

And I stared at her in shock and awe, and ultimate critique, trying to work out if what she was saying was actually true.

“Are you serious?” I squinted at her.

“Yes.”

“You’re not joking?” I asked solemnly.

“No.”

“You’re pregnant?” I was now incredulous.

“Yes.”

I gasped in disbelief and happiness, giving her a big hug and proceeding to say “oh my God,” and “you’ve blown me away” about 100 times through hurried, intense and excited conversation, for the next 10 minutes.

I was in absolute shock and wonder, the epitome of a babbling idiot as I wrangled with my thoughts amongst it all.

“OH MY GOD!”

Because this wasn’t only pregnancy news…

Not only was this friend, pregnant…

But she was a friend, who I didn’t think was trying to get pregnant.

Also, she was a friend, who was in a serious relationship, yet I hadn’t thought pregnancy was in the immediate future for them.

She was a friend, who was also, a work colleague.

And this work colleague, was in a relationship with a man that not many people knew about…

This work colleague and her partner had kept their relationship under wraps, especially at work…

Because her partner, worked with her. With us!

OH THE DRAMA!

I couldn’t take it! I was dying. Can you understand why I was dying?! I had already known about the relationship early on, as she has confided in me many things, just as I have to her over the years, and she was one of the first at work who I told that I was pregnant, all those years ago… and now, she was telling ME.

That she was pregnant. Oh my God.

I was over the moon for her. She deserved it.

No, really. She deserved it.

She really, truly deserved this amazing blessing, because in recent years she had had a few very hard spells.

I had felt for her on so many an occasion, but didn’t know how to help. All I could do, was listen, and try to lend some advice.

And as all good friends do, bitch and whinge and moan with her.

My faith in Karma and life, is further cemented by this news. I don’t know why bad things happen. I don’t know why there are bullies, and aggressors; subsequently I don’t know why there are people who are harassed and victimised. And I certainly don’t understand how when someone turns to you for help, you can turn to the side of evil, and ignore their plea, instead going with the majority, with the laugher, with the mockers and the sheep and the boring old FLOCK.

But this news today… it is a LONG time coming.

My work colleague has been through so much. And this news is just proof to me, that eventually, your deeds catch up to you, whether they be good, or bad.

Her good deeds have paid her dividends. She got herself the guy, and now she got herself a baby 🙂

And for the ‘others?’ There is no greater revenge than success and achievement.

Did she go out to seek retribution, no. But the beautiful thing is, the Universe evened it ALL out for her.

:):):)

#703 Rediscovering – Material Girl, Madonna

I was doing a fairly mindless task at work today. I mean, it actually does require some amount of brains when you first start this kind of repetitive inventory checking. But at the same time, when you get into the groove, and are just simply pushing lines of content up and down, selecting this and selecting that, another part of your brain is left free to roam…

Whenever I have had to do this task in the past, I have been thoroughly prepared: with my ipod. I bring it in to work, plug it into my headphones, and voila! I have instant entertainment as I am working! It is great in that it does not interfere with my work (note above: mindless task) and at the same time, I am having an awesome time because I have all the music I love streaming into my eardrums as I bop along. Score!

But alas, I am out of practice. Because it’s been a while since I’ve done this job, I’ve also forgotten to get into the habit of bringing the ipod in with me.

Never mind. There is a thing called YouTube jukebox. Type in an artists name, and watch what happens…

I really would have rather preferred a mixed tape of some sort. But as mindless task as it was, I still couldn’t justify constantly selecting and changing artists and songs as I worked along. So I typed in someone that spanned decades and time and genres and styles, and who I knew had a library of music that would keep me busy for a GOOD while. During mindless task.

The queen of pop, MADONNA.

I had forgotten how fantastic her early stuff was. I listened to tracks like La Isla Bonita, Live to Tell, Express Yourself, Into The Groove, Papa Don’t Preach… And then suddenly colleagues were asking me questions and calling me away, and I had to take off my headphones, which irritated me to NO END, and I seriously felt like saying to them “um guys? I am listening to Madonna here, take it easy!”

Acting like they are paying me or something. Anyway.

But the piece de resistance, came when another early track came randomly to play:

You know when it has been so long between plays, that you almost forget that a certain song exists? How much you loved it growing up? How much you still love it because it reminds you of your childhood, another time and place, the early artist, the contradiction in art, the ode to the former artist, the baby-face and baby voice, the men, the 80s tackiness that is so bad it is too good… the PINK? THE JEWELS?

Well I loved this song growing up, and I still do. And I am severely disappointed that it only has 7.3 million YouTube views. Boo! Come on peeps let’s up the Madonna 80s ante here.

Listening to this song today, both at work and then later at home… well it is still a classic. It ain’t gonna save the world with its lyrics, but it will put a smile on your dial and its catchy tune will imbed itself into your brain – just ask Hubbie and baby girl who were repeating it later on tonight 🙂

And after that mindless task, I needed something catchy to embed itself into my head, after all…

#675 Helping Hubbie no.2

I was rushing around the house 20 minutes before leaving for work, trying to organise some Christmas treats to bring in.

Usually I bake gingerbread men and spread the Christmas cheer. I still had tradies in the kitchen yesterday, so freshly baked gingerbread was NOT going to happen.

I got baby girl popping in chocolates in little bags for me, while I started writing on the little cards for each of my work colleagues.

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15 minutes now. Crap. I still had to eat.

A pleading look, a sweet question, and one fast Hubbie later, and I was eating this:

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He looks out for me and I love him so much for it. I asked him to make me a cheese and tomato sandwich, and he threw in some cucumber and ham and sprinkled salt and pepper all Masterchef-style, and bam! lunch done.

I drove off 5 minutes late with a bag full of individually-wrapped and personalised Christmas chocolates, but I didn’t care because my belly was happy.

🙂

And on a side note… I (well baby girl) wrapped 13 lots of choc for my work buddies… though I really would have wanted to do less. And why? Because Christmas. Though there are people I am closer to than others, and some that I feel are NOT deserving of treats as are others… I just couldn’t omit certain people simply because of our work relationship or what I think about them most of the time.

And so then I thought, ‘if I can ignore the crap for one festive day, how about we ignore it for the other 364 days of the year?’

???

Food for thought…

 

#416 A Writer’s Dream

Today, I officially became a writer.

This is because I lived out a dream. The dream, of all wannabe writers out there.

It all started a few days ago.

During the week my boss had asked me if I could do a 9-5er on my next shift, being Saturday. I usually work early shifts on Saturdays, for 2 reasons:

Getting to work early means I get out earlier, therefore having more time to spend with my family later, going out/shopping/dining/coffee-ing/

Also, leaving the house so early means that baby girl is still sleeping when I leave. She wakes up, MIL is there, they cuddle in bed, and all is good in the world. Hubbie and I both usually work Saturdays, and this routine is great. There are no tears, no tantrums, no pathetic displays, from ANYONE. And baby girl is unfazed too… because she doesn’t see us leave.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Likewise, don’t rock the boat. Having her still asleep when I leave the house is MORE than perfect.

Working a 9-5 shift however, posed a conundrum. Would I get up later? Undoubtedly so. This would cause possible issues. Would baby girl cry as she watched me leave? Would she have a hissy-fit, therefore making the rest of my MILs day exceptionally hard?

Simultaneously, as all this was circling around in my head, a work friend of mine was telling me about how she loved the bakery, Banjo’s. Being Tassie-born, the bakery there is prevalent, a part of most people’s upbringing, providing her with much nostalgia and sweet (and savoury) memories. However where her old grounds has a Banjo’s on every corner, in Victoria there are only two: one in regional Victoria, and the other in the town of the Morning, my new home turf.

I was telling her how I would bring in some special requests next time we worked together, saying I would drop by the bakery before my work shift to satisfy her Banjo cravings, when suddenly, an idea started to emerge.

It crept up and up, like a flower rising to face the sun’s beams, ’til suddenly, everything was perfect and the thought was standing there, alone, shining in all its immaculate glory.

This morning, I got up with Hubbie, and left the house almost as normal. By 6:30, I had parked minutes away from home.

Across from Banjo’s.

And inside I walked, with my…

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Laptop.

Ding!

It has been my long-held, deeply sought after ideal to write in a cafĂ©. This dream of mine was so strong, it was there even before I realised I wanted to be a writer. I mean, the dream kind of came with the lifestyle choice. The vision of being cosied up in a cafĂ©, writing to your heart’s content, eating food and sipping on coffee while the world rolled on by, and idling there like you had nowhere pressing to go, well that just looked so absolutely unreal and fantastically special for me.

I didn’t think I could get to do anything like that, ’til long long long after I had another kid, and then they were both in school. So like, 5 years or something.

But, it happened.

I sat in Banjo’s for over an hour. It wasn’t the kind of cafĂ© I had dreamed of writing in, but today, for my first time, it would have to do. I ordered an egg and bacon toastie and while I waited for it (they were still opening so they couldn’t make my order straight away- I had been warned) I sipped on some oj, and I typed.

And typed. I wrote personal stuff. And I reviewed my story, squinting at the screen critically and re-reading several passages 15 times, ’til I realised, I NEEDED TO EAT.

Driving to work on an empty stomach is far different to writing on an empty stomach. The former is a default activity that requires little effort when it is a regular route. The latter requires the head.

Head requires food.

I didn’t have a coffee either (some coffee snob I am) since I can’t drink it on an empty stomach  – the beans just rattle my head. When my toastie did come, I scoffed the deliciousness down, and then all was good.

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I had still been productive though, and written about 45 minutes of the time. As I headed off I took some things with me: some snacks and some lunch for work… and also, a 6 pack of hot cross buns for my work colleague.

They’re currently sitting at her desk, waiting for her surprised face to turn up. She didn’t work today, but she sure as hell will get a lovely Happy Easter surprise tomorrow on her work shift.

And there you go, 3 events coincided brilliantly together this morning to create a happy harmony. I left the house early as preferred to keep baby girl in her happy routine; I got some memory-making buns for a work colleague; and I lived out my fantasy of writing in a café.

Gratitude done, by 7:50am. Is that a record? No, of course not 🙂

Now that I’ve broken the cafĂ©-writing seal, I think a lot of re-occurrences will now follow… I may just volunteer for more 9-5 Saturday shifts… and I do have to get the cafĂ© food arrival timing correct, and make sure I get coffee next time, and a proper window seat…

We can’t get these things right the first time… that would leave out the fun now, wouldn’t it? 😉

#399 Colleague appreciation no.2

So, it’s getting later in the gratitude game now, where I’m tending to double up on gratitude moments.

Not really double-up, but the theme is similar, hence all my “no.2” posts at the moment.

Take coffee for example (of course I would use coffee as an example). A narrow-minded person may be grateful for it, once. But an open-ended and wide-ranging one, would take cause to notice it’s deep aroma, the texture, the way it perks you up, it’s up-lifting qualities, of course it’s taste, and then there’s all the places you can enjoy this fine beverage in a range of wonderful locations… and so, so much more.

You get my drift.

I actually have been grateful to coffee in a number of ways too. And I will continue to be.

As I will find reasons to be grateful, for many, many other things multiple times over.

Like, a nice compliment. Appreciation. Who doesn’t need a bit of kindness directed their way???

So today I had my usual coffee walk with my work colleagues. I haven’t seen them properly in a while, which means that although I, and they, have all been working, with all of our shift work, and then my part-time work on top of that, I’ve just been catching the end of them as they conclude their day’s work.

I was both surprised and touched to hear, amidst our light-hearted banter, that they had missed me, and preferred when I worked earlier in the day, as opposed to late in the afternoon.

“But I don’t make that much of a difference!” I exclaimed, referring to my part-time work.

“But you do!”

Awww. I’ve known them for quite a few years now, and it’s interesting how well you begin to know each other’s lives and everything in it. I’m pretty lucky to work within a great team, and to hear from some of my longest and best colleagues that I’m missed when away…

Well, that just makes me blush. 🙂

#330 Blended Beard, & Boats

Have you ever had that moment, where you feel you are truly being appreciated? Where you are genuinely welcomed and made to feel special? Where someone is nice to you and you think ‘yes, this is what humans are meant to do for one another?’

Also, are you a caffeine addict?

And imagine now coffee lover… if a cafĂ© gave you the above warm welcome when you walked through its doors?

???

My mind is still being blown from my morning coffee walk at work today. I walked into Blended Beard, listed as being my 2nd, almost equal 1st, café to coffee at in Docklands, which you can read about in my review of Docklands cafes here.

Anyway, this place has always been amazing. I’ve always preferred Story’s coffee down at the concourse, ever so slightly to theirs, but in the service department, the Bearded guys win, HANDS DOWN. They are always so friendly, lovely, warm and welcoming, and today’s experience just needed a mention in this blog, that’s how much it pleasantly surprised me.

So we enter, work mate and I. Greetings from the coffee making counter, lovely hellos, “Welcome guys,” and all that jazz. Like we’ve been away on holiday, and they’ve missed us majorly (well, we kind of have).

I then go up to order, and the girl behind the counter is the regular who takes the coffee orders most times I’m there. I say with a smile

“Hi, can I get a large cap with 1 sugar?”

And she’s looking at me with the slightest hint of a smile, but there is something more there, something I can’t quite detect yet. Slight squinting of the eyes, firm look of concentration, she takes a coffee cup and starts to write on it with no hesitation from the moment I’ve spoken.

“SmikG.” It’s more a statement than a question.

I nod and go to hand over my coffee card so she can stamp it, suddenly aware that she hasn’t yet seen the name on the coffee card… so how did she remember my name, when I haven’t been there in weeks, and I might frequent the cafe only once a week?

I walk away in slight shock and awe, and wait ’til my colleague orders his cap before I converse excitedly.

“How did she know my name?”

“Maybe she saw your pass.”

I look down. My name tag is swaying above my hips. She couldn’t have seen it, not from the large cash register that had been in between us and obstructing our bottom-half view from one another. No way.

“How did she do that?” I go on. “She must be one of those mind game people, you know they read you psychologically, maybe she’s like that with names.”

We soon get our coffees and leave to more lovely well wishes and sweet goodbyes. I am actually really appreciative that not only are they so amazing and friendly, their coffee is great, but also the coffee order gal tries her damn hardest to remember everyone’s name, and she somehow remembered mine!

I am still in awe. This from a girl who is shocking with names. Really. She is my hero.

Then we slowed the pace because it was a gloriously sunny morning, and watched some rowers and boats along the water, wishing we too were boarding the grand old thing with the pensioners. Oh well, one day.

To Blended Beard, and Boats. And name remember-ers. I salute you.

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