Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Faces and Places

My days on the slippery world of Corporate - dog - eat - dog madness were still born. They ended one night when I fell down due to exhaustion, over work and the general stress of doing tedius work. Summarizing thick legal documents and the general tedium of writing up reports was not my idea of fun. Add Office politics to the mix... and having that was supposed to be an internal communication sent to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Yes, the powers that be could CC clients with every nugget of internal communication to humiliate you. It set you up as an inept moron who could not get the job done. This put paid too any notion of enjoying yourself in the space, especially when you are made to feel useless and stupid. I have always had an unhealthy relationship with nerds. They drive me up the wall with their demonic work ethic. I tried many times to emulate them but fell flat on my face each time. This is not, in any way, to suggest I'm a slacker. No. I put effort...humanly possible effort, that is. I remember one particular nerd back in Varsity who used to irritate me a lot when it came to typing up our assignments.(Mind you, this is a Third-world South Africa where students don't own personal computers but rely on the University computer labs to get job done). This chap will go overboard....endlessly poliishiiing his work nonchalantly while we waited our turn in front of computers. Wether you will miss your deadline didn't seem to bother him. He will be sitting with toooonnns and toooonnns of reference books while you poor souls had to do with secondary information like the internet or less weighty books. This often made me pass sarcastic remarks that getting an A plus in an assignment should not be a matter of life and death. That by getting himself approved to study at Varsity was enough to tell us about his academic mettle. I even went further to say that getting a good score in an academic paper only meant that you were good at copying others' opinions. Which is what I think academic referencing is anyway. It does not encourage originality. It is an acceptable way of stealing other people's pearls of wisdom. Where is independent thought in that, huh? Now, back to where I was before I got sidetracked. Oh yes, the choking corporate world! It sucks big time! Which is why I have given it a middle finger. It use to bore me to tears listening to all that pseudo-middle class talk of buying cars and houses. On credit, of course. Yes, it had to be on credit. Or the morbid fascination with the need to be seen at the hip and happening places. Clubs, restaurants, gyms, you name it. Yawn!. How I wished to be far away from such conversations. How I crave meeting up with the real world out there and have meaningful conversation with different faces. Yes, I wanted to meet faces and places. My break from that boredom came around the start of 2015 when I decided to join an Organization undertaking Social research. Since joining research field my eyes had been opened up. I have met and sat with the down and out, interviewed thugs and prostitutes. The whole lot Their stories had thus far been enriching in my life. I remember one day in Durban township of Umlazi where I got nearly robbed of my gadgets. It was a group of young men who were smoking drugs. I just found myself in the house and I could not find a way to extricate myself from such potentially dangerous scene. I had to think on my feet to safe my life. Or when I met a hopeless young girl who told me point blank that she tried to commit suicide on numerous occasions. Or a white girl who in Mpumalanga who told me how she was repeatedly raped by a group of black guys. Such stories left me with tears in my eyes. Others were so inspiring. To see a person face his or her desperate situation with courage encouraged me. It taught me the value of life. I cannot reveal the identities of individuals due to research ethics, but then I must say those individuals made me value my life. No matter how insignificant it can be. It offered me the chance to experience life in all its forms.

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