Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move

Going nowhere slowly…

Which is the speed of most things in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, especially if it depends on a manual powering system.

Everyone does it

Another one for Newcastle night (4) copy.

Ah dad...

Travelling to work on this bright, sunny Monday morning, something occurred to me.

It might have been hearing Brandi Carlisle soaring through “The Story” or the impatient driver who hooted at the pedestrian, crossing the street a little too slow.  It may have been the countless cars manoeuvring through traffic lights and stop streets, congesting MY way to work.  Why can’t people find their own routes to drive on? Yeez.

In all these cars there were people, big and small, fat and tall, male and female.  All of them, just like me, with a life, a purpose and a destination.  Rushing somewhere to catch the clock and be on time, for work, for school, for whatever.  All of us are doing it, some with more success than others, but we are all trying our best to make a living.

Each of those people driving around has a favourite song, one that will make them pump up the volume.  They all have…

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Stress, destroyer of worlds

stress-and-acid-reflux

And I’ll push and poke until you’re whole goddamn life falls to pieces…

I was the chairperson for a disciplinary hearing at work today.  For those uninformed coach potatoes out there, a disciplinary hearing is basically a corporate court where people are held accountable for stepping out of sync with the rest of the monotonous drones running amok.  It’s where accusers can face their insubordinate delinquents and a chairperson plays lady luck.  Or  judge, depending on how power-hungry said chairperson is.  And no, we don’t use whips, sticks and stones, but verbal and final written warnings and sometimes the golden gig: Dismissal.

The guy was negligent.  He caused a minor cadenza, which fortunately for everyone involved, were immediately contained.  He claimed personal problems for this slight oversight in his daily duties.  Blamed his lack of attention on a situation outside of the work environment, which he had difficulty in controlling.  When asked what, he said he’s wife is expecting their second child.

I almost adjourned the meeting, wanting to give the guy a hug.  We all know how hormonal our loved ones become whilst carrying unborn angels around.  It’s as if they are not just sucking nutrients, blood and vitamins through that tube, they call the umbilical cord, but also vanquishing joy, humour and personality from the woman carrying them.  Especially when you say stuff like: “Jeez, you’re getting huge!”. (Only did it once)

The reality of trying to control things is shared by everyone on the planet, but the fundamental understanding that it is actually impossible to do, is a secret shared only by the privileged few.  The masses still paying school fees whilst acquiring that life lesson, are enduring what modern medicine would call “stress.”

And stress destroys worlds.  It unmasks our faces leaving us bare and exposed.  It cracks the facades we are trying to uphold.  It forms little tweaks in the pedestal of composure that we like other people to believe, we live on.  Breaking the neon sign that’s flashing our fake motto of “Everything is under control”.

Sadly, stress wins eventually.  It would be so much easier to just throw your arms up and call for a buoy, but instead most of us prefer to drown slowly, because that’s what modern human beings are programmed to do.  Rather swim until you die.

Stress appears when it attacks your attention; as was the case with this specific employee.  Causing your mind to get stuck on a problem like a horse in quicksand, sinking deeper, for trying to hard.  Resulting in mindless acts of stupidity like cruising through an intersection with a red traffic light blinking violently, or neglecting to pick up the kids from school, finding them two hours later, annoyed and hungry.

Stress might appear and attack your health, causing heart palpitations and aneurisms.  Feeling despondent and depressed with barely enough energy to get out of bed in the morning.  Not to be confused with normal feelings of depression on Monday mornings and then not wanting to get out of bed.

Stress might appear and attack your emotional state.  Resulting in endless rivers of tears released by the smallest innocent triggers.  Like seeing a new baby or being called out for the beautiful person you are.  Senseless emotion, with no obvious reason whatsoever.

Stress might appear and make you drink, and drink and drink and… hic! Then rehab, then AA.  Which is those meetings in community halls where people starts their life story with the sentence: “My name is…

Stress will even attack your self-control.  Ensuring that you run around wildly flapping your arms, like a windmill on wheels, screaming and shouting at the imbeciles you have working with you.   No, it never happens to me.  I don’t lack any self-control… Sorry, just wait a minute, the phone’s ringing again…

“Shit Mike, I said I’ll phone you back later for goodness sake.  I need the information from finance.  Yes, I know, you shithead.  But which part of I. need. the. information. from. fucking. finance do you not understand?  I’m busy.  Yes, fuck you too…”

Sorry about that, it’s just when you have idiots roaming earth then.. Where was I?

Oh yes stress.  And self-control.  Which I don’t have a problem with…

***

“Oh Stress, you’re a heartless bitch and I hate you for destroying innocent lives everywhere!” said the man with the final written warning lying ominously on the passenger seat.

How to have fun in an elevator.

You know those little cubicles going up and down transporting people in close proximity of one another.  Some people call it lifts, other elevators.  It’s a reality of placing people, who under normal circumstances, wouldn’t be seen dead with each other, in very close proximity for a few moments of their lives.

Ok, why is there no woman featured in this picture? Probably a corporate sign in Saudi.

And no one talks in those sullen seconds, not even married couples dare raise their voices, (noted in some relationships it’s a blessing) as if there some rule about not making a sound when ascending or descending dizzying heights.  It was even more evident whilst travelling in Dubai again, for the sheer height of the buildings make those moments a tad longer.

This made me think of ways to entertain whilst in those bizarre situations of modern human existence.  Just imagine, a few years from now, someone invents an elevator to the moon.. Are we still just going to shut up and look down at our feet for the full trip?  I say NO, so here is a few ways to break the ice.  It might also result in a few broken legs, but if you can run fast, I’m sure you’ll be fine.  Just check your medical cover as a precaution.

1. Fart.  Aim for the silent but violent type so that no-one expects you to be the culprit.  Then start focusing on the old lady in the corner.  Don’t worry there will always be an old lady in an elevator.  I think some of them live there.

2. When you get in, don’t turn around and look at the door.  It’s exactly where it’s always been, nothing changed.  The same crack still sits three inches from the floor, and the weird-looking dirt spot on the mirror still reminds you of an episode of Dexter.  This time just stare at the rest of the people.   See if you can catch someone’s eye.  If you have zombie genes and can refrain from blinking, all the more entertaining.

3. When you get into the elevator, continue with your fictitious phone call with the hired killer, finalising the hit on your mother-in-law.  It works a lot better in a foreign city where no one knows how much you actually love the old lady.  Not to be confused with the old lady referenced in point 1.

4. Once you’re in, lean seductively against the wall.  Release your best pervert imitation by licking your lips, rubbing your nipple, and the other crazy un-sexy stuff these people do.  But aim all of your energy to the guy on your left.  This is where speed and hoping the guy you picked is not a cage fighter will probably save your life.

5. Get in and repeat number 4, but this time look in the mirror whilst doing it.  Love yourself, for if you don’t who else will?

6. Look real nervous, migrate to the back and start rambling random shit about being stuck in this damn thing for seven hours the day before and your knee operation doesn’t allow you to use the stairs.  Then escalate your ramblings to poor maintenance, lack of safety standards, budgets cuts and profit maximization.  You’ll probably have to wait until everyone has exited before getting a chance to leave as well,

7. Push all the buttons of the lift as you get in.  It might be wise not to get into the lift as well once you’ve done it, but here speed will play another important role.  If you can’t and you have to travel with some very annoyed people, take out your ventriloquist doll you were hiding in your pants.  Oh, you don’t have one? Odd…  Moving on.

8.  Push floor 32 (assuming your entering a building with more than 32 floors) and when the doors open just stand right in front of the opened doors and don’t move.  Once the doors close, press 32 again.

9. Get in, sit down and start chanting an ancient native Indian song. If you don’t know one, knowing I might be dealing with amateurs, just make funny noises.  The effect will be the same.

10.  Start talking to your imaginary friend, the 12-year old Boxing Kangaroo named Spot.  Yes, you can talk about bed wetting if you really want too.

All this will be greatly enhanced if you can do it whilst dressed in a suit or other formal looking attire.  So go out there, find a lift and have fun.  To use the words of the Joker, not that we’re in any way connected: “Why so Serious?”  Yes start with that…