The risky business of being unemployed

 

A little while ago I wrote a post on being unemployed and how I have been treated in interviews. I decided not to post this article as I knew it was filled with potential to damage me or my future endeavours.

I was kind of shocked and surprised to see that a woman went all out in her post (on a well known free classifieds site) about more or less the same thing I wrote about a while back. Shocked because she had the guts, but not surprised that she feels the way she does. Before I go further here are a few screenshots I took of her post.

Screenshot_2016-05-16-21-17-25Screenshot_2016-05-16-21-18-03

 

I have tried to leave out any way of identifying her since I know this was probably not the smartest thing to do. (Even though I am kind of glad she did)

I assume that most people have been there at one stage or another in their life. Where you send out CVs to as many possible job offerings as you can and hope you get an interview.

The process can be so discouraging.

She is battling to find work, like so many others in South Africa. No matter what your field of work, age or sex it seems to be the same for most job seekers.

What to do when you just do not seem to be getting anywhere in your job search? There is the post above and then there are the ‘begging-for-work’ posts. Some have gone viral and actually had a positive result for the ones who literarily go out and look for a job. The first one I saw was about two years ago and got quite a bit of coverage in local newspapers and other websites. Here is a picture of the most recent one making its way to my Facebook news feed.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 12.16.51 PM

Two different approaches to the same problem. One using Social Media in a positive way and the other with the possibility of a great negative impact on your job search. I just hope that the first add goes unnoticed. As Spiderman, knows ‘great power comes with great responsibility’. This also rings true when it comes to using social media or any other online platform.

Somehow it does lift your spirit (a bit) to know that you are not alone in your struggle, but what are we to do? Should we all take our boards to the street and ask for jobs in our respective fields? Should we milk the general public for as much empathy as we can possibly get? Usually, the writing process leaves me with some sort of answer. With this particular problem, I am still waiting.

It sucks, looking for work sucks. Being rejected sucks.

So to all those out there who are going through this, good luck. Do as much research as possible about CV writing and how to nail that interview, and if you have an answer on how to land your ideal job please share it in the comment section, maybe we can all help one another.

 

This is not background music

 

This Sunday on The Voice I came across one of these songs again. A favourite that has been tweaked. I am not fond of remakes but some people just have a way of taking something we have grown used to and renew it. So that we can listen and not just hear it (again, as if for the first time).

When I saw Richard on The Voice the first time I was less than impressed with his attitude, he seemed very full of himself and in his pre-interview (before his blind audition). I was sure that I am just not going to like this guy. Just because.

I quickly swallowed my words after hearing one of my favourite listen-not-hear songs. He was amazing. The song was amazing, and thanks to DSTV I could rewind it and play it over and over again. Bon Iver’s Skinny Love has always been one of these songs that kind of paralyses me and can not do much until I give it the attention it deserves. Richard took this to the next level with his rendition.

I was so amazed by his rendition that I even tweeted about it, and I don’t tweet often.

I don’t have DSTV, so I only watch it when I visit friends who do. This Sunday Richard blew me away again with his version of Sound of Silence. On this gray Monday, I am listening to the song again and I am battling to do anything worthwhile, this includes writing this post.

This song grabs you, you have to leave everything that you are doing and pay attention to the message it has to offer. (For me) This does not happen often but when a song and a singer like this comes along you are grateful for these few minutes that you can break away from the mundane and just be.

 

The great trek on the N1 

So many ‘Vaalies’ make this journey every December. For me this was a journey to my new home in the Western Cape.

Thanks to an awesome friend the kilometers flew by. We started of early on the 28th of April. In a car that is even older than I am, but we had no worries or hesitations. This Opel Kadet has done this trip before; we didn’t have a problems then so why would we have any now? I was a responsible adult and checked everything before we attempted this long drive so I was confident that my amazing car would get us there.

"Let's go get lost let's go get lost" – RHCP

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

 

Some of the ‘perks’ of driving with a car this old is that we didn’t have an aircon or working radio but who cares if you are two women with a lot to catching up to do? Janine is an amazing friend that she would do this for me; I mean can you imagine my pitch? No aircon, no radio, old car, but you will be able to see the ocean for a few days? Not many people would do this. This I know for a fact since I had conversations with a few friends about this trip, no one jumped at the opportunity.

 

#day2 of our epic #roadtrip

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

 

We were very responsible: every 200 km’s or so we stopped for our coffee fix and off we went again. Janine’s addiction to coffee is worse than mine. I am also proud to say that I didn’t take too many naps while Janine was driving (which was most of the way).

 

Third #coffeebreak

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

 

When it was my turn to take the wheel Janine got extremely bored, I knew this because she  was trying to entertain me, while I was trying to concentrating on the road.

I hate driving! And I would not have been able to do this trip without a friend to keep me company and help with the driving.

 

#entertaining yourself in the car 101. Take lots of #selfies 😄

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

 

We slept over in Beauford West and took on the last 500km or so to the small fisherman’s village after an amazing night’s rest.

 

Kfc, wifi, dstv, a beautiful bath, crisp white linen… all our needs covered at the end of the great trek.

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

 

The last 200km were probably the hardest just because we knew we were so close. I only made one wrong turn, that was probably my fault. I really wanted to blame the GPS for this mistake but never the less we made it!

I am here!

This is home now.

 

End destination.

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

 

Janine stayed on a few days to make the whole trip worth while. This is also the reason that I am only writing now. We had a lot of fun exploring the Western Cape and some of what it has to offer. I hope that it was just enough fun to encourage Janine to come and visit as often as possible. There is still a lot to see and I would love to have more adventures with Janine.

 

#fragrant #chickentikkamasala to fight off the #chilly weather #butternaan #spicyfood #yummyness #indiancuisine #curry

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

My brief #lunchdate with a #giraffe at a #pettingzoo … #giraffewhisperer #nailedit 😄😄😄

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

@your_nienness was nie impressed met die voeltjie nie, maar hy het baie van Janine gehou

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

Baymax saying hi

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

First coffee break

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

Caffeine addiction just got more colourful

My Facebook feed was all about the latest craze today, and this one I can on board with.

Combing two of my favourite things, coffee and wonderful splashes of colour, yes please! Barista Mason Salisbury has just made my day with his amazing creations. The only down side is that my coffee intake would surely double as soon as this craze hits South Africa.

 

This just goes to show that art and coffee really do make a great combination.

 

According to Business Insider, the technique uses food dye to help train baristas. Not that I will attempt something like this on my own. They make it look effortless, but looks can be deceiving. So please South African baristas make it happen here soon.

On being a bitch (And being okay with it)

 

So I have not blogged in a very long time – one of these days I will get to the nitty gritty and tell the whole world what has been happening this past year and a half, but for now I just want to get back to an epiphany I had a few weekends ago.

So it all started with a panic attack because someone accused me of having an ‘attitude’. Yes, I might have had one, but not on purpose. It was not like I was going out of my way trying to make life difficult for this women. On the contrary I actually thought I was being polite to start off with and after I realised she didn’t really like me much I just tried to stay out of her way.

So long story short we had a fall out, where I tried to explain that she can not make assumptions about me and my actions as she does not really know me. What I really want to tell is that she said that if I do not change my attitude she would loose her cool (not her exact words but the general feeling) I then said she should go ahead. I am over taking responsibility for other’s reactions. If you want to loose your cool, then do it, but take responsibility for the way you react don’t keep someone else responsible for it.

Okay, the rant part of this post is over – I had a panic attack because all the times I have been called a bitch came flashing back and I just could not handle it anymore.

I do not want to be a bitch, who does? Who wants to be known as the horrible women who always looses her cool and is never pleasant to be around? There might be deeper reasons why I really do not want to be called or referred to as a bitch, whatever the case might be- I just could not take it anymore and I cracked.

So the afternoon turned to night and the a few glasses of wine later (okay only one, it does not get much to get me talking) I tell this story to a girl I recently met. She looked at me AND without thinking twice about it she bluntly says “you are a bitch”.

Maybe it was the wine, or that I had no more tears to cry, but at that moment it dawned on me: I am a bitch and so freaking what.

I am a strong women who will stand up for what she believes in and will not allow anyone to walk over her. This is not a bad thing, if this was not true then I would not still be standing.

Unfortunately I had to fight to be where I am today, sometimes I had to fight harder and uglier than I wanted to, but there is no use in hating myself for this. Or trying to keep someone else responsible. So what if you call me a bitch, if that is your perspective, cool, whatever, this is me. This is one part of who I am, this is one part of who I had to become to survive in a hard world that was not made for sweet little girls.

And at the end of the day you might be lucky enough to find a fellow bitch who just gets your bitchiness and who will enjoy a glass of wine with you (or whatever activity that makes you happy) and makes you feel okay with your inner horrible self.

So to all my bitches out there, you are not alone. More importantly to the one I bumped heads with, don’t worry, I get you, you obviously had to fight as well, it’s all cool.

The reason for World Toilet Day

Working in a news room, we get to see and hear some of the funniest things, and sometimes read hilarious press releases.

This was the case when the subject of an email read ‘…this World Toilet Day’. World Toilet Day takes place on November 19.

Your mind instantly wonders ‘how is it possible to celebrate something such as a toilet?’

To me I was instantly reminded about my time spent in a very small fisherman’s village in the Western Cape.

In the short period of time that I lived there I had the opportunity to work for a non-profit project. This project was aimed at helping Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres register.

This took me into the local informal settlement, where we worked with an amazing group of people.

The one day I had to visit a centre and see how they were using the resources that the project gave them.

One of these resources was a plastic tub, which was to be filled with sand and used as a sandpit.

On checking where the tub is and what it was used for, I was shocked to find the tub filled with sand and what I first thought was water.

This tub was in the back room of a shack. The shack had a hole in the roof, so of course it was normal to think that this could have been rain that filled the tub.

When my inspection took me closer, it was clear by the smell that this was not the case. The fluid in the tub was not only water, but I assume that the pee pots have also been emptied in this tub.

Needless to say my stomach could not handle this discovery, luckily I was able to keep my pose (sort of) while I made a plan to have it cleaned.

There was no bathroom, thus no indoor plumbing, and also no taps. This led me to asking the translator working with me where her mother’s house is and if we could wash the tub there. She was glad to help.

It must have been a sight to see. The two of us walking with this tub between us: me trying to keep my breakfast in and her probably wondering if and when I will not be able to keep my pose anymore.

These are fond memories. I learnt so much from this small town and its amazing people, and now I am in a position to truly understand and respect something as wonderful as World Toilet Day.

My Tinder experience (thus far)

So what is a newly single workaholic lady to do?

Unfortunately break-ups are part of life. You cannot really avoid it, but if you are blessed you have a support system that lightens your load.

I am grateful for my amazing friends and a support system that will pick me up and dust me off in any situation. This was the same with my latest break-up.

A friend in a similar position sent me a WhatsApp message, which in hindsight I think was a joke, nevertheless this took me on an exciting journey.

The message she sent simply stated that I should download Tinder, and gave me a quick overview of what Tinder is. She explained that it is an application that puts you into contact with other Tinder users in your area. So basically a dating application.

The way I would explain Tinder to someone is that it is a dating-app that finds its foundation on the idea of ‘love at first sight’. You like or dislike someone based on their looks, a short biography (if they entered anything) and interests you might have in common.

The application links with your Facebook account, and shares information with Tinder. This is where the information (interests or common friends) comes from.

The pages you have liked will form part of your interests.

Tinder does not show up on your Facebook, so don’t worry too much, you can still keep this sneaky part of you going without broadcasting it to the world.

What is also important to mention here is you only see friends or interests if you have these in common. So other Tinder users will not be able to see all your friends or likes.

Tinder is also on a first name basis, and this makes Facebook stalking a little more difficult.

I have never tried anything like this and I would usually be very sceptical. I am however happy to say that I have broken out of my comfort zone, even if it is only a small step.

I think the reason I took the leap of faith was because I was in the right frame of mind, I was ready for an adventure and to do something that I would not have dared before.

I am sure that people use Tinder for a lot of different reasons, and I am also very glad that I have not been shocked too much.

I would recommend it to anyone in the same position I am: if you want to get back your self-confidence, want to break out of old habits, or just want to try something new. Then take that leap of faith. Worst case scenario, you don’t like it, then just delete your account.

I have had a few adventures thus far, some amazing, others borderline embarrassing, but all in the name of science right?