Friday, November 5, 2010

The last lecture

Who knew this day would come so soon. I can’t tell whether the days, weeks and months flew by so quickly because we were having fun or because we were ridiculously busy trying to meet our numerous deadlines. It seems as though our “Get-Out-Of-Jail-Card” has finally arrived.

Never the less, this day is a bitter sweet one…I am glad to have my weekends and week nights to myself again yet will miss the numerous media debates, blogs, frantic and sometimes annoying tweets of my peers. Yet it has been a blast…learning! I have learnt to use new online (social) media which I would have otherwise avoided like the plague.

I have discovered that I like blogging, that I can learn on Twitter by having the first Twitter lecture, the Cluetrain Manifesto is true in soooo many ways, that Adobe InDesign is not such a scary application and most of all that I will miss The Pike Machine – her humour, the blog topics, her Twitter flaming, her determination to see us pass/succeed and her innovative ways to teach us! I have had a blast in Media…partly because of the subject but also because of the lecturer!

I’ve been CONNED …and it could happen to you too!

Like many people this time of year, I was scouting for getaways to relax. My boyfriend found an amazing holiday home in Pringle Bay advertised on Gumtree. I know what you must be thinking…Gumtree is DODGEY. Call it a moment of error and desperation. We considered ourselves lucky to have stumbled on a place still available in December.

The pictures seemed amazing…a 12 sleeper, pool, Jacuzzi and only R1000 a night – R2000 for the weekend. I know…it seems too good to be true but like I said we were desperate and at that point excited at the possibility of actually finding a place on such short notice.

Like all procedures…we liaised with the holiday home owner and we advised to act quickly as there were others interested. We jumped at the opportunity to secure the booking and asked for bank details to pay the 50% (R1000) deposit. This process is all pretty standard, you make a payment to secure a booking – it all looks very legit, he even gives you confirmation of payment and a booking reference.

The first red flag came up for me when he specified that an Absa payment had to be done – BF asked me to do the payment since he isn’t with Absa. I have never heard of Absa CashSend, I voiced my concern yet ignored the little voice tell me otherwise and did the payment.

Now for those of you who do not know…Absa CashSend is a “convenient” way to send money to someone without them having an account or bank card with Absa. You provide them with a pin number which gets sms’ed to their mobile number and they can withdraw the money at any ATM. Does anyone see the RED FLAG YET?????!!!!!!!

Still quite chuffed with ourselves, we ask a couple of mates if they wanna join us on another time, advised them to act quickly and let us know so that we could make another booking. That’s when a friend informed me that it’s a SCAM. Believe me when that happens you feel the world being tugged out from underneath you. It is sickening to think that this guy(s) just sits at home on the couch conning people out of their hard earned cash!!!!

I rush to the bank to check whether by any chance the money is still in my account – SURPRISE…it’s gone. So I spend half my working day at the Police station and Absa laying a fraud case. Absa informs me that this holiday home syndicate has been operating since last year. That a guy actually waits at the ATM to withdraw your money.

Believe me, I am well aware that I will not get my money (R1000) back and that I’m probably just adding to the police’s paper work but if there is any way that this loser gets caught I want to be part of bringing the low-life down.

So beware, they don’t call the end of the year silly season for nothing…it could happen to you.

Watch this space

Many times in life, people ask the question why you? Too often this happens in interviews. If I could, the answer would be ‘why not?’ Ok so I would never do that because I think it’s a little checky but you can be guaranteed that I will be thinking it.

Life sure has thrown me a couple of curve balls…Here are a few obstacles I have had to overcome in the last 10 months:
* Doing my BTech has taught me to sacrifice and preserve in ways that I have not known to be possible.
* My father passing away suddenly…and learning to cope with it without resorting to drastic coping mechanisms,
* Experiencing unexpected love, the lover’s quarrels and compromise that goes along with it.
* Giving up smoking…hopefully third time lucky.
* Learning to lose weight and not doing it by smoking.
* Work stresses and career reassessments.
* Finding the balance between love, friendship, family, work, studies and life on life’s terms.

What makes me unique is who I am and the warped way I see the world. I’m ambitious, stubborn, beautiful, intelligent and an extremely determined woman. I have no doubt that I can survive, overcome and exceed expectations set by myself and others on this journey called life...Watch this space!

Beach essentials

The sun is shining…the weather is sweet! Here are my must-have/remember items to soak up the sun…
1. Sun block…being burnt to a crisp or looking like a ripe tomato is never sexy.
2. Beach towel and a good pair of sunnies…no one likes to share either of these on a hot summer’s day.
3. Protect your pout with lip balm…a cold sore pout lip is something out of a scary movie.
4. A good read…if you not a book enthusiast bring one anyway. Giving the stare down on a good-looking bloke can be a little scary and can avoid the stalker accusations.
5. So we all tried drastically dieting before the heat waves arrived, so if you are not 100% bikini ready, please do not try and fit into last season’s swimsuit. No one wants to see you overflow you swimming costume – buy one that flatters your new found-fuller figure.
6. Do something new like learn to surf, paraglide or just take the opportunity to explore.
7. Now some of the ladies may live by the motto: "suffer for beauty" by cramming in their feet into killer heels. What results are Nik Nax toes…and if this happens at least have the courtesy to have a great pedicure.
8. For goodness sake…the beach is a place to kick back and relax…leave the makeup for a couple of hours and let your skin breathe. There is nothing worse than seeing some chic’s face melt in the sun.
9. Ladies be kind to each other…we have enough criticism about our shape and weight from men.
10. Don’t be afraid to overindulge…buy that summer dress, adorable sandal, beach bag, have one too many sundowners, surround yourself with good conversation, love unconditionally and laugh boldly …because you only live once.
Picture courtesty of Flickr:

My favourite Cat in the Hat book...

If you haven't read Dr. Seuss, you have missed on one of the most brilliant childhood fictitious experiences. "The cat in the hat" does make a mess of things and creates utter chaos which is refreshing in comparison with other books which reflect how perfect life should be.

I liked the characters in this book, especially the talking fish. The children should never have let anyone or anything in their house while their mom is gone. Nevertheless the book is fun to read along to the rhyming words and is a fun way to learn. The great thing about the Dr. Seuss books is that you can read it over and over again and it will still be fun.

What do you wish you were better at saying no to?

I must admit that I hardly ever find saying no is a problem, except when it’s a delicious dessert screaming to be eaten *guilty face*.

I am fairly expressive and verbal about what I like and what I do not like. However, there are the odd occasions that I find myself persuaded into doing something…it happens so fast and I find my mouth saying yes when all of my body says no.

Thank being said, I think that I enjoy the chaos of life and having so many deadlines that I want to pull out my hair. I love the fast-paced adrenalin of knowing that I have a million things to get through on my ‘To Do List’. It’s moments like these that I really push the boundaries to go above and beyond of what I thought my capabilities are.

The human body, mind and spirit is an amazing thing, just when you think you can not possible endure anymore, you find the strength (by the Grace of God) to carry on. My mom said something very profound to me when I was faced with one of the most scary and overwhelming challenges in my life: ’when I feel like I’m at the end of my rope…swing’. And that saying is exactly how I have chosen to live my life…

Why I have conversations

Because not even I can stand the constant chatter of my own voice. How dull would the world be if no one listened? People would talk to each other as opposed to talking with each other. It might be important when meeting someone to show interest by having them speak about themselves but it’s a tad annoying to hear someone ramble on whole night. Besides, that’s not going to win you any brownie points with the poor chap who has to endure the pain. CAN SOMEONE PUSH THE MUTE BUTTON PLEASE?! He’s going to take the first opportunity he gets to bolt for the bathroom and never come back.

I went on an open dialogue course recently and was surprised to discover that I do not listen as much I thought I did. It was a major shocker to me. Although in denial, this was apparent especially when I am debating an issue. I rush to express my point and do not hesitate to ignore the person that’s talking so that I may start formulating what my next response is going to be. Needless to say, this profound discovering brought about change.

In public relations, the two most solid concepts which stuck with me are that two-way communication is fundamental and secondly, a win-win situation is beneficial for both parties. Since attending that workshop I now have conversations to be enlightened about life…to show interest in others and hope that they do the same for me. If I never asked questions and engage in conversations, I would never grow in mind or in character.