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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Deviation into something very strange

I am at the very front of the factory so that all things in and out sort of go by me (at least they are supposed to). What this means is that I am in the centre of a gossip hub. Women are very good (and I mean very good) at keeping the gossip cycle alive but I have discovered a whole new gossip culture that will shock you! Yes, that's right... in my most suspenseful, 'today-tonight' tone I will expose the juicy underbelly of truck driver culture. In my quiet, unassuming office in this quiet, yet friendly industrial estate, no-one knows that I am the victim of... gossip overexposure! "da dummmm......."

Anyway, there are a few truck drivers who come in with their gossip, often in exchange for the little that I have managed to pick up from other drivers (I mean the little that I care to repeat). Interesting breed of men actually (truck drivers that is). They look rough, smell rough and they sound rough but they work hard and have tatts on their arms saying "I love my mummy". My favorite delivery driver comes here often because we do a lot of work for the company he drives for. I don't want to give his actual name just in case he ever reads this but I will call him 'Danny the Driver'. He suffers from conditions which are taking over Australia and destroying our health and morality "da dummmm..." I still like him, he seems like a nice guy... does this mean that I am immoral and in some way contributing to this moral crisis we are now facing?

All the following is based on a couple of articles I read this morning. They are definitely worthy of note so please have a look if you have the time. I have the news on my desk-top as part of my morning ritual of starting up MYOB and reading the emails, banking etc. (not exactly work related but keeps my morning interesting). The ones I like the most are in 'Reuters Oddly Enough' very very strange world we live in!

Ok so back to the point. My friends the delivery drivers are (I can't say all of them, I am sure some go to church every Sunday and live by the church-code... Sorry... I mean commandments) smokers, eaters and cussers (I hope you like my new word! I have been reading a lot of medieval literature and decided to try to use cuss in a sentence. Just as an aside; cuss can also refer to a person or animal. *laughs*). Before I go any further I need to point out that I am not on a high horse right now. I was a smoker (and still battle occasionally with that addiction), I am an eater (I can't explain why everything tastes better when it is deep fried!) and lets face it some of the things I have said (even in front of my parents) would make Chopper Read blush! Regardless, there is no judgment here I am simply making an observation. Danny has been fighting the battle of the bulge and is now somewhat addicted to his prescribed weight loss pills. I don't think I could call him fat but apparently he was a great deal bigger. He is still an imposing sort of build standing a good foot or more over me and broad shoulders and shaved head! Apparently Danny is not alone in his war against wobble. We beat America as the worlds fattest country! I have to say I do see a little humor in this. Even though we have always known that we are collectively a little tubbier than is healthy, we still held our heads high because at least we weren't as bad as the USA. Well guys it is time to take our heads out of the sand because we beat America with 26% of us (that is 9 million people) falling into the overweight to obese category! Oh and did I mention that there is now a fat war! A US news site with the headline "Fat Chance Australia" debates that we win the 'Heavey-Weight Championship' as they weigh in with 36% overweight to obese. Please let it end here! America please, especially seeing as you are so attached to it... keep your title of 'fattest nation' because we don't want it! Photobucket

Ok so this was not the end of my entertainment today. It turns out that columnist for Sydney's Daily Telegraph Piers Akerman, says that Australia is becoming less civilized! Now I have to say that while there will be some who gasp in horror... I personally am not all that surprised that someone has put this concept to print. Darian (my New Zealand born boyfriend) has payed me out mercilessly for the past two years that my countrymen are of the crassest on the globe (meanwhile, have you heard what the New Zealanders do to sheep?). Another deviation I am afraid: I have to include the dictionary meaning of crass because it is too funny to leave out!
- adjective:
1. without refinement, delicacy, or sensitivity; gross; obtuse; stupid: crass commercialism; a crass misrepresentation of the facts.
2. archaic. thick; coarse.
(I know you can think of at least one friend who fits all of those descriptions!)
We have a culture of crudeness according to the Governor-General which is coming out of our televisions! (I do paraphrase and in a way, take out of context here so you might want to check the actual article I am referring to here) And as sure as Jack Thompson will crucify computer games for their inappropriateness to children so too does the Governor General criticise the value of television programs (aimed at adults) for their negative impact on society. The program I am talking about, for those of you who have been under a rock for the past 6 months or so, is Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Kitchens I feel it is my duty to point out that if I had worked with Ramsay, he would have to be amongst the tamest chefs I have ever seen! The shock displayed in the popular media due to his occasional... OK fine I mean excessive... dropping of the ''F-Bomb"though is probably the most entertaining part of the whole story.

It bothers me a little though that there are members of our society who want to sensor this sort of program. One of our more prominent Australian politicians Don Chipp has been quoted as saying that censorship is evil in a free society. I guess that I agree with his view here. Still it seems that Ramsay may take a place on the banned list with Noddy. This is the only television program that my household doesn't mind wasting half an hour on. He is entertaining and passionate and watching him carrying on is definitely good TV viewing. I don't think it adds to the crassness of my nature, in fact I think it is the crassness of my nature which makes me want to watch it in the first place so it can't do any harm there. I think that Ramsay says it best himself... "I don't mean to swear, its just the muppets I have to work with sometimes... It's high pressure, high energy and most importantly - real"
"Turn-over, isn't that easier?" Says the chef in an article titled "Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay tells Australian Senate Critics to Flick Off" If the article had been honest I don't think the word 'Flick' would have been used so already we have been censored!

My point is (and I knew you didn't think I would ever get there) that there are some really horrible things going on out there I would think that swearing on television and figuring out who is the fattest would be the last on the to-fix-list! How about the woman who was found in her lounge room 42 years after she died? She had a 'missing person' report filed and no one checked her house? Or six feet found washed up on the beach but the sixth one was a hoax... someone had put a dead animal foot in a shoe? I am sure you can think of hundreds of things more poignant than even that.

Thank you again for tuning in to my rant. Its been a long one thats for sure.

xox Jane

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Work Stuff

I work in an industrial estate. Its not bad actually because I don't have to dress up or impress anyone and I can be fairly relaxed without too much drama. The best part, everyone else who works in the building is as cranky in the morning as I am so no-one bothers me until they see me on my second cup of coffee! Meanwhile, I have to say that where I perk up after my coffee the rest of them stay cranky for the rest of the day. There are downsides however: the first is that I am surrounded by yuck. That includes all over the roof, my desk, in my clothes, hair and I am pretty sure that every time I get out of the shower I am a little whiter than I was beforehand. Rubber dust is the most amazing substance because it is sneaky and is attracted to static electricity (quite a bit for a compound that is supposedly non-conductive) so you find it on your new white shirt in a weird places, like on your back, or under your arm on the reverse of the material? Oh and don't get me started about the car parts. Please gentlemen before dumping your engine mount covered in grease and grime on my clean 'goods inwards' book... Don't! Back up with the dirty, yucky metal and rubber thing and put it on the ground (or better in the skip down the side of the building). Yes, it is difficult to be a princess here but I think I give it the best shot possible all things considered.

The man who owns the business (until recently that is) is a really nice old guy who has worked his whole life in the rubber industry and for the past 35 years he has owned this one. Like all good Australian men, his dog (Maddy) is his best friend and (here is another quirk exclusive to the industrial estate) she is allowed to come to work with him. Can you imagine taking your pet to your office job? Cafe job? If we completely disregard health and safety concerns, it is kind of sweet. Big burley tradies who turn to complete mush when it comes to their animals. It is pretty entertaining though because dogs in general are pretty quick to pick up vibes (must be because they can't talk so they are really good observers, something I think we could all learn from) and if Maddy's friends (and she has made many here in the factory) don't like someone, she makes them very uncomfortable. This is especially funny because our milk man, after an altercation over a year ago, won't even come inside the office to drop off the milk. He makes an effort to get here before 8am (so I don't see him and make him come inside) and drops the milk at the front door and runs back to his van.

While I am on the topic of turning to mush, I would like to make an observation. One of my friends has just had a baby. She is the only baby I have honestly been exposed to for more than a couple of hours and please don't take this the wrong way because she is absolutely adorable and I couldn't adore her any more if she was my own. However, have you noticed that normal, grown adults turn into gibbering idiots as soon as they look at a baby? It is quite incredible and I have found myself doing exactly the same thing just to make the baby laugh! Poking our tongues out, prancing around, pulling faces, being absolutely amazed by everything with giant smiles and big expressions. I get it we are trying to teach them something right? The kid is looking at us like we are mad! Maybe we are...

Thanks for tuning in again for my crack talk.

xox Hope you are all well!

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