asinghlife alfriendo retrenchment recess scrum
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Diving into the Scrum

Diving into the Scrum

 

Before you laugh, one moment.

This post is *not* about rugby.

Actually, I quite dislike rugby. I could probably easily write a few posts about how much I don’t like it, but let’s leave it at that..!

So, things got a little bit serious in the previous post…

Being one of The Retrenched*, the thoughts that grace my mind with their presence while I’m sitting at the how-many-eth coffee shop can get somewhat out of hand if left to their own devices.

I’m actually quite impressed with how unfazed I’ve remained although things haven’t been particularly exciting on the job-hunt-front… UNTIL NOW. [cue triumphant trumpet music]

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asinghlife retrenchment recess
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Retrenchment Recess: Episode 4

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 4

 5 Things being retrenched makes you wonder about

1) Was my job really that pointless and fickle in the eyes of the company?

asinghlife retrenchment recess

As one sits for the umpteenth day at home, or at a coffice (yes, that is a real word!) doing something that seems important at the time, this question is bound to pop up, possibly even a few times a day. When being retrenched, one is naturally geared to go through the cycle of accepting change; and somewhere between denial, anger, and acceptance, it sinks in that the company probably had no real idea of what each person was doing or what it meant i.t.o. of the bigger picture. It often just comes down to the technicalities of headcount and companies doing marathon swims in that murky pool labelled cutting costs.

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asinghlife retrenchment recess image from wikipedia
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Retrenchment Recess: Episode 3

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 3

All the while, between writing songs, singing, and swanning from coffee shop to coffee shop, here are a few benefits of being retrenched that I’ve noticed. Yes, they’re all a bit tongue-in-cheek, because nobody wants to wonder whether they can pay their bills, and nobody is poking fun at being financially insecure or losing your job. I’m just trying to see a few rays of light while I’m here…

1) I get to spend a lot more time with our sweet pooches, Jazz (a.k.a. Fatty/ Sneaky, Beardy/ Jazz-Bum/ Schnackles) and Nibbles (a.k.a. Queen Nibbles/ The Niblet/ Little One/ Fluff-Bum/ Nibble-Stinks).

asinghlife retrenchment recess

On a chilly winter’s morning, there are few things better than having a cup of coffee while these two give me some serious hugs! It’s been such a pleasure being able to spend more time with them. Nibbles loves to run and fetch the ball (she could be a little mental though, because it is a lawn bowl and could easily crush her, but that is the only ball she hasn’t been able to shred…). Jazz loves learning new things, like basic agility. The only downside to all this fun Furchild time is that I realise they bark ALL THE TIME (Hey, don’t look at me!)

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asinghlife retrenchment recess
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Retrenchment Recess: Episode 2

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 2

A few months ago, I started singing lessons. I’d been coached for a while a few years ago, but the coach and I had some differences relating to genre focus, and the non-operatic capability of my vocal range, and as such, we parted ways eventually. I am really enjoying my singing lessons now, and I get along really well with my new vocal coach. Happiness.

So, it’s been quite handy with all this free time (when I’m not swanning from coffee shop to coffee shop) that I can go to class and then come home and spend the rest of the good and creative mood thrashing out some ideas on the piano while the music is still rushing through my veins, much like the waters in a raging river heading towards a waterfall.

asinghlife retrenchment recesss

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asinghlife retrenchment recess
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Retrenchment Recess: Episode 1

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 1

And so, at some point in your life, you will wake up and find that your employer no longer loves you.

*sad face*

*teary eye*

OK, they never actually did. And that is completely normal. But for some unknown reason, nobody tells you that upfront. A very strange picture is painted about how a company cares for its employees. But that is not its purpose.

The whole HR-arena is a completely misrepresented area of business, but I won’t even get into that.

In the last few days of employment leading up to my impending freedo(o)m, I found myself in uber-project-manager-mode, planning my intricate and strategic chess moves to sort my life out post-retrenchment.

And I actioned them.

Step 1, 2, 3. Mails bombarded my contacts, researching rates, routes, and other realities.

Plan, schedule, execute.

But nothing really came of it. Most people out there are too busy hustling to make ends meet for themselves, and they don’t have the capacity to worry about the potential non-meeting of your ends… and you can’t blame them either. Times are tough in South Africa.

And then,

I planned a bunch of small DIY projects at home that I hadn’t had the time or energy to complete previously.

And then,

I couldn’t find the raw materials or supplies I needed.

At various suppliers.

On various days.

Nothing.

And then I stopped.

FULL stop.

Sometimes the Universe just wants you to slow down and re-evaluate things, one day at a time. (You know that thing about living in the moment or being mindful? Yeah, that.)

It’s not like it’s news to me, but I do know that I’m generally a really bad student and I often, stupidly, ignore the glaring neon billboards that The Universe puts up next to the Highway of Life.

So here I find myself swanning from coffee shop to coffee shop to find inspiration for my writing or songwriting; to avoid the feeling that I’m staying in bed all day; or any other unemployed person cliché.

 

 

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#ASinghLife creativity
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Misconceptions About Creativity

Misconceptions About Creativity

It’s not something that just comes in a dream. You’ve got to work at it.

-Sean Lennon

There seems to be this truly unfortunate misconception about the arts.

I think many of the creative streams are viewed as hobbies or pastimes rather than Real Work. (I saw you smirking right there!)

It’s quite saddening, really, knowing that, and thinking of all the talent, skill, emotion, time and energy that go into creative activities.

Fair enough, I’m probably not an objective participant in this discussion.

However, even things I probably also view more as a pastime (e.g. mosaic) take an immense amount of preparation, thought, energy and dedication.

And money.

And disturbed fingertips.

#ASinghLife creativity

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How not to write a song #ASinghLife
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Songwriting 101A

Songwriting 101A: How Not To Write A Song

All is Fair in Love and Songwriting

The above quotation (Norah Jones) just made me smile. I’ve recently started sculpting a song, along with my new singing teacher. The chorus melody as well as some of the words popped into my head while driving one day. Paranoid Me was quick to belt it out and record it on my mobile before it disppeared into the night, never to be heard again, or even be dreamt of.

I’ve tried to write songs before. I would write lyrics but get stuck without a decent melody.

Here are some tried and tested ways that will not help you to write a melody:

1) Bashing Your Head Against A Table.

Try it. Have you? Did you write a melody? That’s what I thought.

Ouch.

how not to write a song #ASinghLife

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If you are a Mouse, be MIGHTY!

If you are a Mouse, be MIGHTY!

 

I believe that each person has infinite capacity.

While speaking with a colleague recently, we discussed some experiences we’d had with companies delivering rather poorly on customer expectations. We mentioned pretty standard activities that companies were simply failing to complete properly, one way or another.

Occurrences like those tend to irritate me quite a lot. I’ve always been highly passionate about customer service, and I believe many businesses simply aren’t focusing in the best place or simply don’t give a damn because they already have your money. Before this turns into a post about customer service, let me finish that thought with this idea: Dear Business, imagine your customer spends their money elsewhere. Imagine it. Now feel it. It’s happening, to you… because of you!

So, our conversation became a little negative and we shared some thoughts around whether people are competent and whether all people are capable of growing into a challenging work position given the opportunity.

It crossed my mind that I don’t tend to give humans enough credit, and it’s been viciously milling around in my mind ever since.

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I am humanity