Please Visit curlynikki.com
Please Visit curlynikki.com
They are in Stockholm this weekend. “Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity, there never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity. He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare: Whatever time the deed took place – Macavity wasn’t there!”
I know nothing better than starting the weekend with Andrew Loyd Weber’s musical. Or is it T.S Elliot’s Practical Cats?
In Stockholm 2017, Grizabella was a voice to relax to. In the spirit of selfies and sharing the air you breath on Social Media, we got to sit on Old Deuteronomy and take photos during the interlude. Well, unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos because my company refused to indulge me – thankfully.
“For once, enjoy something without photographing it or sharing it! Your own inner enjoyment is enough!” He challenged. But, is it really? I wonder. Even though no one else knows about it? Talk about fun!
I write about it instead, in the night, secretly. shhhhhh
This is my first experience of Cats live. Being a cat lover, someone who knew me well bought me T.S Eliot’s book many years ago, I can’t remember who. I have since lost the book, but not before I perused through the Practical Cats of all sorts. Just as another someone who may have known me bought me Doris Lessing’s On Cats a few years earlier or later. That book I still have in the book shelf.
Cats have been on my To See Before I die list for the longest time. Right beside the Pyramids, The shitty Thames, Cape Town, Masai Mara etcetera etcetera. Did you know there is a character in Cats called Etcetera? I swear, I am not making this up.
My next cat; when I have a garden and a cat-door – will be named Tantomile. By me. Isn’t it a beautiful name? Or Coricopat if I am feeling especially psyched.
I work with data. A table, a column, an attribute, metadata. How everything is connected to each other. Objects. Classes. Attributes. Primary Keys. Foreign Keys. Surrogate Keys. Dependencies.
One of my ultimate favorite people is Hans Rosling. Hans’ talk about The World’s population growth totally changed how I think about and look at the future. I now know to be hopeful and to look a little deeper before I go bonkers bananas in fear.
If a customer buys this product, would they really buy this other product? Quite similar but different?
I work with transforming one piece of data into information, combining pieces of information to create intelligence that becomes a basis for a decision. An action. This customer number, does it belong to a real person? Does this real person shop in the mornings or in the mornings? Do they like red or blue?
My mind runs wild with it sometimes. That old lady, customer number xxxxx, and the address yyyy, that calls Customer Service every Wednesday afternoon, does she live alone? Is she OK?
I would like to move on to combining and utilizing more data to solve more of the world’s challenges. To help. To solve. To open doors. To close doors. To reach out.
I believe that intelligence based on information, unaltered, non-manipulated, non-populist information is almost always the only way to understand the world. The only way to judge the world. The only way to be fair and demand fairness for others that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance.
When you meet that old woman in Libya many years after the war, ask her about her life before you write it for her. Let her tell it several times. Over time. Let her grandchildren tell about her. Several grandchildren. Several times. Several angles of the same event.
Go read about it. Newspaper clips. Books written by survivors. Photographs taken by daring Libyan journalist who dare.
Create a database. An excel sheet. A note book. Research. Compare the answers from each person you have spoken to. All that is said in the newspapers. What the photographs show and represent.
I had been thinking.
Pulling my hair.
Gnashing my teeth.
Scratching my back.
Picking at the pimples on my face.
Scratching my scalp bloody.
Biting my nails.
Re-counting my years.
Checking the wrinkles that may or may not be showing up.
Checking my awaited grey hairs.
Learning new things.
Investing the savings.
Thinking. Choosing. Re-choosing.
What a luxury! To have choice. All these wonderful choices.
Some mornings, I woke up sad. Some nights, I slept close to tears.
I can afford the rent.
I can feed myself.
I can pay my ticket and hotel room in Paris.
I can buy my own shoes.
The thought hit me.
To choose; when you have everything else and the only thing left to choose is love; you have to choose the love you cannot live without.
The silent question: “how to choose?”
Pooh answered: “You cannot go through your feminist life looking back at the things you rejected and miss & regret when you are 50, 60, 70 years old.
If you cannot say the below to the rejected, the left behind, the discarded, the not-chosen, or to yourself, and really mean it; then you cannot reject. Anything. Anyone. Ever.
I am the old dog in this story.
I never took a Swedish driving license you see. During the late teens & early 20s, I was too broke to shoulder the cost and did not fancy getting into debt. A license costs a shirt, a leg & an arm in Sweden.
Striding strongly into my 30s, I have decided to have a driving instructor do this with me.
I can’t remember when I felt as daft as I have felt while learning to drive. It is like being thrown into a maze for the first time. Drunk.
I have felt daft before, of course. Many a times. Sometimes on a daily basis. Working in an IT department can do that to you. With colleagues who have been at it since before the days Nokia 3310 was the best phone around.
Thinking & talking about some new way of executing some old activity can turn into the most intimidating &/or condescending situations you can imagined.
Looks that say without a word:
“oh, dear; little, pretty one. We tried that in 1993 & it did not work. It will not work now either. Didn’t you know that? What do you know then?! Why are you even here? Are you one of the quota group? women in tech or black women in tech? can you get us some coffee & take some notes while we talk?”
A condescending smile follows. You can’t report this crap to HR so don’t even waste energy thinking it.
You see the look. No one else sees the look.
You see the smile. No one else sees the smile.
You hear the tone of voice. No one else hears a pip!
You feel the being ignored. No one else sees your being ignored.
Someone else repeats your words as if they were news coming from Computer Power user or BBC.
Everyone is nodding their experienced smart heads in agreement.
You say in your I am gathering my wits around me voice. In your strong woman voice. In your I know my crap voice.
Everyone shakes their extended experienced smart heads in consensus.
You see the pity they feel for your pretty little head. You feel sick.
You get your knickers in a knot against all sense. One way or the other, you play your few angry cards.
All your nice kind helpful knowledgeable experienced colleagues can see the hard knots in your knickers & the angry cards that YOU threw on the table
on the floor if you really went for it.
It is impossible to prove the shit that is happening to you. If none of your fantastic not-angry colleagues acknowledge that they also saw the discreet actions; the discreet actions did not happen.
You are bonkers. You’re on the way to hitting the wall. Being sent off on sick leave.
Still, me learning to drive made me feel dafter than I have ever felt.
Like running in circles surrounded by rules no one understands, but everyone, seems to live by the same said rules.
And the rules were written by experienced smart heads in total consensus.
You don’t feel me? Try learning the Right of Way rules.