Wednesday 21 April 2021
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Kitchen Chronicles

I am fortunate that I can take my minion to the office with me on some days and I find that it can be such a blessing and even calming to have her around. She brings a certain joy to the work environment.

Now granted, if I were employed at a bank I could not take her with me, but I see the point in the international trend of having day care facilities at corporate work spaces.  The kids are not around you all day (Lord knows I would not have been able to write this in one setting if she were) but the fact that they are close by is calming in many ways.

I am using Nestle as an example here because they have been voted the best company to work for in SA because of their flexible working environments.

‘Flexible’ does not mean unproductive by any stretch of the imagination but it means with all the technology at hand it is in a lot of instances very easy to work from home.  One can email, Skype, WhatsApp and use any and every technology available to get the work done without you being at an actual desk in front of your computer screen from 8 – 5.

Nestle says that presence doesn’t mean performance, so they have certain flexible attendance arrangements for the staff who qualify for that.  Now obviously that is not really going to work for the receptionist at the front desk, so let’s not try and be too woke about this here conversation.

They have a 24/7 gym, a child-care facility, a breast-pumping room, they have a staff store where their staff can get their products at a discounted price and even gifts each woman who gives birth 5k monthly to help with those new born expenses.
Granted these perks are mostly in place at their head office in Jo’burg but I wonder if we will have an international company here that will offer their employees those kinds of perks.  Then I also wonder if we will keep our mouths shut if it is happening for our friends and not for us, lol.  We tog like complaining us people.
Anyway I digress, I was telling you about my minion.  She loves it, getting up early and getting ready for work.  We pack a bag with goodies and colour pencils and paper, and although at times she can be slightly inappropriate, she is never made to feel like she does not belong in the space.  Which is something unique, surely?
I have been thinking about it quite a lot recently because on the days that I don’t bring her, she is asked about.  And genuinely missed.  She feels such love here and I think the routine may be preparation for life in some way.
She understands that if I say ‘I am going into a meeting so please don’t disturb me,’ that she has to sit in her office (a desk in the kitchen) and keep herself busy until I can pop my head in to say ‘hey’.  And the reward is seeing that gregarious and beautiful face and smile that are so similar to mine (yeah I said it).
She’s become a bit of a different person since coming with me, more independent, more opinionated, more independent (did I say that already?)
I don’t get to hold her hand when we are walking down the street anymore, I don’t get called for AssMan duties as much anymore, I get told off a lot more (by a 4 year old…) but I can generally see her little personality stand out more than I necessarily might have had I just taken to a play group.
I think this might be a good fit for us.  She grows, I am there for most of it and we are all happy.

And more than anything else, that is the goal these days.  Happiness. At work, at home, in my spirit, in my life. May we all constantly find it.

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