The Peter Principal

Thanks to my fabulous Sunday evening last weekend, on Monday morning I was a wee bit hungover. I had left the office early the previous Friday so I missed the arrival of a meeting invite for Monday but luckily I wore a nice dress and did not look a tramp despite my fuzzy head. We were expected to attend an end of phase meeting to present the wrap up of our project to the executives and project owners.

The clients were happy with the work we have done in Phase 1 however I did manage to upset the project owner with my direct and honest comments about the poor communication on the team.

Typical.

We had a new consultant join our team this week, now there are 4 of us from my consulting house. I have worked on a previous project with her so we are familiar with each other. I provided feedback on her deliverable and she pretty much told me to back off. She has asked me to not be involved in her work stream and did not even have a handover with me so I’m not sure what is going on there. Bizarre.

I usually prefer working with men, there are far less undercurrents, subterfuge and nonsense. I’m a ‘what you see is what you get’ direct person but many women play games even at work. That is not my style which is likely due to my high levels of testosterone (thank you menopause). Or maybe just my Virgo nature. I may be a feminist but I am also a realist.

I’m so glad I go on holiday soon. I’m exhausted.

Norm has been very busy with work too and he recently got paid from one of his contracts so he had a new pool pump installed.

Our pool has been green and horrid for months as we couldn’t top it up due to the drought and the pump was dead. The pic above was taken on the day it was installed and it was still full of chemicals.

Norm has lots of other new work booked so that is great news for us. We hope to sort out some of the items around the house that need to be done. I would love to modernize both of our ancient and ugly upstairs bathrooms, put down new floors, get new curtains throughout the house, paint inside and out and even put a sheltered deck at the front of the house leading down to the pool. There are so many things we have talked about since we bought the house but couldn’t afford. We hope to slowly chip away at the list now that we have a bit of extra income coming in.

The wind was insane for a lot of this week. I wore a floaty dress on Tuesday and had to try and avoid flashing my knickers while simultaneously carrying my laptop bag, my hand bag and a desk fan I took into work to cope with the heat. I am sure I looked rather mad twirling around with my dress grasped in my hand.

As is typical of Cape Town the weather took a radical turn and it was roasting hot from Thursday. When I got into my car after work it was 37 degrees Celsius!

Just to add insult to injury, load shedding has kicked in again and the electricity was shut off from 6 to 8 p.m. that night so we couldn’t even use our fans. We couldn’t swim in the pool yet as the chemicals had not settled.

The reason the load shedding has been implemented so suddenly is to avoid collapse of the power system which would result in a complete country wide black out and would take a week or more to get back on track.

On Friday Eskom ramped the severity up to Stage 4. That means we were scheduled for load shedding 12 times over a 4-day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an 8-day period for four hours at a time. It could also occur with no notice. We were off mid-morning, in the evening and again in the middle of the night.

Eskom has huge amounts of money owed to them by the government and other debtors, for example government departments and municipalities owe a combined approximately R36bn to the cash-strapped SOE. Municipalities owed R26.5bn of that amount at the end of October, while provincial governments owed R5.8bn.

National government departments owe R3.4bn, with the department of public works owing a whopping R3bn of that. I’ve read that the total debt is around R441bn.

South African Airways is another parastatal which is in financial crisis. The board has made a decision to place the airline under Business Rescue and the future of the national carrier is now solely in the hands of a business practitioner, with the board and shareholders no longer having a say in its affairs.

The recent strike did not cause the financial issues but the loss of an estimated R50 million per day during the 8 day duration of the strike certainly did not help!

The third government area impacted by incompetence is South Africa’s Defence Force which has become unsustainable and will gradually come to a grinding stop according to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. The Minister has warned that the South African Air Force (SAAF) is facing a cash shortage which may have an impact on its future capabilities.

“The defence has become progressively unsustainable in terms of declining defence allocations and have reached a point where the republic must decide on the kind of Defence Force it wants and can afford,” she said.

Whether the money meant to fund these 3 was embezzled like so many other government areas bleeding money in SA is unclear. I suspect it is due to inept government members who are completely unqualified for the positions they have been appointed to.

AKA The Peter Principle.

The Peter Principle is based on the logical idea that competent employees will continue to be promoted, but at some point will be promoted into positions for which they are incompetent, and they will then remain in those positions. According to the Peter Principle, every position in a given hierarchy will eventually be filled by employees who are incompetent to fulfill the job duties of their respective positions. In the SA cabinets and the parastatal positions of power, many people were given jobs because of party loyalties or nepotism, certainly not competence.

What can we citizens do except suffer in silence (or blog and whine about it)?

The dogs all went to the groomer this week and I tried to get a group pic of all 3 but they would not cooperate. Eventually I managed to get a decent picture of Miss Pixie.

It took quite a few attempts.

Despite the warm weather Blue was desperate for snuggles and attention and tried to block me playing any games on my iPad.

Pixie and Navajo went to the doggy chiropractor on Saturday morning and Navajo has now completely mastered using his ramp to get in and out of Norm’s little truck.

He is a clever boy. Our animals are all so funny.

Norm has cooked low carb most of the week.

We had chicken, spinach and feta sausages with cauliflower mash, steamed broccoli and fried mushrooms. It was really yummy.

He made cauliflower ‘Mac and Cheese’ topped with bacon one night.

Thursday night was too hot to cook and we had no electricity so I had sushi from K1.

On Friday Norm managed to cook despite not having electricity. He made fillet steak which was so lush and tender. He made mushrooms to top the steaks and fondant sweet potatoes. He also made a spinach and rocket salad topped with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and Parmesan cheese.

On Saturday it was a stunning day. It was hot but had a nice breeze.

The chemicals had finally settled and the pool looked so inviting.

The electricity was off from 10 to 12 but Norm managed to make a delicious brunch for us. He had bought low carb bread and made poached eggs, bacon, avocado and Rosa tomatoes.

As it was such a lovely day Caitlin came over to visit and swim in the afternoon.

She is such a beautiful girl and is so clever and kind. We chatted about transsexuals, drag queens and that there is still so many misconceptions about people who are gay and the need to challenge outdated or wrong opinions whenever we encounter them. All of my kids are such wonderful humans. I am so blessed.

The electricity went off again at 6pm and we decided to go out for dinner rather than struggle. We went to Peddlars in Constantia.

Enroute we spotted the large male peacock I have seen a few times wandering around near the forest. He is such a beauty.

I washed my hair but forgot that I couldn’t dry it with no electricity but it dried quickly in the heat so I didn’t look a mess.

The entire restaurant and bar was rammed. The footy was on and the electricity was off so people were there to watch the game and eat.

Norm ordered the grilled Patagonian calamari and sweet potato fries but his calamari was in a spicy garlic and ginger cream sauce which packed a punch.

I love their burgers and I had a bacon and cheddar burger.

My burger was a bit cold when served but we were so hungry I just ate it without any complaints. They cocked up our drinks order as well. We waited ages for the drinks then when they finally arrived I was handed a triple vodka in one glass and the mixers in another. I sent the vodka back and asked for a single. They brought a bottle of still water but no glasses. It was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing.

Never mind. The food was good.

Today Norm and I decided to go out to Blue Route Mall where we could run errands and get some breakfast so when the 10am electricity shut down occurred we headed out. As we drove through Tokai we spotted a troupe of baboons with several tiny babies. So sweet.

We were successful in our missions, I found two pairs of jeans and some new sandals and Norm got navy shorts. We also went to the chemist as I needed make up and some other bits and pieces.

We then went to Mugg & Bean for brunch. The place was packed but we got the last table. After we were seated a queue formed of people waiting for a table so we had great timing.

I was really hot and ordered an iced coffee. Norm said ‘yes you ARE hot’ and I said ‘yes, hot and round like a scotch bonnet.’

I ordered the classic Eggs Benedict.

The hollandaise was perfect, lemony, rich and smooth.

Norm ordered the low carb Country Style breakfast.

It had eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach with cauliflower fritters. Norm loved it but I tasted his fritters and thought they were revolting.

We are now having a restful afternoon. Pretty much a perfect Sunday ❤️

We are watching the film “The Irishman” on Netflix. I’m half heartedly watching as I blog but it seems like a good film. It has a brilliant cast.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and I hope you enjoy the week ahead. I have just over a week until I break for Christmas holidays and I am counting down the days.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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