During my two weeks off, I decided to visit the Kruger National Park. It’s been on my bucket list for a long time – I am a big animal lover and to see them roam freely in the wild really makes my heart sing. We bought a 3 day package with Outlook Safari and I was quite impressed with their service. Their staff were knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. The package included a two course breakfast and a three course dinner with wine. The food was amazing, and they cater for all dietary requirements. The chalets we stayed at were also comfortable, with en-suite bathrooms, aircon, outside patio with a fitted kitchen unit and a braai stand.
The itinerary included an early morning game drive (getting up at 5am!) and a sunset drive. There was an option to take a day tour that took us to see a bit of the scenery outside of Kruger. Unfortunately the Kruger has been experiencing severe drought this past year and has seen little rain fall. It made the landscape look barren and decrepit. The animals were suffering too, which made it a bit difficult to spot the game. Still, we got to see four of the big five, plenty of birds, other mammals and a pack of wild dogs!
It truly was an amazing experience and a much needed holiday after the January madness.
Today is my last day at EY. What a bitter sweet moment. I have made so many good friends and memories during my time here, saying goodbye is incredibly hard. I am not an overly emotional being… I was probably the one one who didn’t cry at my valedictory, but today I was on the precipice of shedding a few tears.
Leaving was not an overly difficult decision though. Sometime last year I realised I was not cut out for the auditing life. Not that I minded the work… but the hours were just insane. It was not an oscillation between peaks and troughs… it was rough all the time, and often I would wake up in the middle of the night panicking about work.
“And I realized that there’s a big difference between deciding to leave and knowing where to go.”
― Robyn Schneider,
I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I just wanted to get away. I was even looking forward to a few months of unemployment, living off the grace of my parents. As luck would have it, I received an email from a recruiter. One of those generic mails that I normally trash… but that day, I decided to reply, even though I didn’t really meet the requirements set out in the job spec. I didn’t get that job, but they kept my CV, and a few months later, a new position opened up.
I’m usually not someone who believes in fate and I don’t go around sprouting “everything happens for a reason”. But sometimes it really does feel like that. I have a 2 week break before starting my new job and I am really looking forward to the new adventure. I will miss my friends at EY terribly. My new colleagues have some big shoes to fill.
I was angry with my friend
I told my wrath, my wrath did end
I was angry with my foe
I told it not, my wrath did grow
– William Blake
I got angry with someone last week – really angry. And I’m not the type of person to lose my temper… but the stress of having to run with multiple clients and the lack of sleep just got the better of me. I’ve barely had any time off these past two weeks, often only leaving work after 10pm. Even though I knew it was going to be crazy, it was still a shock to the system.
Up till now I have been fairly fortunate in that I’ve always had a strong team. I knew I could count on them to get things done… but I guess that luck has run out. The hardest part with being a manager isn’t so much the difficulty of the work – but rather the people management. Now that I am no longer the one doing the work, it is so much more difficult to keep things under control.
I realise that coaching and helping under-performing teams is part of my job, but boy it is an enormous task. I am not a micro-manager so having to check up on someone frequently is not ideal. While I understand there is a learning curve, I also expect there to be a degree of critical thinking which is unfortunately lacking in many people. I think that part makes me upset the most. Really wish there’s more sense in this world.
It’s kind of fitting that the first post of 2016 (and of my new blog) is to bid farewell to 2015. To say last year was pretty awful would be an understatement. I was encumbered with various health issues as a result of stress, wrote off my car, and became increasingly disheartened with my job. Nevertheless, among the horribleness that was 2015 lied a few gem moments and memories that I would carry with me forever. Below is a slideshow I created with my favourites of 2015.
San Diego SkylineI was seconded to the Phoenix office for 3 months, and while the work was absolutely shit, I got to visit the beautiful city of San Diego. This picture was taken at 6am in the morning, after one of the best nights I’ve had.
Grand CanyonWords simply cannot describe the awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon. Pictures don’t do it justice either. I was also lucky enough to go on a helicopter ride over the Canyon. It was probably the closest to a spiritual experience I’ve had.
BFF LaurenI have had so many laughs, adventures and great night outs with this one.
Disney LandI got to spend an incredible 2 days in LA before my Contiki, and visited Disneyland and Universal Studios. I felt like a kid again!
Ice hockey!One night after a long day at work, I decided to google “good looking ice hockey players”. Needless to say, I was hooked after that – not only to the players but to the game itself. It really is the most entertaining of sports!
USA ContikiThe Wild Western Contiki was possibly the most fun holiday trip I’ve ever had! I got to meet so many amazing (and crazy) people and learnt so much about America in the process.
B & K's weddingThere are few things that beat witnessing the lovely marriage of 2 great friends. I just adore weddings!
Last but not least, I finally met someone who ticked all the check boxes. Who knew they even existed? Sadly he’s moving away… 🙁