Katherine Hayton | BLOG
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30 Jan / Sales Desk

When our office moved last weekend I was left with a free desk in my pod. As my book was released on Monday I shamelessly purloined it to use it as a sales desk for my hastily assembled ‘Katherine Hayton Only Bookstore.’

Sadly I’m gaining a new staff member in my little team on Monday, so although I will be grateful for the assistance I’m losing my POS furniture.

For some reason my Skeletal teddy bears, and my posters, and my stack of unsold books, and my handmade sign stating that they’re signed by the author, just don’t have as much panache when they’re on top of a tambour instead.

I’m just going to have to try to harangue people that little bit harder. I believe it could go something along the lines of if you want help from the office QA then you just have to provide proof of purchase.

Damn. Just remembered that my manager is also back on Monday. That may not fly.

Thinking cap on then. I’ll see what I can come up with over the weekend. Or I’ll just sit down and start the next one. Whichever.

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Don’t you find it annoying when you accomplish something which you’ve found really hard, something you’ve struggled to do, something which you weren’t sure you’d ever work out how to achieve, and when you try to explain it to someone they crinkle up their nose and go ‘What?’

I know that I shouldn’t rely on the approval and regard of others for my self-worth, but when you do something that leaves you flabbergasted at your own cleverness it’s hard to have a one-woman party about it. You want a couple of friends to join you so the barman doesn’t point you out as the sad sack in the corner and whisper asides when newcomers arrive at the bar.

I could try and share it with you now, but I have a feeling that after typing in the words Sharepoint and Infopath your reading eyes would glaze over and the achievement would likewise be lost.

Or, worse, you’d perk up at the words and then be bemused at my inability to have mastered my achievement previously.

Sigh.

I certainly have a knack at plucking despair out of the jaws of victory.

Never mind. Tomorrow when I arrive at the office I’ll open up my computer and bring up my wonderful new list, and then pretend to enter transactions into my joyful new form. And be impressed all over again that I managed to get it to do the things it will do, even if no one else can share them with me.

Bliss.

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Yeah, okay, I didn’t really give it up for much more than a few weeks. First of all my Team Leader brought me a carton as a lovely Christmas gift. And after that ran out I would hold out for a few days at a time, and then give in and rush the vending machine.

This has become worse this week because we’ve been allowed to use the stairwells to access downstairs again, rather than trekking through the other building. And that’s with having one day off sick (unrelated to Coke.)

Today it seems likely that this is one addiction that I’m not ready to beat. I’ve found a new use for them.

Headache cures!

I don’t know why sticking a can of Coke Zero to my forehead should gently ease the onesided eye-watering head thumper that I get on and off. I can only affirm that it does.

The cold. The wet (it’s an old vending machine.) The thought that as soon as my forehead warms it up it’ll be ready to be drunk.

Ohhhhhh. So. Good.

I’m also betting that whatever evils the goodness of Coke is meant to bring to my body (thus far unproven) cannot possibly be as bad as the copious tomes dedicated to the evils that Paracetomol will bring to my liver, and Aspirin or Nurofen will bring to my stomach ulcer (proven.)

Therefore I am choosing to readdict myself to the wonders of Coke.

And I’m proud to say this is due to wanting my body to remain a temple of health.

Open happiness.

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27 Jan / Weight Loss

Well, the second day of dieting turned out to be a lot easier than the first. Usually that’s not the case. Usually the second day is harder as I no longer have the full stomach of the binge-before-dieting day to live off of.

However, this second day of dieting I had a marvellous stroke of luck.

At 7.30am I was working away, busy as a slow and lazy beaver, and wondering how much longer I could hold out before I really needed to eat breakfast. At 8.00am I was thankful that I still hadn’t managed it as my stomach chose that moment to decide to taste life on the outside.

I chewed grimly at a couple of crackers to see if they were going to make peace and part the waves of nausea, but they just gave my insides something to feel good about throwing back out.

One panicked phonecall to my darling later (there was no way I was going to make it a full bus ride) I was on my way home.

Sometime during the car ride (and thanks Bishopdale roundabout for choosing today of all days to close yourself off and force an interminable detour on us) my stomach upset made the decision to head south. I got in through the front door and into the bathroom just in time to catch off the basement delivery.

I’ve managed to keep a few more crackers down since then, and tomorrow I may even try for a full meal once more, but tonight I don’t think I’m going to push my luck.

Cups of milky tea to keep my hydrated should see me right.

I’m rather looking forward to the third day of dieting. I really think I’ve got the hang of this thing.

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26 Jan / Hot Air

When I looked towards today I thought that it might suck because everything I packed up so labouriously on Friday had to be unpacked.

That was still true, and as expected it did indeed suck.

There was another added gem tossed into the ring, however. Air conditioning. Or lack thereof.

Annoyingly enough, if the entire floor’s worth of air conditioning had gone down then men in overalls would’ve been dispatched into the ceiling nooks and crannies to tinker away until it restarted. Because only half of the floor’s air conditioning went down we instead had to live with it.

We looked through the heat shimmers towards the middle of the building where an oasis of cool air breathed regularly down on the chosen ones while they went about their daily tasks without sweat stains spreading in ever-widening circles on their work uniforms.

I myself went and talked to people (talked! To people!) just to have a chance to sit in the cool and refreshing air. Air that wasn’t laden with the sweat of the downtrodden. Air that wasn’t hanging heavy and stagnant and refusing to impart oxygen in the lungs that heaved long and hard to breathe it in.

If the air-conditioning doesn’t get its A back into G tomorrow then instead of going and having long talks with people our hot and sweaty group may take knives.

Just sayin’.

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25 Jan / Food surprises!

Tomorrow is Monday, and we all know what that means. I’m going on a diet!

I’m trying to be all enthusiastic about it today, because by the time morning tea rolls around tomorrow it will be well gone.

The fun part about dieting seems to be heavily weighted towards before the diet starts, and there’s precious little entertainment to be gotten from it until the petering out later on (in the day, the week, or the month if I’m lucky.)

INSERT: I just realised there was a pun in there. I love puns.

Today I got to weigh some food into little parcels; work out portions of fat, carb and protein restriction for the rest of the week; type in the exact – exact – nutritional information from the food labels; balance it all out into a diet I’m fairly unlikely to follow on my phone using the lovely free app from Fat Secret; and then I ate because I started to feel some food insecurity.

Today’s the day I also got to eat up all of the food in the cupboard that won’t be allowed on the diet. Most of it admittedly I’d bought from the supermarket yesterday, but it still had to go.

I gave up on the three-quarters of a loaf of bread and had to stick it into the freezer. I can hear it mocking me now. By tomorrow it’ll be teasing me. It’ll be saying how much it would love for me to pull it from its frozen confines and stick it into a machine and then light up the element wires on either side until it’s flesh it a lovely golden brown, with the leading edge just tipping over slightly into dark brown.

And just because I haven’t managed to resist in years months past doesn’t mean I have to give into it this week.

Sure, it’s a good indicator, but it’s not set in stone. I might get ill. I might go off food. I might fly across the sky oinking all the way.

Oh, and the reason the blog was called food surprises is SURPRISE! There’s no food.

To go off on a completely different tangent, tonight my book has launched at an rather stupid and ungodly hour on Amazon. If it really has. They’ve told me it has, but in my country at least it’s still showing pre-order even though the pre-orders previously pre-ordered have now shown up as sales. I don’t know, it’s the first time for me too.

Just thought I also ought to mention:

Yeah, I know it’s on the side there too, but this is a just-in-case. You should believe the hype and check it out yourself right now on Amazon. Go on, Mummy needs a new pair of (flat) shoes.

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24 Jan / High, high heels

A few weeks ago, in a fit of female-ness, I bought some shoes online that I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever be able to wear comfortably.

I understand that there are many women in the world who would find the idea of comfort in a shoe an irrelevant criteria, but I’ve got used to flat, wide shoes.

Shoes that happily allow my toes to retain some semblance of their usual shape and size. Shoes that are so comfortable to wear that I take my bra off first when I get home because my feet don’t need the same release as my mammories.

The initial reason for the comfort was a combination of walking long distances, and arthritis.

When I was younger I had a small operation to cut the nail bed of my big toes so that they stopped growing so far into the side of my toe. Where the flesh was trying to be.

I don’t know for certain that this is related to me developing arthritis in my big toe a few years later, but they reside in the same pigeonhole in my brain so it tends to think of them as conjoined. Anecdotal evidence is always stronger when it’s your own.

Anyway, my heels declined in height equal and opposite to the pain increasing in my toe, and then knee.

But pain can only increase to a certain level (please god let that be true) and so I’m once again entering the lofty heights of the well-heeled.

My first adventure back onto this stage occurred with a pair of burgandy patent leather pumps with a one inch heel. They went swimmingly. After the obligatory wearing-in phase where my feet explained to the leather that they were the boss and the leather had better shape up or ship out. It shaped up perfectly.

So there I was happily browsing online and I discovered another pair of high-heels. They were also patent leather. Black patent leather.

If this had been the only attraction I would probably have moved on; I already have flat black patent leather shoes so I don’t really require matching heels.

Except for the fact that the heels themselves were made from metal. Metal bolts, metal cogs and wheels, metal rivets. Mmmmmmm. Steampunk. I couldn’t look away.

When they arrived I realised that my imagination of what the shoes would be like on was a vastly different thing to the reality of them being applied to my feet.

As a little girl I’d dreamed of being a ballerina, something that ballet classes killed dead before the age of six. Far too early to ever go en-pointe.

Which is a pity because that’s exactly what my shoes now demand of me.

For some reason when I was looking at them online the height of the heels and the height of the wedge seemed to me to reduce the total heel height down to a mere two and a half inches. This is not only incorrect – it’s more like three and a half – but two and a half inches would also be a major increase on what I’ve been used to.

Sigh.

I should’ve known better than to order shoes from Hades. The problem now is that they still look so nice I’m tempted to learn how to walk in them. Maybe just the length of the office. They could be my power shoes. When you just need that extra three inches of height.

Yeah. I’m sure I could learn.

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Today our office packed up every last scrap of officeness into teeny tiny orange crates so that we can move.

That is, the crates were coloured orange, not that they were originally purposed for the carrying of oranges.

BTW a fascinating fact is that orange, the colour, was named after the fruit. Not the fruit after the colour. Well, it was fascinating to me. If it doesn’t rock your world you can skip ahead to the next part.

We’ve been getting ready for this for a while. The person who would usually be responsible for the transition of our entire department chose these two weeks to go away on leave. This left the task firmly in the hands of someone who was ill-equipped to add the transitioning to her never-ending task list of minion nonsense.

No! Not me. I just sat back and watched with glee.

I did have to organise and oversee the packing up of my own team. I fulfilled this task by going to Auckland yesterday and leaving them to it. Then, today, I walked around and ticked off things on a list. Not to ensure they’d done them, although that was the ostensible purpose, but to see what I’d forgotten to do for myself.

So now, every last little piece of my office life is in a crate somewhere. It makes me feel a combination of tired and carefree. Like I could pick up and run to a new country, and a new life, except I can’t be bothered to get out of bed.

There was a lot of grumbling taking place in the office today. Some tasks which were obviously assigned to some people, ended up being done by others. Then further tasks were delegated. Then all. Then those funny little groups started to form in the parts of the office which weren’t already full of orange-ness. Water cooler talks, sans water coolers. Lots of fun. Must get me some more of those.

So a high level of aggravation fueled the last few hours, while staff discovered that they’d packed away the things they should be working on next, and unpacked, only to have to pack again because that used up all of the time they had left in the day.

The funniest thing is knowing that I get a ringside seat at the reverse of this particular attraction on Monday. Unpacking orange crates. Then six weeks on a strange floor (did I not mention our office move was up one floor?) and then we’ll get to repack and reunpack all over again.

By the end of that it will all be old hat. Some people may perish. I hope if it’s me it’s from laughter.

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22 Jan / Track n Trace

I love tracking packages until they arrive. Not as much as receiving them, and then growing bored of them within a day, but pretty close.

At the moment I’m tracking a package of paperbacks as they wend their way across the world to reach me in my little office in Christchurch.

They certainly seem to be having more adventures than I’ve been having.

I went to Auckland today, they’ve been to Hawaii. I flew back to Christchurch, they stopped in Botany, Australia.

Here’s what they’ve been getting up to so far:

I’ve never even been to South Carolina, and in my package’s short life it’s already stopped there twice.

Still, shortly we’ll be in the same place together. And then we shall see who’s more adventurous, shan’t we?

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