Tuesday, 27 September 2016

No Sympathy Required

Hello dear world

This post is written in a slightly different frame of mind to usual.  You see this post is written by a weaker me.  A me who has to admit that I am vulnerable.  That I am mortal.  A self realization that there are things that scare me and the reality that we all die.

I am not the sort who plays the victim or who likes to play on others sympathy.  So this post is not meant to envoke any sympathy from any of you out there.  But I was reading FB earlier today and noticed a post by a friend who was in hospital having what I think is her breast removed.  Yes, she has cancer. I thought about contacting her and asking questions and telling her that it will all be ok.  But to be honest it all feels a bit awkward.  One doesn't want to pry.  So what does one do in a situation like this.

I suddenly realized that she is probably not too different from me.  She is a strong woman and too would not like people feeling sorry for her or the quiet whispers behind her back about her illness.  But just like me, she probably needs a little strength and a little help in getting through it emotionally.  A reminder that we are not alone and that we don't have to hide what we are going through.

I try to be strong for my partner knowing he has suffered much loss in his life.  And I do not want to be remembered as a loss to him.  Bringing a tear to his eyes when he remembers me should the worst happen.  Or him having to call on all his strength to continue without those close and dear to him.  Those he doesn't miss for a second in the day.  I know I am being very arrogant in the assumption I will have a place in his heart should I pass on.

And then my mind  arrays many thoughts about where I fit into his life and should I leave quietly or perhaps end it all quietly as I don't like to cause pain.  Especially pain that may be felt for a long time.  And the realization that I am being very arrogant in my thoughts.  The reality being that I am a mere girlfriend who has no place in this mans life other than the today.

So I am shaken back to reality.  The reality that just like others out there that it is our own fight.  We cannot burden those around us.  We cannot envoke sympathy.  We cannot play the victim.  We cannot make those around us feel any guilt about the part they play in our lives.

All we can do is smile.  We pretend we are ok.  We put on our shield each morning, look outside and notice the beautiful sunrise, fill our days ignoring the weakness within us, and then noticing the beautiful sunsets.

And remember that we are blessed with each breath we take and need to be grateful for the time we spend with those we love.  As without love, life is not worth living.  A reminder that I have a pretty awesome life and the love I have for this man and the love I get in return makes every second I live worth every breath.

So refocusing on the positive.  I want to live forever!  Be damned if I can't but before I pass, I will live a life worth living.  I will see and do things that most others can only dream of, because I am blessed in many ways.  And I am thankful to those around me who make my life worth living and fighting for.

I will be contacting my friend and asking her about her path as whether she realizes it or not, she needs people like me by her side as a reminder that there is no shame in being weak.  We need to stand up and rise and put on our big girl panties and the brightest red lipstick we can find and live a life worth living.  No sympathy required!


(For those who may find it awkward asking - I recently had 3 tumors removed from my neck - you can't miss the beautiful railway down the side of my neck.   The tumors are not the primary site of the cancer and along with some pretty awesome doctors, we are working together to find the primary.  Please don't be afraid to ask me about it all.  I am not going to break down in tears.)



Lanthie Ransom

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Money Talks

Good morning fellow bloggers and hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday.  I promised to start blogging a bit more and thought I would sit down for a few minutes today and post something about the business I'm in.

I going to share a secret to success with you today.  No - this is not one of those motivational or insparational speeches where someone talks you into signing up to some or other pyramid scheme or promises to send you a book via email if you enter in your credit card information.  But a shared lesson on how we managed to motivate our staff and increase production.

I am involved with re-screening old gold dumps for a living.  We extract the fines (sand) and send it
to a gold processing plant where they actually exract the gold.  Anyway......  We have been doing this for around 6 months and we have struggled to get our old screening plant to run for more than 6 or 7 hours a day.  Loads of breakdowns and temperamental staff have been one of the major causes.

Our production was poor and we were not making targets.  At first we thought we would pay our staff a production bonus.  But the reality is they had no control over the grade or the amount of fines in the dump and the weather played a major role.  There is very little sand that falls though when the dump is wet for instance as it sticks to the rock.

We were forced to think of another way to motivate our staff and reward them for working hard and working as a team.  So we introduced a bonus system whereby they get rewarded for the number of hours our screening plant works in a day.

Typically our staff work a 12 hour shift, 6 days a week.  They get paid overtime as per statutory obligations of course.  So we drew up the following bonus system in addition to their salary and overtime:

They get:

  • R50 in cash if the plant works for 9 hours a day
  • R100 for 10 hours
  • R200 for 11 hours


Then an additional

  • R500 if the plant works for 54 hours a week and
  • R1000 for 60 hours a week.


They get this in cash the day after so the reward is instantaneous.  And everyone in the team gets it - even the lowest paid.

So within 3 weeks, we have gone from our plant working 6-7 hours a day with an average of 18 days a months to our plant working 11 hours a day, every day and for the first time ever this week we managed 66 hours for the week - 100% uptime.

Our staff are motivated and now work as a team.  There are no petty dramas.  There has not been any requests for any advances or loans.   Our plant is being well maintained and they make sure all breakdowns are attended to immediately.  Our client is happy and of course although our bank balance suffers in the short term, we will see major rewards in the long term.  And to top it all, one of our staff told us the other day we didnt need to come in everyday - they have it covered and know what they are doing.

I know this probably doesnt sound very exciting to you all but I LOVE what I do and it makes me really happy to see my staff being rewarded for their efforts.

I'd love to know what motivates you or what you enjoy about your job.

Lanthie Ransom

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Lucky in Life and Lucky in Love

Decided to look at  my blog today.  Not done this for awhile.  Needless to say it brought back all sorts of memories.  Not only of a life gone by but also of all you fellow bloggers.

I have had a few messages from a few of you asking me how I am and why I don't blog anymore.

So the answer is, I am great.  In fact I am more than great.  I have a fulfilling life.  I am lucky in life and lucky in love.  Life has been good to me and the universe looks after me.  I have a life partner who makes me feel like a woman and who makes me happy. Not a day goes by where I don't smile or have a reason to laugh and most of this is due to him.   And who knows, maybe one day he will find me worth making a committment to.

There are a lot of people who judged me for some of the decisions I made.  I spent some time recently thinking about these decisions as I have a friend who needed some advice about her life.  I have no regrets about any of the decisions I made.  I don't know where I found the courage to take some of the steps I took.  But I do know they were the right decisions.  I am just dissapointed in some of those who I thought would stand by me and didn't.  True colours were revealed!

I don't blog anymore because a) I don't have the time and b) there are still sensitive issues in my life which need time.  I will get back to blogging in the near future when life becomes a little more stable and I don't have to worry about writing about sensitive issues.

Please drop me a message and let me know how you all are.  Miss you all !

Lanthie Ransom

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Born Free

I have been doing quite a bit of driving around our beautiful country lately and I have been shocked at some of the images I have seen over the last week.  This first pic is an indication of how beautiful our country is, but is unfortunately not the pretty picture I have been seeing just recently.



We are nearing our elections in South Africa, taking place on the 7th of May and we are celebrating 20 years of democracy.  This is the first election taking place where those who are "born free" (those whose lives began after apartheid) are eligible to vote for the very first time. One would think this is a major milestone for every young adult.

However, unlike the 1994 elections which took place when we had our first democratic election and everyone went to cast their vote for the very first time, we now unfortunately have a new generation who do not want to cast their vote at all.

Our own Archbishop Desmond Tutu has welcomed the "Vote No" campaign - a campaign started by our former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and other ex-ANC members encouraging "South Africans to be aware of the value and consequences of their vote."

This new generation has no memory of the apartheid era and have no loyalties to the ANC.  They feel they have been let down by their own government.  Most are well educated and despite this are unable to find suitable jobs.  Instead they are witness to the corruption taking place and the inability of our government to identify with its people.

They feel betrayed.

There are many protests taking place on a daily basis due to poor service delivery. I must admit there is no excuse for poor service delivery.  We have one of the most efficient tax collection departments in the world so the Goverenment has no excuse for under delievering.

I am in support of those who make the effort to protest against poor service delivery but I am shocked at the total lack of respect my fellow South Africans have for other people's property.  Driving back from one of our mines yesterday, we were diverted and had to use an alternative route and we were witness to the destruction caused by one of these protests.

We were left with a picture of total destruction in our path - vehicles being stoned and trucks being burnt.    Our roads marked by black residue from burnt tires.

Are we perhaps heading for a civil war?  Do I Want to sit back and let this beautiful country be destroyed by those who should be protecting it?



Some interesting readining:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/25/anc-south-africa-born-free-generation-election
http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/politics/2014/04/24/vote-no-campaign-forces-people-to-think-of-ballots-value-says-tutu
http://www.henrileriche.com/2014/01/24/south-africa-is-heading-for-civil-war-if-economic-decay-continues/
http://www.congo-mai-mai.net/?p=7

Lanthie Ransom

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Are you too smart to engage?

I don't typically talk about politics on my blog.  The main reason is that my blog is supposed to be about me and my journey in finding myself and the challenges I face.  And I have always felt that writing about politics and matters of the state make it about everyone else.  But this is where I have come to the realisation that talking about politics is very much about me too - not only does politics and legislation have a huge impact on my life, it is my opinion that counts too.  So it is time I started being a little more verbal about some of these issues.

I would like to quote Plato here and this forms the theme of this post and many more just like it:
“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by their inferiors.”

Now where to start.  Quite honestly this could turn out to be a long post but I will try to keep it short and keep to the facts as I see them and perhaps it will be the first of many such posts.

The first issue I want to address is our new toll roads - or eTolls as they are called here.  This has been a
eTolls
very controversial subject here since we hosted the World Cup in 2010.  Besides the white elephant stadiums that we are left with (another legacy of the World Cup), we are also left with having to fund the upgrading of our national highways in Gauteng.

Now I know you are probably thinking why are we bitching about the upgrading of our national highways.  It is not the upgrading of our national highways that we are bitching about - we are bitching about the fact the tax payer has to pay a toll to drive on these roads.  These are roads we have always driven on at no cost (or direct costs as the case may be).  They didn't build new ones, they merely fixed existing ones and added a new lane here and there.  We, the tax payer has already paid for the capital costs of these roads.  And it is due to neglect and the lack of maintenance that these upgrades were required in the first place.   Not to mention the fact that we pay a small fortune for petrol in our country which is loaded with various taxes and levies which are supposed to cover the cost of maintaining and improving our roads.  I'm not sure what you all pay for petrol but we currently pay over R14 a litre for ours (about US$1.5 per litre) (Refer to Worldwide Retail Prices of Gasoline  here (US cents per litre)

I have also been told that part of the agreement with FIFA was that we were required to provide highways with a minimum of 4 lanes to the stadiums and the airport and other such relevant routes if we were to host the World Cup.  They didn't care what the cost of this was or if we actually needed more lanes.

So SANRAL (our national roads agency) put out a tender for the upgrading of these roads.  Another huge controversial issue as the tender and subsequent business plan is flawed in many ways.  The tender was awarded to a non-resident company, so much of the money raised actually finds its way out of the country.  But besides that, the installation consists of elaborate gantries and inefficient means of collecting the tolls.  I'm not going to quote facts a figures here as these are freely available on the web and I will post a few links at the end of this post for those of you who want more information.

We do not have a public transport system and there are also no viable alternative routes so we are forced to use the tolled highways now.   This has put huge financial pressure on the average tax payer who has to get to work or get around on a day to day basis.

One of the big issues for me is that you have to register to use these roads and you are offered "reduced rates" if you register and pre-pay for the usage of these roads.  I feel this is discrimination at it's best and I am so fed up with being discriminated against in various ways (a topic for another post).  I will have to register to take advantage of special rates and I have to have a little electronic device in my vehicle.  

According to various articles I have read recently, up to 90% of people who use these tolled roads have a) not registered and b) not paid after receiving a bill in the post.  I am not quite sure how they intend to recover this money as they cannot prosecute everyone concerned.  I am currently part of the 90%.

I have not registered either and have received many bills in the mail.  I am very sensitive to my information being shared and would like to know how the administration company knows where to send the bills to if I have not registered.  I have certainly not given the licensing department permission to share my information with any third party companies and I feel strongly about my rights being compromised here.

Please read some of the articles below and share your thoughts on this issue.  I would be interested to know what you all think.

http://www.outa.co.za/site/about-outa/why-we-oppose-e-tolling/
https://www.jp-sa.org/eTolls.asp
https://www.facebook.com/TollCrusher
http://www.citypress.co.za/news/whistleblower-worked-sanral-tells-thuli-madonsela-e-tolls/
http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/just-nine-percent-pay-e-toll-bills-1.1670399
http://citizen.co.za/154001/half-billion-e-toll-debt-drivers-say/


Lanthie Ransom

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