“Strikers do it, teachers do it, even street cleaners do it! Let’s do it, let’s go on strike!”
South Africa is possibly the only country in the world that has 5 seasons. There’s summer, spring, autumn, winter and strike season.
It’s a time when those workers who think they’re underpaid and undervalued go on strike. Earning the minimum wage, they reach a point when they say enough is enough. They down tools, take to the streets in protest, causing mayhem with the country’s economics and services.
But there’s a sector who earn nothing. They work for free, around the clock, 365 days of the year, rain or shine. They don’t get annual leave, sick leave, family leave or study leave. There are no perks. No bonuses or 13th cheques. Tea and lunch times are cut short, smoke breaks a luxury.
Under appreciated and taken for granted, this sector works tirelessly to make sure things run smoothly, like clock work. I’m part of this work force and I’ve had enough. I’m downing my tools and taking to the couch, glass of champagne in hand, feet on the table and I’m not moving until serious change happens.
If you think striking truck drivers, nurses, teachers, miners and street cleaners cause chaos, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
No more making breakfasts, lunches or ‘whipping’ up dinners. No more jumping in the car to get takeaways ‘quickly’. No more sitting in restaurants where food items have eyes, mouths or smiles. Down with ordering fish ‘fingers’ and chicken nuggets until I actually see a fish with fingers and a chicken with nuggets.
I’m saying no to food outlets where meals come in boxes with a toy. I’m giving my finger to strangers singing happy birthday at tables with sparklers and clowns with hats on.
No more waking up before a sparrow has farted and like the rest of the family, I’m going to smother in my own farts. I’m going to have lie-ins and lazy naps during the day.
No more rushing around to clothe, feed, brush teeth and hair, pack school bags and find missing shoes, favourite fairy tutus and wands that are ‘needed’ for school.
Gone are the days of asking over and over again for toys to be packed away and for dishes to be taken to the kitchen. I’ve picked up my last pair of underpants and socks lying next to the laundry basket. Someone else can search the house for a missing puzzle piece or Lego block. And another someone else can wash dishes, make bottles, purée vegetables and fruit and concoct meals with names like ‘cowboys and Indians’, ‘eggy soldiers’ and ‘toads in holes’.
No more chasing a dirty toddler around the house for bath time, wrestling them down to wash their hair or playing hide and seek to get them dressed. Enough with being down on all fours with a 20kg kid on my back, kicking me in the ribs and smacking me on my butt shouting ‘go horsey go!’ From now on this is one piggy who’s given their last piggy back.
I’ve shopped my last shop for birthday presents and attended my last kids party. Weekends are going to be spent in pyjamas, watching reruns of shows with sex, violence and foul language.
The next pair of smelly broeks I’m changing will be my own and ditto for the next bum, front or back, I’m wiping. The only shitty nappy I’ll be looking at will be mine. When I’m 80 and incontinent.
The time has come for me to put down the iron, throw away the washing soap and toilet brush. I’m saying no more to endless hours of toiling, tasking and asking. I’m taking to the streets in my LBD and killer heels for a night on the town.
Just as soon as I’ve finished packing the dishes away.