Bring Your Children to Work Day

Today my bosses (who are a married couple) decided they would actually come in to the office for once – with two of their children in tow, of course. It made for a very interesting two hour visit.

The elder of the two (I’m assuming he’s around four or five since he’s not at school) had already peed with the door open twice within half an hour of being in the office, and the second time he managed to rip the soap dispenser off the wall which honestly impressed me. Now, I don’t particularly mind anyone peeing with the door open, but when the toilet is about five metres from my desk. He also spent about five minutes straight repeating “Mum, I want more, mum, you need to turn it on, mum I want put more in there,” while his mother tried to fix a problem with her husband’s phone, ignoring the child demanding that he be facilitated in his attempts to put things through the shredder. Unfortunately the shredder was full, and since nobody could be bothered to empty it the child was eventually told that he would have to play with the Legos. So, of course, the paper he had been feeding into the machine was left on the floor, scattered across the walkway and was completely ignored by everyone who walked over the top of it.

Then the two/three year old woke up and joined us in the office where he proceeded to drop his fruit on the floor, which his father told him was no longer safe to eat and threw in the bin. Not long after this he poured his cup of water on the carpet as well, then the two boys spent ten minutes playing with the water cooler, letting the spill tray fill up and flow over onto the carpet. Mum made a request to dad to intervene, but he just responded with “I can’t stop them,” and continued actively ignoring his children.

Soon after this the children’s attention was again redirected to the Lego box, which they emptied all over the floor before moving on to the next activity. The toddler chose Closing Your Fingers in a Sliding Door – he shut himself on the outside of the door so that he was on the balcony, and when he started to cry mum panicked, fearing that he’d fallen off, and she jumped from her seat exclaiming “Oh my god!” Dad’s reaction to this natural display of motherly concern was the berate his wife in front of their employees for “always carrying on about nothing” and continued to lecture her that she “needs to look at the situation before freaking out and carrying on like a fuckwit.” Top advice, Colin.

While this was going on the elder boy took the opportunity to re-ignite his younger brother’s screams by inviting him back out onto the balcony and slamming the door shut in his face as he approached. Somewhere around this point was where mum decided it was time for everyone to go home and requested that the children begin packing up the toys they’d spread throughout the office. Obviously the children are not about that life, so after 15 minutes of pretending to argue with them, mum and dad ended up cleaning up the mess themselves. Of course, this was when the children decided they wanted to “help” and proceeded to throw fistfuls of Lego back across the floor while their parents attempted to scoop the hundreds of plastic pieces back into the toy box. It was at this point that Kim decided to tell mum and dad not to worry about cleaning up, and suggested that it be my “job for the afternoon”. I managed a tight-lipped smirk in response, since opening my mouth at that point would have resulted in losing me job – not sure if I really would have minded that much, to be honest.

I am not usually a fan of children – there are a few exceptions to this rule, and I don’t deny that babies are hella cute – but I am especially not a fan of children who are being raised by people that put zero effort into parenting and allow their spawn to behave like assholes with a benign smile on their faces, as if they’re enriching everyone else’s lives by inflicting these beasts upon us. While I can respect that most young children simply don’t know any better, I still can’t stand the smug, self-satisfied smiles on their faces that betrays the fact that they do know better and are enjoying misbehaving and being disobedient little cunts.

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Melbourne Cup Day

Once I realised this morning that I had failed to post anything at all yesterday, I felt severely demotivated. I can’t believe that I was barely two days into the challenge and I already fucked up. Like, I put my name on a register and everything. What if people actually see this? Now I’m just another lazy douchebag.

But it’s stormy here tonight, and I’m showered, and snuggled up in bed with my puppies, and it feels like the perfect environment for writing. I just wish I had a nice hot cup of Milo, or the day off work tomorrow. Speaking of which, I got drunk at work today! That was a first time experience that I never expected I’d encounter. It was Melbourne Cup Day (oh, how I despise the despicable event) and Kim bought a bottle of wine for us to share after lunch. Little did Kim realise that I’d barely eaten since lunch the day before, and I’m a notorious light-weight. I didn’t get roaring drunk or anything like that, but I did make a tipsy call to my boss to ask if we could go home early. He said no. And Kim and I rearranged the furniture in the house/office so that she could sit closer to the air-conditioner because it’s too hot where she was previously sitting, 80cm to the left of her new position.

Which brings us to our topic for today: the fucking Melbourne Cup. For anyone who isn’t familiar the Melbourne Cup is “the race that stops the nation” – a high-profile horse racing event, and an excuse for a public holiday and the privilege of getting drunk before noon. It is the social event of the year, the highlight of every rich moron’s fiscal year, this is the only time of the year that anyone gives a fuck about horse racing and they give more fucks about this day than any other day, with the exception (maybe) of Australia Day. Let me put this into perspective for you – growing up in an Australian public school I dreaded the day every year when we would be forced to pick a name out of a hat and sit on the floor and watch this barbaric event. Of course, when I was protesting watching the race as a six-year-old it was because it was boring and I wanted to read my library books, but it didn’t matter what reason I gave my teachers, I was always forced to sit and watch and participate. Whoever picked the winning horse won a free tuckshop lunch – the highest honour my school could bestow upon a student – thus perpetuating the nation-wide ignorance and continued celebration of this blatant disregard for animal welfare. As an adult I am filled with a sickening, impotent rage at the injustice of it all. It baffles me that the protesting of this ritual isn’t screamed louder and taken more seriously, and that so few care to even raise their voice. And it’s not just about advocating animal rights, and causing a scene; the number of businesses, TV networks, celebrities, politicians etc. that endorse this spectacle with their participation and support is appalling. You might not be the people flogging these animals, pumping them full of chemicals, and literally murdering them in a pool of blood once the strain of their physically exhausting, torturous life overwhelms their bodies and they succumb to injury, but you’re just as bad for not refusing to take part in this uncivilised display of savagery and disrespect for life.

The horse racing industry as a whole is a horrifying concept, it seems like the kind of thing you’d read about humans doing a hundred years ago and think “Goodness, how barbaric, people were so cruel back then, thank heaven we’ve come so far and nothing like that would be allowed today.” Except it’s allowed, and celebrated, and greatly anticipated.

“Statistics show that nearly all horses in the race today will experience bleeding in the lungs, while 50% of horses racing will experience bleeding in the windpipe. 89% of these racehorses will have stomach ulcers. All will be thrashed by a whip.”

“During training, these horses spend approximately 22 hours of every day alone in a stall the size of a bedroom, resulting in digestive and behavioural abnormalities. They are drugged to mask the pain from being overworked, and fed food with unnaturally high energy content.

The average ‘career’ of a racehorse is 3 years, after which they are ‘discarded’. Every year, 10000-25000 ‘discarded’ racehorses who didn’t ‘make the cut’ are slaughtered for dog food.”

These quotes were taken from a post on Facebook that my mum tagged me in today, after I called her on my way home from work to seethe over our mutual hatred for this “sport”. Immediately after the race today a horse name Admire Rakti died in his stall after suffering a heart attack, or potentially from internal bleeding, and another horse named Araldo got frightened and crashed through a fence, breaking one of his bones which apparently necessitated that he be killed on site. And those are just the two that were publicised this afternoon, not to mention those who will die later on tonight/tomorrow from internal bleeding, or broken bones, or just because they’re too tired to go on. Some of these horses will be killed by the damage they sustain from performing in the race, some of them will be shot.

I often see the argument “but they’re bred for it”, as if that is supposed to justify humans taking advantage of an animals trust and obedience, and abusing it, torturing daily, stripping the beast of any dignity, showing no respect, feeling no love, peddling life for profit. A lot of children in the sex slave trade are “bred for it”, based on that logic raping a child is fine, I suppose? “Oh, but it’s different, it’s a child you’re talking about, these are just animals, it’s what they’re made for.” NO IT’S FUCKING NOT! It’s life! It’s exactly the same, and no animal is made to be run to beyond the point of exhaustion, kept in cramped conditions, denied freedom, and pumped full of hormones so that they can be further beaten while being forced to literally run themselves to death.

 

In this day and age, the fact that something like this still exists is beyond appalling. It is a colossal disappointment and a stain on us all as a society for allowing it to continue.