Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adult Tantrums and a Biblical solution.

It appears that I have experienced first hand what an adult tantrum is. A work colleague came into my area, and when changes he wanted to make weren't unanimously agreed upon, he threw an adult tanty (tantrum), when he wanted to make changes to processes, but weren't seen as productive he danced his adult tanty, and it soon came to knowledge that this particular person had a history of moving and maneuvering by.........yeap you guessed it.....performing his adult tanty.Now what does the adult tanty look like. Basically,he'd do the silent treatment, make sarcastic remarks, and randomly drop a sad sob story much like desperate contestants  auditioning on the reality talent show Idol.

Yeah, that about encapsulates it. From what I observed this person had come to the area with an agenda, not a hidden agenda, and agenda that he was happy to share with everyone else. Not only that, he saw fit that things needed to be changed in the work area. And furthermore, he believed he should have more responsibilities as his skills were up to speed. After three months in realising that his agenda items were not being crossed off his list, he began to cross channels and going beyond the lines of command that were already set in place. And then, from what we were told by the powers to be, the waterworks, and the sob stories were flying left right and centre. This here, would have to be the adult tantrum.

Well rather than deal with the situation between boss and employee, the powers-that-be, moved him yet again to another area. Now you're probably wondering, why does it work so easy for him? The theory is, it is because he falls in a delicate group, you know the group that we refer to as the "minority", and are recruited to make the workplace look like an "Equal Opportunity" organisation? Yeah he fit right into that category. But even so, even if it was walking on eggshells isn't it worth doing for the sake of affected employees, and more importantly for the character building of the individual in question?

Because it is neglected, this action (or lack thereof) sends out a skewed message on how to deal with sticky situations? Between one human and another, whether politically correct or otherwise, surely there a lines that can still be adhered to without having to fear assumed implications. The message this sends out is if you want to get places.....chuck a fit. Incredibly unfortunate for the workers who complete the necessary courses, fill out the correct application forms, and did the hard yards in tertiary studies. It seems they could've just done drama classes and reenact scenes from "one flew over the cuckoos nest"

Seriously though, there a tactful ways of approaching discipline and correction. And for mine I believe the best advice can be found in the Bible, one such advice is the following: Matthew 28:15-18 “If your brother or sister sins,go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

That seems pretty straight forward, and not only that it is fair. There are other counsels too, but the one above stands out the most for me.

With the youth group I'm involved with, one such situation arose. Dealt with quickly, this particular youth member handled the correction very maturely, in fact much better than most adults that have been put on the same situation. Commonly but not always (thankfully) when the adult is approached, the approacher(s) are quickly labelled "self-righteous" and the individual sees themselves out, (adult tantrum) not considering that the whole purpose was to win them back.

I too was in a sticky situation where I urgently needed to move work areas. And apparently I fall into the delicate category also (I am delicate though) seeing as I am of Pacific Island origin. More than one work colleague (even one in a position of authority) said to play my "Ace of Spades" (I couldn't stop cracking up when hearing this term). The suggestions were humbly declined, and I said I'd leave it in God's hands. Slowly but eventually things worked out. No need for a tanty and no need to be disciplined. But if you're an adult, honestly.......you need broad shoulders and thick hides, life's too short to be offended.

Post a comment if you've had a similar experience. Hopefully you had a positive outcome.



p.s: Ace of Spades is a term to play the "race" card. In other words, use my Pacific Island background as a minority to acquire fair treatment..

Monday, March 28, 2011


The following blog will look at the popular "K" hand sign, with a very innocent beginning. I find it interesting how often we (Kelstonians) used this sign in such a proud, gangster-like demeanour, in a small corner of the western suburbs in Auckland. However, I've seen this same hand sign conducted by young teens in Brisbane, and then even more so on Facebook pictures outside of NZ and Aus! This is fascinating. My fascination lies in the innocence of how this started, and how dispersed it has become. I still do hold a sense of comradeship as a Kelstonian, but more so to my friends that I made at the time, then the system. I chuckle as I wonder whether all these people are Kelston or non-Kelston and are aware of the humble and innocent beginnings of this sign. The picture above has the gentleman in the middle displaying the "K" sign and in fact is the pioneer of it. We grew up together in New Lynn, Auckland, and it all happened in his kitchen while sipping on tea and eating fried potato pieces at his dining table.

There was a time when Auckland suburbia was saturated with the hip-hop culture, MC Hammer, Young MC, NWA and many others who all brought a flavour of music that caught on to the Auckland suburban scene, in my case West Auckland. With the rise of hip-hop, a genre of rap, appropriately labelled, gangster rap was borne because of the content found in the music, thus following a prevalence of teenage - young adult obsession with the LA gang phenomena. There were pseudo LA Bloods and Crip gangs that arose in Auckland, and the mention of the gangs all carried a respected fear. It was cool to say you knew someone from the gang or even more so, if you were in the gang. Actually these gangs may still be in existence, I'm too old to know now. But most of them had a hand sign to show which gang they belonged to.

Well, back to the dining table at Sosh's house. It was a common occurrence for us to walk home from school, throw the school bags down, and shoot the breeze for an hour before continuing on with our afternoon activities. This particular afternoon, Sosh was keen as mustard, to chat about what he had on his mind, as the whole way home he had been briefing me on his conversation with his older cousin who had recently returned from LA. As we sat down he started to talk about all the LA gangs, and then proceeded to show me all the gang hand signs that his cousin had learned in LA. One of them was the one shown in the picture above. A gang I believe to be called the "playboys" and you can see that the hand sign attempts to mimic the popular Playboy bunny trademark. As he was showing me, his hand happened to be right next our Kelston Boys High School baseball cap which displayed a prominent "K" exactly as shown in the picture below (the cap had a blue/red/white colour inversion though). So as you can see, after a little adjustment to the playboy sign, he soon discovered the "K" and he threw it up like a student discovering a simple solution to a complex equation.

I didn't think much of it as we sat there, but the impression it put upon Sosh revealed itself the day after, as we drove to and from school. Sosh was driving and calling out "KELSTOOON!" as we drove past Kelston students, and show the hand-sign as we drove past. Most of the Kelston Boys would cheer back, but I could see their curiosity as to "what the heck is he doing with his hand?" Sosh's brother William (may he RIP) at that time formed a mockery gang called SOK to oppose another gang who called themselves KOS.

SOK was formed after Willy and a few of his friends retaliated to the KOS beating up their cousin who had come down from North Auckland to visit them one holiday. The members of KOS beat her, took her shoes and purse. That was a big mistake, because that same day, when she pulled up on the porch, conveniently Willy, and three of his close friends were there, and Willy being Willy, was not willing to listen to Sosh's or my counsel. After their reaction, they conjured the name SOK - Straight Out of Kelston. They took the hand sign to a whole new level, and before we knew it, it was all around at the next poly festival and became an iconic hand gesture in the western suburbs. And there you have it my friends, the origin of the "K" symbol.

It's interesting how many things we learn and conduct without considering the origins. I suppose some of us have concluded it doesn't matter. But I believe it does. We should make an effort to work out why we do things the way we do, what does it mean, does it have any real significance? Well you make your own conclusions regarding the "K" hand sign, but search deeper, you have behaviors and beliefs that you have carried only because everybody else was doing it, and your dad did it, and his dad did and so on. I secretly found it awkward to display the hand sign, just knowing how it started with fried potatoes and two cups of tea.........

If you're a kelstonian reading this blog. Let us know where you're writing from to show the dispersion of our kind. And if you're game, send a photo of you or with fellow kelston bothers (with your K sign) to daleo79@gmail.com. I'll post it on this blog.

Willy (note the Kelston necklace), Dave, Sosh, Nato, Josh

Shalom (Peace, to all my Kelston brothers)


p.s: were we all brainwashed in wanting to be all blacks? If you know what they did please enlighten me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The birth of Eden

It's been awhile since I blogged on coconut juice, and I'm not sure how to bring things up to speed. First off and foremost, our baby is here, so I see it fit that I relay the story of her birth right here before I forget.
It was a Tuesday, February 22nd, and Sokha had told me early that morning that she was feeling pains, "are they contractions?", I asked
"I'm not sure", was the response. I suppose it had been awhile since the birth of Uriah. I called in to work to advise of the situation.

Tuesdays are one of two days that Uriah goes to Kidz 1st run by Brenda, and Sokha and I decided he should go. We had to make two stops as Sokha felt sharp pains on our way to Kidz 1st. We stopped into McD's because we'd all missed breakfast, and although it wasn't nutritional she was feeling really hungry. The food couldn't go down and she had to endure a period of time without food. Uriah was dropped off around 9.00am and we returned home. As soon as we pulled up, my supervisor from work called to ask how things were going, I mentioned the infrequent contractions and that the shortest interval was 6 minutes. Her advice was to leave immediately to the hospital, however Sokha had no intention of having to wait around, pacing about the the white and blue painted halls, trying to encourage baby to make her grand entrance......or dramatic exit. I explained that to my supervisor, and she said "well we will probably hear of a birth in your car ha ha ha" little did she know what was about to take place. I called the mid-wife and advised of the frequency (or infrequency) of the contractions. And she concluded that it wasn't time to go in.

We continued recording the times, and the pains were getting worse. She started muttering how she couldn't do it anymore. The previous Sabbath I was reminded in SS class about praying for strength and patience to endure pain rather than asking for things to quickly be over and done with. I remember saying to her to pray for strength, she attempted but couldn't concentrate in her pain so she asked that I do it. So I did, feeling rather embarrassed to do so, as I wasn't the one in pain. In less then a minute God answered her prayer.

Her whispers soon turned to "I can do this" and her breathing was so even, that I was unable to determine whether the pains were that serious for want of hospital attendance. The numbers didn't lie three times in a row, 3 minute contractions with a 5-6 minute interval.

As I called the mid-wife, my conversation was distorted by bad reception. So I had to move from the lounge sofa to the front door. The mid-wife confirmed that we needed to go to the hospital, but as the words came from her lips, simultaneously Sokha cried out "I need to push!"
"Call the ambulance now" said the voice on the phone.
I immediately hung up the phone and called 000, I could feel and unfamiliar feeling of anxiety as the ring tone seemed to take forever. Finally an answer. I explained the situation, and then she asked for details, as I tried to answer, my spiel was interrupted by a louder voice in the background"Arrggggh! David I need to push, quickly!"
I put the phone down and immediately attended to Sokha. "Baby's coming David" and with one last cry, it seemed baby appeared in less than 30 seconds, and was resting in my arms.

I felt myself enter into some analytical mind frame and scan whether the cord was wrapped around her, liquid in her mouth, and then in an instant I was overwhelmed with the fact that my baby was sitting in my arms. I checked if Sokha was okay, and she indicated the positive. I could hear a voice blaring from somewhere, and then remembered the operator on the phone. "Are you okay", said the operator
"You need to breathe"
"Oh....", I then controlled my breathing
"Is mother okay?"
"And baby?"
I took another glance over baby, and everything looked intact, as far as I understood, "Yes"
"Have you covered her?"
"No,I'll get something", as I handed baby to Sokha and looked for a blanket to wrap around my baby girl.
"Okay now wait there, the paramedics will be there in any minute, you did a great job"
The encouragement was appreciated. All of us in the lounge sat in awe, as I looked at Sokha as she said "Wow, a home birth aye?" I don't remember my response, if there was one at all.
It wasn't long before the ambulance arrived and did a top job in performing the follow-up requirements. I had the privilege of cutting the cord, and I distinctively remember Sokha saying as she left on the hospital bed, "Sorry about the mess"
I can't believe after all that, Sokha was able to process that thought. She is such a tough cookie.

I'm so thankful that although we weren't in a hospital, I have no doubt that God's birthing team was on hand and allowed our little girl to come into this world "safe and secure from all alarm"