Chapter 1 - All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy

Life really has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. I mean I haven’t even been alive for 30 years. We’re talking about a time when an entire company’s data could fit on a 800 KB floppy disk, Pastel still worked on DOS and South Africa had just hosted and won their first Rugby World Cup. The world stage was an entirely different place. But we’re not here for that, so let’s zoom in a little on life at Preferred Solutions in the 90’s.

Sally and Estelle had been working together for a good while by the latter half of the 1990s; the two of them out on the front lines of Pastel support, forging the path for Preferred Solutions. Now, as we said, these were different times. Cell phones had only recently become available so hardly anyone had one. So, imagine this. Sally needs to get a hold of Estelle urgently. Now, Sally needs to figure out what client Estelle is visiting. Then Sally needs to use a landline to phone that client, hoping that Estelle is still there. Then the client needs to tell Estelle that Sally urgently needs to speak to her so they can finally get to talking. No WhatsApp, no SMS, not even a BBM (and that’s SUPER old).

But through all of this, Estelle taught Sally everything about Pastel and Client care. Throwing her in the deep end, Estelle told her: “All you need to do is to look as though you know more than the client does.” And the rest came with time. Estelle was a great mentor, she taught Sally so many things including the infallible work ethic she has now and the firm but caring hand she needed to care for her clients. Everything turned out very similar to what we do now at Preferred Solutions. They supported their clients, they helped them to be their best and trained them to be even better.

But the world doesn’t revolve around work, now does it? Estelle and Sally spent time enjoying the outdoors on numerous occasions. A noteworthy example was their trip down the Otter Trail. Now, as a few of you undoubtedly know, the Otter Trail can be a temperamental hike at times. And their waterlogged trip down this picturesque route was no exception. They had just come to the Storms River crossing, planning to get through this part fairly quickly. But nature has its own plans as a freak wave swept the both of them away, depositing them on the various rock formations that line the mouth of the river. Holding on for dear life, they were covered in cuts and bruises but safe and sound. Murphy’s Law hadn’t had enough of them yet though. After their unorthodox crossing of the Storms River, they descended onto one of the rocky beaches of the Tsitsikamma National Park. All was well and good, their packs tied tightly around them as they trekked further and further. Sally’s pack would be her saving grace though, because as she stepped onto one of the many boulders that find themselves on this particular beach, it happened to be more slippery than it’s rocky neighbors, causing Sally to take her second tumble of the day. Beached like a confused, upside-down ladybug, the pack formed the semi-soft landing that Sally needed to make this scene complete (and hilarious by the way).

Bottom line, the work and play balance is what keeps life interesting. So go out there, do the best work you can and go be a confused ladybug for a while. It might give you a unique perspective on life (that perspective being upside-down, just to clear that up).