As mentioned in my last blog post, I enjoy reading the Daily Mail and this article today made me pause.
Did you notice weight as a four year old? I don’t remember rating weight on a scale of whether or not I’d be friends with a person… Anyway, that got me to thinking about peoples looks and how we see them. Most of my main characters are inspired by people I know—but I do wonder sometimes that if I showed you a picture of the person, would you be able to pick the character? I’m not going to show pics for privacy reasons *grin* but I’ll try something else. Let’s take Kassie. Next to Cat, Kassie appears to be the favorite female character (naturally, cause she is awesome). Kassie is based on my friend Sandra (hence the name Kassandra ;p) whom I met at my first permanent fulltime job. It was in a call centre; a crazy full-on job where you had to log your bathroom breaks and could easily take 200+ incoming calls a day.
I have a great appreciation for decent call centre staff and very little patience for the shoddy ones. I KNOW how a call centre is run, and yeah I will ask for the manager/supervisor if I’m given a brushed off excuse of an answer. Glenn hates ringing call centres as he seems to get stuck in a never ending circle of button pushing without ever reaching a person *hee* But if he passes the phone to me I’ll get through in about 20secs ( *hint* pressing 0 or # repeatedly often works if you’re really stuck).
Whoops! Let’s get back on track shall we?
In our team at work Sandra was the top sales person. We weren’t actually working in the sales area but still had small sales targets to meet each month. Sandra managed to top even those in the actual sales department. When she left a couple of years later, there were more than a few jokes going around that the company would fold without her.
The thing is, when you meet her you wouldn’t believe it. A petite woman of 40+ with a face that shows the love of the sun (if not NZ’s high UV rays), hands that are always moving, a mass of curly hair that likes to frizz, and an almost ‘anxious’ feel to her energy. She speaks at a kazillion miles an hour in a voice with a curious mix of accents, American, Malaysian, Chinese, NZ. She is a tiny, full-on power house. At first, I didn’t know what to make of her, then somehow we ended up going to watch a movie together. Our team, like many/most workplaces bonded over alcohol and Sandra and I have one very random thing in common – an allergy to alcohol. This is also why drinking isn’t mentioned that much in my books—it doesn’t actually occur to me, until someone else points it out *lol*. So as the two team oddballs, we decided to go watch some action movie.
I couldn’t tell you what the movie was, but I can tell you I spent most the movie cringing in my seat while hoping like mad that no one in the seats behind us would brain us in our seats. Why?
Sandra likes to talk in movies…
Not the ‘so, how was your day?’ style, rather a running commentary of thoughts about what she’s watching – ‘OMG he’s SO hot. Oh yes please, I’ll have a piece of that. Kill him!! Pull the trigger damn it! You pussy!’
It’s really funny to remember it, but yeah at the time I was crapping myself. I’ve been brought up pretty straight, and talking/fidgeting/opening noisy food parcels in the theatre are MAJOR no-no’s in my family.
After that blood pressure raising experience you’d think I just have legged it from the theatre and never looked back. Nope. While it terrified me, it also intrigued me (it horrified Glenn, he adores Sandra but refuses point blank to go to a movie with her *hee*) and I ended up babysitting for her, watching over her two just as full-on daughters. She is one of my closest friends in life. When it came to creating friends for Cat, I couldn’t imagine not having her there. I describe Kassie the way I see Sandra—I know she looks physically different, but at the same time, she looks exactly as I describe. I think once you get a feel for someone’s energy, then it doesn’t matter if they weigh two hundred pounds, or are a little old lady (Ada is based on my Nana after-all). If you really, truly SEE a person, then none of that other stuff matters, they’ll always be gorgeous.