Posted by: Vanessa Barneveld | February 4, 2010

Mixed Bag

It’s been a mixed-up time for me lately, so it’s only fitting I post a mixed-up blog today.

A tribute…

A couple of weeks ago, my family was dealt a huge blow when my husband’s dad passed away suddenly. Every one of the two hundred people who attended Barry’s funeral (and those who couldn’t make it) will miss this larger-than-life larrikin. He was a record-breaking weightlifter and an extraordinary singer. Among the many good deeds he performed as a police officer, he helped establish Blue Light Discos in Queensland and cared for neglected kids. Last Saturday would have been my parents-in-law 50th wedding anniversary. Barry was much loved and I have nothing but golden memories of him.

A contest winner…

Now, to lighten up a little. The contest winner announcement is well overdue! Thanks to all who entered the Sarah Dessen ‘Last Summer’ draw. ANNA CAMPBELL, this fabu book is yours!

A jealous girl…

I’m employed by a pretty schmick company. With state-of-the-art technology, a constant stream of celebrities and fabulous views (if you don’t count the alarming view of the backpacker hostel bathroom from my desk), it’s a nice place to work. But my good friend Annie West sent me pictures of Google’s California HQ and I suddenly wished I had studied IT at school. Get a load of these perks:

Stress Capsule

The Stress Capsule. I'd be sleeping off lunch in one of these.

Slippery Slide. Forget taking the lift or climbing the corporate ladder!

Cookie Station. All aboard!

Private Cabins. These appear to be a step or dozen up from a regular phone booth.

I have a few questions for you. What’s your idea of workplace utopia? Do you work in a strictly business environment? Would you work harder if your boss plied you with a entire table of cookies every day?



  1. I want a slippery dip in my office, oh hey I do, it’s called home and I’m way to big for my 2yr olds slippery dip, damn!
    I could do with a stress capsule right now, querying agents is always the most stressful times for me.

  2. Good luck with the queries, Nat! I know how nerve-racking the agent search is.

    You’ve been whittling yourself away using that hula-hoop–there’s still hope for you and that slippery dip yet!

  3. (((hugs))) on the loss of your father-in-law, Vanessa. he sounds likehe was a larger-than-life character and the love that you remember him with is a great legacy!

    Thanks for sharing the Google pics! I love the Google stress capsule – it looks like it’s eating the man – could caaption it “M&M’s revenge!” The designers must have let their “inner children” loose! It looks like huge fun!

    And congratulations to Anna Campbell on winning the Sarah Dessen book prize.


  4. Thanks for the hugs, Sharon. Barry was a huge supporter of my writing too.

    Love your observation about the stress capsule! Doesn’t this place look like a fun place to work? Employees probably don’t want to go home…or is that the whole idea? Hmm…

  5. Vanessa, I would not like cookies in the workplace–too much temptation.
    As you know, my “day job” is in a magazine office where I edit a food magazine. We talk about food, we sample food, we photograph food, we design food layouts and we write food copy. So then I eat too much food and I get fat.
    I would like an office environment with no food at all!
    A stress capsule would be wonderful, only I wouldn’t have time to get in it!!

  6. Hey, is that MEEEEEE? THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I never win anything like this so this is a great thrill.

    I’m so sorry about your father-in-law but there’s much comfort in knowing he lived his life to the full and helped so many people. Hugs.

    Google looks like a fantastic place to work. Although like Kandy, all that food around would be a disaster for me! I think I put on a pound looking at those biscuits! I think the slippery dip would be huge fun to get around.

    Actually I really like my work environment! I work out of an office in my house and the view is across a garden full of native birds.

  7. Kandy, that’s so awful that you wouldn’t have time to destress if you had a stress capsule!

    Our offices are a few blocks apart. If ever you need food-testers, I will clear my schedule and help out in any way necessary.

  8. Yes, it’s youuuuuu, Anna! My cat had a hand in drawing the winner.

    You do have a lovely, relaxing office! It’s nice to have a garden to stare at when ideas are percolating. Why not install one of those slides pool-side?

    Thank you for your kind thoughts about my father-in-law.

  9. Vanessa, what sad news about your father in law. It sounds like he was a very dear man. At least you, and the others who knew him, will have great memories of him to take into the future.

    On that lighter note, my dream work environment would NOT have a few of a backpacker hostel bathroom. Eeww! It would, however, have Lindt hot chocolate made to order, a balcony overlooking a park where I could sit and watch the birds or the joggers or whatever, and, if only it were possible – no email. For some reason email in the office seems to be an excuse for people to give me more work!

  10. Thank you, Annie. He was very special.

    I’d be happy with your ideal workplace! Need the smell of Lindt wafting in the air to make me work faster. I actually have a fabulous view of Hyde Park to my left, but if I look straight ahead at the hostel…ahhhhh!

  11. Awww … sending hugs to you Vanessa.

  12. Thank you, lovely Llehn!

  13. Zero office politics is my idea of workplace utopia
    ahh well, given human nature its impossible.

    Lots of cookies never hurt!

  14. Oh, yes, EeLeenLee, it’s tricky negotiating personalities at work. Just like family, you can’t always pick your colleagues! Cookies, especially the double-chocolate kind, are a great antidote to poisonous politics.

  15. Omg, I want to work there!

    My jaw dropped at the cookies. Yum.

  16. Isn’t it fantastic, Laura? I’d love to work there too, only I’m not qualified for techie jobs. I can however work as a cookie taster.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: