A matter of degrees

Even though I have never lied about my qualifications, I still managed to reach the top of my field. Okay, that’s not true. I don’t have a field. But I did manage to reach the top of my garden once. I haven’t been back. There’s nothing up there. Bits of green stuff poking out of the ground. What am I meant to do? Visit it three times a week? Should I nuzzle the foliage and make soft, murmuring sounds to encourage it to grow? Quite frankly, I don’t care enough about it. My life isn’t all that fantastic but I don’t see any plants making the effort to come around and spend quality time with me. Not that I want them to.
I’m not saying I don’t mind a little company now and then, but I’ve found that a lot of plants, flowers mostly, are a bit gay. Sure, they’re entertaining enough for a few minutes, but then all they want to do is talk about themselves and their problems. The pansies think they’re better than the petunias. The begonias never stop bitching. And the elephant ears hear everything anyone ever says. And don’t think they keep it to themselves, either. You’d think of all those who dwell in the kingdom Plantae, elephant ears would know something about discretion. Not true. For that, you have to go to the hydrangea. I know. Who’d have thought, right?
Anyway. Vegetation gets more than its share of attention. Nurseries should be for children, not plants. How dare they. This is what democracy has done to this country.
Holy mackerel, this stuff is strong. What was I talking about?
Oh yes. Academic qualifications and the fabrications, prevarications and altercations that accompany them.
Take Ellen Tshabalala, the pretender on the SABC throne. No, really. Take her. Take her to the faraway land that is further than far and leave her there. Then come back for the others. You’re gonna need a big-ass truck for this job, bro.
Ellen got the top job at the government’s electronic mouthpiece on the basis of having five degrees, four doctorates and three trips around the sun as commander of the space shuttle. It turns out that she has no degrees and failed a course in labour relations so badly that Unisa sent her flowers wrapped up in a restraining order.
Perhaps Ellen is from a different era. From a sort of, like, black version of The Great Gatsby, where one could pretend to be anything one wanted and nobody cared whether it was true or not, as long as one drank and laughed and didn’t go home early.
Well, I don’t know about the first two, but Ellen certainly has no intention of going home early. Not without a struggle. Or a lawsuit. Or an inquiry by parliament’s communications portfolio committee. Exhausted after months of denials, she decided to have a little lie-down rather than appear before the committee this week.
Armed with nothing more than the facts, Unisa’s executive director for legal services, Jan van Wyk, brutally burst Ellen’s bubble of lies. He confirmed that she had registered twice for a B.Com degree and had twice failed to get it. Two for two. That’s a perfect score in anyone’s book.
She also took a stab at a diploma in labour relations, scoring an impressive 13 percent for her human resources module and a magnificent 35 percent for labour relations. Ellen seems to think ‘labour relations’ means that if you sleep with, say, the president, you get a job in return.
Three years ago, Ellen tried to get a job at Mercedes Benz. Not, as you may think, as a crash test dummy. She mentioned her mythological degrees, presumably assuring her prospective employer that they had been temporarily mislaid – perhaps on the space shuttle.
Mercedes didn’t take Ellen at her word. You can’t blame her for that. The Germans haven’t trusted anyone since Britain invaded Poland in 1939. Being something of a historian, I turned to Google to make sure of my facts. I punched in Germany + Poland and got a headline saying, “Poland stun Germany in Euro 2016 qualifier with first ever victory.”
I don’t even know what that means.
Mercedes, not having been born yesterday, smelt a rat. They alerted their global network of moles and informants and soon enough discovered that Ellen had none of the qualifications she claimed to have. On these spurious grounds alone, they decided not to hire her. What appalling hypocrites. They’re a car company. Their founding fathers are immortalised in pillars of salt.
Ellen now says there’s a conspiracy against her, claiming that the records on Unisa’s system were altered. Also, the moon landing was faked and Hillary Clinton is a lizard.
As for Jan van Wyk, he “just draws his info from a computer system yet he does not even have experience in IT.”
Er, Ellen? If you click on ‘file’ and ‘open’, you too will be able to access all sorts of information from your computer. You don’t even need a degree to work it out.
Ellen’s mistake is persisting with the lies. Jacob Zuma’s mistake was hiring her. And our mistake is continuing to pay licence fees to the SABC. It’s quite clearly the wrong thing to do.
 
 

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