Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘The Workplace’

Living by your wits: no security, but less stress

October 08, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Money, Psychology, The Workplace No Comments →

Saffy had dental surgery two weeks ago. We noticed that she’d been swatting her face and snarling, and figured she had a toothache. The excellent vets at Makati Dog and Cat Hospital extracted five rotten teeth (Saffy is 15 and has never brushed her teeth in her life, being a cat). Saffy has recovered completely and is slightly nicer than she was when she was in pain, though she could still be the reincarnation of Josef Stalin. She’s even started eating hard kibble again, after having demanded paté-type cat food for the last year or so.

If we had a “normal” work schedule and went to the office everyday, we might not have noticed that our feline overlord needed medical attention. The great advantage of being freelance, i.e. living by our wits, is that we can decide how we’re going to spend our time. In the 21st century, time is a luxury that even the rich and powerful can barely afford. They’re over-scheduled and have to hoard their holidays. As long as we finish our assignments, we can go to the movies in the middle of the afternoon.

In our observation, people who live by their wits are less stressed than people with high-paying jobs or successful businesses. We don’t have real financial security, and we’re always aware that periods of liquidity can suddenly give way to penury. We’re accustomed to uncertainty and chaos, so we’ve learned to ride out the lean periods. This does not mean we’re lazy. Freelancers who are lazy cannot pay the rent or buy cat food. We toil, but we get to decide when to toil, usually in intense bursts.

Living by your wits isn’t for everybody, but if you know how to improvise and you don’t have ten children to buy braces for, we recommend it.

All cats are critics

March 10, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, The Workplace No Comments →


Saffy: It is faithful to its literary source.
Drogon: There are not enough cats.

Is krungkrung hyphenated?

January 23, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: History, Language, The Workplace 4 Comments →

Our friend Noel sent us a video report that could very well be the definition of krungkrung. Then he asked something that, in our universe, is a vital question: Is krungkrung hyphenated? Krungkrung or krung-krung?

Read our column at

How can we get any work done?

December 17, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, The Workplace 1 Comment →

You’re looking for something? What? What? Can I help?

Have you looked in your bag? I’ll find it, I’m very helpful.

Maybe it’s on this shelf. Ooh, books. Will you read a book to me? I love stories.

Are you writing your column? Can I write it for you? Look, I can hold a pen.

Are you tired? Why don’t you rub my tummy? It’s very soft.

Look into my eyes. Your eyelids are getting heavy. Sleep. Sleeeeep.

The difficulties of writing at home

February 18, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Notebooks, The Workplace 8 Comments →

We’re writing a short story when a shadow falls upon the paper, followed by furry feet.

Saffy, get off our notebook, we’re writing.

Please get off our notebook.

You can’t be hungry, you just ate. And we just cleaned the litter box so you can’t complain. It’s our writing time, go away.

– I am inspiring you.
– Thanks, but what’s the point when we can’t see the page.
– That is not my problem.

Yes, we do judge people by their grammar.

December 31, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Language, The Workplace 2 Comments →

Read How To Use An Apostrophe in The Oatmeal.

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.
by Kyle Wiens in the HBR blogs
(Please, we don’t even admit their comments. Fine, most of their comments.)

If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.

Some might call my approach to grammar extreme, but I prefer Lynne Truss’s more cuddly phraseology: I am a grammar “stickler.” And, like Truss — author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves — I have a “zero tolerance approach” to grammar mistakes that make people look stupid.

Now, Truss and I disagree on what it means to have “zero tolerance.” She thinks that people who mix up their itses “deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave,” while I just think they deserve to be passed over for a job — even if they are otherwise qualified for the position.

Everyone who applies for a position at either of my companies, iFixit or Dozuki, takes a mandatory grammar test. Extenuating circumstances aside (dyslexia, English language learners, etc.), if job hopefuls can’t distinguish between “to” and “too,” their applications go into the bin.

Thanks to Ricky for the link.