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Identity Crisis saved by the Constant Naartjie Nation’s Legal CRM

I was trying to hide behind one of the Pearson brothers. We had several tall boys in our class but this particular Pearson boy was tall and had a bit of weight to go with it. His tall, sturdy body gave me a good hiding place so I stood in the Assembly Hall and hid behind John Pearson. We were about 10 years old and were in the final year before our big exams. They called the 11 plus Exams and on the strength of those they decided whether or not you would be academic and go to Grammar School or if not, you would go to a Secondary Modern School – as they were known. serious.

So, life was becoming


Suddenly my cover was blown when the impervious John Pearson unexpectedly strode across the hall to see a friend of his; leaving me on show to all and terribly vulnerable. People looked at me and looked away and then did a double take. Standing there the previous day was this slight angular girl with dark straight hair as fine as the fronds of a feather and long enough to sit upon.

Now she was changed into a curious looking gaunt kid whose dark hair was cut close to her scalp and so full of curls as to appear to be African. The only problem was her skin was as white as snow so it looked completely incongruous.

Remember my Mother, the artist and pilot? I forgot to tell you that she also owned a chain of ‘beauty” (hairdressing) salons in the north of England (West Riding of Yorkshire) and she always took me with her when she did inspections. Last night, Monday evening had been an inspection and whilst waiting, one of the hairdressers had asked Mama if she could do my hair – everyone practiced little things on my hair – and Mama had agreed. However, this assistant was on a death wish mission!

Consequently, on Tuesday morning I looked the epitome of Topsy walking out of the pages of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It looked horrid; and I looked horrid. I wanted to wrap my head in a scarf and run away but, there was nothing to do but accept all the sarcastic comments from my teachers and classmates and wait until it grew out. For a month or two I wore a beret or scarf most of the day – we didn’t have proper beanie hats then or that would’ve solved the problem.

Eventually after three or four months (my hair grows quite quickly) I appeared to have hair again but I was still insecure about it and would only let Mother touch it. It was Wednesday evening and the clients and most of the staff of


another of the salons had left when we arrived for inspection. Before she began Mother decided to wash my hair and then inspect so I’d be dry and ready when she wanted to leave the salon. She put on an overall and picked up a clear glass carafe (we used them in the salons to hold shampoos or conditioner mixes) and asked is this a shampoo mix? Not waiting for the answer, she began to use it on my hair when the employee came running back shouting stop, stop, it’s a mix of honey blond permanent colour.

Oopsy! two heads quickly raised up in alarm – one was Mother’s and the other one was a strange looking child with honey blonde hair. Omg! That’s all I needed! I sat in that chair in the salon, staring at myself in the big lit up mirror with tears rolling uncontrollably down my face. I bare slept that night for crying. On Thursday morning I found that Pearson boy and hid behind him again in the Assembly Hall but he just laughed at me and deliberately moved away. I knew I was ‘unveiled’.

For a second I became Lauren Bacall in a movie

with Humphrey Bogart! I felt the infallibility of it all to be non-existent and I laughed….and cried and tried to borrow someone’s balaclava – which, in the summer, just drew more attention to things.

Once again, I was back to growing it out. Patience, Mama said. This will teach you patience. Also, it shows us that the Honey Blonde is a nice colour to use – just not for you though! That unkindness was so unnecessary and it made me feel really insecure! She told me I have to get used to change and stop hanging on to the past and old habits. A ten-year-old tomboy learns a lot from these pearls of wisdom!

My hair was never the same again for many years. It was short and fire engine red (I felt I was looking at Cilla Black on a bad day before it faded back into this rebellious, gaunt and tired child); it was long and slinky, shiny platinum blonde (the hair, not me - I was twelve, gangly, clumsy and awkward) there was just a second of Jayne Mansfield and Jean Harlow before snapping back to reality; then it was brown with a geometrical cut (on a grown up this looks very


model-ish and avant garde; on a kid it looks like I found the kitchen scissors and rebelled!).

After that, these stylists practised on me and sometimes used me for competition work (though I didn’t have the right hair for that as mine was very fine and they needed almost horsehair for competitions). But in any case, for years I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be and resented every change that was made. Heck, I was a kid with a multiple ID crisis who just wanted to be an ordinary, unnoticeable, uncomplicated, plain and simple kid.

I took great solace from my Grandmama who explained that a lot of kids would pay money to trade places with me. She always managed to find something good out of any bad situation. So, I tried to look on the bright side, but she passed away in hospital when I was eleven years – going on for twelve; and then I had nobody in my life that mattered because she was everyone that I needed or wanted.

She was my constant.

Because of all of the foregoing; and I think I’m telling you this to explain that as a kid already – so early in my life – I wasn’t allowed to have a constant – and kids need that when growing up. After she passed away, and from the age of 12, there were no actual constants in my life other than those of a negative nature.

So about six months ago at my current great age when I’ve come to terms with all of the above, Naartjie Legal CRM came into my life and I realised this was going to be the most positive constant I’d had in years! And it is! When I look for Clients they’re always in the same place and still hold the info I put there plus all the info all the other employees have put there. When I go to Calendar it’s the same story; and all the other places like Tasks and Meetings – everything is in its place.


As a result of this, it makes me feel very comfortable as it is so user friendly and as a further result and an extra bonus, I work harder and better because I feel so comfortable with this easy to use system. So, I respond well and receive the benefits of being so organised I have more time in each day to do that little bit more work!

My hair is its own dark brown colour which I put on myself. I can’t remember the last time I went to a Hairdresser but I think I go every two years or so just to keep it trimmed. It’s extremely long and way past my shoulders; I just twist it up into a neat bun every day so as not to cause attention. I’m not about fashion shows and girly things that are overdone and look ridiculous.

I’m all about being real and natural and forgetting about myself completely so that I can do my work to a higher standard and a better quality. That makes me feel good. I get so lost in my work I forget the time or the day and often have to be reminded of the time or I might never get home! I look forward to coming into work every day and although I work hard, I enjoy my input.

Now most of this has actually come about from the Naartjie Legal CRM. I won’t say that I wasn’t like this before because that would be lying as I really enjoyed my work. However, I must say that since the advent of this particular CRM I’ve been happier than in years, and enjoy the content of my work so much more. I look forward each day to working with it and find it to be the most efficient and user friendly constant I’ve ever found in a cloud based programme focused on the legal profession.

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Identity Crisis saved by the Constant Naartjie Nation’s Legal CRM  

I was trying to hide behind one of the Pearson brothers. We had several tall boys in our class but this particular Pearson boy was tall and...

Identity Crisis saved by the Constant Naartjie Nation’s Legal CRM  

I was trying to hide behind one of the Pearson brothers. We had several tall boys in our class but this particular Pearson boy was tall and...

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