Fiction Gallery: Natasha Prinsloo
Do you know a Natasha Prinsloo? A real charmer!
Some people just do not mature well. Natasha Prinsloo returned to university at around age 28, graduating in her thirties. Therefore even though she is in fact a fairly recent graduate, she has come to be treated as a more experienced and a senior member of the art world.
Natasha quickly grew aware of being able to pretend to be far more senior than she is, and has taken on the persona of a senior professional. Given that she is able to ‘charm’ the more naive men around her, her employers and her clients, this has meant she rose quickly to a middle management job.
Unfortunately for anyone who has to work either alongside her, it quickly becomes obvious that she relies heavily on the new junior staff for creativity and anything close to an original idea. Poor Natasha is just not what you would call a creative type. But as Natasha Prinsloo has been granted status by her (male) employers and clients, it has not been wise for any of her employees to indicate that they in fact do all the creative thinking and that Natasha Prinsloo takes the credit.
Quite a few people have given up working for Natasha Prinsloo. They usually do this after being treated badly, rudely, and spoken to in a very patronising and condescending manner. Once these people have left, it is common for Natasha to speak badly of those departed. Natasha makes it her duty to inform the clients, her colleagues of how badly the former employees performed, that they were responsible for any mistakes and that they should not be trusted with any future employment.
Natasha Prinsloo is definitely capable of all levels of revenge on people for things they may or may not have done. Once when a colleague shifted a publication function of the company to another town without Natasha’s knowledge, all hell broke loose. From the moment the move was announced, that particular person became the subject of indirect and direct harassment, to the extent that they took the easy way out and eventually resigned. They were not to know that Natasha Prinsloo had ambitions of taking over that section and so by having it removed from her sphere of influence, Natasha had her immediate ambitions clipped quite severely.
Natasha Prinsloo has a very distinctive patronising voice for those whom she knows do not fall for her ‘charming nature’ and therefore she deems to be less worthy than she. She reserves her particularly ‘charming’ style of voice for men who fall for any flattery that comes their way; in Natasha Prinsloo’s world, there seems to be quite a few of these gullible men. These men then become her allies and defend Natasha against any of the numerous criticisms talked about by those who she has defamed or at least have been the subject of one of Natasha’s hideous personal attacks. As these men are often more senior positions in the profession, it becomes hard for anyone to speak against Natasha.
Natasha Prinsloo is of an age whereby she had benefited greatly from the equal opportunity battles that have been partially won in previous decades. When confronted with issues in the work place Natasha Prinsloo is prone to cry discrimination. Most of the time it is used as a convenience by which to grab some high moral ground. Yet morals are not something that comes to mind when thinking of Natasha Prinsloo.
When it comes to how she treats her employees, especially the women, her behaviour is likened to the worst of the traditional male bad behaviour towards women.
When programs are suggested to deal with inequality in the workplace, it is Natasha Prinsloo who will be on of the first to say that such programs are unnecessary as she does not believe they are relevant in today’s industrial environment. Natasha Prinsloo knows little about how to, nor has any inclination to mentor other women in junior positions.
These views that lead to the blocking of programs to assist other women have blocked numerous proposals put in meetings by others who are more aware of the realities of the contemporary workplace. Sadly as it is a woman, being Natasha Prinsloo, who speaks strongly against these initiatives, the men tend do not follow through on the such obvious necessities. They choose to fall in line dutifully alongside their charmer, Natasha Prinsloo.
There is no doubt that Natasha Prinsloo is well protected in her present middle management position. Her special personal style of close contact with her senior male employers has secured this for the moment.
However that particularly shrill and cutesy voice is a definitely an irritant. Maybe one day soon it won’t be so charming for those who matter in her life. Besides herself that is.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
This post is part of an ongoing series of fictional characters being developed for a series of stories, yet to be titled.
Paul Costigan, 1st February 2014