We're Never Coming Back

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Day 211 - I've got a JOB!!!

australia Lazy days in Sydney are no more. Lie-in's have been laid to rest. Boardshorts are out - long-sleeved shirts are in. Guys, I did it. I got myself a job.

So, after a weekend of doing nothing but swim in Peach's swimming pool and go on the internet, I decided to be productive on Monday morning. I jumped on the phone to a recruitment agency that specialises in data entry (I'm shit hot on a keyboard, so its probably good for me) and they called me in for a mid-day typing test.

A very pissy 20-something woman stuffed me in a tiny room with a single computer and PAGES of numbers and tells me that I have 5 minutes to type as many numbers as possible. Followed by 5 minutes of typing out a page of text which groans on about the benefits of better communication in the workplace. "we don't even consider applicants with less than 70 words per minute". Well, I'm 72. so the test was successful and almost a bit easy. A quick interview later and they're gonna try and sort me with a job on wednesday.

Which is exactly what they did. I get a call that afternoon to say that my great test scores (I racked up 11,000 keystrokes per hour as well, which is pretty good) have won me a job at a financial data storage company doing some kind of 2 day job for them. Starting on wednesday. So the next day I do a test-run "walk to work" to make sure I'm not late on my big day, and attempt to get a good night's sleep. Because tomorrow I would be getting up at...

6:45am. Right, who the hell designed the 8-4 job. I hate them. They suck. I had to get up at 6:45am, shower, dress (I could wear anything, so I'm in my boardies and hoody), walk to the tube station, wait 13 minutes for a tube, then walk the 20 minute walk to work, then wait in reception for 15 minutes because I'm early. and all before my 8am start. It was HELL. I felt drugged and beaten. I swear I could 'see' the bags under my eyes when I looked down. But I made it.

The company's called Recall, and I've been given the job of finding a box of back-up cassette tapes that belong to JP Morgan from this massive movable filing cabinet...

...taking the tapes out, opening an excel spreadsheet and copying these colourful numbers into the spreadsheet...

Its great. I have about 3000 tapes to copy down in 2 days. I don't have to rush. I can listen to some Bernard Fanning on my cd player. I can take breaks when the air con is too cold. I can take my time and not stress and for my second day, I can turn up a little late if I want. and the whole time I'm earling a whopping $18 an hour (that's like 7.50 quid an hour). My two days fly by and before I know it I'm saying goodbye and walking away with a wedge of cash in new australian bank account.

Now, here's the stinger. This job looks good to keep me busy for as long as I need it. They have other work for me to do, and whilst its gonna be boring, it pays well. But here it comes. Its true - it never rains but it pours. I'm at the tube the station waiting for a tube to go out on thursday night and my phone rings.

- "hi duncan, its eddy here"
- "hi eddy" (thinking "who the hell is eddy")
- "I've been looking at your CV and I think you should come in for a trial at the bar tomorrow night"
- (right. its eddy from the Civic pub opposite my work) "erm, yeah, great. what time?"
- "9pm"
- "great. see you there"
- "great. don't forget your bottle opener"

Totally out of the blue, having sorting my job crisis, I go and bag another one, working in a bar across from my hostel. Its perfect. I can work weekdays in the office, evenings and weekends in the bar. As if I didn't know already, there really is a God.

Anyway, more messy Indie-night madness at the world bar, including (for a change) a lot of dancing. A multitude of sweaty photos ensued.

So yeah, Friday comes. I spend the day scouring the city for some comfortable and somewhat-trendy black/black shoes to wear to work. I bag a pair of hideous black trousers and a super nice black shirt and by 6pm I was ready to start my 'trial'.

9pm came and I left the hostel, walked across the junction, and into the bar. Nervous. Sweating a bit. Its rammed. The bar is heaving, the boss spots me walking in, I lean out my right hand, and before any introductions, guided tours or briefings, I'm logged in on the till and pouring pints for the impatient 20-something crowd.

Its mad. My first pint was awful - I was told very patronisingly that in australia the customers 'like' a big head on their beer. I spilt my first vodka shot. I couldn't find the drinks on the till anywhere. I couldn't understand the ranting australian accents. I lost my bidget bottle opener several times. And generally I sweated through 7 hours of hard labour before Eddy (the boss) pulled me aside and told me I had done a good job and he'd rota me in for more shifts. And I left the place buzzing.

Out of all the guys at work, I seemed to get on the best with one guys called Matt. He's SO COOL. you know those people you meet and they just ooze coolness. I love him. every second that the two of us weren't serving, he was whispering jokes in my ear, pointing out slutty girls who were way too wasted, putting lumps of ice in my hand, or asking customers if they "want fries with that". He's so funny. And we totally have the same taste in music - so much so that he invites me down to the Phoenix tonight for 'his' night - Bandits. Which is wicked, because I went there a couple of weeks back after the Unfair gig. So I agree to head down after my shift, and its amazing. He introduces me to his beautiful girlfriend, sarah, and his other mates. I get in free. I dance until 6am then stumble home.

Most of saturday was spent sleeping, and by 10:30pm I was ready for shift number 2 at the Civic. Tonight its "Booty Bar" which means tonnes of RnB, tonnes of lads buying "pink pussy" shooters, tonnes of girls seriously under-dressed and underage, and a bucket load of tips for happy bartender dunc. It was great. Still have a few nervous moments where everything falls apart or Eddy shouts down the back of my neck. But apart from that, its great. And when I clear out of the bar at 2:30am I head up to Oxford Street to meet the guys in Stonewall for a few post-work drinks.

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