When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

When I was little, I wanted to be a doctor (read, surgeon). Not because I wanted to help people, but because I wanted to see what they looked like inside. You could say I was a bit of a morbid child, but don’t panic; I didn’t turn into a serial killer. I was just curious about the way things worked. It was probably that curiosity that drove my brain subconsciously toward the fascination with the death care industry, and my desire to become a mortician.

When I got a little older, I decided that being a doctor wasn’t for me. I thought maybe I would like to be an archaeologist instead, because I was fascinated by history, and how things got to be where they ended up, and the stories that could be told by bones and all manner of things one finds in the ground. Plus, I had a huge crush on Indiana Jones, duh. Soon, that dream too fell by the wayside, as I was struck by the revelation that there was so much study involved, and school was gross.

Of course, I’ve thought of doing many things over the years. Amongst many others, I considered being a teacher, a stewardess, a vet, a vampire slayer and, like almost every child in the world at some point (I’m sure), a rock star. None of these career goals lasted very long, and when I reached the age where I could actually go out and find I job, I went into the most easy and accessible field available; retail.

Now, at 26, I’m still working in retail, and still no closer to deciding what it is I want to do. I mean, yes, my ultimate goal is still to be a mortician. But as with anything, getting a job in a particular field is not as easy as simply having an interest and a desire to work within that field. I’m working on it, nevertheless, but in the meantime I need to find something that doesn’t make me want to shoot myself in the face every morning.

The one thing that has stuck with me all these years, is writing. I’ve always had a dream that maybe one day, I’ll write books for a living. This romantic notion comes complete with not having to wear pants, getting to work from home, being fabulous and reclusive, whilst also being friends with the likes of Neil Gaiman, J.K Rowling, and Gillian Flynn. And did I mention not having to wear pants? I lose motivation a lot, and I have writing lulls, and I doubt myself every time I put pen to paper. But one day, maybe.

For the moment, I have to content myself with the fact that I at least have a job, and a means to make money. I could certainly be a lot worse off, and I’m about to return to full time in the coming weeks, so I can at least go back to saving for a house sometime in the future. A job is better than no job, as they say. And unless I’m headed for some kind of untimely demise at any point soon, I’m sure I have plenty of time to follow my career dreams.

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Why Doing What You Love is Never as Simple as it Sounds

“Just do what you love.”

I get this advice a lot. Being underemployed means I spend a lot of my time searching the internet for full time work. I’ve applied for a tonne in the last couple of months, had one interview for a job (which I was told yesterday I did get), a handful of rejection emails and a whole lot of silence. I’ve applied for anything and everything that doesn’t require a formal qualification (there are a lot of jobs for health professionals, accountants and lawyers in my area currently). And all people keep telling me is “just do what you love”, as if that in itself is easy.

Firstly, the things I love to do are hardly marketable. Sure, I enjoy writing and sewing, but the brutal truth is that I am not good enough at either of those things to make a living from them. And secondly, I don’t know what I’m really passionate about, enough to want to do it for a job. I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that I will never have a job I love, but at this point I’d settle for a job that pays enough to survive on.

Some people love their jobs. I have friends that studied and are now working their dream jobs. J know people who got a job that turned out to be exactly what they wanted. And some people are just plain positive all the time, and would be happy working any job at all. Me, I would love to own a book shop. I would love to be a musician, playing in small venues to chill crowds all singing along. I would love to write books, or be a travel writer, or just get paid to travel. I would love to review films for a living, or hell, even star in films. And I’ve always kind of wanted to be a mortician. There’s a lot I would love to do, and a lot of reasons why I never could.

I know I’ve said this before, but I envy those who know what they want. And envy even more those who know what they want, and love it. I wish I loved my job, but the reality is that going to work makes me miserable. And since doing what I love isn’t going to make me enough money to live on, at least any point in the near future, I have to settle for any job that will actually employ me. So wish me luck, guys. And I hope the employment gods are listening, because a particular little misanthrope down here is starting to get desperate.

Common Things I Hear as a Shoe Repairer

I’m currently back working as a shoe repairer. Also a watch repairer, and a qualified engraver. And since I’ve been back, I’ve begun to hear again, all the things customers tend to say when they approach my counter. Some irritating, some funny, and some that leave me speechless for one reason or another.

“Do you repair shoes here?”
No, that wall of shoes behind me, and the giant sign out front advertising that we do, in fact, repair shoes, is all just there to trick you. This question always gets me, because its akin to walking into a coffee shop, and asking the barista if they serve coffee.

“Are you going to do a good job?”
Firstly, yes. Secondly, I’m very good at my job, and I take pride in my work, so to reiterate my first point…yes. This is one of the more regular questions I get. For some reason, when handing shoes over, people get paranoid that their items will come back in a worse shape than when they dropped them in. But the whole point of my job is literally to do the exact opposite; I’m a repairer, not a destroyer.

“But I only need one heel.”
This question often arises because people think it will be cheaper to only replace one of a pair. Whilst often one heel is actually more worn than the other, I have to repair them by the pair to make sure they’re an even height.

“Can’t you fit my shoes in? (I’m only here for the day)”
Sure. If you wanna call the ten people who brought in shoes ahead of you, and explain to each of them why you deserve preferential treatment, I will happily do your huge, time consuming job today. My biggest frustration with this question, is the sense of entitlement some people have. I don’t mind fitting in smaller jobs here and there, in between doing other shoes (while I wait for the glue to heat for example), but so often people come up, and as a result of their own poor time management, can’t wait around. They then get mad at me, because I genuinely don’t have time to do the work they require in the timeframes they demand.

“You’re a girl”
Yes. Yes I am. I generally get this from middle aged men, who still live in a time when women were deemed incapable of doing anything. I had a customer the other day who I assume meant to say this very thing, but fumbled his words and instead, ended up asking me if I was a girl.

“Do you actually work here?”
Yup. Hence the uniform. And…y’know, the whole standing behind the counter thing. This is a combination of asking if I repair shoes, and commenting that I’m a girl. Implied in the question is that I can’t possibly be employed as a repairer, and that I must simply be here to serve customers.

But don’t you need a man to supervise you?”
Well, now that you mention it…no. I have nearly three years experience, and managed various stores in the city, so I’m fully qualified and perfectly capable. Further examples of people not acknowledging my skill, on the basis that I don’t have a penis.

“Did it take a lot of training?”
People are always fascinated by how one gets into a job like mine, and because of the skills involved, are equally curious about the training it took to get to where I am. With the company I work for, it was mostly on the job stuff, with an assessment at three and twelve months respectively.

“That’s very expensive. Can’t you make it cheaper?”
This, I imagine, is common of many retail stores. Most of what we do has set pricing, standard across all stores. It takes into account time required, materials, and skills involved. There are always special circumstances and exceptions, but it’s not a regular occurrence.

But that’s not what the other girl said”
I’m sorry to tell you, but I am the other (and only) girl. And FYI there is no way I would ever say that the $80 repair job you have can be done for $15. This is another one particularly common in retail. Customers assume that a) you don’t communicate with your work mates and b) that you’ll take them on face value. In some cases, I concede that one customer may be given conflicting information by two staff members, but more often than not in my experience, it’s just a case of the customers thinking were dumb. We’re not dumb.

Do you know where the toilets are?”
This one comes up a lot, because I work in an open kiosk, in a busy shopping centre, and I guess I’m an easy point of access for questions unrelated to my job. Though sometimes, I can’t help but have a little chuckle to myself when they ask where the supermarket is, because my shop is literally right out the front of the supermarket.

I could honestly write a book about all the strange things I hear at my job. But for now, I’ll leave you with just a blog post!

New Job…Again.

I finished my old job last week. This week I have been driving all over the state to meet the requirements for the new job I start on Monday. At 7am. In a location two hours away from my home. So guess who gets to get up at 4am on Monday…yup, you guessed it; this guy.

I am excited, and nervous, and worried that I won’t be good enough. I am applying for houses and getting excited about living on my own again, and I hope this time that I get a decent place to live. I can’t wait to have my own stuff again, instead of it all being locked away in a storage shed. I’m looking forward to hanging my art prints, and setting up my books and DVDs, and being able to play video games until all hours of the morning on my day off, and having a sewing room again. Basically I think the most exciting thing about this new job, aside from the better money, is the notion that I’ll be back living my happy little solitary life…probably with a puppy, for cuddling purposes.

My old job was never meant to be long term. In fact, I lasted there longer than I expected; nine months. My new job is in a call centre as well, but instead of answering questions about health insurance, I will be working with a different focus. Am I prepared? Yes, I think as much as I can be. And it’s something new, something different, something that I can see a a future in. We’ll see how I go.

Only Thursday 


I woke up this morning, late and disgruntled. Why? Because today is only Thursday. It has been a very long few weeks at work, as I have been working two straight weeks of late shifts. And when there can be up to three minutes between calls at that late stage in the day, believe me, those 8.5 hours can feel like 28.5. 

It is at this point in the fortnight that I knew my tolerance for anything would be stretched to the limit. I am unmotivated, irritable, and that back pain from a few weeks ago has decided to come back with a vengeance so, on top of everything else, I’m uncomfortable. This is not a good combination for a happy and productive Amy.

Add to this the strange, disjointed dreams. The quickly decreasing funds in my bank account, and long stretch of days before I get paid again. The similar situition with my phone data, where every time I check the ‘net, I am brought closer to going over my limit and being charged an extra GB for $10 (which, frankly, is something of a rip off if you ask me). And, of course, the real cherry atop this grumpy fortnight cake; my weekend is still two days away!

Now, I’ve been trying not to eat a lot of crap food lately, in an attempt to encourage a healthier and more active change in habits. But guys, with still two days left in this week, it’s time to bring out the big guns to get me through. It’s time…for tea and chocolate!

Anyway, I hope your day/week/fortnight is going better than mine, in any case. And, because I’m feeling a little emotional and sappy right now, thank you for reading. You guys are the bomb diggity.

New Job 

I started a new job this week. Remember the call centre I didn’t hear back from? Well, a couple of days after that post, I heard back from them, and Wednesday was my first day. 

I’m so glad to be home. And to have a job that has set shifts, set hours, and actual days off. Let me say that again. Actual. Days. Off. Today is my Friday, and it’s an actual Friday and I’m equally excited and confused about what I should do. It’s been so long since I had proper days off that it’s going to definitely take some adjustment. But in a good way!

I will have to get used to sitting down in a chair and staring at a computer screen all day instead of moving around and working with my hands, but it’s a small price to pay. I’m just glad that I was able to go straight from one job to another and don’t have to be without money. 

Anyway, that’s it. Mostly because I’m too distracted by 10 Things I Hate About You to wrote a proper post. And this was pretty much just to satiate Louie’s desire for a blog post. Peace out, kids.

Job Hunting Sucks, Y’all

I am working back in the city today, and I really can’t be bothered. I applied for about five jobs in the last couple of weeks, and I have heard back from only one, telling me that they had decided to go with another candidate. The others have vanished from the online job forum, given to other people that are not me. Good for them. Jobs are hard to come by. Oh, in the city jobs are as abundant as the people that mill about the streets, but I am not looking for jobs in the city. I am looking for jobs back home, and back home jobs are scarce. See, for every hundred jobs, there are sixty I can’t apply for because I don’t have the appropriate degree or experience. There are another thirty that I won’t apply for because they are only casual, offering hours so meagre that it’s a wonder they don’t just spread them out over their existing staff members. The ten jobs I can apply for aren’t appealing, but it’s all there is, so I apply. And hear nothing back. Every. Time.

I am feeling a little disheartened by the whole thing actually. I mean, I applied for a call centre the other day, and that I’m itself is an indication of how desperate I am to not be at my current job. Not to discredit all the people who do work in call centres. Being shouted at by customers over the phone takes gumption. I just mean, I’m not particularly fond of people…or talking on the phone…or talking to people on the phone. And yet despite all my hang ups (boom!) I still applied, and would be.genuinely happy to work in a call centre.

Looking for work is hard. I know people who always seem to get a job as easily as breathing, and they sit there and preach about how simple it is, and how people who can’t get work straight away aren’t trying hard enough, and “why don’t you just go out and cold call, you’ll find something straight away”. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, easily employable people, but it doesn’t work that way for everyone. I have skills. I have experience. I’ve worked in retail for almost a decade without stabbing anyone – and really, that is an employable skill if I ever heard one – but however good I am, it doesn’t seem to be good enough. There’s always someone better suited, more experienced, less facially pierced. (I have a lip ring, which is apparently cause to not employ a person, regardless of how good they are, or of the fact that it can be removed).

I’m not asking for much, not really. I don’t need a job that pays billions. I don’t even need the perfect job, at least not right now. All I want is full time employment that doesn’t make me want to throw myself wholeheartedly off a roof…and into a rubbish compactor…that is on fire. There’s got to be a job that like out there for me, right? Cross your fingers and toes and legs and whatever other body parts you have a mind to cross, for me. Because one way or another, I need out.