Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Torn Like A No-Good Love Letter

I find at the present moment that my life is full of nothing concrete but plans, plans, plans. Many creative projects swirl at my feet. Opportunities and avenues and ways to jump.

I love each and every one and don't know which to choose or where to put my energy.

As selfish as it sounds, I feel to some extent I must block my ears, hunch my shoulders down and choose the thing that will earn the callous, cold hard cash; I will not get to Greece, my loved and faraway dreamland, on the steam of half-hearted chances and the vapor of something-to-come.

I'm keeping all irons in the fire and stoking em' good. Number one lesson I have learned in this job-hunting, life-building game:

Only settle when you're getting paid and everything is stable. Don't count your chickens until such time as they hatch, grow up, leave home and have beards.

Too many times in the past I have missed lucrative or career-building opportunities by misjudging when to risk and when to play it safe. This time, I'll play it safe by not closing any doors or saying no too early.

And I will keep the whitewashed walls of Greece foremost in my mind.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cheer Up, Emu Kid!

Today I finally caved to financial pressure and registered for Centrewank assistance.

It has been many years since I needed a hand up from Big Brother, yet here I am once more: two degrees, many zillions of dollars in education debt, and still unemployed. All despite best efforts to find work and be a Contributing Member of Society (TM).

I hate you right now, Newcastle. Why must you be a black hole for employment?

Life is lovely, but this whole no-job jazz is giving me the shits.

John has been sending me lots of freelance work requests that look interesting. I've been applying for boring reliable retail jobs but I will look at the freelance stuff on the morrow. I need something to cheer me up.

Thank god for husbands and roller derby and Black Books! They are the wardens of my sanity.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Frustration Reigns Supreme

QUOTE OF THE DAY: (In 'Proofs of God at Godless Geeks)

(1) The human spirit exists.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

(This website saved me from jumping off something high today).

Oh, friends. The job search continues but seems at an impasse.

What signifies such a standstill? Well, you could notice it by the red mist floating over my eyes, or the pick-axe in my hand aimed squarely at the computer monitor.

I've reached the point in my job hunt where the honeymoon phase of initial optimism is flagging and I'm now Quite Fucking Frustrated and Bordering On That Postal Thing.

It seems that the job pages are full of things I'm either over-qualified or under-qualified for. Is it snobbish that I don't want to scrub toilets when I spent almost $35,000 on my education? Is it vain that I don't want to scrape over-priced meals into a bin at a pretentious bistro because a rich sloth of a three year old refuses to eat that which his parents knew he wouldn't?

And yet there seems to be no middle ground, nothing in between that I can do and that isn't horrible. You know, like working in a bookshop or even a newsagent. Or looking after kids in vacation care. Anything, something. The other end of the spectrum involves skills and qualifications I don't have.

I can write and I'm good at it. I've worked as a writer and I've been good at it. But in Newcastle it seems, this is not what is wanted or needed.

Does this say something about our city and the intellectual life here? I'd like to think not. Yet it seems that getting paid for doing something below exec, and above dish-pig is just not on the cards.

The application process is maddening. I feel like I'm throwing stones out into a pond. But they don't make a ripple, ever. Or I throw a stone and look down and notice one of my fingers has been cut off. Something grandly metaphorical and maudlin like that.

It should be noted here that Woolworths and Big W? Most poorly designed 'careers' site ever. Oh and teh lulz at calling it a careers page in the first place. I'm suuuuure their checkout chicks want to be working there for the next ten years. Uh huh. PLEASE IF I GET A JOB THERE AND AM STILL THERE AT 30, PLZ TO BE KILLING ME.

At least Derby is still awesome, and the husband is being ftw. I'm cranky as hell in every other respect though. It doesn't help that it is Melbourne Crap day; day of wasting money and shouting drunkenly and boorishly at horses that deserve a better life. I need to watch some Ghost World and other hatey indie-kid slacker angst. Then I'll re-emerge in a better mood, I promise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

World Freelance Domination

TIME: 5:39pm
CUPS OF TEA: 2 (and working on the third)
DAILY QUOTE: The line it is drawn/The curse it is cast/The slow one now/Will later be fast/As the present now/Will later be past/The order is/Rapidly fadin'. (Bob Dylan)

So, your intrepid entrepreneur (did I spell it right that time, Susy Pow?) has some work. Meaningful work!

Now, don't get too excited. I don't mean to toot my own toy horn too loudly. (Blackbird Corner - I demand you stock toy horns, I want one to toot when it is finally warranted!) This work is paid, yes, but will be infrequent and small. Still - my parade is raging and I'm hesitant to invite undue storm clouds.

The work in question is a freelancing gig that will extend throughout 2010 with Filter Magazine, a publication put out (generally quarterly) by the Australian Network for Arts and Technology. They've already published one of my articles - a piece about Bird In The Hand Zine Shop and zine culture.

They've asked me to extend this piece and contribute to existing content in this issue. They've also said they're interested in picking up articles throughout next year, and what's more, they don't expect me to pen for free. I'll have some control over content and direction and can write on things that interest me.

I should add here - and I know it seems greasy, but I'm actually being genuine - I'm pretty excited about working with editor Amanda Matulick. She's crazy fast at turning edits around.

It has been some time since I've had such a wicked self esteem kick. TINA was a big hit, but this is even better.

Though this will not pay the bills, and though I'm a cynical lass who wears atheistic secular fierceness like a deep tissue tattoo, I can't help but feel my inner universe whispering yes, you're heading in the right direction. Keep writing. This is what you're supposed to be doing.

(Ugh, ok. That does sound a bit Eckhart Tolle for my liking.)

'Tis my birthday tomorrow, too. Direction and self-belief - what a lovely parcel to unwrap.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nude Models Wanted

TEA SITUATION: working on one currently

I've done a bit of amateur life modeling before, but today I saw advertised a job that paid $75 an hour to get your kit off.

The job is with Naked Australians.

It doesn't look or sound like porn, but it also seems a far cry from posing for students at a TAFE. The latter is more my speed. I guess this derby gal is going to keep her knickers on for now. Though actually, does anyone know of a TAFE, Uni or artist that needs life models? I find it quite fun.

One of my friends mentioned to me that she knew a local gal who was a working dominatrix and she earned good money (sadly she already has an apprentice - that was my first question). One of my mates is a kick-arse DJ. Yet another gets paid to sell books. How do people get these amazing jobs? My brain melts, honestly.

Can someone pay me to skate, bitch about fandom and drink tea? Yes please, nao kthx.

Tweet Ain't Sweet

Dear Self,

When towards the end of a very complicated online application for an extremely well paid administration job with Energy Australia, please do not get distracted by @lisadempster's twitter feed and accidentally click "reset form".

In the corner with the dunce's cap, you.




Friday, October 9, 2009

Making society better...by answering phones?

TIME: 5:15pm
CUPS OF TEA: 2 (I am, at present, consuming a tasty Haagen Light beer though)
DAILY QUOTE: "Today I stood and walked away/I’m never coming back this way/I’ve got my things, I’m here to stay/I’ll try to walk another way." - Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Today I had a wee sleep-in, like the slovenly lass of leisure I am. Actually, it was the first proper lay-in I've had in over two weeks or possibly more and before you get your knickers all a-twistin', I'm not complaining about that. More just stating a fact. I know some of you are Proper Grown Ups with Real Jobs and Squalling Brats that get you up very early.

Anyway, between doing media+publicity for This Is Not Art and being a little hypomanic due to forgetting a couple of doses of medication because of the ephemeral, whiz-by nuttiness of TINA, my sleep patterns have been all messed up.

However, I digress. After my lovely sleep, I got up, cleaned the house and got some groceries. Among these was the Saturday paper (the Newcastle Herald) which I intended to peruse for jobs. I figure if job searching is an inevitability, it may as well be as pleasant as possible. So, like lady muck, I sat with my strong tea and bruschetta and circled things. I'm one part girl, one part comfort-seeking instincts.

I quite liked the look of some of the administration and officey type jobs. I could do reception or cubicle bitch. It would give me an excuse to wear my fishnets and a sexy little flared skirt. Even a polka dotty shirt with a bow at the neck. Orright, I sez, officey I can do. There's four admin jobs circled that I will be applying for tonight. Some of them are with government departments, and others are with dentists or doctors.

I wonder if the doctor in question would let me try on his white coat? I'd rather enjoy that. I wonder if I need really good teeth for a job like that, and if at the interview they'd pull my lips down and inspect the health of my enamel and gums, much like a horse?

One of the job ads made me giggly muchly. It said "must want to contribute to society". The job in question was as a medical receptionist.

How does that work? We answer phones and dispense with agony aunt advice? We mend broken hearts? We tell them the good news about Jeebus while they get casts set? We save kittens from burning buildings in our cigarette break? Not that I have a cigarette break (anymore).

I'm intrigued. Perhaps they have some kind of complex plan for the apocalypse involving shorthand and instant coffee that I don't know about.

Thank You - Your Application Has Been Received!

TIME: 6:18 pm
QUOTE OF THE DAY: 'Good times for a change/See, the luck I've had/Can make a good man/Turn bad/So please please please/Let me, let me, let me/Let me get what I want/This time.' - The Smiths

Those statistics above are pretty dire. One job and NO cups of tea? How did I manage that?

It turns out that I'm kind of unproductive when surrounded by zines and lovely kittens who buy me chocolate and noodles-in-a-box. That's...actually not that surprising when I write it down. Hmm.

Other things were achieved though. Things that I'd call on a resume 'internal redesign' and 'entertainment engineering'. So, we lifted a couch into the shop from the Mason's club and I chose a lot of the music on Susy's ipod to play on the speakers. I also got new fishnets for Derby and lost my glasses (I imagine the latter won't aid in the staring-at-screens required for a job search).

So, what is this one job you applied for, Ms Brimstone? It was a cushy sitting down checkout ch*ck job at Aldi in Hamilton. Hammo! Look, okay, it is way way below my skill and qualification level but it pays money. I can still write in my spare time and submit articles to keep my hand/head in the game.

I've gotten to the point in the past where I've been so desperate for cash that I've rolled up my cuffs to plunge into a sink of suds and grease and slough poor dead pig fat off the plates of rich shit-head customers. I did not enjoy it. But there's no pride in being poor and making your partner poor along with you, so I did it. Pride is, as a friend once said to me, a luxury.

My anarchist and socialist friends would probably hackle at this but as much as I agree with their aspirations to a better, fairer, more dignified world, I am a realist and I can't spend my time not acknowledging the one I live in. I have to work within the system the best I can to get by. It isn't nice, but it is reality.

I find it amusing how chirpy and chipper the confirmation emails you get from applying to these jobs are. As if they are telling you a piece of really EXCELLENT, AMAZING news. Errr - I would prefer terse, I think. Excellent and amazing would be appropriate if I actually got the job.

Anyway. Let's hope ALDI thinks two degrees makes me smart enough to sweep some tins across a bar-code scanner.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shiny First Post

TIME: 3:18pm.
DAILY QUOTE: "It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe." - Bob Dylan

Here begins the chronicles of the chronically under-employed. I'm sitting in the zine shop, minding the fort while Ms Susy Soup Kitty Kapow Pow is at her NEIS course. I volunteer here two days a week.

It feels weird to be embarking on a blog about my (usually disgruntled) job search journey. Sort of anti-productive; as though by the mere act of doing this I am screaming to the world "see! I am a slacker entire! This is why I don't have a job!"

Still, I find the process of job-seeking at turns both frustrating and despair-inducing and I can sense in the marrow of me that writing about it will make it less dire. And really, it can be so funny. You wouldn't believe the number of totally fucking odd jobs and interviews I've had and the ways in which I've gotten them.

I'd like to think there's something universal and existential in the slog of finding paid (hopefully meaningful) employment. It challenges so many of our expectations, our fears and hopes for ourselves and our fragile self-regard. It can also be an isolating, shameful experience. Nobody wants to be that one at the party when everyone asks that question "so, what do you do?"

I hope you like this blog. I hope it isn't inane. Mostly, I hope you see some of yourself and your own silly funny crazy important struggles in it.

much love. and hope.