Things have been interesting on the work-life front this past week. As I said a few posts ago, in the week just gone I had a number of interviews and also training. I've also had actual work.
Monday I had interviews for two factory jobs. One was at a commerical laundry and the other at a newspaper (in the print-machines section). I realised a second welcome thing at these interviews: you don't have to pussyfoot around the question of pay. They're expecting you to ask "how many shifts a week might I get?" and also "and what is the hourly rate?". After the amount of delicate hogwash that gets talked in legal profession interviews this is something of a relief. It was also a relief to know I could show up at the interview in jeans and boots!
Tuesday's job interview was curious too. This job is within the criminal justice system. I'd read the position description and decided I had Buckley's of getting the job, so I just did my basic research and went in relaxed and with an approach to criminal offenders based on dealing with quite a few of them in my past life. That is, assume that they're lying at all times, that they see themselves as victims, and that they're incapable of linking their run-ins with the law to their own behaviour. This last is especially true: most of the criminals I dealt with seemed to find imprisonment and other sanctions as inexplicable as the weather. One of my spies tells me that apparently I rather impressed the interview panel!
Wednesday brought induction training at SPC. Training covered a short lecture from the union shop stewards to try to persuade us to join up (I declined), followed by work health and safety and food safety materials. There was also a tour of the factory, which smells like the biggest vat of stewed fruit you can imagine. I was pleased to find the factory is within walking distance of a church.
I was feeling a bit conflicted when I left training that day, but I honestly can't recall why. I guess I just felt life had drifted into a bit of a swamp and I couldn't find a way out. Anyway, I went and worked off my feelings with a long run in the afternoon heat and felt better for it. Hard work though - my legs were tired.
Thursday saw me back in town at the employment agency I'm registered with. The 'meeting' consisted of handing over my job-search paperwork and confirming I'm not currently sick. I suspect they're not too interested: now that I'm apparently on SPC's books I suspect they pocket their subsidy from the government and move on to someone else.
Friday I worked with Darryl for much of the day, weeding a garden that looked like the Amazon basin of weeds. I'm not kidding:
We were done by about 1400 and from there I went to the workwear shop in town to buy boots for work at SPC (they give us a voucher for $70 worth of boots).
Saturday brought four hours of gardening and cleaning for the doctor in Shepparton I work for sometimes. It also brought four hours of biting my tongue, smiling and working through an ever scrolling and changing list of jobs and priorities as he decided he wanted this or that tree pruned and lawns (he has 5!) mowed in a particular order of priority. I was cursing inwardly and asking myself why I was doing this for $15 an hour. Truth is, I do it because if I don't then I really will be the parasite I keep telling myself I am. Anyway, it was good when I could knock off and go for a late picnic-lunch with something from the fruit and vegetable grocer.
So there you have it: the highlights from my recent working (or not) life. I really need to write more and better. Writing is really what I've always done, and I'm comforted by knowing that Orwell was a kitchen hand, and that Camus was (among other things) a spare parts interpreter. Maybe I can find something worthwhile to say too.