Hire me?

To whom it may concern,

I wish to apply for the customer experience prodigal employee 2.0 position as recently advertised on all of the job seeking websites ever created.

By now, you must have slogged through a mire of underqualified, blow their own arse trumpet job applications and hoping against hope that my application can be placed in the ‘can interview without a police escort present’ pile.  That’s entirely up to you.  Personally I would hire me without the interview, but that may be narcissistic bias.

Old people love me.  Well, they love my smile.  A smile gets you everywhere, they say. I am in complete agreement as I have never failed to get a job once I meet with an employer in person.  Unfortunately, I cannot use my smile on you without being deemed a ‘stalker’, so I have to utilise my impressive communication skills to convince you that I will not cause your company to implode.  Luckily for you, your company could be run by chimps and still bring in a steady cash flow.  I am quite certain I would bring in even more cash, as I don’t have the tendency to fling my own poop at people.  I can also speak English good, so no worries that I won’t be able to help your customers with their concerns.

I have a Bachelor in Environmental Science and a dual diploma in Conservation and Land Management/Sustainability.  Don’t worry though, I won’t be leaving your company for a career in the industry.  After over three years of volunteer work I have yet to receive a single contract.  Turns out rich people pay to do what I studied six years to do.  It’s time to accept the fact that a degree stands for nothing in the modern age and I am, in fact, actually only qualified to work in administration or retail.

This is where you are in luck, my friend and future employer.  In order to maintain my extreme university lifestyle I worked the shit kicker jobs.  I can guarantee that I have already dealt with whatever crap your customer cares to fling.  I will deal with that crap with the smarmiest of smiles and assure the chimp that their concerns are legitimate.  I will personally ensure that they leave your store with fond memories of the girl who would pull the sun closer so that their day shines just a little brighter.  You will gain more wealth by taking me into your employment.

Because let’s be realistic, it’s all about money.  I want to earn a living.  So do you.  Does it matter that I don’t give a diddly fuck about what you’re selling?  No.  What matters is that I can pretend that your product is the best thing since cavemen discovered sliced bread.

Remember, I know what you’re going through.  You are praying that someday hell will have a spot available so you can leave this shit hole of a place for greener pastures.  It is my greatest wish that you do not look back upon this moment and regret passing up on a great opportunity.  I can get you into hell.  No strings attached.

I hope that this application is sufficient for the position and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Kate Turville

The ultimate validation as a writer

This Christmas, I believe I may have discovered and received the ultimate validation as a writer.  It may not be what you expect…

Henceforth, I will no longer consider published work as the only success a person can achieve as a writer.  Sure, it’s fantastic to be published, making truckloads of money or having a readership of a billion people, but what percentage of writers ever actually achieve this?  I’m bringing some much needed realism to my dreams and taking enjoyment out of the smaller things when it comes to writing.

My epiphany isn’t what I received for Christmas, however.  I’m not a character out of a Charles Dickens book.  Rather than being transported through space and time, I received a gift from my partner.  Fairly common practice really.  This year though, he gave me a computer.  Specifically for my writing.  VALIDATION RECEIVED.

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It also has a big screen because I’m blind.

How so, you ask?  Someone close to me is finally convinced that what I’m choosing to do is worthwhile.  Someone else believes in me.  For any writer, this must be an occasion to celebrate.  We are too used to the slight condescension and confusion by our friends and family.  Why are you writing?  Why can’t you come see me and don’t tell me you’re writing again because that is not an excuse.  It’s not like it’s a job or something.

Most people can’t get past the belief that writing is just a hobby, that it should only be done in spare time.  So when someone steps up and acknowledges the passion driving what you’ve been doing for years, it definitely is a success story.  I’m grateful to have the partner I do and I hope this isn’t just a way to stop me interrupting his own passion: the Xbox.

Who am I kidding?  The Xbox is his one true love.

Back in Black…

Corporate black that is.

That’s right, I the infinitely jobless Kate Turville, have finally managed to wrangle a job.  It took six months, but that’s what happens in an uncertain climate.  I’ve ended up somewhere I never expected to be: the city.  I am now one in the masses that make their way into that jungle of skyscrapers and coffee houses to squint at a computer behind a desk for hours on end.  I don’t mind it as much as I expected, besides the constant body odour on public transport, being shoved every which way walking down the street, and the ever present feeling of guilt as I walk past the homeless with their hands outstretched.  Yep, I’m a corporate.

But that’s not the reason I’ve vanished from the blogosphere for the last month and a half.  That has to do with a certain Xbox One eating our data limit and trouble trying to switch to a company that will give us unlimited data.  But now I’m back and very much happy to be here.  I just have to flex my writing muscles a little.  They’ve diminished to the size of a pea and seem content to stay that size.  Will power is key here.

To all my loyal friends and followers, I’m sorry for the silence and hope to make it up to you one post at a time.  It’s not too late is it?  I’ll bake you cookies… 🙂

Is bribery for loyalty illegal?

Workplace harrassment is the pits

Gather around kids, I have two stories to tell you today.  After reading William Lloyd’s intimate post about his bullying experiences, I decided to add my own.  Luckily I was never bullied in school, but out in the work force is a completely different story.

The Girls from Hell

There I was, a fresh-faced 14 years and 9 month old starting out on my first day of my first job.  I had met the boss and he was a lovely man, instantly putting my overly anxious self at ease.  So it was with only the faint sensation of nausea that I walked into the café for my first shift.

The boss wasn’t there.  A giggling group of three girls were.  I walked up to them, all knocky-kneed and trembling, to introduce myself.

One looked at me with faint disgust and asked, ‘What school do you go to?’

‘Ah, CLC.  You know, Catholic Ladies’ College,’ I replied, well aware that outside schools called us ‘Catholic Lesbians College’.

She screwed up her nose, her mouth twisted and she said, ‘Oh,’ before turning back to the group, effectively shutting me out.

So began a year of being pushed around to do all the work, being ignored when I spoke and laughed at when I did anything wrong.  It was a shame that the boss only worked during the week.  I worked Sundays with those girls.  They tried to get me fired four times.  Once for working too slow  I was told I needed to polish the chair legs and metal on the table until my face shone back at me.  That takes a few hours when they are caked in grime.  Another time for eating a sausage roll out of the warmer.  The girls told me I could eat anything I wanted, which they did also, but they neglected to tell me not to do it in front of the boss.  In fact they told me the boss was okay with it.  Third time they said I was bullying them.  Should have punched them in the face for that one.  Lastly, apparently I was taking money from the till.  Please, I’m way too much of a pansy to do that.

When I finally quit, they replaced me with another CLC girl and when I came back to return my uniform, the boss was working.

I thought it was odd to see him on a Sunday, until he asked, ‘Did those girls ever pick on you?  It’s just that, the other girl from CLC has complained.’

‘Of course not,’ I said and walked out of the café, trying not to notice the new girl standing hunched over the bench as though she were protecting herself from the other girls, who were standing around laughing.

Biggest regret of my life.  I left that girl to deal with what I had endured for a whole year.

Managers Have Loud Voices

I had moved on with my life.  I worked at a supermarket, got on swimmingly with everyone and then I was promoted to assistant manager in the deli.  That’s all good, I can handle it.  But then the store manager left.  The deli manager left.  And I was left facing the most aggressive man I had ever met in my life.

This man became the store manager and I was required to take on the deli manager position until someone took over.  I had been an assistant manager for two weeks.  I barely knew the computers existed, let alone how to use the systems for ordering, rostering, waste and the how-to guide for being a manager.

So I made mistakes.  Perfectly acceptable mistakes for someone who hadn’t been trained in the slightest.

And I got absolutely destroyed for it.  This manager called me an idiot on several occasions, yelled at me in front of other employees and wouldn’t talk to me in the deli.  He chose to talk to the only male deli assistant, who would then have to come to me and tell me everything that the man had just told him.  Which I could hear because I was standing a metre away.

Other times, he would be the friendliest person in the store.  He would encourage me to tell him everything that I needed help with and would promise that there would be more help for the deli.  Then he would turn, use the information I had just told him against me, to make me feel worse.

For that whole month I was manager I would go home crying every night, questioning my whole stupid, pathetic existence.  In the morning I would drive to work, hoping that I would get into a car accident, or an elephant would fall on my car, or anything would happen so I didn’t have to ever go back into that awful store.

A week after the deli manager finally came back to take the position, I quit.  I walked out and didn’t look back.  And once again, I did nothing.  I could have torn that man to the ground.  If it had happened now, I would have.  Back then, I was a touch on the meek side.

So what have I learned?

1) A good manager is essential to keeping a workplace happy.

2) Sometimes people will hate you for the stupidest reasons, or no reason, and that sucks.

3) Screw being liked in the workplace.  If someone’s picking on you, they’re never going to be your friend, so stop trying to do anything possible to make them like you.

4) Sometimes it’s better to just leave.  Nothing is worth making you feel that unhappy (also solid advice for relationship dramas).

5) ALWAYS SPEAK UP!  Don’t let that person get away with what they’re doing to you.  Because when you leave, they just turn on someone else.

One for the crazy cat ladies

Missing your daily dose of kitty disregard now that you’ve moved into that one bedroom apartment that forbids your feline companion?  Why not check out the cat café in Melbourne!catcafe

I had the chance to visit it on the weekend and am still struck by all the adorableness that I found within.  The café has several rules including no flash photography and no sitting in the way of the cat escape hatches (I broke both and was told off by a charming Irishman who then proceeded to guilt trip me into buying a drink), but this doesn’t stop you from having the whole kitty experience with several rooms full of toys, beds and couches.

Appropriate cat disregard.

Appropriate cat disregard.

All hail the kitty overlord

All hail the kitty overlord.

If you get bored with the kitties (really?!) there’s also a room with a Wii to avoid polite conversation with people you’ve never met over kitty cuteness.

Now, behold fat cat Lynx!

Fat cat Lynx trying to decide whether he can be bothered cleaning himself.

Fat cat Lynx trying to decide whether he can be bothered cleaning himself.

Fat cat Lynx trying to figure out whether he will be able to fit through cat flap. *Note flash photography and blocking cat access to escape hatches.  Do not follow my example.

Fat cat Lynx trying to figure out whether he will be able to fit through cat flap. *Note flash photography and blocking cat access to escape hatches. Do not follow my example.

The birds…they keep talking to me…

Tweet tweet!

I finally succumbed and signed up to Twitter.  It does exactly what I thought it would, which is good, because I don’t like things to be too difficult.

If you go to my blog, you’ll see it just there, just to the right.  I’m not just writing words so that the arrow below lines up to my satisfaction.  I’m not that pedantic.  Alright I’m a liar, you caught me but please now move your eyes to the right.  Yes, right there =>

My first tweet is truly inspired.  Now please excuse me while I immerse myself in social media.  Let’s hope I can swim!

Note: It took me seven edits before I successfully lined up that arrow.  What does that say about me?

Kate, where have you been?!

It has been a while hasn’t it?  Quite a change from the daily posts I had been putting up.  Time to get back to it!  So what have I been doing instead of sitting in front of the computer this last week?

I visited five new bookshops and frequented the local a couple of times.  I may have acquired a few more books.

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And one notebook. A writer can never have too many notebooks.

I went to a primary school fete, shot Daffy Duck off his perch and won myself a dragon.

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Could AshCat BE any more cranky?

I checked out the Practically Green Festival in Eltham and dodged this lovely lady.

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I even went out with friends (shocking, I know).

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Alcoholic beverages are sparkly these days. How times have changed.

And now it’s time to hide back in my shell once more.  I’ve used up my social quota for the next year.

I’ve got the shakes.

No guys, I’m not withdrawing from an illicit drug. It’s the nervous shakes.

Recently I wrote a post about hunting for jobs and it’s finally coming to fruition as I receive various forms of polite rejections and one shortlisting that required me to be tortured through phone interview. Here’s the kicker though: I’ve never been given the job after a phone interview. Why? Because word vomit.

I am truly the worst when it comes to interviewing on the phone. I’m not sure I even form whole sentences and I end every answer with, ‘well, yeah that’s about it…so…’ Embarrassing stuff. Especially when you’re going for a job that involves a lot of talking on the phone and focuses on phone manner. Let’s just say the interviewer didn’t sound impressed.

I had that interview three hours ago and I’m still sitting at a high level on the anxiety scale. Not a good sign when I need to get back to work. How am I supposed to work there if a little interview caused me such stress? I’m hoping it’s just myself knowing that I am hopeless at phone interviews and I really need a job. I can’t afford to have word vomit excreting from all openings. Enjoy that mental image.

It would be nice if they did email interviews for once. I would nail it. Or is that considered the initial application? Damn I’m confusing myself.

Anyone else get overly nervous for interviews? Nervousness that goes beyond the normal butterflies doing a dance in your stomach?

In my friend’s garden

I’ve been looking after my friend’s cat for the last few weeks and today when I came over I happened to spot this little guy in the garden.

Strike a pose!

Strike a pose!

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t tend to have too many echidnas chilling in our backyards in my neck of the woods so I spent some time with him, taking a few photos while he dug around for food and freaked out at every bird passing over.

Om nom nom ants.

Om nom nom ants.

On a sadder note, I also noticed a young pied currawong being swooped by noisy minors.  Usually I would just leave these guys alone because they can handle themselves, but this one had some issues going on with his legs and he couldn’t fly properly.  Turns out he had severely infected legs – so bad they looked like they had been dipped in concrete.  We had to say goodbye to that one.

By the by, this is a pied currawong. Taken by Leo, Flickr - click to be taken to original image

By the by, this is a pied currawong.
Taken by Leo, Flickr – click to be taken to original image

Meanwhile my friend’s cat received no attention so cracked the nanas and wouldn’t look at me when I left.  Sorry kitty!