Don't worry, I'm fully aware how far away from Easter we are, I just had a really good Friday and I'd like to tell you about it...
I woke up a bit later than I should have, slightly groggy as a result of Thursday evening's musical bingo shenanigans, and decided I wouldn't subject myself to the task of job hunting again. My previous post is enough to give you an idea of how I may have been feeling after two weeks failing to find employment.
Monday would roll around in a few days and I could head to more bars in the CBD, as far as Fortitude Valley then. Instead I chose to spend the first part of my day with a bowl of porridge, and a cup of tea, catching up with my YouTube subscriptions and moving forward with season 2 of Twin Peaks. During the making of my porridge and tea however, I discovered that I was running low on milk so filed away a mental note that I would actually get out of the house briefly and have a wander later in the day to replenish this essential liquid.
Once I had made a sufficient number of cups of tea to completely deplete my stock of milk I decided that "later in the day" had finally arrived and that I should head to town lest my future cups of tea be left devoid of lactose. I also realised the opportunity I had to get some more resumes printed on my way to the nearest Coles supermarket.
I have, over the past two weeks, become somewhat anxious about my unemployment predicament; my mind has been plagued with many scenarios, all filled with a myriad of complexities and mixed emotions. A confusing time for my poor mass of grey matter. It was therefore, a pleasant moment of relief when my conscious thought process wandered past the bit in my brain that has recently been reflecting on the ideas of Bhuddism, Taoism, and Zen.
"You know what" my brain thought, "It doesn't matter what happens, you needn't worry about finding a job or not finding a job. If you have to go home, you have to go home. You can make the most of that situation if and when it arises. Chill out, enjoy the situation you're in, and cross bridges when you reach them."
I smiled. Thought, "nice one brain, you're alright!", stuffed headphones in my ears, cranked up episode 1 of the Noisia podcast, closed the back door behind me, and set off in search of printouts and milk.
Having used the local library for their printer twice, despite still not being a member I thought it best not to push my luck a third time. I remembered that there was a Cartridge World down the road, perhaps they would be able to offer printing services.
Printing is indeed a service they offer. I got 10 more copies of my resume, at a lower rate than the library charges. They even gave me a little folio to keep the pages from crumpling, and the printer automagically stapled them! But enough of that, I had milk to buy.
Boundary Street runs through West End towards Brisbane's CBD and is my main route to Coles. Quite often, the street's inhabitants include small clusters of brightly T-shirted young adults intent on grabbing your attention. I'm fairly sure most readers will be aware of these fundraisers, I'm certainly no stranger to them and will admit to trying quite hard to avoid them in the UK despite feeling guilty each time. In Australia I have a slightly different reaction; I have the time to talk to them, and not being an Australian resident means I'm usually not allowed to make the donations that they are after, so I stop and talk. I find the conversations to be quite rewarding.
On this particular Friday, Boundary Street was hosting a number of fundraisers, so I stopped to chat to the first person who flagged me down; a nice girl named Alana. We conversed for a bit, and I made my position apparent, telling her that I was likely to be headed home in a few weeks if my money ran out before I found a job.
"You ever thought about doing this?" She asked.
"I'm thinking of applying to some fundraising places next week as a bit of a last ditch attempt at finding work. I'm not sure if I'd be any good at it though. Is it a horrible job?"
"I quite like it actually, my experience is with admin work but I'm managing this alright. Let me take some details and I'll forward them to my boss, I think they're looking for more fundraisers at the moment"
Of course, my newly rejuvenated 'whatever will be will be' attitude prompted me to happily provide my name, email address, phone number and date of birth to Alana who tapped away on her phone. I thanked her, bade her farewell and continued with my ongoing quest for milk.
It took me a further 10 minutes or so to get to Coles, and just before I crossed through into the store itself my phone started ringing.
Five minutes worth of conversation later I had been invited for an interview with The Fundraising People, at their offices in New Farm. A successful interview on the Friday would mean I could probably get started on Monday. At this point it was getting towards 3 in the afternoon, I was un-showered, dressed in t-shirt and hoody, and generally not in an interviewable state. I was also in Coles supermarket.
After a mad dash around Coles to successfully procure milk, I came close to jogging back to the house. I rapidly neatened up my beard line, showered, replaced my t-shirt/hoody combo with a casual shirt, smeared some product through my hair (yes, I have some sort of hairstyle nowadays) and started perusing bus timetables on my phone whilst leaving the house.
Thankfully the bus journey to New Farm is an easy one from where I am living and I arrived at the Fundraising People's office at about quarter past 4, a fair bit earlier than I had expected. The lady in the office was understanding though, and handed me an iPad to fill in some details for the interview.
While I was doing that, a foreign couple (not sure which country, accent sounded European though) called in after having spoken with another fundraiser in the street. We ended up being introduced to the history and operations of The Fundraising People together, before being interviewed individually.
I was first to be interviewed, and was surprisingly confident which pleased me. I've not really been too familiarised with the interviewing process in my lifetime so it was nice to find that I could answer all the questions that were thrown at me with few problems. At least, I thought I answered all the questions well, and after answering the final question (Why should we hire you over anyone else?) I was thanked for my time, informed that I'd get a call in the next half hour, and sent on my way.
I wasn't far from The Valley so decided to walk to the train station there, stopping for tea and cake at a coffee shop so that if I got a call I wouldn't be on a train at the time.
I drank my tea. I ate my blueberry muffin. I received a call from a friend about a change in the evening's planned activities. My brain listed a slew of more impressive things that I could have said during the interview. I didn't receive a call offering me a job.
Oh well, never mind. Ooh, now my plans have changed I could make it to the cinema with a different friend instead, and meet some new people too. I arranged that and made a hasty journey to a nearby burger joint to meet people.
Introductions were made, drinks were ordered, and conversations struck. Then my phone rang.
I got the job! I start with a training day on Monday.
And then I went to see a film. Ant-man to be specific. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend going to see it. To add to my good day, after the film, I had a good time enjoying drinks at a nearby bar where I discovered the first ale coloured alcoholic beverage I've seen in Australia. It was pretty much Newcastle Brown Ale, but colder. Not the greatest beer, but it had much more flavour than any of the lagers I've been drinking.
I don't know a huge amount about the job I'm going to be doing as yet. I will be working as a face to face fundraiser, occupying the streets of Brisbane from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. I will be part of a small team, and the specific location changes day to day so I'll probably see a large amount of Brisbane, at times as far north as Sunshine Coast or as far south as Gold Coast. Once I've completed the first week of the job I'll be expected to hit 8 verified sign ups per week, each signup over that 8 earns me a $63 bonus but if I don't hit the 8 I'll be volunteering from 11am to 5pm on the Friday (basically losing 6 hours pay). I'm going to be using a iPad mini for the signups, and after the second week of work I get to take the iPad home (I'LL HAVE SOMETHING TO READ DIGITAL BOOKS ON!!). Every now and again the best fundraisers are asked to travel to different parts of the country (Cairns, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, etc) and maybe even New Zealand but I'm not sure about that, with accommodation and flights all paid for.
I will be honest, I am somewhat apprehensive about my abilities as a fundraiser. Effectively it's a sales role, selling stuff to people who aren't even on the lookout to buy. I've never considered myself much of a salesperson. That said, I will have a script to work from and if it was the most demanding of sales roles the company wouldn't hire backpackers. I have a feeling that I'll learn a lot from this experience, whether it lasts 2 weeks or the full 3 months that the contract is for. There's the chance of promotion to team leader, and career advancement beyond that, including sponsorship for the right candidates so I shall be giving it everything I've got.
And on that note, if I'm to give it everything I've got, I'll need some rest. It's about 10pm now and I'd still like to watch the latest episode of Hannibal before I go to bed.
Wish me luck...
PS. As you've been so good (again) and read all of the words, here's some photos from today's wanderings around Brisbane's suburbs.