Monday, October 25, 2010

Speaking from beyond the grave...

When I was fourteen and nine months,  I decided it was time to get a job. So I got a job.

I was rather lucky to have a mother in possession of excellent resume writing skills, and I somehow - as a nerdy, awkward, unskilled and immature teenager with no experience - managed to become an office/retail assistant for one of the Gold Coast's loveliest optometrists. It was the type of institution where customers could stroll in, pick out a pair of $600 spectacles, get fitted and be offered a machiatto from our coffee machine. Fancy, yes?

They soon figured out that I wasn't very good at anything except for wiping down lenses and boring database work, so I was soon getting paper-cuts from filing away patient cards, a sore tongue from licking envelopes and other uninteresting office-related health hazards. One particular unpleasant task I was stuck with was follow-up phone calls. I was literally given a list of customers who had picked up spectacles or contacts in the past six months, and had to call them, explain who I was and check that their eye wear was going swimmingly.

What I forgot to mention was that this optometrist was located in a predominantly old suburb of the coast filled with old folks homes. It's like the Florida of Queensland. People go there to die. So half the time I would ring out our customers to find out they had died. For instance:

Me: Hi, I'm Paige and I'm calling from ____ Optometrist. Can I please speak with Mrs. Smith about her spectacles?
Little girl: Oh, my grandfather is really busy at the moment. Umm...
Me: Sorry, I think you misheard me. I meant Mrs. Lilian Smith. Is she there? 
 Little girl: [bursting into tears] My grandma died yesterday. [Full on sobbing]
Me: Umm. I am sorry. Ummm... [Smashes phone onto receiver]

That wasn't in the job description. Perhaps I should have gone for that dish hand job. Fuck.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Please check out by 10am...

On the very first night that I moved into my apartment, I had a massive freak out moment. My darling lover came around, and I screamed, "OH MY GOD, THIS PLACE USED TO BE A MENTAL INSTITUTION."

His correct response would've been to tip me over, and charmingly say, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" But, being the amazingly steady and stable-minded man that he is, he looked around and reassured me, "No, I'm pretty sure it used to be a hotel."

I'm not sure if that is an improvement on a mental institution, but my new place is certainly a bit odd. Oodles of space in the bedroom/lounge area, a balcony and an aircon. But there's no rangehood over the minature stove and I swear my Fisher-Price pretend kitchen as a toddler was larger. There's no overhead light but a row of flourescent lights around the perimeter of the room, and one of those odd Kleenex-branded shiny tissue box holders in the bathroom. It also has a nifty toilet roll holder that stops every two sheets to prevent you from stealing too much toilet paper. I fucking pay for my toilet paper, thank you very much, so this is a bit bizarre. There are security cameras everywhere, elevators (what kind of three levelled apartment complex has a lift???), excessive car parking and an empty reception area in the lobby.

So yeah. This blog post doesn't go anywhere. I just felt like bitching.

Balla Bad

I am a little bit obsessed with Indian food. Say the words "roti channai" and I'm there, drooling all over your face like a prostitute. If I can, I try to schedule in Indian food at least once in my week. And yes, I am the type of person who plans my take-out roster.

So I was entertaining myself at an Indian restaurant that I've never been to - run by non-Indians, mind you. I asked for a small portion of butter chicken and two roti parahtas and was immediately told that it would cost me $17, but if I ordered the curry with rice instead it would be $9. But I couldn't substitute the bread for the rice. I pointed at the small takeaway container on the counter, nicely priced at $7 and ordered that and the parahtas to have at the restaurant. The waitress then proceeded to pack everything in a bag and sent me out, so I asked for a plate. She then crudely pointed at a giant sign saying NO TAKEAWAY TO BE CONSUMED IN THE RESTAURANT. But said it would be okay to perch myself on a random stool in the very corner of the restaurant. Oh, and yeah, I wasn't allowed to use metal cutlery. Or use a plate because I paid for "takeaway" prices and clearly the price I paid was more important than the fact that I stained their counter with orange liquid because the container burst everywhere.

Maybe I should just point out that my so-called takeaway meal was more expensive than some of their dine-in meals, and I was the only person in the whole joint so they clearly needed the tables free for all of their invisible diners. Oh, and my grub tasted like bottled sauce from Woolies.

Fantastic customer service, people.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hey ho, let's go

I recently moved apartments to be closer to my office. I actually cried when I left the lovely, leafy, organic-bread-eating suburb of Fitzroy North for St. Kilda. Sure, it has the beach, rad thrift shops and European cake stores to die for, but the 'Kays have a reputation for "unsavoury" activities.

A few weekends ago, my lovely boyfriend drove me around to go house hunting, we were walking down Carlisle Street to look at a property when we spotted to lovely ladies of, um, pleasure. The said women were squatting by the roadside, rubbing what I believe is cocaine into their gums.

My man immediately turned to me, grinned, and said, "Your new neighbours!" I hate it when men are right.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Never say anything because you'll just prove yourself wrong...

I used to work in retail, and for some reason my evil supervisors* used to roster me on in at the St. Kilda store instead of Fitzroy shop. I should probably add that my humble abode was a mere five tram stops away from the Fitzy branch, and about a hefty hour and a half tram ride away from Luna Park.

Everyday I would drag my Doc Marten-ed feet along the 112 tram, muttering under my breath. I told myself that I wasn't being a princess. It's just honestly not humane to make someone spend three hours commuting to a fucking retail job. I can work in retail anywhere. I also constantly reassured myself that I would get a dream job working in the music industry soon, and when I did it wouldn't matter where it was because I would totally travel hours for a job like that.

Well, irony hates me. Because then I got a job in the music industry. In St. Kilda of all places. I'm moving, motherfuckers.


* actually they were really lovely, and gave me free clothes and chocolates and the such, but the evil bit suits this blog post better