Tagged: employment

Beautiful Blogger Award

Arrrrrrrghhhhhhhh! I just sat down to write a post and realised that – shock horror – I haven’t posted since 5 June! 5 JUNE! I’m not even joking! Fail! Fail! Bad terrible blogger! How will I get discovered and have my life story turned into a made-for-television movie acting like this??

I have so many posts planned to write and I’ve been sitting here, staring blankly at the screen unable to finish even one of them. So, to get myself back in the blogging space I have decided to FINALLY pass on the Beautiful Blogger Award that was kindly given to me last month.

The guidelines are as follows:

  1. List seven random facts about yourself
  2. Post a link to the blog of the person who nominated you
  3. Link to seven other bloggers who are deserving of the award
  4. Let those bloggers know that you have nominated them

So, seven random facts that you don’t know about me already…

  1. I just scored some sweet-as pink flamingos for my front garden, which are currently brightening my life. How COOL are they?!?!?
  2. I HATE winter and am struggling as this is the first full winter I’ve had in a long time. I mean full as in I’m not chasing warmer climates this year, unlike most! Nope, no trip to New York this year… or Hawaii… or anywhere… two more months. TWO MORE MONTHS and it will be over!
  3. Earlier this evening, I deleted someone from Facebook who I had been meaning to delete for ages. I’m not a Facebook hussy and like to keep my friends to people that I actually don’t mind sharing my life with. This person was not one of these people. It’s a long story.
  4. I haven’t cleaned my house for WEEKS! True story. I can sense your judgement and I’m committed to cleaning it this weekend!
  5. My favourite city in the world is New York. Nothing beats summertime in NYC!
  6. I desperately want to go to India. Like, soon. Like, desperately! Like, for serious!
  7. I might have cooked my dogs a steak for dinner tonight. Hold your judgement.

Post a link to the blog of the person who nominated you:

The lovely Jennifaye! Yep, go check out her blog! She writes much better than me AND she doesn’t abandon her followers for five weeks in a row… eek!

Link to seven other bloggers who deserve the award:

  1. http://raisingmyrainbow.com/ – If you haven’t read this one already, do it now!
  2. http://gojulesgo.com/
  3. http://pithypants.com/ – why branch out on my recommendations when they’re so funny?
  4. http://catherinebuday.wordpress.com/ – The tips for a summer day took my mind of the crappy weather for a moment…
  5. http://searchingforagentdalecooper.wordpress.com/ – Okay, so I haven’t read this properly, but it’s a blog dedicated to Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks!
  6. http://livinginfairyland.wordpress.com/
  7. I’m out of suggestions, so I’m sticking with 6!

Let them know they’ve been nominated – I’m on it!

Woo hoo! Real post coming soon, I promise!

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Will Write for Food

Last week I quit my job.

Most people who know me saw it coming, but for the many people I know through work, it was completely unexpected. So far, everyone has reacted with ‘Omg, what’s happened?’ and I suspect, knowing my tendency for dramatics, they are assuming that I cracked without warning, slamming the manual lift door while screaming ‘I QUIT!’ and storming off down La Trobe Street.

Alas, it was not so exciting and unlike the time someone put spag bol all over the bin in the midst of a bug infestation or the time I realised someone was stealing the toilet paper (I still have my suspicions, but no proof), there was absolutely no hysterics.

Resigning was a massive relief and although I had a TINY panic attack in between being offered my new job and quitting my current one, it wasn’t long before I was getting excited about taking a huge step off my current career path and throwing caution to the wind.

There’s something liberating about having absolutely no idea what the heck you will be doing a year from now, and, to quote my ever-unreliable Fortune Telling Fairy Cards, I am moving forward fearlessly!

Gone are the days of work-related panic attacks and swatting bugs as I sit at my desk – it’s time for freedom, creativity and full, uninterrupted nights of sleep! Woo hoo!

As mentioned above, I do have a new job lined up, which I am very excited about, but leaving my current role will also allow me to look into new opportunities, to focus on my blog and what I really want to do – to DANCE!

Okay, that was totally a joke, but I have spent a fair chunk of the past few days thinking about the future. Now is the time to work out exactly what I want to do and how to do it… But in typical Tennizzle-style, I have become overwhelmed by the decision.

Ideally I would win lotto and spend the next few years jetting around the world, renovating my house and volunteering my time to the greater good… however accepting that this is not going to happen and that the chances of anyone paying me to hang out with my dogs for a living are just as low, I am going to need a more realistic plan.

I have decided to focus on copywriting, but without it being part of my everyday work.

So far, I have taken the massive steps of purchasing my blog domain (check it out, I’ve dropped the ‘wordpress’ from my site, la di da!) AND getting my own personal domain for the future… I haven’t quite worked out how to set up a website or get it hosted, but I’m on my way! I can feel success in the air!

I’m starting with a bit of blatant self-promotion to people I know professionally and am hoping to start putting a portfolio together in the coming months. As a result, my blog will be growing and although my regular, neurotic posts will continue, I will also be using this page as a means of collating writing until I have a proper website.

In the meantime, if you see someone with a sandwich board reading ‘Will Write for Food’ standing outside Flinders St station next month… please stop by and say hi!

How Not to Call in Sick

I personally, am not a big fan of faking sick days. I live in fear that if I pretend to be sick the universe will come back to bite me and one day I will be genuinely, horribly ill and I either won’t have any sick leave left to take, or no one will believe I am actually sick.

As a result, I have a bucket load of sick leave accrued. True story. It would be more if it weren’t for that awful, seemingly never-ending bout of conjunctivitis I was cursed with back in November (how does a full grown adult even catch conjunctivitis these days, anyway?), which took over my life for a good three weeks.

But to the point – given my lack of expertise on the matter, this post is not about how to call in sick. I, clearly am not an expert on that topic as more often than not I am sent home after being identified as a potential source of contagion for some all-consuming super bug that is trying to destroy the entire human race… Nope, this post is about my experience of other people calling in sick, which, in my workplace, they have to do directly to me.

The scratchy throat

Something that continues to baffle me is that everyone who calls in sick, regardless of whether it’s for a stomach bug, headache, sprained ankle, dizziness or fatigue puts on a scratchy throat voice while telling me they’re not coming in.

Omg, I don’t care if you’re taking a mental health day to go get some fresh air by the beach, but if you’re going to lie to me, at least think through your whole act before you attempt to convince me!

When I answer the phone and you sound like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, my heart honestly skips a beat. My overactive imagination has already assumed you have been taken over by an evil spirit/woke up in a bath of ice with your kidneys missing/are on a mission through the depths of hell to save the human race, all you need to do is be creative. Ideally, the conversation would go like this:

You (Cue Gollum-esque voice): ‘I just don’t think I can makes it into work today…’

Me: ‘Oh, no! What’s happened?’

You: ‘They cursed us. Murderer they called us. They cursed us, and drove us away. And we wept, Precious, we wept to be so alone.’

Me ‘Serious?’

You: ‘Oh! Cruel hobbit! It does not care if we be hungry. It does not care if we should die! Not like Master. Master cares. Master knows. Yes, precious… ‘

Me ‘Did you just call me a Hobbit?’

You: ‘Yes, gollum. But perhaps we sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my precious. It likes riddles?’

Me: ‘I’m confused… but you sound terrible, maybe take tomorrow off too?’

But alas, no one is even remotely creative when calling in sick and the conversation is more along the lines of:

You (Cue Gollum-esque voice): ‘I just don’t think I can makes it into work today…’

Me: ‘Oh, no, you sound terrible! What’s happened?’

You: ‘I hurt my foot.’

Me: ‘Okay… Make sure you get a medical certificate!’

The pre-planned day off

A word of advice to anyone thinking about pulling a sickie – do not tell your boss the day before that you have a tickle in your throat and think you need a day off just in case you get sick.

‘Oh, you’re sick? Is it really bad? Do you think you better go see a doctor?’

‘Yeah, pretty bad, definitely need to see a doctor…’

‘Great! Make sure you get a medical certificate while you’re there!’

‘Oh… erm… I… erm… I dunno if it’s that bad…’

‘Look, we don’t want you getting any sicker, so better safe than sorry! See you tomorrow!’

Eating bad sushi the night before your last day of work

When you’ve requested to finish your employment contract early so that you can fly to another country to start a new job and your manager has done everything in their power to negotiate this for you, but has only been able to get your last day to be one day after you requested… the bad sushi the night before line is just not going to cut it.

Just call and say:

‘You know how I said I booked my flight for Wednesday? I actually booked it for Monday night and I’m calling you from overseas. I’m sorry’

Not:

‘No, no, that echo you hear is not from this being an international call, it’s just from the evil sushi I ate last night, it’s making my voice echo…’

Guess who’s getting on a flight back to Australia to fulfill their employment contract!

Lesson learnt!

Calling in Sick By Proxie

Ah, this old chestnut! When you can’t even be bothered feigning illness, just get someone else to do it for you!

And most of the time, you don’t even need to call, just text:

‘Sick as. Tell boss, pls. Lol. Thnx.

Alas, there is pretty much no chance that anyone is actually going to believe you, even if you are lying on your death bed.

Luckily, you’re most likely at the beach or somewhere equally relaxing, so you’ll be fully alert to deal with the fallout from your behavior.

Additionally, if you make a sudden recovery and retract your sick text halfway through the morning, you might convince a co-worker or two of your magical healing, but your boss will suspect you’ve lied to attend a job interview, so blocking your (currently public) Facebook page in advance is highly recommended…

And we all know how THAT story ends, don’t we?

I love Pugs… But I Hate Full Stops on Bullet Points

Do you ever have those dilemmas in life when you have to go against something you really believe in, just to keep the universe balanced? I have this problem with full stops on bullet points.

I accept that grammatically, either way is acceptable, but I just don’t think it’s right.

Having said that, I was recently re-reading one of my blog posts which I had published in a hurry and I realised that I had unknowingly finished two bullet points with full stops and one with an exclamation mark. After hyperventilating for a short moment, I pulled myself together long enough to deal with it.

In fairness to myself, I had used the full stop when adding a final word or two to the point. For example:

– Pugs are awesome. Fact.

Totally necessary. But by using two full stops and one exclamation point, I had unintentionally thrown my entire post off balance.

There was only one solution – go back through and add a full stop to every bullet point… all the while accepting that this would result in me not sleeping that night.

I started thinking about what other totally minor things have threatened to tip me over the edge in recent months and fairly quickly realised that I might actually be insane. But hey, who is judging? These are just a few:

USING CAPITALS FOR A HEADING OR IN AN EMAIL

I’m not even joking, people actually do this. In reports, people like to use capitals all over the shop and it has, on occasion, very nearly killed me. If you need a heading, there’s this wonderful thing called bold which is designed for adding emphasis without screaming.

Excessive capitalising in email is particularly unpleasant at work when customers, or people associated with customers think they’ll get a better response from me by CAPITALISING all the AGRESSIVE words in their EMAIL… well, guess what? When I read the third misspelt and capitalised word you included, I lost all interest in helping you in any way. Instead, I have made it my mission to ruin your life!

If you’re reading this and you have a tendency to capitalise unnecessarily, please do not ever make me aware of this. It won’t go well. Capital letters should be reserved for the occasional emphasis of a single word and nothing else. For example -Pugs are AWESOME.

txt spk n emails (Text speak in emails)

Last year, I received the following one-line email from our IT guy at work:

“ok np.. ‘only’ looks a bit stupid in the comparison popup though imo”

After staring blankly at my screen for a good twenty seconds, I called a colleague into my office and said ‘I think IT Guy might be having a seizure!’

Apparently I’m just not down with the lingo. Mucho awkwardo.

I am the first to accept that I overuse the acronyms OMG and WTF and maybe it’s a double standard, but under no circumstances should lol, lmfao, np, imo, fml, ffs, ftw or ttfn be used in an email. It takes me more time to Google what it means that it would take you to just write in English!

And don’t even get me started on ‘totes’!

Using the space bar instead of tab

If you reeeeaaallly want to piss me off, put together a nicely aligned and spaced document which has been formatted without using the tab button. Go on,  do it. I dare you…

I guarantee I will squeal, hyperventilate and not speak to you for at least two hours.

Even better, put the header content on the main page, the page number at the top centre and don’t bother with columns, just split all the text into two and put spaces between everything…. EVERYWHERE*!

Times New Roman

Do I need to elaborate? Why does this font still exist?!?

So now you’re starting to grasp how challenging my life is and you’re no doubt wondering how I cope…

I take a deep breath, open a new window in Google Chrome and search Google Images using two magical words ‘Awesome Pug’…

And just for you, my lovely blog readers, I am letting you into my world for a moment. This is the wall above my work desk, I call it The Wall of Pug Inspiration**!

*Please note totally appropriate use of capital letters

** Yes, that is Jacob on the top left. Yes, he has a speech bubble saying ‘I love you… see you tonight!’ but just hold your judgement, I am 100% Team Edward!

Confessions of a Video Store Clerk

I had a flashback the other day to when I was working at a large stationary/office supplier and a customer called me a ‘F*@#ing American’ as he took his purchases. Lovely guy.

I am probably as far as you can get from being American, but being a big fan of the US and of pretty much every single American I have ever met (except that crazy guy who took me to Ireland and cried over dinner), I was very confused as to what he was trying to achieve by calling me this.

A video store in Iowa

Image via Wikipedia

I have no idea why that memory popped into my mind, but I started recounting all the crazy experiences I had while working in customer service in my younger years. I realised after running through the numerous times I was yelled at, insulted and disgusted, that with the exception of the one experience mentioned above, they can all be attributed to one thing – I worked in a video store.

After dropping out of my first year of uni, I spent about 18 months working at a massive video store in the suburbs of Melbourne. I had been studying Media arts and working in a video store seemed like the ultimate job for a drop-out.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and met some awesome people but at the same time, I came up close and personal with some of the dregs of society.

The New Release Junkies

Probably the worst of all video store customers are the New Release Junkies – the ones who come in at least three times a day asking ‘any new movies? Any new movies?’ It’s like they have a radar and as soon as a delivery guy comes through the store, they magically appear, hovering, grabbing and pleading while you’re trying to establish exactly why you have ended up with 300 copies of The Man Who Sued God and why everything keeps scanning up as Shallow Hal.

The Games Junkies

As above, these people hover, but it’s PC games that they are after. They’re on edge and can literally spend hours in the store or waiting outside, ready to pounce at the first sign of a delivery guy. They know when the games are coming out, they know when they should have arrived and they sure as hell know when you’ve stashed them in the back room until the official release date and they’re going to do whatever necessary to get to them!

The Combination Junkies

So combine the top two, and you’ve got some seriously obsessed people who really need to get out of the house more (and going to the video store and back does not count as an outing)! They hover between the games and the videos, they know the release dates of not only the games, but the movies as well and they have also been known to come in repeatedly on a Saturday hoping that some miracle of miracles has occurred and the delivery driver has decided to bring new stock on the weekend – just for them!

The Porn Hirers

So, if you are someone who hasn’t quite mastered the art of using the internet and you still like to go to a video store and hire the same videos that have been… used… by other people with similar interests, may I suggest that you do not borrow from a video store where the only person working is a perky 19 year old female. In fairness, I was willing to let the odd filthy movie pass by without too much judgement, I totally get it, people have needs, blah blah blah, but when we get to the stage of five pornos for $10, you can rest assured that I am judging!

Our store had two regular borrowers of porn, both of whose faces are quite literally burnt into my memory, even 9 years later. The creepy one was a really old man who would always come in during the day, generally late morning and always take out five videos, all porn. He was sweaty and gross and I used to make every effort to minimise the contact I had with the actual videos while processing his rental, picking them up by the corner to scan them, before flinging them over to the door side of the counter. I had it down to a fine art. I wouldn’t make eye contact with him and he’d be out the door with no more than five words exchanged between us.

No more than forty minutes later, without fail, he’d be back. He’d shuffle in, drop his videos into the returns chute and be off. Luckily each video was only a few minutes in, so it wouldn’t take me long to rewind them all…

The Late Night Creeper

I wish I was in the habit of naming people here as this one had a totally suitable name for the creeper that he was. I was warned as soon as I started working that he would turn up late at night, hover around the store, changing his mind, hassling the staff and trying to stop you from closing… ‘You’ll smell him before you see him’ one of my collagues explained… and oh, smell him I most definitely did!

Our store had two entries and despite keeping us open 15 minutes past closing, he would always insist on departing through the back door (which he knew would be locked), before riding his bike back around to the front door and trying to get back in. This failing, he would proceed to the overnight chute, where he would lift the cover and scream into the store ‘I made a mistake! I meant to borrow the Wizard of Oz!’ Ah, creeper…

The Horrible Children

I absolutely love kids and I am fairly confident that if anything was going to put me off ever having them, it would be working in the video store. Although looking back, I suspect the parents had as much to do with it as the kids did.

There were several horrid children who would frequent our store, but one in particular stands out. She had pigtails and we shall call her ‘Annabella’. Granted, in the real world she would have been cute, however I now associate the name with the screeching of a mother desperate to get her unruly child under control.

The highlight would have to be the day Annabella broke into the ice-cream cabinet and insisted on having one bought for her, which she promptly ‘lost’ and left the store… At closing time (about five hours later), it was found under D in comedy… absorbed into the covers of at least three different movies.

The Vomiting Child

So I totally understand that children get sick and that when they are sick, taking them to borrow videos might seem like a nice idea. Hell, it might even BE a nice idea. However, if you’re one of those mothers who is concerned that they might throw up themselves if they try to clean the child’s vomit up from the entire counter area, I would not only suggest that you do not take your sick child out in public, but that maybe you reconsider motherhood altogether.

Trust me, I totally understand the feeling of ending up elbow deep in your child’s vomit and dry-reaching while trying to remember why I even left the house that morning.

P.s. I think you never coming back to our store was a really good idea.

There were so many more worth mentioning, the people who would ask me to fill in their Centrelink books pretending they’d applied for a job every month… the couples who would launch into an all-out argument in the new release aisle every Saturday night… the creepy guy who used to bring his kids in and stare at me while telling me I looked incredibly similar to Jodie Foster… All those people who kept stealing Eddie Murphy’s Raw and Delirious… That nutcase who accused me of stealing his money and having ‘an arrangement’ because his bank froze his credit card…

To this day, I cannot spend more than five minutes in a video store without getting nervous. I feel myself looking at the people surrounding me and categorising them in my head. Crazy parent. Unemployed with no intention to ever work. Couple who should stop renting movies and leave the house for a change…

If you fit into one of these categories, I apologise for any offense caused. You taught me many valuable lessons in life and for that I am grateful.