Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Best Friend's Wedding

My best friend, Prue, is getting married.

After getting engaged on Valentine's Day, they have set the date for ... April 17! The best thing is, I will still be here, in Australia, so I can go! I'm so excited and happy for them!!

I have known Prue for years and years. When I was moving to the UK the first time, Prue was planning a move to Sydney, so we were in the same boat. Both facing a life changing move...the only difference, a few thousand miles.

We made a promise that we would be at each others weddings, no matter where we were in the world.

And a flight from Brisbane to Sydney is certainly cheaper than from London to Sydney!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Locked up inside a large, Government call-centre, solving the endless problems of the world's (or Australia's, at least!) unemployed and generally bringing hope and sunshine to the masses.

OK. So that's just a little bit of an exaggeration. I am actually working in a call-centre, but as to the hope and sunshine, I can only try.

Since I left my last job, and after surviving my week of training, I have been on the phones for just over a week now and I am actually enjoying it. For the first time in ages, I am working as part of a team, rather than being isolated on reception, and every call I take has been different. Some have been VERY different!

There have been plenty of things to keep us all entertained - phone calls being diverted to wherever they feel like, resulting in a flood of calls coming in that I am not trained to handle. Electrical storms that shut us down for half an hour, turning a normally quiet call centre into a hive of activity with people actually having the chance to talk to one another.

It's good to feel busy at work again and the days are flying by. I have been neglecting my blog and my e-mail inbox is overflowing. The last thing I want to do when I get home is spend more time in front of the computer.

In other news, my niece turned 10 on the weekend and we had a roller skating party with ten of her friends on Sunday. Where have the years gone? Wasn't it just the other day that I went to the hospital after my shift at The Mansions Apartments and held her for the first time when she was less than ten hours old?

Update on the London plans: I am sending off my application for my ancestry visa on Friday after my appointment to have all my biometric data recorded (retina scanned, fingerprints taken, DNA analysed, blood tested, MRI, CATSCAN, kidney donated...!).

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Where am I?

I'm not quite sure what has gone on this week. You could say it's been a little bit full-on!

Monday: my day starts as any normal Monday at my job - quiet. At lunchtime, I walk down to the travel agent at pick up my ticket to London. I manage to escape work early to avoid being trapped in the city due to the cancellation of all trains on my line that afternoon. After waiting for a bus and a trip home that took two hours, I have accepted a temporary position in a call centre until the end of March.

Tuesday: first thing at work, I tell the boss and my line manager that today will be my last day. Then spend the day finalising all my work and handing my job over to...well, no one since they made the position redundant! At least someone else gets to sort out the problems with the printer now! Cheesecake, a card, a farewell afternoon tea and I'm done. Adios old job.

Wednesday: on my way to my new job, eager not to be late, a lady collapses on my train carriage and an ambulance needs to be called. We are transferred to another train and after a long wait, I am only 15 minutes late...for a call centre job...where every minute is accounted for...not a good start! Long day of information overload and new friends made.

Thursday: more information and now getting confused! They let us listen in on phone calls in the afternoon and it starts to make some sense. Plans made with the girls for lunch tomorrow.

Friday: day three. More training, more eavesdropping on calls, lunch at a Chinese restaurant, a mad dash back to the office in the rain (making my hair all frizzy!), 4.51pm arrives and we call it a day. Get home to payslip from old job and final pay in the bank! Also, thanks to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, $900 on it's way, too!

So, at the end of this week, I'm not sure where I am. But I'm closer now to where I am going.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Final Word

Now I don't normally do three posts a day, but I saw this "quote of the day" on my blog page and before it could disappear, here it is...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."


Thank you Mr Twain.

What if...

Today I booked and paid for my flight to London.

Instead of feelings of excitement, I felt an acute attack of the "what if's". What if I couldn't get any temp work after the end of February? What if my visa application wasn't approved? What if I couldn't get a job in London? What if, after I have sold everything, I had to come back home to nothing? What if no one bought my stuff?

I could go on...and I did. Most of the afternoon. In my head, luckily, for those who had to work with me.

As it turns out, I left work early today as the train lines were down on my route home and they were shuttling everyone home by bus, and on my two hour bus journey home, the temp agency I am registered with called and they have a job for six weeks...starting Wednesday! The job is not what I would have normally chosen, but the pay is really good, so I have accepted it. Which means, my last day at my current job is tomorrow! Of course, they don't know this yet. That takes care of one of my "what if's".

Then, even before I got home, I got a call from a friend who wants to buy my treadmill! This treadmill has pretty much sat unused since I moved back into my place after Christmas (so much for New Years Resolutions!). So it looks like my stuff will be purchased and I'm worrying over nothing.

But you know the best thing? I hadn't got around to that testing the recruitment agency gave me to do yet ... and it looks like I won't need to after all!

My two-finger typing skills live to see another day.

I Love a Sunburnt Country

I love a sunburnt country
A land of sweeping plains
Of rugged mountain ranges
Of droughts and flooding rains

I love her far horizons
I love her jewelled sea
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of the fires in Victoria and New South Wales and the floods in North Queensland.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

...and then to the travel agent

Managed to avoid the test at the the recruiter today...ran out of time in the end! Now I get to do it online in the comfort of my own home.

After my interview there, I stopped in at Flight Centre and made a tentative booking for a flight to London! SCARY!!

Hoping for a stopover in Abu Dhabi to visit my friend Kirstie and then onwards to London.

The tentative date has been set for May...

The Great Big Job Hunt

Being happily redundant, this has now forced me back into the world of CV's, agency registrations and the dreaded interviews. Not fun, but a means to an end. At least for the next few months anyway!

I have my second agency registration interview today, including all the "fun" elements such as breaking down each and every job I have ever had (and believe me, there have been a lot!) and the test. Ah...the test.

Now, I have worked as a receptionist, in some capacity, for the past 10 years. From the frontline of hotel check-ins, here and overseas, to the being the face of major corporations (not too sure how THAT happened!!) and, yes, I am ashamed to admit...I still type with only two fingers...that's one on each hand! Which is really quite amazing when you think about it. How did I get to be a receptionist with 10 years international experience without being a touch-typer? Who knows! "George just lucky, I guess!"*

I can type quite fast with my trusty two fingers so this has never been too much of a problem for me. Until I am required to take typing speed tests. Like today.

Just hoping they put me in a room, with no CCTV, and let me get on with it. It's the end result that counts, right?

OK, back to the Great Big Job Hunt. I need to find a temp job, for exactly two months, that will pay me more than I make here, will have enough work to keep me busy and be easy to get to. Does such a job exist?

I hope to avoid the whole day to day temping here and there scenario, if I can, but at the moment, I'll take whatever I can get.

Oh, I did actually apply for a temp nanny job here in Brisbane for the next 2 months, so I'll keep you posted on how that works out!

* from "George of the Jungle"

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I know it's Superbowl Sunday, but when you're watching it Down Under, then Sunday is Monday...if you know what I mean.

Now, since I am still at work tomorrow (but can see the light at the end of the tunnel now!), and will miss the live coverage of the big game, I don't want to know the score before I see the game.

Usually this isn't a problem. But then, there has never been an Australian in the Superbowl before. Ben Graham, the punter for the Arizona Cardinals and a former Geelong (Aussie Rules) player, will be making his debut in the big time. While that is a great achievement for him, where does that leave the rest of us Aussie fans, unable to watch it live and do not want to know the score before they get the chance to watch the delayed telecast? In a total media blackout, that's where!

The Australian media has been all over the story. For a normal Superbowl, they make mention of it in the sports section of the evening news and that's about all. This year, I am going to have to avoid, from around lunchtime, all internet news sites, all radio, converstaions overheard at lunch and on the train home. There will be no TV for me until 7pm, when we all gather at my brother-in-law's to watch the game.

Can it be done? I hope so.

But then again, the Superbowl is NOT all about me! Go Ben Graham, the boy from Geelong - make us proud!