Job #19 – Bris City Council

April – June 2005

I don’t really know what to say about this one to be honest. I thought I’d found my dream job, but it turned into a bit of a nightmare. I was employed by the child immunisation department as one of their admin officers. I found out once I got the job that I was one of about 100 applicants, so to get offered the job was quite flattering! The money was good, I got to work a 9 day fortnight, it was in town which was perfect location-wise, and I got to see babies every day! Screaming babies yes, but babies none-the-less!

I really thought this was it. That this was “the one”. Then I got to know the people a bit better. Let’s just say after discovering health issues that were finally put down to stress, I realised I was in a VERY bad working environment. It was probably the hardest few months of my life, and I felt that I didn’t have much support from a few key people in my life at the time which made it so much harder. But thanks to a best friend who worked in HR, and great advice from Dad (“document EVERYthing”) I went through the right channels and procedures and got a satisfactory outcome. Well, I didn’t have a job again, but to be honest, I’d rather no job and my health, than working at that place and being sick.

Job #18 – Blue Care

Jan – March 2005

This was a temping job that I got through a recruitment company. I worked in the Toowong office which was closing down, so everyone was being relocated. They had already placed their receptionist in a new full-time role so they needed someone to man the front desk til it all closed down. I also did some work out at one of their nursing homes in Ascot. It was a pretty depressing place to be honest, and I felt quite sorry for all of the lonely people. So I made a big effort to spend most of my days chatting to the residents. It was quite lovely in the end!

I worked with wonderful people who seemed to appreciate me which is always nice. They even had a little going away morning tea for me, even though I had only been there a few months! They were very sweet.

I applied for quite a few permanent jobs with Blue Care, but none of them were the right fit. Plus most of them got filled internally. I was also applying for permanent work elsewhere, and landed my next job in March.

Job #17 – Bio Concepts (again!)

June – December 2004

I was offered a full-time job at Bio-Concepts as Education Coordinator, (it’s all about who you know!) so I was in charge of all the seminars (bookings, registrations, some promotions) and I was back working with Mum again. I really enjoyed this job and it was really nice working alongside Mum and a great team of people. I also got to organise the company’s 30th Anniversary dinner at the Hilton which was a great night.

Lots of good times and great memories of parties and morning teas and social outings. This is a real family-focussed company and it’s always nice to work there. I think I left because I still had a desire to work in the health field and use my degree (though, in hindsight, I perhaps should have stayed at Bio a bit longer.)

Job #16 – Queensland Health

March-May 2004

I think a friend who already worked (and still works) at Qld Health alerted me to this temp job. It was a 2 month contract at Ipswich Hospital (about a 50 minute train ride from Central) sorting out their asset registry (or ar-sets as we kindly named them). It was a crappy job but the perfect opportunity for me to get a foot in the door of Qld Health. Finally! A chance to get a REAL job to use my degree in Public Health!!

So in between managing my arsets, I was applying for every job I could get my hands on. I was working in the IT division which was closing at the end of that financial year, so I wasn’t the only one job hunting. In fact, I think I was 1 of about 40 people and 1 of 10 looking for admin work.

I got a few interviews, but all the jobs I went for were internally filled by people who had been there longer than me. So it was back to the drawing board.

Job #15 – Ford Health Group

October 2003 – March 2004

My friend got me an interview for a job as an Administrative Officer for a company that does Corporate Health Assessments. Although I was employed as a casual, I mostly worked full-time hours. And I was also back at my old babysitting job at this time.

I enjoyed working here. Nice people, okay money, good location (Spring Hill) and it helped me pay off my travelling debts quite quickly (it also helps when you live at home and have few expenses!)

This was a month-by-month position and the work ran out around March, at which time I got another temping contract…

Job #14 – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

August 2003

This was the most wild month of my life! (at the time!) I got paid 3 pounds 20p per hour and worked crazy shifts – anything from 8am-4pm to 5pm-1am. As a staff member for Gilded Balloon, we got to see all “our own” shows for free so I saw great acts like Flight of the Conchords (BEFORE they were famous!), GUD (with Paul McDermott), Mitch Benn, Jimeoin, Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, Stephen K Amos, Mickey D, Puppetry of the Penis, (don’t judge! I was curious! And fairly unimpressed to be honest… And I’m not putting a link in), The Umbilical Brothers, and many more! This is also where I discovered (yes, “I” discovered) The Cat Empire. And it was the start of a beautiful friendship!

We worked crazy shifts, and Edinburgh didn’t sleep for the whole month of August. Normally all pubs would shut at 11pm, and clubs at 1am, but most places stayed open til 5am and re-opened at 10am so there was always somewhere to quench your thirst, rub shoulders with the stars, and generally have a grand old time.

The money was rubbish, we got treated like crap, and the hours were long; but the experience was priceless.

Job #13 – SNIPEF

April/May 2003

Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employer’s Federation, this is Renae.”

Yeah. Quite a mouthful. And I don’t know if you guys have ever tried talking to a Scotsman or Irishman from the country over the phone, but I can tell you I needed a translator every now and then. If I couldn’t understand them, I’d transfer the call to my colleague Moira (who was always “damn fine splendid”) for her to decipher.

I basically got paid 6 pounds an hour to hide in a pokey little room with one other person, on the third floor of the building and answer the phones. That was it. They didn’t mind what else we did, so I used to write letters, read books, write in my journal, or if I was hungover, I’d raid the goodie cupboard. It was HUGE and PACKED with chocolates, biscuits and all sorts of yummy hangover cures.

Job #12 – New Edinburgh Hospital

I think I was only here for a month or so. I worked at the “front reception” which wasn’t anywhere near the front entrance to the hospital which frustrated a lot of people. I was situated at the security desk with the security guards who were lots of fun. One guy would sing “Just walk away Renee” to me most days, and was trying to set me up with his son who was living in America at the time. I politely declined!

I was there to give directions and answer the phone. I also picked up some weekend work during the day, re-filing all the files that we’d re-labled at my old temp job, as well as at the maternity front desk. One day when I was working at maternity, a woman came in at 7:30am, had her baby, and had left when I finished at 4pm! I got paid a lot more on weekends (up to 10 pounds an hour) so it was TOTALLY worth it.

By this stage, I was working 3 jobs at once, but I always found time for the pub!

Job #11 – Roxburgh Hotel

Feb 2003 – May 2003

I can’t believe I almost forgot to include this one! This was a pretty funny job. I worked in the functions and banqueting area in this slightly-dodgy 4 star hotel. My first shift started on Friday afternoon at 4pm and ended at 4am Saturday. But don’t worry, they gave me a break (15 min at midnight) and paid me well (4 pounds 20p per hour). HA! I usually worked a couple of nights during the week, from about 5:30pm til 11pm (as well as my day job) and I worked a lot of Friday nights (til 1 or 2am) and Saturdays, often finishing after midnight. I’d even work Sundays every now and then if I was either a) desperate for money or b) was being a sucker for punishment.

I had some language barriers with some of the Scottish people barking orders at me, and it would take me a few seconds, once they finished talking, for me to catch up. I worked with some “interesting” (translation: disgusting) chefs but met a few fun people who made the time pass quickly. Left this job to start travelling again!

Job #10 – Edinburgh Hospital

Jan 2003 – April 2003

This was my first temping job in Edinburgh after a few months of travelling. There were about a dozen of us hired to reorganise all the patient files into a new system, label them, and re-file them in preparation for moving to the new hospital site. It was a pretty boring job most of the time, but I worked with lots of crazy fun people, a couple of whom I’m still in touch with! (Hi Ezza!)

We used to head to the pub with our boss (who ended up marrying one of the temp workers!!) every Friday around 4pm which was sweeeeeeeeeeeet! Good times.