Job #22 – Premier’s Department

2 weeks in October/November 2005

This was a bit of a fill-in temp job through my recruitment agency. I worked in the area that prepared all the documents for parliament each week. It was crazy busy ALL the time which was super fun! Lots of deadlines, visits from Beats himself, (the Queensland Premier at the time) and LOTS of leftover morning teas and lunches that we got to sample. Yummy!

I would have been happy here for a while, but I was being called “home”.

Job #21 – Suncorp

August – October 2005

After my last job (at the Council), my confidence was rock-bottom and it took me a while to get back on my feet, both physically and emotionally. I took a few weeks off before I started my next job, (that I also got through my recruitment agency) and was a bit hesitant about what was to come. In fact, this next job was perfect for getting me back on my game. It was a 3 month contract with the Suncorp IT Department, organising their corporate volunteer days.

Suncorp pay their staff 1 day per year to go and volunteer somewhere for a day. A lot of groups use it as team-building and everyone wins! So I set up some interactive calendars on the intranet for people to “book” their own days. I had links to websites, contact details and all sorts of fun and interactive things! I had never worked on a website before, and I really enjoyed it!

The people I worked with were really great and always had 4pm meetings on a Friday… at the cafe/bar across the road. I worked in a team of 6 and they were all in their 30s and 40s and were very welcoming to little old me. We actually used to go to the cafe next door to the church Hubs and I later married in! As I said it was exactly what I needed to get back on my feet. I just wish it could have gone on longer, but I was just too efficient and completed my part of the project in the designated time.

So I was back on the phone to my temping agency (who loved me by this time!)

Job #20 – Child Care Centre

Okay, so I was actually at this job in 1998, but I forgot to put it in! I was only there for 3 weeks, so it’s not really worth mentioning at all. I don’t know WHAT I was thinking when I applied for this job. I think because everything said I should be in child care, that I thought “yeah! That sounds great!” And perhaps at the right centre it would have been okay. But I was working at a place that was SO dodgy. I had NO training (I was 18 years old) and got left with 12 children between 12 & 18 months. That’s just not right!

And one day I had to change about 10 dirty (and I mean DIRTY) nappies in a row. It was horrendous. Plus the fact that it took me 45 minutes to drive each way got very old VERY quickly. Like I said, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking.

I was very glad to get the job at Pick ‘n Pay after this one!

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.