On the tick of turning fourteen and nine months, my Dad organised me a job as a checkout chick at Coles. Put it this way, when I started there it was still called Coles New World, it closed at midday or one on a Saturday morning, and you keyed prices from a price sticker on the item onto a 'chi-ching' register and sent the item down the checkout to a packer. Yes, you heard me, someone packed your groceries!
Between hating the first year of badly chosen University subjects and not getting into a fashion course, I got a job (again thanks to my Dad) at K-Mart in the buying office as a Buyer's Assistant. It was where I met B—— and we counted down two years to our European working holiday.
In order to save up for said holiday I had both the jobs above: K-Mart nine-to-five, Coles on Friday night and Saturday and I was now an office clerk there, in the days when penalties still applied and I was worth a small fortune an hour. I also got a job at the Lone Star Cantina (before a conglomerate bought the name out) as a dish-pig, then kitchen hand, then wait staff. Loved that job.
Working overseas I was always a waitress. Three stints over three years in London. Colorado Exchange, Epping Forest; The Dug-Out, Trafalgar Square; Bistro (where Dirty Martinis is now), Covent Garden. Terrible pay, great tips, amazing crazy foreigners and English people as fellow employees.
My desire for design changed from fashion to interior while I was in England. I had grand notions of becoming a mosaic artist. (You getting the impression I don't know what I want to do when I grow up yet?) So when I got back from the UK I got a job in a Paint and a Wallpaper shop in Williamstown. I did a certificate in Interior Design and was responsible, beside normal paint-selling duties, for being the Colour Consultant. So many jobs have a better imagination than reality. This is one. People want colour advice as long as it involves you telling them to paint something in the colour they want but without giving you any information about what they want. As if it was some sort of perverted challenge or game. It's a nightmare. In the shop I was the 'girl' and so I did the wallpaper and the colour. After the first time, and the subsequent swearing session, that no longer extended to coffee making. It's a bit of a 'boy's' industry. Went from Willy to a paint shop in Port Melbourne, got to be a paint matching gun (if I do say so myself) and also did painted finishes for people occasionally.
Radically ninety-degree-turned into travel industry at the swing of the millenium. Another 'dream is better than reality' career move. Another time and place (as in 'planet'), it may have been as dreamy a job as is imagined, but with 9/11, Bali, decline of so many airlines and travel providers and the emergence of the internet as a D.I.Y travel agent it became hard sell, small margins and no perks. The smallest amount of travel I have done in my working life was when I was a travel agent. Although, I did one year make it as far as September with a trip a month (small as any given trip may have been) before completely throwing in the towel in disgust for a completely different reason and becoming a temp. A temp in the travel industry, coming and going, with no monthly targets and ra-ra-ra is probably the ideal way to go—all the fun and less of the hassle.
When I could not stand to speak to one single customer more about how it was not my fault that it rained for an hour on the third day of their honeymoon and I hadn't told them it would, I decided to get a job where I could be nasty to people. I figured Customs ('Bend over Sir, I am afraid I will have to examine you for contraband'; snap of latex glove (except, eeouw, didn't think that through!)) or a Prison Guard or a Tram Driver may do it. I ended up at Police Communications. Theory knocked on the head though because you still have to be nice to people. Often extemely obnoxious people. But you don't feel a personal responsibility for them like you did with travel and colour consulting and painted finishes. Still here. Love/hate. Worst pattern of sleep and non-sleep in the universe, which is probably killing all of us. But I work with the strangest and most fabulous people and it is never, ever, ever dull.
Who wore it better?
Doing the link-in love-in today with: