Archive for June, 2005

How to Confuse a Socialist Alternative Member

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Today was the big rally in Melbourne against the Howard Government’s proposed changes to workplace laws.

I was catching the tram in to work, and running late because my tram was. I got off at La Trobe St, where the tram was turning, and stood at the corner watching the marchers go by and getting a little bit sentimental about the importance of unions and the rights of citizens to demonstrate against their government, because I am a big ol’ softie. I walked with them as far as my work, and then I had to dash because I was already late.

Much to my surprise, my boss was not in when I arrived. She turned up half an hour or so later and told me she’d been marching, because she believes in unions and “because you can bet that the bloody media will be playing it down, so they need everyone they can get!”. I thought this was pretty cool in itself, but also because my boss is legally blind and sometimes finds crowds upsetting for obvious reasons.

What was even cooler was when she said “do you believe in the cause?” and I said “yes” and she said “why don’t you go and march for a while then, and I’ll hold the fort?”

So off I went with my grotty pink backpack and a smile on my face, and joined the crowd, which was by now wandering slowly down Swanston St. It wasn’t long before I was accosted by Socialist Alternative members trying to sell me copies of their magazine, and not long after that they were asking me about my views on all matters political. Even when there are no magazines to be sold, I seem to attract members of the SA; sometimes I feel like I save “Ask Me About My Views on Marxism!” tattooed across my forehead.

One girl I was talking to was asking me getting-to-know-you questions in a bid to pretend she wasn’t trying to sign me up. She asked me why I was there and I thought honesty was the best policy:
“Actually, my boss sent me.”
“Yeah. I got into work and she asked me if I’d like to march for a while, so here I am.”
“Your…boss encouraged you to march.”
“Yeah. Cool, hey? My housemate’s boss told everyone at their work they could march if they liked but their pay would be docked.”
“Ah! Well, that’s just typical and exactly the type of thing we’re marching against!” We were on familiar territory again.
“Yeah, it’s a bit lame. I’m lucky I have a cool boss.”
Her eyes clouded over slightly. We were back on that unfamiliar territory.
“So…does your boss have a boss?” She left unspoken the assumption that that could be the only plausible reason for my presence.
“Oh, no, she’s the owner of the company. Doesn’t report to anyone but herself. I guess she just thinks it’s important for workers to be able to stand up for their rights.”
That was obviously the final, incomprehensible straw. If this girl had been a FemBot, her head would have exploded and her boobies gone whizzing off in different directions. One of her friends appeared and she muttered something along the lines of “I have to go over there now” and made her escape.
Not long after I made the acquaintance of another SA member, a sweet boy with whom I had a rather good conversation about politics and who made an admirable attempt at pretending he wasn’t looking at my chest. Maybe I ought to get myself an “Ask Me About My Views On Marxism!” badge, and wear it pinned a little lower than would really be necessary. That’ll stuff ’em.

Ballad of the Job Hunter

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

I’m nearing the end of my degree (one semester to go!) and am having a quiet little angst over exactly what I’m going to do with myself once I’m no longer one of those studenty people. The Real World is cold, and there’s wolves after me. And they’re not even the nice kind of wolves.

Part of my angst stems from the fact that a job has come up at an arts organisation I’m a member of, which I know I’d be perfect for and which would be perfect for me. It’s in an area I’d like to work in, for an organisation I’m familiar with and think is really great. So I’m applying, of course; where the angst comes in is the whole “oh, I don’t have a chance in hell, and these sorts of jobs never come up!”. It’s an entry-level position, which is all I’m really qualified for at the moment, and would give me the chance to learn lots of new things and meet interesting people. It would mean actually beginning a career I could settle into and start developing, rather than just finding another job, which is part of why I want it so much, in addition to the job itself sounding great.

All I can do is put in the best application I can, I know, but that doesn’t stop me stressing.

I like my current jobs but I’d also like the opportunity to do something that stretches me a bit more. I’ve got everything this job requires plus bucketloads of enthusiasm for it and the organisation. Just like everyone else who will be applying does. Bah humbug.

As long as I can resist the urge to imitate John Safran’s Ozzy Osbourne prank from Music Jamboree in a desperate bid to be noticed, and hence avoid turning up at their office dressed up like Ozzy, weilding a giant crucifix and speaking lyrics backwards while waving pills at people, I should be okay.

That sort of thing would never work. For one thing, I look really silly in white jumpsuits.

Helpful Tips for Social Interaction

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Note to self: when required to spend time in a public area such as a suburban shopping centre, it is a good idea to take the random assortment of hardcore pornography out of your backpack first.

Guilt, Lash

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

Dear Inner Voice of Criticism and Reason,

I know. I have been a very naughty girl tonight. I know I said that I’d finish the first draft of that story I’m working on, that I’m really enjoying writing, tonight. “Monday night!” I declared, in the hearty tones of one devoted to getting stuff done. “I’ll type up what I’ve written by hand so far and finish the fucker! Then I’ll sit on it for a while and redraft! I am so clever! I am so ahead of that first of August deadline! I laugh in a cocky manner! Ha HA HA ha!”

It seemed so plausible, too. Smack bang in the middle of a week off I’m giving myself after the end of a mentally, emotionally and phyiscally gruelling semester that witnessed depressive episodes and tearful threats to drop out, before I begin to work on my thesis in earnest. Play time! Time to write those nagging stories and poems and enquiry letters that have been left in the wake of my demanding, mountainous Uni work. It all seemed so easily organised last week.

“I will work on it Monday, and knock that fucker to the ground,” I said. “Sure, Beloved Father is visiting, but I will get up early and work on it before he arrives, and surely his visit will only take a few scant hours of my writing time. Besides, now that I am over the Teenage Embarrassment Stage, hanging with my dad is fun! And cool! And always involves a free lunch at the eatery of my choice! What’s not to like about kickin’ it old-school with dear old Dad?”

It was not to be. Still recovering from the physical side of the Great Drain of Semester One 2005, I slept in. Not seriously, but enough to put me slightly behind the eight ball. Feverish typing was offset by hanging out with my housemate, and the siren song of the washing machine and its promise of clean towels. I’m not quite sure where the morning went, but hey I got some stuff done! Brownie points, right?

So, Dad’s visit ended up taking up the entire afternoon and a great portion of the evening. Not to worry. I can at least get some more work done! Yay me! I am strong, I am invincible, I am caffeinated!

But it all went to hell in a handbasket, didn’t it? We had to hang out in Jo’s room listening to the dodgy eighties CD she bought for her sister as a joke 21st present, didn’t we? We had to dance around to “Footloose”, didn’t we? We had to follow it with several CDs’ worth of happy-making music of dubious artistic merit, didn’t we? We had to get out our hairbrush microphones for “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and every song thereafter, didn’t we? Oh, sure, I wasn’t the instigator of that last one, but did I back away when I realised I was far more used to the Cake version of “I Will Survive” than the Gloria Gaynor one? Oh no, I did not. Did I shy away from belting out “Hit the Road, Jack” in its entirety? Oh no, I did not. Did I resist the pressure to get down, get funky and assorted other activities not at all related to the banging out of Great Literature?* Oh no, I did not. Did I laugh my arse off, fall over myself in the name of “dancing” and enjoy myself thoroughly? Oh yes, I did.

So as you can see, O Voice of Reason, I may not have a legitimate reason for not having finished my story per se, but it stands as a reason I did not complete my self-assigned homework. What’s that? Why didn’t I finish it in the time after the hysteric giggle-dancing ended? Um. I had stuff to see, people to do, blogs to read. You expect me not to chuckle over Stu’s latest email? You expect me not to get my daily dose of the wonder that is Perez Hilton? What’s that? You do? Oh. Surely you jest? No? Oh.

Well then.

Whilst I would argue that your threat of a vigorous spanking is hardly the sort of thing that is likely to send me to my keyboard in a panic-induced horror, your threat to remove all chocolate, coffee and assorted other pleasures from my life until I get the damn thing written has been taken on board. From now on, I will be a good girl. Starting tomorrow. After I’ve had a leisurely lunch with Deirdre and done my shopping and gone to the library. Pinkie swear. Honest to God. What’s that? Atheists can’t say “honest to God” and expect to be taken seriously? Oh. All right then. I’ll swear on a deity I do believe in then.

Honest to Britney.

There, that ought to shut you and your goddamned, sorry, britneydamned carping up. I’LL DO IT TOMORROW. Shit, bitch, can’t a shirker get any peace around here?

I’m on it. Totally.

And if you still have doubts, I invite you to remember my past history of efficiency when it comes to forcibly removing little nagging voices in my head with a cotton tip.

I’m glad we had our little talk. I feel like we understand each other better now.

Send my best to the Self-Doubt Voice (be seeing her again shortly) and the Voice That Lets Me Walk Out of the House Looking Like That.

Regards and/or cotton tips,


*Actual story may be neither great nor literature.