Monday, November 7, 2011

Pirate and the never-ending quest for a job part 4

Ok, so here's the script with what's going on with me regarding the employment situation.

At the one year mark I decided ok I love Australia maybe I was a bit hasty fucking my whole science career in the bin. The science jobs over here are plentiful and better paid than back home let's see what I can do. So I applied for a million science jobs with I'd say about 4 I could do no problem hands down with my experience, maybe 10 if they were willing to train me a bit and one that I was absolutely perfect for. So I was a bit shocked when I got the knock-back from all but one. Anonymous emails, thanks but no thanks. Really? Wow. So I called up one lady for feedback, for the job that I really, really wanted and spent at least two hours applying for. She told me that because I am on a temporary Visa (working holiday subclass 417) they cannot give me a permanent position. It was as simple as that. It did not matter that next year I intend to apply for a permanent Visa the bottom line is I just can't have it. I asked her if I would have gotten an interview had I been in possession of a permanent Visa and she said “Yes of course”. OK, no problem just have to put the science career on hold for the moment until I can get myself sorted with a more permanent Visa. I went for one interview for a haematology based job and did really well at the interview, the guy called me up and said sorry we gave it to someone with more suitable experience but here is my science buddy's email send your resume to him his lab does what you've been doing. So apart from actually getting the job that's the next best outcome. So, back to the drawing board.

So science is on hold what else can I do in the meantime? Bar work – plenty of experience but no badge (a legal requirement in Oz when dealing with pokie machines – that's puggies to you folks back home). I applied for my badge ages ago and they quoted me 6 weeks but unfortunately it is taking longer (they hadn't even uploaded my application to the system when I called a week ago!) than expected due to the “high number of applications”. Sake, give me a job in your office and I'll get them rattled out!! Pay someone overtime! Meh.

I am also registered with every science recruitment agency in Adelaide (as well as every other recruitment agency) and about a month ago they called me and said there was a chemistry based job and would I be interested it was only a 4 month contract. I said sure sign me up. To cut a long story short I rang them up 2 weeks after our initial conversation and they said the company didn't want me as I didn't have enough experience. Now, as I understood it I was going to be weighing cement for a mining thingyumy and doing pH stuff. As a scientist I am quite capable of weighing powders accurately and did pH titrations every day. The company was concerned as I had no experience “in a production” environment. Now, if the people at the recruitment agency had actually bothered to read my resume they would see that I have 3 years experience as a scientist and 1 years experience in a FACTORY, PRODUCING silicon wafers (level 10 clean room no less). However, this is the same lady that read this paragraph of my resume


Magpie Farm, Mylor (Voluntary) Adelaide May 2011-Present
Helping produce organic vegetables
Weeding and conservation work
Looking after animals including ponies

and actually said “So I see you worked on a magpie farm that's really interesting because, you know, magpies are pretty evil swooping at your head and all”. I swear it was all I could do to keep my jaw at a normal level but she saw the “Oh my god I can't believe how stupid you are why am I wasting my time in this office” look in my eyes and quickly changed the subject.

Anyway, the same recruitment agency called me up about a week ago and asked me if I would be interested in being a chicken farmer. Having worked for 4 months volunteering on a farm growing vegetables I figured I could probably do it so I just laughed and said sure sign me up. I went for the interview the following week and huzzah yeah I got the job I would be asked back the following week for training in how to both handle chickens and spot what the company was looking for. Now, I had these romantic ideas about me driving round all these idyllic little farms (just like the one I work on) with all these nice elderly people working on them and wandering around picking up adorable little chickens which I have named and asking them “hey how are you today Belinda got any eggs for me? How's the kids? Hey Frank did you sort things out with Pedro? He been kicking at you again? How's that busted foot?”. Hmm... not quite. I would be driving to a “farm” which was actually just a massive shed filled with angry distressed chickens and walking straight into the middle of them while they crapped all over me to grab them and check that they are not scratched, that their wings aren't busted etc etc oh, and also to count the runts that get pushed to the perimeter where there is little or no food. I got back from the interview with the stench of chicken shit in my nostrils (the interviewer took us out to chicken Auschwitz where they lifted crates of chickens onto a conveyor belt which then dumped them into the chamber to be gassed and then they move along the conveyor belt and are strung up for the next part of the process which thankfully, I didn't see) and hastily applied for about 15 jobs. The very next day I got a call from a guy about the job I was least interested in. He asked if I was available to go to a group interview the following day. I said sure (anything's got to be better than chickens, right?)

So I parked the car on King William Street and went along for the group interview. I sat in a room with 14 other people and listened to the companies bullshit for over an hour. I didn't buy it at all. I knew I had the job though even before I left as the guy kept saying things like “we're looking for people with very specific goals” and looking right at me. I clearly stated all the way through the interview that I was a scientist and the only reason I applied in the first place was because I wanted to save up for a Visa. Oh oh, spaghetti-ohs. I went back to the car 20 minutes late and I had a parking ticket which if I had got there 2 minutes earlier could have avoided. Fuck. Sake. Later that day the guy called me and said congratulations you got the job training starts tomorrow and Friday then your first day is Monday. See you tomorrow. Happy happy joy joy anything's got to be better than chickens, right?

So I attended two days of training where they feed you all this info about the company and the product and groom you (yes, groom, not train, there is something very seedy about the whole process) in sales technique. Now, I am aware that these types of companies do sue people so I will not name or discuss details. Hypothetically speaking let's say I started working for an electricity retailer. Now, also hypothetically speaking let's say my job was to chap door to door and try to steal people away from their current electricity retailer with the promise of saving money. My sales pitch does not go “Hi, I'm Claire from The corporate whore electricity company. We would like to steal your business how does a discount off your electricity sound?” Of course not, if you give people an option they will say no as they just want you off their property. Hypothetically speaking, a possible sales pitch that may work is to say that the area has been approved for a reduction and you just have to look at their bill to see if they qualify. Very clever. Most people don't remember which company they are with or even realise that you are not their company. However, the few that do get really annoyed when they realise what you are up to. One guy slammed the door in my face.

The girl I shadowed for 3 hours did everything that we were told in training NOT to do. She misled the customers, avoided questions and twisted the truth. Not once did I hear ANYONE mention the cancellation fees to a customer. They were quick to point out if the customer was on a plan where they could swap to us without penalty but didn't mention the cost of changing their mind after your ten day legal right to change. In the 3 hours we suckered an old man. To be fair though someone had already been around as he had already started the process. He brought us a letter from our company so we just went in for the kill. I felt ill hypothetically sitting in this mans kitchen (you are told not to go in to peoples houses but go in. They constantly contradict themselves in training. LEGALLY don't do this but to be successful hint hint this is what you do) listening to him talking about his dead wife looking at all his little trinkets that I wanted to gouge out my eyes. Another person had a sign at the door which I was instructed to ignore as it was from a rival company. The man explained that he didn't pay his bills, his bills were paid for him and he didn't mind which company he was with. The girl tried very hard to persuade the man to change as it was cheaper but he persisted and said that as his wife was terminal with leukaemia he wasn't interested. I jumped in straight away and said “I'm so sorry to hear that” and she got the hint and we left. She asked me what the man said and what it had meant and I had to explain to her that the man's wife was dying of cancer and she should probably mark down on her sheet to NEVER bother them again. I suppose being from a different country and not speaking english as your first language has its benefits.

After a day of being yelled at (fuck off you irish cunt!), having doors slammed in my face, people saying I dont have a problem with you personally but I hate sales people, and having to listen to the constant happy yammerings and encouraging sales talk from my team leaders and the big boss man I burst into tears on the side of the road. Fuck. This. Shit. These people don't give a fuck about me. They don't give a fuck about anyone. The only reason they are interested in me is because the team leaders get money every time I make a sale and the big boss man gets money every time everyone makes a sale. Dont pretend to be my best friend when I have just met you. Respect is earned and it takes time to build friendship. I HATE FALSE PEOPLE.

When I went home in the van looking miserable I could see that the girl team leader didn't like me. She made a point of saying in the van that 100% attendance was required so everyone gets a ticket to the draw for the trip to Las Vegas or Thailand, if you have a day off you need a medical certificate. Very very clever, one person fucks up they fuck it up for everyone. I was thinking to myself fuck you bitch I'll go one better and hand in my resignation that way none of you scumbags will miss out on the draw. Cunts.

I went in early this morning to hand in my resignation and give back my uniform. The team leader girl at the front desk asked in her brain-washed positive best smile face how I did on my first day. I said “I quit”. She looked genuinely surprised. “But why?” I said it wasn't for me. She said “But the money's fantastic”. BAM!! In my head I was jumping over the counter and punching her.

People sell lies to people, they push themselves on them, they weasel their way in, they make false promises and they take advantage. They do not care about whether the person needs or wants it, after all you are just doing your job and if the brainwashing has been successful enough you genuinely believe your product is good for them. In fact if the brainwashing is successful enough you believe everyone who doesn't sign up is an idiot. You don't see people anymore you see an opportunity for dollars. You see new shoes, a new car, a holiday (a visa!). You see personal gain at others expense. This is everything that is wrong with society and I will have no part in it. I will find another job and I will save up for my Visa honestly and not at other's expense. These people may be able to sleep at night and lie to people and themselves but I can't. I'd rather be poor and happy and proud of who I am than have money and hate myself. The search continues.

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