Wednesday, 28 February 2007

The Interview: The Nice Guys Never Go For The Nice Girls

The one lesson I have learnt from my interviews is this:

If you think you liked them, if you think they liked you, if you arrived on time, if the job sounded great and the offices had a water view ... well, you probably won't get it. Ah, yes, I'm talking about rejection, a rebound relationship, a wounded heart ... but also long experience. Listen up.

Damn! (they don't want me ... they don't want me ... but I was so nice to them .. what did I do wrong? why me why me why me when will this nightmare end oh but why don't people like me why do they always pick up other girls what do they have that I don't have I'll never find myself an employer I'll always be unhappy why me nobody wants me no one no one no one I'll always be aloooone ....)

There must be some way to negate this - which must mean, go there loathing the place. No matter how buttery smooth the sweetheart of the interviewer is, be impervious to it. Convince yourself you were terrible. Be rude at every possible turn. Tell him or her exactly why you'd be useless at the job and don't be very interested. The more you love the job, The more you despise it. They'll jump all over you to hire you.

Then you're home and hosed, with that dream job you've always hated. What more could you ask for?

Friday, 23 February 2007

It Was A Hard Two Days' Work ...

I have been employed, and unemployed, within the space of three days. I worked for two of them. In the door, out the door.

But it's great to say that for two of the days, I was not an unemployed bum.

I was a fully-fledged, useful, productive, member of the Australian workforce.

I think I typed half a memo.

Thank you. *bow* Now I'm back to lazing at home and blogging.

Now that's what I call truly Australian.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Meet The Parent

Well, tonight's the night. It's Chinese New Year, so I'm finally getting the opportunity to meet the boyfriend's (Mr Coffee, for the purposes of the blog) Dad. Errrh-hum.

Several nerves have to be calmed, not least surrounding Mr Coffee's reaction at being given this blogname. I was tempted to name him after the Chinese New Year and call him Mr Piggy, but Mr Coffee seemed safer, even after I'd enumerated the great qualities of pigginess.

Now, first hurdle to be crossed: I don't speak any Chinese. Zilch. Zero. I have been practising diligently saying "Happy Chinese New Year!" in Cantonese for over two weeks now and I think I have said it about four thousand, seven hundred and ninety one times incorrectly, at last count. I tried ringing up the Guiness World Book Of Records to report this, but the line was engaged; I suppose there were a whole lot of other people practising their "Kung Hei Fat Choy's" around the same time and making complete idiots of themselves.

I had a great idea to make a whole heap of placards (with help from Mr Coffee) in Chinese, with some stock phrases on them: "Happy Chinese New Year!" "That's Nice" "Interesting Sir" "Delicious Meal" "May I be Excused To The Ladies'" "Sorry for spilling my beverage down your trousers sir" "Of course the economy is screwed and politicians are a waste of hardworking taxpayer's money" (plus the "I'm a mute and these placards are the only way I can communicate with the outside world" placard).

A mutual friend suggested to me that this was probably not such a great idea as I was likely to get these mixed up in my enthusiasm and I'd probably hold up the "Delicious Meal" placard when I really meant "Sorry for spilling my beverage down your trousers sir" which could convey some rather mixed messages, especially if I held up "That's nice" at the same time.

I decided the best course of action was to sit there and smile inanely and nod - but what if they were talking about granny's almost-fatal heart attack while I was smiling inanely and nodding?

The mutual friend said the formula for meeting with the boyfriend's parent was "Respect and deference ... Laugh at his jokes and wonder at his wisdom."

I'm just hoping I don't mix that up and wonder at his jokes and laugh at his wisdom.


Have A Porker of A Chinese New Year!

Out with the Dog, and in with the Pig! Happy Chinese New Year to everyone, and may you all have a very piggy New Year.

By the way, that's all meant to mean good stuff.

We, in the West, unfortunately have some negative assumptions about Chinese symbols. For instance, a recent very scientific poll (I asked some friends plus a few people on my bus) led me to believe that the Snake, Rat and Pig weren't considered as fun and cute and therefore as desirable as say, a Dog. And Dragons weren't cute but fire-breathing properties were highly sought after - I think it's these Northern Europeans in cold climates and their household fireplaces.

On the other hand, people recoil from pigs.

I think George Orwell has a lot to answer for.

Let us focus on some great aspects about pigs.

For one thing, pigs are often depicted as pink. They are not always pink, but they often are. Some are white or brown or white with black spots. In fact, these are actually quite pleasant designs. If I saw pig designer fabrics, they'd probably look pretty neat.

Pigs are often plump, but I haven't heard of a pig with an image problem. We have a lot to learn from pigs. In an age of young girls craving to look like anorexic models, the plump but content pig stereotype is something to marvel at.

Hmmm, piggy banks.

Pig's tails. If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing an excitable pig dance and jump about, its tail curls and wags rather becomingly.

Pigs find truffles.

Bacon actually tastes good.

Ponder the benefits of a pig-filled world, and then cheer in the piggy New Year!

Friday, 16 February 2007

Schapelle, You Stink ...

Someone sent me this, and perhaps we should run an Innovation Of The Year Award, or Product/Design Of the Year Award on the blog. I think I'm still sticking with the Voodoo Knife set, but votes welcome. Still, nice effort - any guarantees the aroma gets you high? "I sniffed it, but I didn't inhale?"

The Voodoo Doll Knife Set

I love that I found this charming knife set and holder on Valentine's Day.

Give to the one you love, that he or she may hate with more vehemence.
There were a few people I would have liked to paint Voodoo Doll's Face in the image of, and present to The One I Love; unfortunately it wasn't worth over a hundred dollars to have the pleasure of seeing them stabbed in various places over an over again. Still, the thought is extremely joy-giving.

Sunburn Update: A+, please applaud

I braved the beach on Wednesday. Duly armed with sunglasses, floppy hat, a long-sleeved shirt and masses of sunscreen.

Yes, reapplied liberally. Even on the soles of my feet.

The view was beautiful over the beach (except of course for the ignoramuses without their sunscreen and large hats. What were they thinking?)


Outcome: I didn't roast like a lobster.

Come now, rounds of applause, adulation please. I'm giving myself an A+.

Friday, 9 February 2007

The Valentine Bubble Butt

It's not even Valentine's Day yet, and I am seeing people walking about with heart-shaped balloons. Now, is it just me, or does the heart-shaped balloon remind anyone else, rather disturbingly, of the derriere?

Compare contrast at your leisure.

And if it's just me ... then why me ...?

Taut, round, symmetrical, waiting to leap out of the photos at you ...?

Then there's the upside down balloon butt cheeks:

Though that may be stretching it.

I'm definitely not alone on seeing butt-cheeks where I see heart-shapes, though maybe I should take the tip from others and just celebrate it.

OK, errh, yum. I've said it. Now could you please go away - you're giving me nightmares.

The Big Banana Question

Recently I got myself a triple scoop ice cream from Gelatissimo, which means it was indulgent, frowned upon by dieticians, and tasted all the better for it.

I got the banana, veronese chocolate and pistacchio combo. Now the pistacchio's advertised as light green and the banana as "white/cream with pulp streaks", so why was it that the banan looked more light greeny to me than the pistacchio?

And no, I wasn't wearing coloured contacts.

It's a bit of a conundrum: Why was I eating light greeny banana ice cream? And why is it when you order a banana milkshake, they tend to give you a light yellow mixture (do they throw in a bit of the skin for good measure, and if so, where are the black spots?)

And why does apple juice come out light yellow, when apples are white inside and red outside (or green)?

Here are the big fruity questions.

At least oranges are orange inside and out - oh, don't get me started on the pith. Ohhh ... orange juice ... You can rely on it.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

The Monthly: Is that a promise?

I just received my issue of The Monthly in the mail. I got home so late last night and I've been so lazy this morning it's still in its plastic sheath, which makes me feel ickily like a Japanese businessman-collector.

Still, it's very nice to look at.

The Monthly. That's a pretty big promise. The Australian Women's Weekly has gone monthly, Woman's Day has gone weekly ... or is it monthly now? New Idea hardly has any, let alone claim to new, The Big Issue is mainly filled with pop culture.

I'm waiting for the publication that tells it like it is, the "I'm not sure how this'll go, I'm really nervous, and I don't have a clue and please don't hit me Magazine"

The Interview: Am I On The Truman Show?

lEver felt like you were being watched by Candid Camera? On the way to an interview today, I swear I felt like I was on the set of my own TV show, you know, one of thoser really bad American sitcoms.

After the interviews of the past couple of days, why is it that you decide to, for once, learn conscientiously from your mistakes. You will do what you were told. You will read up about the company before you go in. You will time your trip perfectly. You will revise your resume so nothing you say is contradictory. You'll even say "Peter Piper Picked A Peck Of Pickled Peppers" on the train as a tongue-warming-up exercise, so that every answer will be rattled off so smoothly and evenly, it will be sound like the mellifluous flow of water over pebbles.

You've got it all down pat, and when you're just a few meters from the interview building, a lovely big bus comes down the street, veers in close to the kerb, and hits a puddle, and sprays you with a wave of water.

Bedraggled was the look of the day. Not the efficient, professional and composed image I'd hoped to convey. I was just fortunate when I went in one of the interviewers ahd managed to spill coffee over her white shirt, so she couldn't hold one over me, for fear I'd say - "YEAH - and what about YOU???!!!" (which I would have said in the most professional, composed and efficient, responsible voices I could have mustered, if the opportunity had arisen).

Does anyone know how many muddy puddle spray videos there are on YouTube? One, I'm probably in one now, and two, my bets are, there's a huge market for them. It seems to be a universal "That's so damn funny" experience.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

The Interview: Please sedate me

I can never remain cool, calm and collected in an interview, even if I really don't care about the job.

Why is it you go for an interview at a volunteer centre (read: unpaid), the staff are worse dressed than you, it's out of the way and pretty boring, and you STILL have a panic attack?

Who the hell are they to judge you?

Dammit ... they still do.

I plonked myself down in the dark little room and stared at its dusty couches, and suddenly, I was more deperate than Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives, more paranoid than Monk, and I spewed out verbal garbage faster and more maniacally (is that a word?) than Elliot from Scrubs, except without sounding as intelligent. At least Elliot gets in some big words. The only long words I managed were some "Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh"s. I can get some pretty impressive ones in, though.

I was still having spasms when they shovelled me out into the street later, so I'm not quite sure how the interview ended. I think it was a bit of the "don't call us, we'll call you".

At least I seemed to make an impression.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

The Interview: Does short mean sweet?

Recently I went for a job interview. I've been to the ones where they've tried to be chummy, and the rather formal ones, and the long-winded ones, and the psychological test ones.

What to make of this one? Short and sweet? Or a quick stab into oblivion? I got a phone call and was asked if I could be interviewed in a couple of hours. Eagerness? You bet. They love me! I took a long trip to the CBD and walked the long walk to the office, mainly because I lost my way a couple of times, and someone should do something about numbering offices in the CBD.

The interviewer greeted me at the door but didn't know my name. When I introduced myself, his response was, "Errh, didn't you cancel?"


It wasn't too bad. Soon I realised he couldn't rememebr the name of his trusty partner or his secretary either, so I didn't feel too bad. I wondered if I should ask him what his name was, but I didn't dare. I decided to wing it.

Is it a bad interview when there are pretty much no questions, or does it mean he simply forgot them all? I was asked if I had my resume on me, because he had lost the one I sent to him. And what job was it I applied for again?

Still, I remain hopeful. If he remembers to call me back.