Jennifer Tice's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Work

So it’s now week three of living in Surfer’s Paradise and still no job prospects.  I am considering selling my soul at this point to work for a telemarketing company, more to come on that development.  Today I think I have found the source of my lack of job prospects  – outright age discrimination.

25 is the new 65

25 is the new 65

I rang up to answer an ad in the Gold Coast Bulletin for a retail stores associate and after a few general questions she asked me, “How old are you?”  I answered truthfully, 25 years of age, and with that I got a stuttered reply of, “well we are really looking for someone more junior.”  This is probably the 3rd or 4th time I have been directly asked my age from various managers.  Just asking this question to a potential applicant is grounds for an unethical hiring lawsuit, never mind actually admitting to me that I am too old for the job.

And since when is 25 too old to work in a retail store? Am I no longer in touch with the teen segment of society? Am I aging before my time? I find this shocking since most people I know think I look much younger than my age.  Yes I have an education and real life work experience, but I would honestly be truly happy folding t-shirts part-time while I am travelling. I guess it won’t be long now till my seniors discount kicks in.

It’s been two weeks since we arrived back in Surfers Paradise.  Our top priority in week one was landing an apartment – while sleeping on couches is economical, it doesn’t provide for a great night’s sleep! We started handing out resumes from day one though, knowing it might take a few weeks to land a job.  Luckily with internet at our new place it also made applying for jobs a lot easier. Today we are officially at week 2 plus a day and we are both still unemployed.  Andrew did get a brief stint as a waiter at a restaurant in Broadbeach, I won’t mention the name to spare them embarrassment, but they seem to be the worst run restaurant ever with a husband and wife on the edge of divorce running the show.

As for me, I have applied to every retail store and restaurant in the area with no luck, as well as numerous temp agencies and other online job postings.  I have even gone as far to start applying to commission only sales jobs – selling tickets/promotions on the street.  For me this sounds about as much fun as gouging my eyes out.  After a while you start to question your worth – how I am not qualified to sell t-shirts? Am I too old, too young, am I over-qualified, under-qualified? Or is it that they just don’t want to hire anyone who is not Australian born?  Whatever the case, being out of work this long is starting to take its toll. It’s quite the contrast from Sydney, where being there for the holiday season meant you could have your pick of jobs at any restaurant or store in the city.

It definitely has been a wakeup call – both in terms of perseverance and budgeting.  I would recommend to other travelers, that when looking of work outside of peak holiday times, it may take several weeks to land something.  Make sure you have enough cash to get you through that time, and you can never start too early.  For now, I am trying to keep my head up, and trying to think of this free time as a gift rather than a burden.  It’s funny, for most of us when we’re working, we always wish we had more free time to work on our hobbies or just relax, but not working for this long, can turn out to be too much of a good thing.  It looks like at that glitters is not gold here on the gold coast of Australia.

My last day of Invocare is here – and while it has been long and boring, I have met a few good people that I will miss.  Being the receptionist as well, everyone has to walk by on their way out of the office so I have to say bye to each and every person as they leave.  One women, Debbie, whom I really got along with left me a book on 101 Parks in Sydney which was great because it’s something Andrew and I can really use.

Back again to I’m Angus after work, very much looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow at this point.  Although I still have to work tomorrow at I’m Angus, at least it’s not until 5:30. It’s slow tonight for a Friday night, which is good because I’m pretty tired! I told myself that I would definitely go out after work, since it is Friday and the end of a long week, but by the time I get home and shower, a glass of wine and bed is the only place I’m going.

Today is my second last day at Invocare (finally!), and my first night working at I’m Angus.  Going from one job to the other today and tomorrow, makes for a long day! I leave Invocare right at 5 so I can make it to I’m Angus as quickly as possible. I get to I’m Angus (from here on out known as “work”), and get straight into things.  There is staff dinner everyday at 5pm for those that are working – that will help save on groceries for sure! Now that I have been hired, I’m a lot less nervous which makes everything easier. Not that there is much to being a hostess – seat people at empty tables, that’s about it! The night goes well, a little bit of reshuffling when it starts to rain out and some of the tables get wet, but nothing serious.  Wendy, one of the managers, is kind enough to let me go right at 10pm when we close since she knows I have to get up early for work tomorrow.  I can’t believe how much faster the time goes by here. Glad that I have switched from 9-5 to evenings for now.

Saturday November 7th:

So I decide I should go and do the trial at Blackbird Cafe, just to be sure, and if nothing else to gain more experience.  I figure, even if I drop and entire platter of food, it doesn’t matter because I already have a job! (Not that I am planning on it but we’ll see). I arrive at 7 for my shift, and it seems things are really unorganized.  I am given a shirt to wear that is about 3 sizes to big, and then a quick tour of the place and then I am left to fend for myself.  Here I am trialing to be a food runner, and already I like the idea of being a hostess better.  Not to mention that this place is a lot slower so there is lots of time when I am doing nothing but trying my best to look busy.  The atmosphere is  a lot more relaxed here, and I actually have time to chit chat with people, but my three hour shift drags by forever.  By the time it is over at 10 pm I am pretty sure this is not for me.  I end up getting offered the job, but the pay is less, and I would have fewer hours so I turn it down.  Good experience for food running, and I didn’t even drop anything after all.  I’m all set for I’m Angus.

Friday November 6th:

I have made it through the week at Invocare (barely), and now tonight is my trial at I’m Angus as a hostess.  I go straight from Invocare and arrive at I’m Angus just before 5:30.  There is a briefing everyday at 5:30 and then we go out on the floor. Chris, who is an assistant manager will be showing be how things work and helping me on the door tonight.  The door opens at 6 and already there is a large lineup outside.

I'm Angus

I'm Angus

For the first few hours it feels like I am running around like crazy, trying to remember where are the tables are and making sure I get all the reservations seated correctly.  Chris keeps telling me to stop looking so nervous – easier said than done! The man who I really need to impress is the head boss, Steve, who is watching me from cash all night.  Before I know it, its 10pm -time flies when you are running around like crazy! The good news is that I am still there and didn’t get sent home which is a good sign.  At the end of the night, Steve pulls me aside (first words he’s said to me all night), and we go into the office where he offers me a job and gives me paperwork to fill out.  Looks like I am in! I can start next week, which means it will be a bit busy as I am still working at Invocare, but better to have too much work than not enough.  Now I just have to decide what to do about the Blackbird trial tomorrow.

Now that Andrew is all lined up and working nights, I decide that I should work on getting night job as well, otherwise we will hardly see each other.

Nicks and Blackbird Cafe

Nick's Seafood Ground Level & Blackbird Cafe Upstairs

I go out around Darling Harbour and hand in a few resumes.  I go over to Nick’s Seafood, where Andrew is working to apply, and the manager tells me that they don’t need a hostess at the moment, but brings me over to I’m Angus Steakhouse, which is part of the same company and just a few restaurants over, and I get a trial there for Friday night.  I decide to hand out one upstairs at Blackbird Cafe, and I get a trial there for Saturday night as well.  Hopefully between the two of them something will work out.  Now I just need to get some black flats so I have something to wear to work!

 


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